Teaching and Learning at The University of Hong Kong HKU

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We are delighted to announce that the #dinosaurecosystems will start on March 23rd 2021!

Please encourage your friends and family to join us for an online adventure in the world of #dinosaurs 🦖 🦕

Featuring field sites and museums around the world, this edition includes new videos about recent discoveries.

We are are pleased to announce a new course instructor! #DiegoPol joining us from the Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio in Argentina. Dr. Pol has added loads of cool videos featuring Argentinian dinosaurs and field sites. He has also helped us to add Spanish subtitles to accompany our existing traditional and simplified Chinese subtitle options.

See you all on the 23rd!
Dr Pittman, Prof Xu and Dr Pol

Learn more

We have received an overwhelming response for the interactive Camtasia video production workshop. Some of the new registrants will be put on the waiting list, and we have decided to organise four more interactive workshops. Check out the new dates below!

Thank you to those who have registered. An acknowledgement email will be sent out soon to those who have successfully registered.

More dates available now:

29 March 2021 (Basic) *Students only: Registration

1 Apr 2021 (Advanced) *Students only: Registration

11 May 2021 (Basic): Registration

14 May 2021 (Advanced): Registration

23 March 2021 (Basic) – FULL
25 March 2021 (Advanced) – FULL
4 May 2021 (Basic) – FULL
7 May 2021 (Advanced) – FULL

Time: 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Venue: Virtual Venue – via Zoom
Speaker: Dr Leon Lei, Ms Sharon Keung, Ms Cindy Liang
Number of seats: 30 per workshop
Remarks: The content of two Basic workshops is identical, and the same for the two Advanced workshops. Interested participants can sign up for either one or both of the workshops based on your proficiency in using Camtasia.

Educational videos have become an important part of higher education. Educators can integrate multimedia content such as instructional videos for delivering content in many online/hybrid classes. The challenge for educators is understanding and exploring how best we might produce teaching videos and use videos as an educational tool effectively.

Upon completion of the workshops, participants will be able to identify the opportunities, challenges, and tactics of producing high-quality instructional videos for teaching and learning.

In the basic workshop, we will introduce:

  • download and installation of Camtasia with HKU Campus License
  • basic features of Camtasia
  • recording, editing and sharing your first screencast
  • video editing basics
  • audio editing basics
  • adjusting clip speed
  • using the PowerPoint add-in
  • exporting and sharing your first video

In the advanced workshop, we will introduce:

  • selecting area that you want to record
  • resizing your window using Sizer
  • adding annotations and transitions
  • creating advanced animations
  • making it snap with magnetic tracks
  • adding sound effects
  • leveling volume
  • including music
  • sharing projects with others
  • removing noise
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Date : 12 March 2021 (Friday)
Time : 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Venue : Virtual Venue – via Zoom
Speaker : Dr Leon Lei, Ms Sharon Keung, Ms Cindy Liang
Number of seats: 15

Registration: Contact Ms. Cindy Liang (cindylxy@hku.hk)

In flipped classroom and other blended learning approaches, providing meaningful and prompt feedback requires teachers’ time and attention to their students. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the fastest growing advanced technology category in various fields. In particular, chatbot can provide 24/7 support to teachers and multiple learners at the same time, with personalised support and guide them in an engaging way throughout the virtual learning environment.

Creating a chatbot from scratch requires complex computer programming skills but there are more and more chatbots for learning and teaching. In this workshop, participants would have a hands-on experience on the free chatbot tools in this workshop, participants can reflect on better practices and design considerations in AI-facilitated learning and teaching.

Upon completion of this seminar, the participants will be able to:

  • build a basic chatbot with Google Dialogflow; and
  • discuss the usage of AI and chatbot in learning and teaching


Date : 17 February 2021 (Wednesday)
Time : 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Venue : Virtual Venue – via Zoom
Speaker : Dr Leon Lei, Ms Sharon Keung


[This webinar is a re-run of the seminar organized on 22 January 2020, with new examples added.]

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the fastest-growing technology in various fields. The adoption of AI spans the global learning landscape and has been used in experiential learning, tutoring, language learning, and knowledge testing. In higher education, some educators have identified the affordances of AI and utilized this technology in making teaching and learning more effective. In particular, there is a high demand for teachers to provide meaningful and prompt feedback to students within and beyond the classroom. However, designing such an experience can be challenging as this requires a lot of teachers’ time and attention to their students. Systems powered by AI can provide 24/7 support to teachers and multiple learners at the same time, with personalized support and guide them in an engaging way in the virtual environment. Some may worry that creating an AI tool from scratch requires complex computer programming skills but there are more and more AI-facilitated tools for teaching and learning.

In this webinar, we would like to discuss the potential and affordances of AI in education with some examples of AI tools for classroom engagement and assessment. Through the webinar, participants can reflect on better practices and design considerations in AI-facilitated teaching and learning.

Upon completion of this seminar, the participants will be able to:

  • Identify the opportunities and challenges of adopting AI tools in the classroom; and
  • Use the concept of AI learning technologies and learning analytics to facilitate classroom learning and assessment.

Date: 11th January 2021 (Mon)
Time: 4pm – 5pm
Venue: Virtual Venue – via Zoom
Participants: HKU staff and students only


Colleagues from Mentimeter

With Mentimeter you can build interactive presentations with an easy-to-use online editor, directly from your browser. Add questions, polls, quizzes, slides, images, GIFs and more to your presentation to make them more engaging and fun. When you present, your students use their smartphones or laptops to connect to the presentation where they can answer questions, give feedback and much more. Now a campus license for academic staff and students to use Mentimeter for facilitating work and study is available. With login via an HKU account, you can unlock all pro features on Mentimeter.

During this session we will:

  • Go through what Mentimeter is and how it can further enhance the teaching and learning experiences at HKU;
  • Cover how to create a safe, positive and engaging learning atmosphere;
  • Show you how to use Mentimeter for formative assessment, building better understanding and how to collect feedback, preferences and needs from your students;
  • Demo the platform and showcase important settings to remember, as well as valuable tips and tricks on how to become a confident presenter.

Colleagues and students are very welcome to sign up for this webinar. You will be able to ask questions throughout the full hour. We look forward to seeing you there!

Now a campus license for academic staff and students to use Mentimeter for facilitating work and study is available. With login via an HKU account, you can unlock all pro features on Mentimeter. This guide will introduce you to Mentimeter and how to use this effective tool to support online/hybrid(dual-mode) teaching and learning.

What is Mentimeter?

Mentimeter is a useful tool that supports you to interact and engage your students in an online/hybrid learning environment. With Mentimeter, you can easily create a presentation on mentimeter.com from your browser and ask students to join the presentation via menti.com using their laptops/tablets/smartphones without login.

How to Sign-up/Login with SSO

No matter if you have or do not have a Mentimeter account before, just

  1. Go to the Login with SSO page;
  2. Type in the company name with “HKU” or “The University of Hong Kong”;
  3. Login via HKU Portal;
  4. Ready to use.

Click this link to watch a tutorial video if needed.

Create Your First Presentation

After successfully login, you can click “+New presentation” on your dashboard to start creating your presentation. Besides creating new slides by clicking “+Add slide”, you can also import slides from your computer via the “Import” button. Click this link to watch a tutorial video to learn about some basic features, including embedding GIFs and images on your presentation and sharing links with the audience.

Popular Question Types

Mentimeter provides different question types that allow you to interact with your audience. Here is a list of all question types:

Popular question types Multiple Choice, Word Cloud, Open-ended, Scales, Ranking, Q&A
Quiz Competition Select Answer, Type Answer
Content Slides Heading, Paragraph, Bullets, Image, Video, BIG words, Quote, Number
Advanced questions 100 points, 2 x 2 Grid, Quick Form, Who will win?

Pre-made Templates

Mentimeter provides pre-made templates for different purposes. You can add and adapt the templates based on your specific teaching needs.

How to add pre-made templates to your dashboard
Go to your dashboard, click “Inspiration” on the left sidebar, then you can explore pre-made templates by different categories. Click this link to watch a tutorial video if needed.

Recommended pre-made templates
Here are some inspirational examples that fit various teaching needs in an online/hybrid teaching and learning environment:

You can explore more on https://www.mentimeter.com/templates/education.

Pro Features

With the plan subscribed by the HKU ITS, your presentation can be shared with an unlimited audience group and create contents with unlimited slides. You can find more information here:

Besides, there is an innovative feature called Mentimote that allows you to control your presentation on your smartphone. More information is on https://youtu.be/-jAQ5hJPhUM.


Here is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) you may find useful:

  • Is voting with Mentimeter anonymous?
    Voting with Mentimeter is anonymous, as we don’t set any Voting IDs on the voters or require them to log in. Anonymous voting leads to more honest responses, and people are more willing to provide their input on different matters.
  • How to set up upvoting questions?
    If you have enabled the option which allows the audience to view what questions other audience members have asked, they will also be able to upvote questions they like or want to see answered.
  • How to turn off audience access?
    1. In the edit view, click ‘share’ in the top right corner;
    2. Select the tab ‘Participation’;
    3. Set Audience access to ‘closed’;

    If you want to open the voting again, simply change back to ‘Available to join through the code, QR or direct link’.

  • Can I add audio to my presentation?
    At the moment, you cannot add your music or audio to a Mentimeter presentation. However, you can add one of our default audio sounds to your Quiz Competition slides on all of our Mentimeter plans. This enables you to choose some background music whilst presenting the Quiz Competition.
  • For how long is my voting code valid?
    When creating a presentation, a temporary numeric code that is used for participants to join your presentation is generated. The code is only temporary and expires if you leave the presentation for 48 hours. Click this link for more information.

Additional Information

Some contents are adapted by materials provided by Mentimeter. You are welcome to visit following links for more information:

You can also browse the YouTube Playlist for more information: How to Use Mentimeter

Feel free to contact Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative (TELI) if you have any queries or need any help.

Download PDF version

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Zoom has a built-in digital whiteboard for an instructor to draw on and share with students in real-time. However, some teachers may find it difficult to draw on the whiteboard using a mouse. For those who desire for more intricate drawing/handwriting while being able to simultaneously speak and see the students in a Zoom session, there are two methods for you to turn your iPad/iPhone as a second monitor and use it as a whiteboard in Zoom.

The following items are needed:

  • Your computer (PC or Mac) AND an iPad/iPhone.

Method 1: Connect your iPad/iPhone via a Cable

  1. Connect your iPad/iPhone to your computer with a Cable. The cable would be the iPad/iPhone charging cable.
  2. Start your Zoom meeting.
  3. Click ‘Share screen’ and select ‘iPad/iPhone via Cable’. You will then see the screen of your iPad/iPhone in your Zoom meeting.
  4. Use the built-in app ‘Notes’ to draw/write.

Method 2: Access Zoom on both of your computer and iPad (not applicable to iPhone, applicable to an Android phone or tablet)

  1. Have Zoom installed on your computer and iPad.
  2. Login to Zoom on your computer and your iPad with the SSO option and login with your HKU portal ID.
  3. Start your online meeting in Zoom on your computer.
  4. Access Zoom on your iPad and key in your meeting details.
  5. Start the same meeting on your iPad.
  6. Switch off the audio on your iPad.
  7. Click the ‘Screen Share’ button and select ‘Whiteboard’ on your iPad. You can start drawing/writing on your whiteboard.
  8. (Optional) Click the ‘More’ button, then click ‘Save to Photos’ to save your whiteboard drawings. Note: Give permission to Zoom to access photos on your iPad.

We have prepared a video demonstrating how an iPad/iPhone can be used as a whiteboard in Zoom for drawing/writing.

Quick Tip:

  • If you have an Apple Pencil, you can connect it to your iPad via Bluetooth, or you can just use your finger to draw on the touch screen. If you find it hard to draw with your finger, a stylus pen is also a possible option.

Written by Ms. Sharon Keung; Reviewed by Dr. Leon Lei.

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Referring to the latest message on the S2 teaching arrangements for UG and TPG courses (for HKU UG and TPG students) released on 5 Nov 2020, course coordinators will provide one of three options of delivering lectures: online, hybrid (dual-mode), face-to-face in the Second Semester. (Only in very special circumstances will the f2f option be available.)

This Student Guide is intended to provide a guideline for students to prepare for learning in online/hybrid-mode. The information covered in this guide does not address all aspects of issues students may encounter in different learning modes but aims to help you to make the most of your learning journey.

Preparing for Online Learning

To succeed in online learning, you should be proactive, present and actively participate in discussions and other learning activities with your classmates. Here is a list of learning tips:

  1. Be Familiar with the Digital Tools You Will Need to Use
    Take some time to become familiar with the tools you will need to use in your courses (e.g. navigation). Explore the tools provided to ensure that the technology works on the computer/mobile device you will be using.

    1. Your Learning Management System (e.g. HKU Moodle, HKU Online Learning, etc.)
    2. Teleconferencing tools (e.g. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.)
    3. Collaborative tools (e.g. Google Slides, Google Jamboard, Miro, etc.)
    4. Other digital tools for your learning  (e.g. Google Drive, Microsoft Office 365, Mentimeter, etc.)
  2. Prepare for Your Class
    Here are a few checklists for you to better prepare for your class:
    Before class

      Check whether you have Moodle access to each of your subjects.
      Read the course outline and the required pre-class reading materials.
      Use an e-calendar to help mark assignment due dates and plan self-study hours.
      Laptop, earphones, and camera are ready for online sessions.
      Log in Zoom/Microsoft Teams with your HKU student account.
      Test Zoom/Microsoft Teams settings (e.g. camera on/off, audio on/off, share screen, etc.).
      Have a distraction-free space with a reliable Internet connection for online learning (e.g. study room, home, library, etc.).
      Connect to VPN (if necessary).

    At the beginning of the online class

      Join the online meeting around 5-10 minutes before.
      Mute your mobile phone and log off social networks and media.
      Mute yourself upon entering the Zoom/Microsoft Teams meeting.
      Change your display name in English in Zoom/Microsoft Teams for identification.
      Switch on your webcam during lectures and tutorials (if possible). Add a profile picture in Zoom/Microsoft Teams if you are not able to switch on your webcam.
      Set up a virtual background (if necessary).

    During class

      Stay focused and take notes of the lecture.
      Actively participate in the in-class discussions and other learning activities as instructed by the instructor (e.g. join a breakout room, respond to a Poll, share your work via screen sharing, etc.).
      Listen attentively and follow the instructions given by your course teacher (e.g. unmute yourself and speak up when it is your turn to speak, mute yourself when others are speaking).

    After class

      Check rubrics/requirements for assignments.
      Check assignment due dates and submit your work on time.
      Book a consultation session with your course teacher/tutor if you have any questions on the course content.
      Contact your classmates and work together on group assignments/projects.

    For students who choose to come back to campus and attend a face-to-face lecture, here are some extra tips for you besides the ones listed above:

    Before class

      Confirm your class timetable and classroom locations.
      Bring your earphones.

    During class

      Attend the face-to-face lecture, pay attention and take notes. 
      Join the online Zoom meeting and online breakout rooms (if instructed by your course teacher). 
      Mute yourself in Zoom/Microsoft Teams and use your earphones to avoid the echo effect in the online environment.
      Share your ideas and discuss with your peers who are attending online (if instructed by your course teacher).
  3. Netiquette for Online Communication
    Your communication with your peers and course instructor may take in various forms, such as via online meetings (Zoom/Microsoft Teams), Moodle discussions, or emails. Here is a list of tips for you to better interact and communicate with them online:

    1. Respect your course instructor and peers, and communicate in a respectful tone.
    2. Identify yourself when you are communicating online, like showing your name in Zoom/Microsoft Teams. Professors may not be able to identify you as there are many students. 
    3. Switch on camera during lectures and tutorials if possible. 
    4. Introduce yourself in the email conversation/Zoom chat, and communicate with your course instructor clearly (e.g. in an email – ‘Dear Dr XXX, this is Natalie from your course MITE6023…’; in the Zoom chat – ‘Hi, I have a question on XXX – from Natalie’).
    5. Use clear and concise language and review what you write before sending out the message. Please use appropriate language to express your ideas.
    6. Protect personal privacy. Do not share your personal information or other people’s personal information in any public online forums/chat rooms.

Watch this 2-minute video to know more about Teleconferencing skills!

Resources for Online Learning

Download PDF version

Technical Support

If you encounter any difficulties, please contact the eLearning Support Team (Email: eLearningteam@hku.hk, Tel: (852) 3917 0123)

Teaching and learning online has brought many challenges to teachers and students. When teachers try to involve students in classroom discussion and learning activities, students are restricted by the screen, which requires teachers to seek useful technological tools to engage students in online classrooms. This article introduces six free polling tools by comparing the common features that can be applied in online or dual-mode teaching. Teachers are expected to select anyone from below to meet specific teaching needs.
Six free polling tools include:

  • Polling and Q&A in Zoom
  • Poll Everywhere
  • Mentimeter
  • Q&A in Google slides
  • Slido
  • Pigeonhole
Zoom Poll Everywhere Mentimeter Q&A in Google Slides Slido Pigeonhole
Audience Size 300 max. 40 max. Unlimited Unlimited 100 max. 500 max.
Participation in Zoom For teachers: https://www.polleverywhere.com/

For students: https://pollev.com/

For teachers: https://www.mentimeter.com/

For students: https://www.menti.com/

in Google Slides https://www.sli.do/ For teachers: https://pigeonholelive.com/

For students: https://pigeonhole.at/

Question types/ format Polling, Q&A Multiple choice, Word cloud, Q&A, Survey, Open-ended Multiple choice, Word cloud, Open-ended, Scale, Ranking, Quiz, Q&A, etc. Q&A Live poll, Quiz, Q&A Polling, Q&A
Upvote in Q&A
Export data N/A
Distinguished features ✓ Features like Icebreaker, Leaderboard, Emotion scale, spotlight, Bulletin board, 2X2 matrix, Assign teams ✓ Unlimited audience size, questions, content slides and quizzes
✓ All templates available (details)
✓ Data analytics
Data analytics ✓ Event agenda
✓ Embed videos (for free until Dec 2020)

All six tools are user-friendly and supportive in a fully online setting. In dual-mode teaching, on-site students are supposed to attend lessons and discussions without Zoom environment. Therefore, Mentimeter could be the best choice to engage both online and on-site students because they can quickly join the discussion and share ideas via menti.com without registration and even can upvote questions to prioritise them.

Now a campus license for academic staff and students to use Mentimeter for facilitating work and study is available. The Mentimeter should be a useful tool for engaging students as it provides various question types and presentation formats that support online communication and multiple teaching and learning activities. You can login to Mentimeter through single sign on with the company name “The University of Hong Kong” and “HKU”.

Written by Cindy Liang; Reviewed by Leon Lei


The Department of Surgery of HKU Medicine presents Asia’s 1st Multidisciplinary Surgery MOOC – So You Want To Be A Surgeon? This MOOC is a first of its kind global online course in surgery co-created by 30+ world class surgical experts featuring 15 subspecialties of HKU Medicine. The 6-week Surgery MOOC will commence on 1 Dec 2020 and is currently open for registration on edX platform.

Registration and Learn more


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