Teaching and Learning at The University of Hong Kong HKU

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Promoting and Enabling Technology-Enriched Learning: Challenges and StrategiesThis is an event organized by Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative (TELI).

Details of the event:

Date : 4 December 2019 (Wednesday)
Time : 12:45pm – 2:00pm
Venue : CPD-LG.59, Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong
Speaker : Dr Leon Lei, Ms Emily Leung, Ms Sharon Keung, Ms Louie Cheng

Registration

In this digital age, students are familiar with videos as they often learn through videos inside and outside the classroom. The challenge for educators is understanding and exploring how best we might produce teaching videos and use videos as a means of assessment effectively.

This workshop will give a brief introduction to the potential and affordances of videos in teaching and assessments. We will introduce:

  • examples of how videos have been used in HKU courses for teaching and assessments;
  • multimedia production support resources in HKU; and
  • tips on DIY production of videos and animations.

Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • identify the opportunities, challenges, and tactics of producing instructional and/or animated videos for teaching and learning;
  • use videos for teaching and assessment
  • reflect on practices and considerations in incorporating videos in their learning design.

For enquiries, please contact us at enquiry@teli.hku.hk.

Basic Video Production for Assignments and ProjectsThis is an event organized by Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative (TELI).

Details of the event:

Date : Class (A) 4 November 2019 (Monday); Class (B) 12 November 2019 (Tuesday)
Time : 12:30pm – 1:25pm
Venue :  MB121, Main Building, The University of Hong Kong
Speaker : Ms Emily Leung, Ms Sharon Keung, Ms Louie Cheng, Mr Edmund Lau

Class A Registration

Class B Registration

Video production may sound like a daunting task to some, but it is easier than you think! Whether you are a Windows or Mac user, you can now produce videos for any assignments with just a smartphone or a laptop.

In this workshop, we will teach you how to produce videos with your mobile device at no cost. You will

  • Learn to use free-editing tools, including YouTube Studio, DaVinci Resolve and iMovie.
  • Practise producing a short video and receive feedback from the instructors.
  • Learn about free online resources and multimedia production support services available at HKU.

This workshop is designed for beginners, so don’t worry if you have no experience in video editing. Join us!

Note:

  • This workshop is recommended for students with no prior experience in video editing.
  • Please bring your own device for filming and editing. You are recommended to install DaVinci Resolve 16 beforehand.

For enquiries, please contact us at enquiry@teli.hku.hk.

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Register now! 課程登記指引


HKU Online LearningWhatever you know and wherever you are we invite you to join us on a journey to consider how the local and the global intersect to make Hong Kong cinema an integral part of popular culture around the world as well as a leading force in the development of world cinematic art.

「有華人的地方,就有香港電影」。香港電影享譽全球,最近港產導演、編劇和製作團隊在台灣金馬獎中大放異彩,勇奪多個獎項,再次奠定香港在世界電影業中的重要地位。

我們邀請您加入這個香港電影探索之旅,思考港式生活和全球文化交織而成的香港電影如何成為國際流行文化和世界電影藝術發展的主導力量。我們更邀請了電影專業人士,如導演張婉婷和劉偉強、製片人岑建勳、電影節導演高思雅等專家,分享電影業的內幕故事。

網上課程完全免費。

Highlights of the course

  • Develop your critical and historical thinking skills through analyzing the interconnected relationship between the global scene and local lives in HK films;
  • Broaden your perspectives on identity issues through finding the familiar in the foreign in Hong Kong cinema;
  • Deepen your perspective on the impact of globalization on your own society through analyzing Hong Kong cinema.

課程精髓

  • 通過分析香港電影業的本地市場與國際舞臺之間的關係,培養您的批判和歷史思維能力;
  • 在香港電影中不熟識的場景尋找熟識的細節,從而拓展您對身份問題的了解;
  • 通過分析香港電影業,讓您更明白全球化對社會的影響。

The course was awarded the 2017 MOOCr Awards – Bronze Award (Course Management and Promotion) in the 4th Greater China MOOC Symposium.

「全球化下的香港電影」慕課課程在2017年第四屆大中華區MOOC研討會獲得「優秀慕課選拔賽優勝者-線上經營和推廣」銅獎。

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Further Reading

  1. Gina Marchetti, Aaron Han Joon Magnan-Park and Stacilee Ford (2017, March). Enter the Future: Behind the Scenes of a New MOOC, Viewfinder (No. 106), pp.8-9.
  2. Gina Marchetti, Aaron Han Joon Magnan-Park and Stacilee Ford (2018, January). MOOCs Turn Local into Global, AsiaGlobal Online. Retrieved from http://www.asiaglobalonline.hku.hk/moocs-turn-local-into-global/
  3. Film Matters Magazine (9 February 2017). New HKU MOOC: Hong Kong Cinema Through a Global Lens Premieres on 7 February 2017.
  4. 翟啟豪:港大免費網上課程 全球視野看港片影響力 [Translation: Free HKU online course – Hong Kong Cinema Through A Global Lens] (HK01, 9 February 2017)
  5. Amy Nip. Switch onto movie action with HKU online course. (The Standard, 7 February 2017)
  6. Enid Tsui. University of Hong Kong launches MOOC to teach film buffs how Hong Kong cinema conquered the world (South China Morning Post, 6 February 2017)
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The University of Hong Kong (HKU) aims to transform traditional on-campus education, removing the learning barriers of location and access. Besides providing the highest-quality MOOC learning experience, we also aim to launch outreach programmes to secondary schools to nurture future generations to engage in an active and self-directed lifelong learning. Starting from 2016, we have partnered with HKFYG Lee Shau Kee College (HLC) to organize a MOOC K12 learning campaign.

Empowering Secondary School Students through MOOCs

This project aims to address the needs of i) enriching students’ multicultural exposure, and ii) equipping students with generic skills and attitudes at secondary schools (K7-K12) in Hong Kong.

Generic skills (e.g. critical thinking, communications, creativity) and attitudes (e.g. global citizenship, lifelong learning, self-directed learning) are not nice-to-have value-adds but in huge demand today. There are needs of helping students to develop these skills and attitudes in an integrative and experiential manner, and to become a self-directed and global-minded young thinker for future study and work. Although extracurricular activities and liberal studies can facilitate students learning generic skills and attitudes, we believe there are limited opportunities in local secondary schools in Hong Kong for students to enrich further.

Unlike a university curriculum, local secondary schools usually has a standardized secondary education examination curriculum (HKDSE). In this standardized curriculum, it is difficult for students to find their interested courses such as taking a cutting-edge STEM subject or doing a self-initiated humanitarian project as these are often not available at local schools. Furthermore, for classes comprised of students with diverse learning needs, teacher’s support may be scarce and not timely. Therefore, students may not be fully aware or well informed about possible future learning opportunities or careers that can be pursued.

With this MOOC-based virtual exchange, we hope to provide a learning opportunity that is the most international available anywhere in the secondary school community. The project aims to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Facilitate students to gain exceptional learning experiences based on their own interests and outside their standardized curriculum;
  • Facilitate students to develop generic skills and attitude for nurturing globally-minded young thinkers.

MOOC Mentorship Programme has started since 2016. Students can have free access to quality education through MOOCs, which traditionally the courses can only be accessed by attending foreign institutions. One-to-one teacher-student mentoring is provided with continuous supervision and support throughout the academic year. The University provides MOOC learning workshops to students, and mentor training for teachers. Two MOOC Symposia have also been organized for recognizing students’ MOOC learning achievement.

Starting from 2019, MOOC Scholar Scheme will be introduced to students. This Scheme provides curriculum acceleration measures in the form of grade-skipping as successful applicants will be promoted from S.1 to S.3 or from S.2 to S.4. For students who have attained excellent academic performance on both their schoolwork and MOOC learning as well as showing discipline and maturity in their characters, they can then apply this Scheme. The project team has reviewed the guidelines listed in Reference Manual for Implementing Gifted Education in School: Acceleration Programmes published by Education Bureau, and has found that no similar initiative has been experimented in Hong Kong before.. This MOOC project provides an alternative to students who are capable of performing at one or more levels beyond the current level and fulfilling the aforementioned criteria. They would most benefit from grade-skipping. Participation in the Scheme is entirely voluntary.

Courtesy:"HKFYGCourtesy: HKFYG Lee Shau Kee College

Cultivating Young Thinkers through Self-Regulated Learning

The project adopts a number of pedagogies to enrich learning:

  1. Teacher-student mentoring – Mentors encourage and advise students in the early learning stage, such as helping students to believe that they have the ability to complete MOOCs. These mentoring help to build students’ self-efficacy, and they can then take on more challenges in MOOC learning (e.g. taking more demanding MOOCs)) and persist a longer MOOC learning journey.
  2. Self-directed/Self-regulated learning – Students can learn how to plan and control their learning process (content and pace of learning). They have to set goals, organize and self-evaluate their knowledge growth, which help to develop their high metacognitive skills. Prompt feedback through machine-graded assessments in MOOCs helps to guide students towards what they can do to improve and learn. Students can also attempt the questions several times until they master the concept, which is favourable to students who are less proficient in English.
  3. Inquiry-based learning – The diversified scope and flexible schedule of MOOCs allow students to choose their own interested courses and have a different learning experience other than their standardized secondary school education. This helps to develop their own interests, nurture their curiosity, and regulate their attention and memory acquisition. MOOCs also provide students with opportunities to solve complex problems in a different context, which is an authentic approach to deeper learning.
  4. Peer learning – Students can interact with learners all around the world in forum discussions. Through exchanging ideas with their peers (who are often professionals in the field) in the forum, students can construct their knowledge together and evaluate their prior knowledge to develop their critical thinking skills.

Significant Engagement among Students and Communities

Around 410 students have voluntarily participated in the MOOC Initiative starting from 2015, including 280 junior form students (S.1 to S.3) and 130 senior form students (S.4 to S.6, who need to take a public examination at S.6) joining. As English is used as the medium of instruction in the school, students generally have a higher English proficiency. Furthermore, according to the school’s admission record in 2018, most of the students are considered as Band 1 to 2 (top 33% to top 66%) students. In the pilot stage, we only allowed students with good academic performance to participate in the Initiative through teacher’s nomination. Later on, we have also allowed all S1 and S2 students to join the campaign through self-nomination. Furthermore, among the junior students, three of them are qualified to join the MOOC Scholar Scheme, and one S.2 student has decided to join the Scholar program. He will be promoted from S. 2 to S.4 in the 2019-2020 academic year.

Since the Project is still in its early stage, we have implemented this MOOC learning project in one secondary school only. However, the project team has also discussed with different parties, explaining the impact and mechanism of the Initiative for possible collaboration and project expansion:

  • The University of Bristol on educational research
  • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University on mentor training
  • Hong Kong SAR Education Bureau on educational policy and regulations
  • Hong Kong Association of the Heads of Secondary Schools on self-directed learning advocacy
  • Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (The largest youth service organisation in Hong Kong) on self-directed learning advocacy

Leon Lei

Life-changing Experience through MOOC Learning

Until June 2019, over 40 students have completed more than 130 MOOCs produced by world-renowned institutes, such as MIT, Stanford University and Johns Hopkins University, etc. We have conducted pre- and post-mentorship surveys to collect feedback from students. Results indicated that 77.5% of (31 out of 40) students agreed or strongly agreed that the advocacy and training support they received have provided a positive impact on their participation in MOOCs. Meanwhile, 52% (14 out of 27) of students would like to join the mentorship programme next year. Furthermore, there are more junior students and their parents interested in the project and have asked for more details.

93% (26 out of 27) of the survey respondents agreed that MOOCs have a positive impact on their studies. We have also interviewed some of the participating students, and students were satisfied with the Initiative. In particular, the stories of two outstanding learners are shown as follows:

  • Kitty is a MOOC enthusiast who has completed over 20 MOOCs in 2 years’ time. In particular, her experience in taking a MOOC about Japan offered by one of the most famous universities in Japan, Wasada University, has given her advantage in interviews. It was beyond the imagination of the interviewers that a high school student can complete all these MOOCs in two years’ time. As a result of her participation in this project and her MOOC performance, she has been selected to participate in a competitive exchange programme to Japan.
  • Crystal is also a MOOC enthusiast who has completed over 30 MOOCs in 3 years’ time. She shared that her participation in these MOOCs has enriched her resume and given her the advantage in various university admission interviews. The outcome of her MOOC active participation is receiving a conditional offer of studying Engineering at The University of Hong Kong. She also pointed out that the MOOC certificate issued by MIT is highly recognized in the field, and added that one of her MOOC peer learners has landed a job because of the certificate. She also shared about the aspiration she drew from some of the professionals she met in the MIT MOOC alumni meeting. She believed that the MOOC she took has broaden her horizons and inspired her to continue to learn more from other MOOCs. After consolidating our survey findings and students’ sharing, we believe that both students and parents are interested in experimenting with our MOOC learning project.

With the aim of nurturing students as lifelong learners in mind, HKU would like to continue bringing the MOOC learning experience to communities. If your institution or school is interested to partner with us to launch a MOOC high school learning campaign, please feel free to contact us.

Written by

  • Dr. Leon Lei, Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative, The University of Hong Kong
  • Mr. Tony Wei, HKFYG Lee Shau Kee College
  • Ms. Sharon Keung, Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative, The University of Hong Kong

Further Reading

Some say online teaching is nothing more than putting lecture videos and assignments online, but Ms Charlotte Chang, e-Teacher-in-Residence at TELI and founder of Ms Charlotte Academy, sees it differently. In a presentation entitled “A Teacher’s Journey into Online Education: Taking the Leap, Reflecting in the Process, and Reaping the Rewards”, Charlotte reflected that her journey started when she noticed the inefficiencies of traditional classroom teaching and realized that, with online education, she could enjoy quality interaction with students while “distilling” her lessons and curriculum and presenting only the most ideal parts.

Taking the Leap

Charlotte pointed out that the adaptation of curriculum teaching into online materials was not simply a process of repackaging, but rather a comprehensive upgrade of the whole teaching package. As such, adaptability and suitability were her key considerations when she was creating her online teaching content: for example, how could she structure, time, and sequence the lecture videos in order to aid student understanding the most?

After transitioning to online teaching, she gained a wider student reach, but that didn’t mean that she has to repeat her core teaching content again and again; instead, she let students study the videos and materials at their own pace, thereby saving a lot of her teaching time and allowing her to keep the teaching content and student learning experience fresh and updated all the time.

Charlotte""Ms Charlotte Chang shared her insights about online teaching.

Reflecting in the Process

Charlotte summarized her journey of creating online lectures and teaching materials in 6 steps:

  1. conceptualizing the structure and flow of the lessons,
  2. writing the video script,
  3. adapting lessons into video scripts,
  4. storyboarding,
  5. filming, and
  6. post-production of the filmed lessons.

She highlighted that her lesson contents were not the only parts of the course enhanced through the use of multimedia; rather, the whole production process allowed her to explore alternative ways for content delivery and presented chances for her to keep refining and improving her pedagogical approach and her curriculum.

Although she found it challenging to transition from interpersonal and interactive classroom delivery to on-camera presentation, she emphasized that the advantage of producing video lectures was that teachers could capture their best contents and show students only their best teaching moments.

Reaping the Rewards

After stepping out of the traditional classroom setting, Charlotte found that students who adapted to online learning were more proactive in asking questions and reaching out to her for feedback and advice. Furthermore, she shared some examples with the audience and reassured them that online teaching indeed offers teachers higher-quality and more intimate interactions with students and contributes to a more fruitful teaching and learning outcome for both teachers and students alike.

Ricky""Professor Ricky Kwok, Associate Vice-President (Teaching and Learning) of HKU, responded to questions from the audience.

Food for thought

Towards the end of the lecture, audience members raised some questions for further discussion:

  • Why do we need to and how do we educate or persuade teachers to pursue e-teaching?
  • How can we consider whether a particular course would be compatible with the online course format of structured videos?

The full lecture video is as below:

If you need more advice on structuring and planning your online course content, don’t hesitate to contact us!

e-Learning

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Representatives from nine institutions gathered at the fifth annual Asian e-Table to share their plans of commoditization of e-learning. We are glad to hear that our e-learning partners are scaling up e-learning not just on the teaching level, but also on the institutional level, i.e. credit recognition and regulations.

This year, we welcomed our new e-learning partner, SURFnet, a collaborative ICT organization for education and research in the Netherlands, to join our existing Asian consortium (in alphabetical order):

  • Kyoto University
  • National Taiwan University
  • National University of Singapore
  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • University of Macau
  • Yonsei University

Accrediting with Open Badges

christienSharing from Ms Christien Bok (Middle), Team Lead of Educational Service of SURFnet.

Lack of formal recognition for online learning undermines its values in students’ minds. One solution that many institutions have adopted is to award certificates for recognizing students’ skills and experience. In the Netherlands, SURFnet has developed an Open Badges system eduBadges, which is under pilot testing by 10+ Dutch higher education institutions. Unlike a traditional paper certificate, each Open Badge allows the badge community to link back to the information about who, why, and for what this badge was issued, displaying a more cooperative and complete picture of students’ achievements. The badges, being the digital indicator which includes the issuer and value of the badge, contain unalterable digital information circulating among the badge issuers (e.g. educational institutions), badge earners (e.g. students) and badge consumers (e.g. employers).

The badge awarding system itself serves as a means to enhance the flexibility in education and helps make students’ profile to be more visible on various online platforms. All in all, this “e-portfolio” helps students become more career-ready and, at the same time, makes them more aware of which skill sets they can improve, and motivates them to earn more “badges” in the future.

Harnessing the Power of Educational Data

Student data collection is under close watch, ever since the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) became effective. The educational research field is scrambling for ways to comply with the tougher regulatory environment. In Singapore, the National University of Singapore (NUS) has built an encrypted data storage system ALSET Educational Data Lake, securely housing the learning data of 120,000+ NUS students and alumni, including registrar data, job placement and salary data, module bidding, etc. From infrastructure (e.g. the data lake itself), staff training (e.g. how to access raw data) to data management policy (e.g. governed by the Learning Analytics and Data Advisory Board and the Learning and Analytics Committee on Ethics), NUS has produced very detailed codes of practice for ensuring data is ethically used and protected. Professor Ricky Kwok, Associate Vice-President (Teaching and Learning) of HKU, saw this data infrastructure as “the key towards institutional intelligence”, guiding universities to actualize the commoditization of e-learning.

slidesStructure of The ALSET Educational Data Lake of the National University of Singapore. [Image credit: National University of Singapore.)

Looking Forward

The one-and-a-half-day event was a valuable opportunity for institutions to exchange experiences and generate synergy in transforming learning and skills in the information age. Professor Toru Iiyoshi, Deputy Vice President for Education of Kyoto University, pointed out in his keynote speech that the “e” in “e-learning” stands not only for “electronic”, but also “effective”, “efficient”, “engaging”, “evidence-based”, “empowered”, “experimental”, etc. In order to enhance the scalability and sustainability of institutional e-learning adoption, collective intelligence and efforts from within and across institutions are necessary to realize the commoditization of e-learning.

Contact us if you are interested in digitizing your classroom teaching.

Interpreting Vernacular Architecture in Asia

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About this course
This course is about architecture. But it’s not about grand structures such as monuments or royal palaces. Rather, it is about the built environment that the ordinary people live in. Instead of the architectural techniques, we use stories to understand the processes through which people make their building decisions.

We use Asia as the backdrop for the discussion of these topics. Partly because of Asia’s rich heritage and diversity, but also due to the unique complexity that the people in the region face as they go through rapid economic, social, and cultural changes.

In this examination of the connection between vernacular buildings and peoples’ cultural identities, we will review real-world examples and talk to experts in the field. At the end of this course, you will gain a unique perspective about the everyday environment that you live in – one perhaps that you’ve never had before. You will begin to understand and appreciate the value of the ordinary built environment around you.

Whether you are an avid architect or you simply just care about the built environment you live in, this course is for you.

What you’ll learn
Throughout the course, we will examine a wide range of topics, such as:

  • what is vernacular architecture
  • how climate and the availability of building materials influence building decisions
  • vernacular architecture in rural and urban settings
  • cultural sustainability and the conservation of the vernacular built environment.

Registration

Breathing new life into learning

When was the last time you enjoyed learning so much that you couldn’t stop doing practice questions and reviewing your lecture notes? If it’s hard to recall, that’s because for most of us, moments like these are rare and sparse. However, let’s be honest – it’s probably not difficult for us to identify the last time we couldn’t stop ourselves from watching YouTube videos or going through our Instagram feed. Why is it that our experience in consuming learning content is so drastically different form our experience in consuming social content? On the flip side, if there were elements of social content in our learning, would it make our learning more enjoyable?
With the rise of online learning platforms and accessibility to connectivity and on-demand content, our society’s repertoire in online education content has also expanded rapidly. Though the contents are more accessible, without the appropriate tools and activities, sometimes it’s easier to disengage in online education due to the lack of student interaction. In fact, the typical low completion and engagement rates of MOOCs are a telling indicators of the lack of intentionality in online education.

So why does this gap exist? When we take a step back to look at traditional face-to-face learning, we also observe this trend, where there is an observable lack of student engagement in the common lecture-centered model. This goes to show that the root problem is not so much the delivery (online versus face-to-face), but rather the design and intentionality of incorporating right tools and learning activities on the educators’ part.

In a learning context, there are two dimensions of interaction – one is social interaction with the instructor. This facilitates the learning process on the communication level. Studies have shown that having a socially engaging context to learn enhances the learners’ experience and their development in transferrable skills such as critical thinking and problem solving. Think about it – we probably learn much more from a debate with our friends about whether Apple or Android is better than from looking up a bunch of specs online. Why? Because social interaction enhances our ability to respond to stimuli, thus facilitating learning. In an online learning context, incorporating components of social interactions can also enhance students’ learning, such as discussion forums, peer assessment and feedback processes.

Another dimension of interaction is the interaction with the content and application of the knowledge being taught. “Learning by doing” is crucial in the learning process. Imagine a child learning the concept of addition theoretically without being given a scenario to count. The theories and concepts will get lost in a bunch of numbers rather than being retained. Thus, opportunities to engage and apply the content knowledge is crucial in learners retention and understanding of the subject, especially in fields such as mathematics and sciences where conceptual theories must be made applicable in real-life contexts.

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In face-to-face learning environments and online contexts alike, it is critical to incorporate components of both levels of interaction. For online learning, when technological tools are applied effectively, even the most difficult mathematics and science fields can be conquered by learners. The new TELI course “Engineering Calculus and Differential Equations” uses the interactive tool Geogebra to help learners practice mapping their solutions to complex equations and receive feedback on the spot to learn dynamically.

Breathing new life into learning

Have you ever found yourself struggling to stay awake in a lecture despite having a full night’s rest? Or have you ever found yourself sitting in class spending more time looking at the clock counting down the minutes until the end of class than looking at the slides that are being taught? Before you feel ashamed, rest assured that we all have such dreadful experiences at some point in our lives, too. The inevitable reality is that even the highest performing students have experienced moments when learning becomes lifeless and draining. Sometimes, even the instructors need some inspiration to re-ignite their passion for teaching their classes!

Learning across different levels of education, especially in Hong Kong, has become suffocating to a certain degree. There is an observed lack of enthusiasm and energy on both sides of the equation—for both the teachers and the students. Public examinations, such as the DSE exams, are considered by many people as main stressors to our K12 pupils, allegedly leading to some traumatic outcomes. In Hong Kong, as early as primary schools, it is not uncommon to find students having an aversion to learning because it is mainly associated with homework and tests.

But learning doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, it shouldn’t. Learning should be life-changing and life-giving. Imagine that instead of being overwhelmed with memorizing formulas, you are excited about learning new knowledge. Or, rather than being afraid to make mistakes in projects, you are free to fail in the trial and error process knowing that it is an adventurous journey that would lead to new innovations. Or, instead of having a fleeting moment of gratification seeing an A on your report card, perhaps you can find greater joy in adopting what you have learned in supporting your community and witnessing the social impact you have created.

At TELI, we believe that what we have described above is possible – that learning is a lifelong journey of passionate and exciting growth. In order to see this to become a reality, the TELI team tries to contribute a tiny bit by producing quality content (videos, visuals, games, applications) and working with teaching staff to design and implement innovative learning activities for different contexts of learning at HKU, such as our online courses, face-to-face sessions, and blended learning activities.

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Our brand new course “Engineering Calculus and Differential Equations” aims to bring this revitalized spirit of learning to life by incorporating interactive tools, real-world examples, and dynamic content. Don’t miss out!

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Multiple experts from across faculties at The University of Hong Kong and professionals engaged in gender-related developments in Asia will address the ways in which gender is understood, constructed and performed. Drawing from a variety of perspectives – cultural studies, economics, education, law, linguistics, psychology, public health, politics, social policy, and sociology – we begin by questioning meanings of gender in different cultural settings and historical moments. What do the representations of our currently used categories such as man, woman, transgender, queer, cisgender, bisexual, or intersex mean in different contexts? How are conversations about gender taking place in Asia and how do they converge or diverge from those happening elsewhere?

Taught by over 20 HKU and industry instructors.

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The course is a comparative, interdisciplinary and cross-sector conversation which encourages reflective thinking about practices of gender. It courts and questions the fixity of language, traditions, laws, and practices as well as the resilience of stereotypes, biases, and structures which perpetuate myths, hierarchies and discrimination.

Unravelling the interlinkages between these conversations and categories equips you with the skills needed to identify, recognize and reject outmoded or biased constructions of gender as well as the power hierarchies these embed within social relations. We will examine why gender equity is so important and yet hard to achieve. We scrutinize social and legal constructions of gender which continue to operate as though gender is binary and explore a more inclusive approach which reflects the gender continuum within the context of entrenched power structures. Through understanding gender and its relations with society, we look for solutions to eradicate gender discrimination and gender-based violence.

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Additionally, as digital technology plays an ever-increasing role in contemporary construction of social realities of people, the course looks into how, if at all, these networked communities offer new expressions of gender as performativity and the ways in which these replicate, reproduce or refashion traditional gender categories and roles.

Then we turn to challenge our everyday practices of gender and how they colour our approaches, assumptions, and biases (conscious and unconscious) about the ‘other’? The course invites scrutiny of the practice and performance of gendering self and others. At the same time, it is a reminder that gender is not just about identity but also about power. The course examines manifestations and causes of gender inequality and its inextricable link to structural and institutional forces of discrimination. To better understand the interaction between identity and power, we look at gender-based violence. The #metoo movement has exposed not only the depth and scale of violence but also unmasked the asymmetries of power. Power and privilege are enjoyed by a select group while the voices of others remain invisible and ignored.

We conclude by looking at local, national and global efforts to address gender disparities in society in various domains. We invite you to reflect on the course materials and to connect them to your daily life. How can your new understandings about gender generate a ripple of change around you?

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What you’ll learn

  • How to explain and apply key theories and concepts relating to historical and contemporary definitions of and perspectives on gender.
  • How to examine the immediate and long-term implications of gender inequality in different sectors drawing on contemporary challenges around gender.
  • How to take actions to enhance your literacy around gender issues.
  • How to cultivate a broadened perspective on gender, identity, and power in the daily lives of all global citizens.

The course is OPEN and FREE for everyone, and will commence on July 9th 2019.

Enrol now

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