Teaching and Learning at The University of Hong Kong HKU

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FinTech Ethics and Risks is the second course in the HKU FinTech Professional Certificate Program. Upon its initial launch on May 15th, 2019, over 5,000 learners from 154 countries and regions have joint and actively engaged in the discussions around the ethical impact of FinTech.

Learner distribution of FinTech Ethics and Risks.

FinTech has started a global revolution and will keep accelerating the transformation in the financial services industry in the coming years. There are many ways in which FinTech can improve the lives of people around the world; however, those same technologies can also be used to enslave, coerce, track, and control people. Accordingly, it is necessary to consider the implications of the introduction of these technologies so that they are utilized properly, regulated sufficiently, and their adoption does not come at the expense of societal growth.

Trailer and course introduction

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This 6-week online course covers 6 modules, representing the full spectrum of finance, technology, and the introduction of FinTech solutions globally. We will discuss questions that are not often asked or addressed when new technologies are adopted, for examples:

  • Why should we adopt FinTech solutions, and what are the best ways to introduce disruptive technologies?
  • How does blockchain technology change the way we provide financial services, and how should blockchain technology be governed?
  • Is FinTech creating risks in cybersecurity and how can technology help us prevent financial crimes?
  • As Artificial Intelligence (AI) is developed and widely adopted, will human biases and prejudices be built into such mechanisms?
  • And at a larger scope, should FinTech lead to a decentralized, democratized system of finance, or will existing institutions adopt FinTech strategies to cement their existing hold on the financial markets?

The course instructors, Mr David Bishop and Mr David Lee, are award-winning teachers from the Faculty of Business and Economics of The University of Hong Kong. Incorporating their expertise in the subject and their enthusiasm for teaching, the course is highly informative, interactive and engaging. Using animated case studies and conversational videos followed by carefully designed prompt questions, learners are immersed in an intellectual journey of exploring the transformational impact of FinTech. They are exposed to different opinions, inspired by the sharings from learners, and encouraged and challenged by the teachers’ comments and feedback. At the end of each module, the instructors would summarize the discussions and provide further resources, insights, and considerations on the weekly topic.

Roundup video

Week 1 roundup

The course is progressing weekly with an increasing number of learners joining this global discussion. No matter if you are a FinTech enthusiast, a finance or technology professional, or just a consumer of financial product and service, you are all welcome to join this course and your input will help grow this learning community.

The course is free and open to everyone, and you can upgrade to a verified certificate for your career advancement or professional development. From May 30th to June 5th, 2019 (11:59 pm EST), you can use code “SUMMER20” to save 20% on the verified certificate, both for the course FinTech Ethics and Risks and the HKU FinTech Professional Certificate Program.

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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 : 30 May, 2018 (Thursday)
Time : 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Venue : CPD-LG.59, Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong
Speaker : Ms Charlotte Chang, e-Teacher-in-Residence, The University of Hong Kong
Respondent : Professor Ricky Kwok, Associate Vice-President (Teaching and Learning), The University of Hong Kong

Registration

Abstract
To teachers who are used to the setting and dynamics of a classroom, getting started in online education might seem daunting. After all, creating online courses involves adapting and rewriting course content, reenacting lessons on camera, and reorganizing class structures to enable student interactions in a completely different context—or, in other words, nothing short of overhauling traditional modes of teaching in large part. All this effort, however, is not only manageable with the right support, but also immensely rewarding for any teacher—practically, pedagogically, and intellectually.

In this seminar, Charlotte Chang, TELI’s e-Teacher-in-Residence, will use her own journey into online education as a starting point to reflect on the obvious and not-so-obvious (often even counter-intuitive) opportunities that await teachers who undertake a similar endeavor.

In the first part of the talk, “Taking the Leap”, Charlotte will reflect on the intellectual impulses and practical considerations that led her to create an online course. What ultimately convinced her that this daunting task would be worthwhile?

In the second part, “Reflecting in the Process”, Charlotte will share insights on the many opportunities for professional and intellectual growth that she found, often unexpectedly, throughout the course creation process. In optimizing and refining content and pedagogy for the course, she was motivated to strive for nothing less than the “best of her teaching”. An online course, ultimately, should not just be a repackaging of existing courses in a virtual format; rather, it is an opportunity for the educator to enhance and enrich existing curricula, teaching materials, pedagogical approaches, and student engagement.

In the final part of the talk, “Reaping the Rewards”, Charlotte will elaborate on the benefits of online education that classroom teaching cannot offer. Apart from practical rewards like eliminating the time spent on repeating core content, online education offers many less obvious, perhaps even counter-intuitive benefits to teaching and learning, such as deepening interactions with students with a wide range of learning styles and abilities.

Charlotte’s reflections on her journey as an online teacher should resonate with fellow educators from diverse academic fields who wish to embark on their own explorations of online education and the immense opportunities that it promises.

About the Speaker
Charlotte Chang, TELI’s “e-Teacher-in-Residence” in 2018-19, founded the online English education platform Ms. Charlotte Academy in 2017. After a year of writing a curriculum, developing materials, and filming and editing lessons, Charlotte launched her online course “Core Concepts of English” in late 2018. In the course, which currently enrolls over 200 students, Charlotte uses an analytical framework based in linguistics concepts to teach Hong Kong adults the unchanging rules of English syntax, introducing students to a systematic, structure-based approach to understanding how English works and how it differs from Cantonese/Chinese.

Charlotte’s core belief as a language teacher is that every student with basic analytical skills can gain a “big picture” perspective of how any language works, even if it is as different to their native language as English is to Chinese. Online education, which enables students to absorb and internalize new knowledge at their own pace, is a fitting format that facilitates this type of analytical teaching and learning.

Prior to her career in online education, Charlotte graduated from Harvard University in 2012 and worked as a secondary school teacher from 2012 to 2014. From 2014 to 2017, she experimented with and refined her linguistics-based approach to teaching English before finally writing her own curriculum. Her transformation from “traditional” to “online” teacher gave her much insight into the many benefits that technology can offer education, both in facilitating teaching and enhancing learning.

Registration

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

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Be flexible, be innovative, and you will discover numerous ways to engage students with technology. HKU TELI and the Knowledge & Education Exchange Platform (KEEP) of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) jointly organized a seminar to share examples of effective teaching strategies, namely flipped classroom, mobile apps, visualization tools and gamification.

KEEP: Flexibility and Visualization

Eddy""Mr. Eddy Yet, Project Coordinator of KEEP, presents on CUHK’s innovative practices in online teaching.

Mr. Eddy Yet, KEEP’s Project Coordinator, advises teachers to be flexible in teaching and visualizing students’ responses for effective knowledge exchange:

  1. Flexibility: To maximize the potential of flipped classroom, course teachers can adopt various e-learning tools to cater to students of different levels. For example, the instructor of a General Education Course, In Dialogue with Nature, presented the course content in the form of (i) Core Videos (which all students need to watch) and (ii) optional Online Supplementary Materials (for high achievers and those who are interested in further exploring the topic). This method of differentiated instruction allows flexibility in learning. The course team also developed a “Reading Companion” mobile app, which helps students evaluate their own learning from time to time with knowledge checks and a mini-dictionary.
  2. KEEP“Reading Companion” mobile app of a CUHK General Education course (In Dialogue with Nature). [Image credit to KEEP]

  3. Visualization: Often, a popular discussion thread in an online course contains over a thousand elaborated written responses. These responses are not effective if students do not read all of them. One solution is to introduce visualization tools, such as Sharing Board, where students illustrate their ideas with mind maps instead of words, or present data in word clouds. The KEEP team has witnessed successful examples of visualizing the course content and believes that this is an effective way to “summarize the learning content, and make good use of students’ input”.

TELI: Gamifying In-class Activities

Ricky""Professor Ricky Kwok, Associate Vice-President (Teaching and Learning) of HKU, introduces the course design of his Common Core course (Everyday Computing and the Internet).

Professor Ricky Kwok, Associate Vice-President (Teaching and Learning) of HKU, strives to spend quality time with students during class. Hence, he worked with TELI and designed a board game as an in-class activity of his Common Core course, Everyday Computing and the Internet.

boardProfessor Ricky Kwok (Middle) guides students to play the board game in his class.

The board game’s design is similar to that of poker, but is integrated with the course’s core concepts. To win the game, students need to first develop a good understanding of the course content by watching online explainer videos produced by the course team. The wish to win motivates students to actively participate in the board game, and therefore take greater ownership of their learning.

Having moved the lectures online, Professor Kwok can give more quality time to each student in class to support his/her learning. He jokes that when students are competing in the board game, he becomes a “server”, walking around the classroom and answering students’ questions about the game as well as the course content by asking them, “How can I help you, Sir?” Professor Kwok found that students, in such a way, are more vocal in asking questions, increasing his interaction with students.

At the end of the seminar, Professor Kwok summarizes three success criteria for gamification in education:

  1. Is the game interesting and goal-orientated?
  2. Does the game have a good pace? Do players have to spend much time to make one move?
  3. Is the game connected to the course content?

It is always possible for educators, not just from HKU, but also from the other institutions, to digitalize, visualize, or even gamify their course content. Interested in bringing these ideas into your classroom? Don’t hesitate to contact us!

Watch the full recording of 2019 TELI X KEEP Seminar:

Further Reading

  1. Learning through gamification
  2. Not just for fun: Gamify your class
  3. KEEPing up with learning through gamification

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The world-class quality Implant Dentistry MOOC will be launching its re-run on 27 May 2019! 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.

Sneak Preview 1

How to become an Implant dentist

YouTube

Sneak Preview 2

Minimally Invasive Surgery

YouTube

Sneak Preview 3

Micro Surgery Instruments

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Sneak Preview 4

The 3 main pathways

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Sneak Preview 5

Suture Techniques

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Sneak Preview 6

Implant Supported Provisional Restorations

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Register today to experience world-class Implant Dentistry education! Re-run begins on 27 May 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:
Week 1 Teaser

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.

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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)
Related Items 

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.

panel session
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

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