Teaching and Learning at The University of Hong Kong HKU

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The world-class quality Implant Dentistry MOOC will be launching its re-run on 25 February 2019 – with new content! During its first run in October 2016, over 7000 learners from 50+ countries enrolled. Launched by the HKU Faculty of Dentistry, ranked No.1 in the world in 2016, this MOOC is the 1st of the world in Implant Dentistry, offering an important supplement for dental professionals, practitioners and students.

Why study an Implant Dentistry MOOC?
According to the chief course instructor, Dr Niko Mattheos,
“Implant Dentistry is one of the most dynamic and rapidly developing areas within oral health care, but is still a rather new discipline in dental education and is not quite often taught in undergraduate dentistry curricula.”

This MOOC, led by Dr. Mattheos, is taught by a stellar dream-team of almost 20 international experts in dental implants and reconstructions. Each week offers specialized knowledge and evidence-based practices for learners to engage with.

What are the contents covered in the course?
The MOOC includes 5 modules and runs over a period of 5 weeks. We will begin the journey of Implant Dentistry by exploring how discoveries in biology and technological developments lead to the current practice of dental implants. Then, we will examine clinical cases, diagnose our patients’ needs and expectations and learn the principles of treatment planning. We will learn step-by-step surgical procedures for placing implants and various restorative techniques, directed by current evidence and best practices. Finally, we will investigate major threats and complications of implant procedures and ways to ensure successful treatments and long serving implants.

Here are some highlights of the upcoming Version 2:

A New Lesson by Dr. Nikos Mattheos on Posterior Maxilla and Sinus Augmentations containing new video lectures, readings and assessment.

New Video Lectures and contents by dental surgeons and implant experts.

  • Alfred Lau’s lecture on The Use of Autogenous Bone Graft in Implant Dentistry
  • Martin Janda’s lecture on Ceramic Complications in Implant Supported Reconstructions (A Clinical Case)
  • James Chow’s lecture on Life-like Simulations Using Digital Technology

New Clinical Patient Cases are added. You will meet two new patients, Tom and Lisa, and help them plan and execute the best treatment procedure for their missing teeth.

Registration

International Impact
The first run created ripples of impacts to international communities, at not only universities and dental schools, but professional communities alike. Passionate learners in the Arabic community even formed a Facebook group, with over 900 members, where members shared notes with peers and translated the materials to Arabic. We also had a large proportion of Chinese learners, as professional organizations in mainland China spread our MOOC.

This impact continues even after the end of the first run – where there are currently three volunteer groups translating the entire course into Chinese (supplementary materials), Russian and Arabic.

Seminars and Events
Colgate seminar on peri-implant tissues in health and disease (October 2016)

Community event in Bangkok (November 2016), conducted by two of the instructors, Dr. Chatchai Kunavisarut, Mahidol University, and Dr. Nikos Mattheos
The event was broadcast through Facebook live: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Learner Feedback
Here are some testimonies from the learners:
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Listen to our students and find out how they like our course!

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Sneak Previews
Below are some teasers of what you may expect in the course:

More sneak previews here.

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How to become an Implant dentist

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Minimally Invasive Surgery

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Micro Surgery Instruments

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The 3 main pathways

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Suture Techniques

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Implant Supported Provisional Restorations

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Register today to experience world-class Implant Dentistry education! Re-run begins on 25 February 2019.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest updates!

TELI X KEEP: Enhancing Engagement in Teaching and Learning with Technology(This event is jointly organized by Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative, HKU and Knowledge and Education Exchange Platform, CUHK.)

Details of the event:

Date : 30 January, 2019 (Wednesday)
Time : 1:00pm – 2:30pm
Venue : CPD-LG.34, Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong
Speakers :

  • Mr Eddy Yet, Project Coordinator, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Professor Ricky Kwok, Associate Vice-President (Teaching and Learning), The University of Hong Kong

Abstract

New technologies have been changing the way we teach and learn. While we are presented with numerous innovative pedagogies and tools, there are common practices that can be adopted to enhance engagement and teaching effectiveness. In the first part of this seminar, the Knowledge and Education Exchange Platform (KEEP) will present local examples of flipped classroom, online supplementary modules and content visualization in higher education, and discuss why more teachers are adopting these practices.

The second part of the seminar will focus on HKU’s gamified flipped classroom practices. The University’s Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative (TELI) has been trying to bring students a new dimension of immersive learning. In this presentation, Professor Ricky Kwok will introduce good practices in gamification in the classroom, and present TELI’s work in this area to-date. The talk will address the challenges and strategies of balancing entertainment and education, driving competition in game-based learning to inspire achievement of learning outcomes, and creating a gaming space that brings learners closer.

About the Speakers

Mr. Eddy Yet, Project Coordinator
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Working with teachers, instructional designers and developers among local universities, Mr. Eddy Yet, the Project Coordinator, participates in the development of the Knowledge and Education Exchange Platform (KEEP) to build a one-stop educational platform that facilitates teaching and learning.

Professor Ricky Kwok, Associate Vice-President (Teaching and Learning)
The University of Hong Kong

Professor Ricky Kwok assists the Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) in HKU’s endeavors related to e-learning (e.g., MOOCs, SPOCs, blended learning, research, EdTech etc.). He leads the Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative (TELI) team, which consists of e-learning technologists, instructional designers, researchers in learning analytics, specialists in system development, and multimedia talents in developing e-learning solutions in HKU.

Registration

Enquiries should be directed to enquiry@teli.hku.hk.

Two professors from American universities, Larry Hedges from Northwestern University (NWU) and Anant Agarwal from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) won the 2018 First Yidan Prize.

The Yidan Prize Conference Series: Asia-Pacific was held at HKU on 11 Dec to honour the two Yidan Prize laureates. This is the first time the Department of Education at HKU partners with the Yidan foundation to host the Yidan Prize Conference. HKU TELI livestreamed the event for hundreds of viewers to watch this real-time.

HKU hosts Yidan Prize Conference Series: Asia-Pacific – (From left to right) Professor Xiang Zhang (President and Vice Chancellor of HKU), Professor Anant Agarwal (Yidan Prize for Education Development Laureate 2018), Dr. Charles Chen (Founder of the Yidan Prize Foundation), Professor Larry Hedges (Yidan Prize for Education Research Laureate 2018), Professor Lin Goodwin (Dean of Education at HKU)

The Yidan Prize is one of the world’s leading educational award, and some compare it to a Nobel Prize in Education. The Yidan prize was founded in 2016 by Dr. Charles Chen, the co-founder of Tencent. Every year, the prize is awarded to two individuals or organizations in recognition of their distinguished contributions to education research and education development and in particular, their forward-looking innovations that create profound impact on education for a better future.

Professor Xiang Zhang, President and Vice Chancellor of HKU addressed the mission of the Yidan Prize is to create a better world through education, “there are many pressing issues that we will be facing in the 21st century, what the world needs is a big idea, what the world needs more is a bright mind that creates many big ideas.” Professor Zhang said, we at HKU share with the Yidan Prize foundation in creation of a better world with education.

Professor Xiang Zhang (President and Vice Chancellor of HKU) addressed the mission of the Yidan Prize.

Make Education More Scientific

Professor Larry Hedges (Yidan Prize for Education Research Laureate 2018) said at the beginning of his keynote speech that, “I was particularly happy to receive the Yidan Prize as I am a living example of the consequences of education, that the power of education has that changed lives,” he said, “the award shines a bright light on the life’s work that I have chosen, in trying to develop a more scientific basis for education policy making and educational practice and trying to develop a field of evidence-based education research.”

Professor Hedges said, “We know practically any students can learn practically anything that the best students do, we just don’t know how to make this a reality for all students.”

Professor Larry Hedges (Yidan Prize for Education Research Laureate 2018) talked about the importance of scientific evidence in education practice and policy making.

Professor Hedges explained that, “what was done in education in the past was fundamentally based on educators’ experience of what worked and one applied those experience on places where we have no experience with. This is compared to a ‘craftman’s endeavor’ based on experience and apprenticeship, and decision-making in education based on tradition, or politics, or individual experience.”

He said, “in a society of rapid changes today, the craftmen’s experience adapts too slowly to be of use to what our society needs and that the future of education is to rely on evidence that proves what works.”

“To understand education, we have to pay attention to the system and all its interlocking features and we have to apply the best available scientific methods.” He suggested education and the future system will be enhanced by a culture of scientific research evidence in education embraced by policy makers, teachers, investigators and administrators.

Technology Transforms Education

The Yidan Prize for Education Development Laureate 2018, Anant Agarwal, Professor at MIT and the Founder and CEO of edX, said in his keynote speech that, “few would argue about the statement: Education is a human right and all should have access to it.” And true to his statement, he founded edX, an online platform that provided free learning and is serving 19+ million learners around the world today.

edX partners with the world’s 140 leading institution partners, among many others, the University of Hong Kong, in offering 2400+ higher education courses to global learners. Apart from the edX platform, edX also offers an open-source platform Open edX and HK MOOCs to thousands of education institutions in the world. Professor Agarwal has an ambitious goal of reaching 1 billion learners in the future.

Professor Anant Agarwal (Yidan Prize for Education Development Laureate 2018) mentioned edX partners with the world’s 140 leading institution partners, including HKU to provide global online courses.

Witnessing how education of this sort has transformed the lives of students living in developed and developing countries, remote villages and in refugee programs, Professor Agarwal who continuously strived to make education more democratized and more accessible said, “he would like to dream a little bit to what education could look like in the future through technology.”

He said, “only we start talking about innovation as part of the whole process, that learners need to be lifelong learners as technology transform our work, and people need to learn throughout life, we are creating new credentials along with university partners so learners can benefit from them without necessarily having to come to university.”

Professor Agarwal also highlighted some distinguished programs that made use of innovation and technology to provide continuous learning and professional development, among others, HKU’s FinTech Professional Certificate Program. He gave a shoutout that, “In fact, HKU has an amazing professional certificate program on edX in FinTech, it’s a Blockbuster!”

Watch the short clip of the speech:
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What does Professor Agarwal think the future of education will look like? He showed the audience five ‘Reimagine Education Goals for 2022’ and challenged all partnering institutions to achieve those goals with edX.

The five ‘Reimagine Education Goals for 2022’ that Professor Agarwal presented at his keynote speech.

Watch the 2018 Yidan Prize Conference livestream (full version):
Week 1 Teaser

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About this course
How do electrical engineers find out all the currents and voltages in a network of connected components? How do civil engineers calculate the materials necessary to construct a curved dome over a new sports arena? How do space flight engineers launch an exploratory probe?

If questions like these pique your interest, this course is for you!

Calculus with differential equations is the universal language of engineers. In this 7-week course, “Engineering Calculus and Differential Equations,” we will introduce fundamental concepts of single-variable calculus and ordinary differential equations. We’ll explore their applications in different engineering fields. In particular, you will learn how to apply mathematical skills to model and solve real engineering problems.

This course will enable you to develop a more profound understanding of engineering concepts and enhance your skills in solving engineering problems. In other words, you will be able to construct relatively simple models of change and deduce their consequences. By studying these, you will learn how to monitor and even control a given system to do what you want it to do.

Techniques widely used in engineering will be illustrated; such as Laplace transform for solving problems in vibrations and signal processing. We have designed animations and interactive visualizations to supplement complex mathematical theories and facilitate understanding of the dynamic nature of topics involving calculus.

Join us in the upcoming Engineering Calculus and Differential Equations MOOC on 14 January 2019. You may check out the MOOC webpage for more information.

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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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We all acknowledge the importance of feedback – a crucial element in learning, that it facilitates one’s understanding of their own work, prompts reflection and provides pointers for further improvement. Despite the consensus of feedback being beneficial, an important question to ask is whether what we do is adequate and effective. What constitutes effective feedback, and how can we choose the right feedback to suit different contexts? In the Feedback for Learning Symposium, teachers from different faculties share their insights and experience in designing feedback mechanisms to improve students’ learning.

What is Feedback?

feedback definitionMs Nicole Tavares sums up the characteristics of good feedback. [Image credit: Ms Nicole Tavares.]

Feedback can take many different forms, but the crux of feedback is to facilitate students’ learning capabilities, strategies and development, as emphasized by Professor David Carless of the Faculty of Education. In the above picture, Ms Nicole Tavares, also of the Faculty of Education, sums up the characteristics of good feedback.

Ultimately, for feedback to make an impact, it has to be accountable, advancing, and most importantly, actionable. As explicated by Professor Ricky Kwok, Associate-Vice President of HKU (Teaching and Learning), feedback should be accountable so that both teachers and students can measure its effectiveness. Furthermore, feedback should enable students to take their learning progress to the next level. Last but not least, feedback by a teacher is only actionable when the receiving student is able to take direct actions based on it, making it practical and impactful.

What are students expecting?

Authentic assessment practices have been adopted across different disciplines in HKU, some of which are enabled by technology. Here are some examples:

  1. Feedback on a draft/proposal by a student;
  2. Short face-to-face consultation with the teacher to elaborate and comprehend the initial feedback;
  3. Final feedback on an assignment submitted together with a mark or grade.

In addition, they also highlighted that feedback is of greater value if it were provided when the student is still in the process of doing an assignment, in form of further guiding prompts, directions or even motivation from the teacher, which are instrumental in helping them overcome the challenges in learning.

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Professor David Carless and the Student Panel.

The students also gave examples of weak or ineffective feedback that influence student’s learning:

  1. Highlighting or underlining with no additional textual explanations in assignments
  2. Indication of citation mistakes without suggesting ways of improvement
  3. No explanation for correct and wrong answers in online quizzes

In general, students find simply knowing “what” is right or wrong with their work inadequate, and push for the reasons “why” and methods of “how” their work can be improved under their teachers’ guidance. In response to these issues raised by the students, Professor Carless says that feedback processes should be more practical and student-friendly in order to avoid misunderstandings between teachers and students.

Here are some examples of feedback practices designed and practised by teachers from different faculties at HKU, that you may find useful in your teaching:

Injecting Dialogue into Written Feedback Processes

Professor David Carless’ approach on actionable feedback on his students’ assignments is by asking students to write on the cover sheet of their assignment what kind of feedback they would like to receive, with given structure below:

  1. “I would most like feedback on …”
  2. “The strengths are …”, “The aspects for development are …”
  3. “The previous feedback I have used to strengthen this assignment is …”

This dialogic writing helps finding out which aspects of feedback does a student want and needs help in. This also helps students reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of their submitted assignments. Furthermore, this reveals what kind of feedback that students received in the past helped improve the current assignment.

However, Professor Carless also points out the challenges he faced. For instance, more often than not students are not certain about what kind of feedback they need, and some are reluctant to reveal their own weaknesses. In response, Professor Carless helps students identify and explain them using assessment rubrics and criteria in detail.

Project Based Assessment and Feedback – Designing and Making Virtual Worlds

In a Common Core course that aims to get students from across various disciplines familiarized with the art and techniques of creating 3D artifacts, Dr. Nicol Pan employs many teaching assistants (TAs) who specialize in 3D technology and design, to help provide comprehensive and personalized feedback on students’ final projects. The main significance of the feedback practice used in this course is that students receive detailed and constructive feedback at each stage of the final project as shown in the below chart:

stage of final projectThe four stages include idea generation, gather and draft, design and test, and make and morph. [Image credit: Dr. Nicol Pan.]

Dr. Pan agrees that feedback bridges communication between students and teachers, and this helps guiding students through every stage in a project. She also emphasizes the nature of feedback should be nurturing, but not hostile or makes students feel nervous.

Dialogic Use of Exit Slips to Promote Students’ Reflective Capacity

Dr. Kennedy Chan, who teaches pre-service teachers, proposes the use of exit slips at presentations to enhance students’ self-reflective skills, which help formulate their own teaching philosophies. The main concern in developing effective reflection among pre-service teachers is that they tend to produce self-speculations that are often too descriptive or superficial. Therefore, Dr. Kennedy Chan intended to a) provide timely and personalized written feedback on students’ reflections, b) expose them to multiple perspectives of their work, c) compare and contrast works to define a quality reflection and d) self-evaluate their learning progress. The process involved students writing a reflection after each session, which the teacher gives feedback on, and selecting the best one as an exemplar to discuss further in class. Student reflections are assessed based on a reflection scale.

Reflection Scale

The process is finalized after 12 sessions, where students select their top 3 reflections they have produced. They are also required to self-evaluate their own reflections based on the same reflection scale. Dr. Chan also motivates students to submit reflections on Moodle for peer feedback. He believes these practices can help foster students’ thinking and their sense making feedback effectively.

Full recording of the Symposium

Follow #HKUFeedback on Twitter to check out more event details! Don’t hesitate to Contact us if you are interested in collaborating with us to enhance teaching and learning at the University!

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On HKU FinTech Day, Professor Douglas Arner from HKU Law Faculty announced the milestone of the Introduction to FinTech course and the HKU FinTech Professional Certificate comprising three interdisciplinary courses from three different faculties at HKU.

The first course, Introduction to FinTech was launched by the Faculty of Law in May 2018, and the upcoming two courses FinTech Ethics and Risks and Blockchain and FinTech are currently under development by the Faculty of Business and Economics and the Faculty of Engineering, respectively.

Introduction to FinTech MOOC Milestone
Professor Arner said it has been an exciting year for Introduction to FinTech MOOC. Today, the course has over 32,000 enrolled learners from 198 countries, which means there are learners from literally every country in the world. The course has a far and wide reach to learners, bridging the gaps in fundamental knowledge of FinTech for practitioners in financial services, legal and technology industries, students, and interested learners across various disciplines.
We anticipate that the two new MOOCs will continue to bring exciting news when released in 2019.

The short video of Professor Arner’s talk

Meet the Instructors of the Two New FinTech MOOCs
fintechProfessor Arner tells the audience about the upcoming new MOOCs

Professor Douglas Arner introduced the two new MOOCs, FinTech Ethics and Risks and Blockchain and FinTech, and the chief course instructors of the two courses, Dr David Bishop and Dr David Lee from the Faculty of Business and Economics, and Dr SM Yiu from the Department of Computer Science of Faculty of Engineering, respectively.

FinTech Ethics and Risks MOOC
Dr David Bishop and Dr David Lee presented the official course trailer of the FinTech Ethics and Risks course and talked about the ideas behind putting together the world’s first course in FinTech ethics.


The Chief Instructors of FinTech Ethics and Risks MOOC, Dr David Bishop and Dr David Lee from the Faculty of Business and Economics.

Click here to view the official course trailer

David Bishop mentioned that some people perceive this MOOC as neither “Fin” nor “Tech” and stressed that “the way the course is going to be is to focus on the WHY; we have experts in the technology side and the legal side who will focus on the HOW, and explain the process, the nature and implementation of the FinTech technologies.”

David Bishop said that he and David Lee approached the course not from the standpoint of experts: “This course for us is as much an intellectual journey as it is for those who have come along this ride with us. We will correspond with and put ourselves in the room with the experts and try to ask them really hard questions.”

He supplemented that as far as he knew, “there isn’t a website or a course in the world that focuses on FinTech ethics. In this course, we will ask the tough questions to ensure that they have a proper sense of morality, ethics, legislation and enforcement in place, so that we are able to unleash those tools in the most efficient and effective way possible while simultaneously reaching the goals that we have.”

“The objective of the course is not to bring us to a specific set of knowledge but instead to carry a simultaneous journey together. Learners join us as we consider these tough questions that help shape our collective future,” said David Bishop.

The short video of Dr David Bishop’s talk about the new MOOC.

Blockchain and FinTech MOOC

Currently, Dr SM Yiu from the Department of Computer Science of the Faculty of Engineering is also driving efforts for putting together HKU’s first Blockchain and FinTech MOOC.

Dr SM Yiu gave the audience 9 questions to decide whether they should join HKU’s upcoming Blockchain and FinTech MOOC, which will be released later in 2019.
Let’s try these 9 questions now and see whether the MOOC is for you too!

Dr SM Yiu gave 9 questions to the audience to test their knowledge on blockchain

  • Q1: Blockchain = bitcoin (or cyber currencies)
  • Q2: A cyber currency exchange is necessary for blockchain to work correctly
  • Q3: What is the role of each cryptographic operation (e.g. hash)?
  • Q4: Why we want to chain the transactions together?
  • Q5: Who are miners and why we need miners?
  • Q6: Blockchain is very secure and can 100% protect your privacy?
  • Q7: Given an application, judge if it is best-fit for blockchain?
  • Q8: Do you know how bitcoin is used by criminals (the “evil” side)?
  • Q9: The differences between different blockchain platforms?

If you do not know the answers to any of the questions, you will find the answers in the 6 modules of the Blockchain and FinTech MOOC. You will also learn about blockchain design and architecture, industrial applications, as well as the new opportunities, security issues, and illegal activities.

Module 1: Blockchain Technology: Why, What and How
– Why we need blockchain and design issues: security, privacy, integrity

Module 2: Technological & Cryptographic Elements in Blockchain
– Introduce the technical components (suitable for layman)

Module 3: Blockchain Platforms
– The pros and cons of these platforms

Module 4: Blockchain Applications
– Characteristics of best-fit applications in the real case studies

Module 5: Limitations of Blockchain
– Uncover the limitations of blockchain

Module 6: The “Evil” Sides of Blockchain
– Examples of how criminals use blockchain in illegal activities

The short video of Dr SM Yiu’s introduction of the new MOOC

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Course trailer also available on Uvision

課程登記指引

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What is this course about?

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What was it like being a dinosaur? Where did they live? Who did they live with? Were things anything like they are today? How do we even know all this?

Find out the answers to these questions and more in our upcoming Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Dinosaur Ecosystems! Starting from February 8th 2017, Dr. Michael Pittman of the University of Hong Kong’s Department of Earth Sciences, together with Professor Xu Xing of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (Chinese Academy of Sciences), will lead you on an expedition to the Gobi desert to unveil a famous ancient ecosystem!

In this course, we will take you to Erlian, Inner Mongolia, and leading museums and institutions to explore:

  • dinosaur biology
  • how palaeontologists reconstruct ancient ecosystems using fossil and modern evidence
  • the traits and significance of a Late Cretaceous dinosaur ecosystem.

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Our milestones
Dinosaur Ecosystems is the first MOOC on dinosaur in Asia; also the first MOOC offered by our Faculty of Science. It is the first time that we send crew members to the desert and world-renowned museums to film. Our course was also featured on the edX homepage, edx newsletter and various media reports and the HKU Convocation Newsletter Summer 2016 (Pg 15, MOOC in the spotlight: Introduction to Dinosaur Ecosystems).

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Our course featured on the edX homepage!

List of media reports:

  1. Interview by Noreen Mir on RTHK Radio 3: Dr Michael Pittman – Dinosaur Ecosystems
  2. 港大首辦免費「恐龍證書課程」 網上教學無限年齡 [Translation: HKU’s free online course on dinosaurs open to all] (Sing Tao Daily 星島日報, February 6th, 2017)
  3. 免費讀港大網上課程:恐龍生態系統 [Translation: HKU’s free online course: Dinosaur Ecosystems] (Mingpao OL 明報OL, February 7th, 2017)
  4. Switch onto movie action with HKU online course (The Standard, February 7th, 2017)
  5. Tracking the last days of the DINOSAUR (China Daily Hong Kong, February 8th, 2017)

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A Roaring Start
With the collaborative efforts from multiple parties, our course had a roaring start. The enrollment number jumped from 2,000 to 3,000 two days before launch, and even doubled on the next day. By the end of the course (as at March 27th), we had 8,996 learners from over 100 countries!

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Learners’ Comments
Check out what our learners said about our course:
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Sharing Knowledge, Sharing Joy
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To celebrate the joyful success of our course, Dr. Pittman hosted a party on February 8th, 2017 with almost 50 HKU colleagues and members of the general public at Stephen Hui Geological Museum. More details here.

A fun drawing competition titled “The Year of the Dinosaur” was also organized to engage dinosaur lovers in the community. The following is a selection of fun dinosaur-themed Chinese New Year scenes designed by creative young minds:
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Dinosaur Ecosystems @ Hong Kong Science Museum
To promote the course, we had set up, for the first time, a booth in the T. rex exhibition in Hong Kong Science Museum.

“T-Rex Revealed – The Augmented + Virtual Reality Experience” was a recent exhibition where you could interact with dinosaurs with Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies. Our course instructor, Dr. Michael Pittman, was the advisor of the exhibition.

Dr. Pittman also brought along souvenirs of our course to Science Alive 2017 on March 4th and 5th at the Science Museum. He gave a lecture on “Dinosaur Appearance: New Discoveries” and set up an exhibition counter introducing his research and our MOOC to the general public.

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Left: One of our learners, Jason, travelled all the way from Macau (a 2 hour roundtrip) to meet Dr. Pittman!
Right: It was a delight to know that our young learners love our course poster!

For more photos, check out our Facebook photo album!

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New Discoveries: Reconstructing Dinosaurs with Lasers
These few months had been a busy time for Dr. Pittman, who had to simultaneously teach a huge class online and work on his research. In February 2017, he “and his collaborators reconstructed the first highly detailed body outline of a feathered dinosaur based on high-definition images of its preserved soft tissues”. This important science discovery was published in Nature Communications and featured in various media outlets such as National Geographic and BBC News.

Dr. Pittman shared his discoveries in a press conference on March 1st, 2017.
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His discoveries were featured in the following websites:

  1. Dinosaur hunting in Inner Mongolia: Gobi Desert a treasure trove for University of Hong Kong-led expedition (Post Magazine, September 12th, 2015)
  2. 港大古生物學家利用新技術準確重塑恐龍身體輪廓 帶羽毛恐龍真貌首次展現 [Translation: Major breakthrough in knowledge of dinosaur appearance: HKU palaeontologist reconstructs feathered dinosaurs in the flesh with new technology] (HKU Press Release, February 27th, 2017)
  3. Lasers flesh out dino-bird profile (Phys.org, February 28th, 2017)
  4. Laser light uncovers hidden secrets of feathered dinosaur fossils (PBS Newshour, February 28th, 2017)
  5. Ce dinosaure à plumes qui avait déjà tout d’un oiseau [Translation: This feathered dinosaur that already had everything of a bird] (Le Parisien, February 28th, 2017)
  6. 港大古生物學家以激光新技術 重現1.6億年前近鳥龍 [Translation: HKU palaeontologist reconstructs 1.6 hundred-million-year-old Anchiornis with new laser technology] (Apple Daily, March 1st, 2017)
  7. 港大首用激光技術 重塑侏羅紀近鳥龍真身(有片) [Translation: HKU reconstrcuts Jurassic-era Anchiornis with laser technology] (Hong Kong 01, March 1st, 2017)
  8. 港大古生物學家利用新技術重塑帶羽恐龍真身 [Translation: HKU palaeontologist reconstructs feathered dinosaurs with new technology] (Hong Kong Economic Times, March 1st, 2017)
  9. 港大教授以激光拆解化石 細膩還原近鳥龍 [Translation: HKU palaeontologist deciphers fossils and reconstructs Anchiornis with lasers] (on.cc, March 1st, 2017)
  10. 港大新技術首次根據恐龍軟組織影像重塑羽毛恐龍的身體輪廓 [Translation: HKU reconstructs feathered dinosaurs based on images of dinosaur soft tissues using new technology] (Metro Radio, March 1st, 2017)
  11. 港大用新技術 成功勾劃侏羅紀動物近鳥龍外貌 [Translation: HKU successuflly reconstructs Jurassic-era Anchiornis with new technology] (Singtao Daily, March 1st, 2017)
  12. 近鸟龙真面目还原 [Translation: Revealing what an Anchiornis really looked like] (Sinchew News, March 1st, 2017)
  13. Lasers reveal the secrets of a feathered dinosaur fossil (Popular Science, March 1st, 2017)
  14. Laser technique sheds light on pivotal Chinese feathered dinosaur (Reuters, March 1st, 2017)
  15. Lasers flesh out dino-bird profile (Paris AFP; Yahoo! News, March 1st, 2017)
  16. This Laser Reconstruction Of A Four-Winged Dinosaur Is Incredible (Gizmodo, March 1st, 2017)
  17. This Might Be The Most Accurate Dinosaur You’ve Ever Seen (IFL Science!, March 1st, 2017)
  18. Incredible Anchiornis pictures reveal what dinosaur that lived 160 million years ago really looked like (The Sun, March 1st, 2017)
  19. Scientists reconstruct a Jurassic-era dinosaur and discover how it moved (Mashable Asia, March 2nd, 2017)

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Dinosaurs on TV!
Dr. Pittman and his 3D dinosaur model even made it to TVB’s Big Boys Club (兄弟幫) in April! In the two episodes titled “Unveiling the Secrets of Dinosaurs” (Part 1, Part 2), he shared fun facts about dinosaurs, his archeological experiences and how he uses lasers to reconstruct dinosaurs from fossils. In the latest episode titled “Precious Dinosaur Fossils”, he brought along dinosaur eggs and teeth fossils and explained how fossils were formed.
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Interested to learn more?
Check out this interview of Dr. Pittman where he explained the importance of studying dinosaurs and producing this course.
Don’t forget to take a glimpse into the artistic process of crafting the MOOC.

This course is just the beginning of our exploration of dinosaurs. Stay in touch with us through our Facebook and Twitter!


jimsil-2“It’s very important, through the traditional curriculum to emphasise the importance of technology, not just because it is important for everybody to learn about programming, but to me, it’s more about understanding the roles of technology, and where the technologies are the basic principles, and where they can be applied,” Charles Mok

It was our pleasure to have Hon Charles Mok, Legislative Councillor for the IT sector to share his views on building ecosystems and nurturing talent in FinTech at TELI-vision with Professor Douglas Arner and Professor Ricky Kwok.


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Be equipped with a broad spectrum of skills

In FinTech, technologies and the market change at a very fast pace. According to Charles, to meet the continuous transformation of the “Tech” and the “Fin”, those in the industry as well as those aspire to be part of FinTech and related industries must be equipped with a broad spectrum of skills and knowledge to bridge between different interrelated disciplinary areas including finance, technology, law, data science, computer science and psychology, etc.

“Let’s say if somebody is interested in the future of leveraging technology in various different areas – AI, financial services or even other areas, you need skill that is not just in finance, not just in computer science; but also in areas such as statistics obviously for big data for data analytics; in sales, psychology is actually very important, and many of the social sciences and so on.”

“Because of the interlocking, interrelated industries and applications in FinTech, we are seeing many of the same kind and same magnitude of changes in different particular areas of our living”, Charles suggested. “The pressure for professionals to upgrade themselves to keep up with all these developments is tremendous and is going to be increasing. I think young and new professionals have to get themselves ready using either their own time to take courses, including online courses.”

Be international and interdisciplinary

Taking online courses is one way to broaden student’s horizon and gain exposure to ideas and views from other countries through the digital media. Charles observed that, “it’s a good sign that young people today are taking global courses and not just courses in our own economy”, he iterated that one needs to be more international and global.

The role of universities today, in addition to providing interdisciplinary and international education to our next generation of university graduates, is to help develop digital literate citizens through integration of technology in university education. “It’s very important, through the traditional curriculum to emphasise the importance of technology, not just because it is important for everybody to learn about programming, but to me, it’s more about understanding the roles of technologies, and where the technologies are the basic principles, and where they can be applied,” Charles suggested.

On one hand, universities bear the responsibilities to nurture future talents, on the other hand, it is also part of its mandate to educate the public and raise awareness of the needs to equip oneself with some kind of technological background.

The challenge in attracting talents

In Hong Kong, we have many bright and high achieving students, but why are univerisities not attracting many top students in science and engineering disciplines in recent years compared to decades ago?

Charles pointed out that, “we saw in the last 30 plus years, Hong Kong has transformed from a manufacturing economy to a service economy, especially including financial services. That particular transformation has turned Hong Kong into one of the world’s top financial services centres, but at the same time it also led to our industry and our people overly focused on some of the shorter term gains.”

This trend is not entirely local, and in order to break the vicious cycle, we must first change the mindset of the mainstream society. Charles remarked that, “in this environment, it had been quite difficult for the industry, for us to attract, to incentivize the industries to let’s say, invest more in longer term endeavours, R&D and so on.”

No matter what, people are the most important assets. “I think for us to try to attract people to come back into technology in Hong Kong or other economies, we have to be able to create the good jobs that pay well, give them opportunities for a career growth,” Charles suggested.

There is no easy way in terms of how to build an ecosoystem and nurture FinTech talents, and it continues to be a challenge with roles for everyone from universities to students, government, industries and the general public.


To learn more about the FinTech discussion at TELI-vision from our special guest Charles Mok with Professor Doulgas Arner and Professor Ricky Kwok, please click the following links to view the videos.

The Role of Universities in FinTech and Online Education (Part 1)
 
The Role of Universities in FinTech and Online Education (Part 2)
 

Coming soon

• Research and Development (R&D) and Interactions with Industries
 
• FinTech Opportunities in HK – Regulatory Sandboxes and New Trends
 
• The FinTech Landscape in China – What’s Next?
 

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