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Important message from Professor Ian Holliday, Vice-President & Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching & Learning)

Dear colleagues

One more bulk email mostly recapping an array of information about T&L support.

Classroom support

The LES website lists and profiles classrooms that are enabled for hybrid lectures. All have upgraded audio signal for high-quality lecture capture and recording. Any teacher requiring additional equipment, such as a USB portable monitor or microphone, can make use of the LES loan system. Real-time classroom support remains available through the LES team at 3917 5122 (Main Campus) or 3917 8888 (Centennial Campus). These phone numbers are also displayed in classrooms. Operating hours are 08:00-20:00 Monday-Friday and 08:00-13:00 Saturday.

Tutorial sign-up system

To enable students to use the tutorial sign-up system, teachers need first to enter tutorial group information in the Class Planner and Room Booking System through the Examination Office’s website.

Pedagogical support

CETL provides a wealth of pedagogical support. The CETL website has many resources covering online course design, hybrid-mode teaching, online assessment, etc. CETL Faculty liaison persons can be contacted for assistance.

Technical support

For assistance with e-learning matters, please send a WhatsApp message to TeLi on 6437 8034. During office hours, a reply will be sent within 10 minutes. One-on-one e-learning consultation sessions with TeLi can also be arranged.

Online resources

The following websites have useful information for teachers:

– Online resource hub;

Tangible resources such as DIY rooms and equipment loan services;

– E-learning quick start guide through text and video;

– Classroom set-up for online and hybrid learning;

– Conducting online lessons in HKU classrooms;

– Conducting flipped classrooms;

– How to use Mentimeter, Panopto, MS Teams and Zoom.

Online archive

Our most recent messages to UG and TPG students are available online. Important S2 dates are also posted.

Many thanks to CETL, ITS, Library and TeLi colleagues for pulling together this information and staffing our T&L support services. Thanks also to teachers for working through the long list of resources assembled here. All queries: ian.holliday@hku.hk.

Best wishes, Ian

Professor Ian Holliday

VP/T&L, HKU

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Important message from Professor Ian Holliday, Vice-President & Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching & Learning)

Dear colleagues and students

I’m writing with good wishes for the New Year and updates about S2 T&L arrangements.

Teaching Arrangements

Delivery modes for individual courses were chosen by teachers and programme teams at the end of S1. We released the information to students through SIS on December 11. At a meeting of the Task Force on Infectious Diseases yesterday afternoon, we reviewed the S2 T&L arrangements in light of the improving public health situation in Hong Kong. We noted that the pattern of choices made by teachers for S2 courses points to a low-density campus environment, since most courses will be delivered in hybrid or online mode. We further noted that our robust campus infection control measures remain in place. We therefore feel that the delivery modes selected by teachers can remain as they are. If any difficult cases arise, please do contact me.

Add/Drop Period

In recent semesters our practice has been to provide UG students with a ‘self-enrol’ function on HKU Moodle to enable them to audit courses during the add/drop period (http://moodle-support.hku.hk/sites/Moodle_enrol_me.pdf). In S2, this function will be available from 09:00, January 18 to 16:00, February 1.Thereafter, all self-enrolments will be deleted unless the student has formally enrolled in the course through the course registration system.

Assessment Options

In S2, we are removing the pass/fail assessment option that has been made available to students for the past year or so. As a failsafe, we’re keeping the late drop option. In S2, students will be able to exercise the late drop option through from 09:00, March 8 to 23:59, April 9 through the course registration system.

Exams and Assessment

As in S1, all final exams will take place online. The exceptions remain as before: exams that need to be held in-person either because there are special requirements (eg professional programmes), or because all the students taking a course are in Hong Kong and it is safe for them to attend an in-person exam. Faculties will issue separate guidance to their students about this.

Study Rooms and Online Resources

Apart from the Library and Learning Commons, small classrooms not used for teaching are made available to students for self-study (https://www.les.hku.hk/teaching-learning/about-classroom). Additional resources are available on these websites, which are regularly updated:

– Online resources for students: https://tl.hku.hk/teachonline/online-resources-for-students/
– E-learning resource hub for students: https://elearning-resource.hku.hk/users/students/
– Student troubleshooting for online learning videos: https://hku.to/onlinelearn_studentguide

Webcams

As before, our policy is that students taking online classes are required to turn on their webcams when the teacher asks them to do so. (Virtual backgrounds are of course permissible.) Students with special needs or circumstances may apply to their teachers for exemption on a case-by-case basis. If it is not possible for a teacher and student to reach agreement, the case may be referred to the relevant Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) or, in the case of Common Core courses, to the Director.

Coming to Campus

As you know, everyone coming to campus needs to be aware of and respect our infection control protocols (https://covid19.hku.hk/). We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and make any necessary adjustments. Please always stay vigilant and make personal and group health your top priority.

Best wishes for S2 – Ian

Professor Ian Holliday
Vice-President (Teaching and Learning)
HKU

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Message from Academic Advising Office of the Registry

Dear Colleagues,

Choosing a major and / or a minor is no doubt one of the most important academic decisions students make in their university education. In light of the COVID 19 pandemic, the “Major Minor Week 2021” would go online this year for students to explore their major / minor options effectively. Colleagues are welcome to refer your students to this event if deemed appropriate:

Opening Talk: “Your Studies and Career: What to Consider”, 12:30 pm, Jan 25 2021 (Monday)

Jointly delivered by AAO and CEDARS (Careers and Placement), this talk will help students understand the relationship between studies and career, study planning tools and how to make suitable study decisions. For details and registration, please go to: https://aao.hku.hk/event/major-minor-week-2021/ .

Faculty-based Sharing Sessions via Zoom
Time: 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm

Details and Registration:
In every late afternoon of the week, AAO will invite senior students and administrators from various Faculties to answer students’ questions on study experiences, requirements, policies and regulations etc. For registration, please click HERE

Dates:

  • January 25 (Mon): Arts
  • January 26 (Tue): Business and Economics
  • January 27 (Wed): Engineering
  • January 28 (Thu): Science
  • January 29 (Fri): Social Sciences

** For the minors offered by Architecture, Education, Medicine or the Common Core, students can email their questions to aaoffice@hku.hk or indicate in the registration form. AAO will direct the inquiries to the suitable senior students / administrators**

Other Online Resources
More resources for making major /minor selection are available at the website “How to Select My Major and Minor

For enquiries, please contact us at aaoffice@hku.hk / 3917 0128 / 5413 6321 (WhatsApp).

Best regards,
Academic Advising Office

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Message from Professor Ian Holliday, Vice-President & Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching & Learning)

Dear colleagues and students

You will have seen the recent uptick in confirmed Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong. It’s hard to predict how high the number of new cases will go or for how long the spike will last. I’m writing in this uncertain situation to reinforce the need for full compliance with infection-control measures throughout the campus.

Our current guidelines mandate that anyone with fever or respiratory symptoms should not come to campus and should see a doctor as soon as possible. For those who do come to campus, our guidelines mandate: (i) social distancing; (ii) mask-wearing at all times other than eating and drinking; and (iii) eating and drinking in groups of no more than four. This means that inside classrooms, libraries and learning commons, masks must be worn at all times and social distance must be maintained. It means that the same rules apply when walking around the campus. It means that in restaurants, canteens and coffee shops, masks should be removed only when actually eating and drinking, and should be worn at all other times. We have asked our campus security staff to ensure that everyone is being vigilant about infection-control measures.

The University will monitor the current fluid situation carefully. We hope that if we all tighten up our behaviour, it will be possible to see out the semester as planned. Scheduled f2f components of UG and TPG classes can therefore continue, so long as everyone adheres strictly to our existing infection-control guidelines. If necessary, we will make adjustments in the days ahead.

Many thanks for helping us maintain a safe campus environment.

Best wishes, Ian

Professor Ian Holliday

Vice-President (Teaching and Learning)

The University of Hong Kong

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Message from Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning)

Dear Colleagues and Students,

I am very pleased to announce the recipients of the University’s 2020 Teaching Excellence Awards. The Selection Panel was deeply impressed with the awardees’ dedication to teaching, their tireless and creative efforts to make learning enjoyable and challenging, and the impact that they have made on their students’ learning.

University Distinguished Teaching Award

  • Dr. Janice M. Johnston, School of Public Health, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine

Outstanding Teaching Award

Individual awards

  • Dr. Matthias M.M. Buehlmaier, Faculty of Business and Economics
  • Dr. Janet K.Y. Chan, School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science
  • Dr. Yeewan Koon, School of Humanities, Faculty of Arts
  • Dr. Vengatesen Thiyagarajan, School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science
  • Dr. Anita M.Y. Wong, Faculty of Education

Team awards

  • Ms. Lindsay Ernst (Leader) of the Faculty of Law and Mr. David L. Bishop of the Faculty of Business and Economics for EmpowerU: A cross-disciplinary, community-led, impact-based teaching and learning platform

Early Career Teaching Award

  • Dr. Anya M. Adair, School of English in the Faculty of Arts and Department of Law in the Faculty of Law
  • Dr. Tom J. Barry, Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Dr. Edmond P.H. Choi, School of Nursing, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine
  • Dr. Shuang Lu, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, Faculty of Social Sciences

Teaching Innovation Award (Team)

Individual awards

  • Dr. Matthias M.M. Buehlmaier, Faculty of Business and Economics for Pioneering Social Learning in Business Education with Yocle
  • Mr. Gavin S. Coates, Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture for Continuing and Enhancing Field Trip Learning Experiences in the Online and Dual-Mode Teaching Environment
  • Miss Nicole J. Tavares, Faculty of Education for I-N-S-P-I-R-E
  • Dr. Anderson C.O. Tsang, Department of Surgery, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine for From Bed-side to Web-side: transforming teaching with telemedicine

Team awards

  • Professor Douglas W. Arner (Leader) of Faculty of Law, Mr. David L. Bishop of Faculty of Business and Economics, Mr. David S. Lee of Faculty of Business and Economics, Ms. Ellen Seto of Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative and Professor Siu-ming Yiu of Faculty of Engineering for HKU edX Professional Certificate Programme in FinTech
  • Dr. John T.C. Fung (Leader), Dr. Veronica S.F. Lam, Ms. Michelle T.H. Pang and Dr. Janet Y.H. Wong of Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine for Evaluation on students’ clinical competence after a virtual simulation education programme during COVID-19 pandemic
  • Dr. King-hang Lam (Leader) of Faculty of Engineering, Dr. Leon C.U. Lei of Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative and Dr. King-shan Lui of Faculty of Engineering for Remote learning under First Principles of Instruction Framework applied in the course Integrated Design Project
  • Mr. Mathew R. Pryor (Leader) of Faculty of Architecture, Dr. Tyrone T.O. Kwok of Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative and Miss Lynn H. Lin of Faculty of Architecture for Digital Exhibition Space (DES)
  • Dr. Shuang Wang (Leader) and Dr. Aihe Wang of Faculty of Arts for Teaching to Empower: Enhancing Critical Thinking by Developing Students as Knowledge Producers

I would like to thank our external assessor Professor Anthony Smith (Vice-Provost (Education & Student Affairs) of the University College London) for providing us with expert advice during the final selection process. I would also like to thank the other Panel members: Dr. Susan Bridges, Miss Alice Lee, and Miss Tsz-lam Jeh (student representative) for their assistance in this important exercise.

Please join me in congratulating the awardees!

Professor Ian Holliday
Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning)
Chair, Selection Panel for 2020 Teaching Excellence Awards

Important message from Professor Ian Holliday, Vice-President & Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching & Learning)

Dear students

I’m writing to brief you on decisions taken about S2 teaching arrangements for UG and TPG courses.

Teaching

Teaching arrangements in S2 will be similar to our current arrangements in S1, except that more courses will be delivered purely in online mode. This reflects limited student demand for the f2f component of hybrid courses in S1, and the better learning experience that is generally available when a course is delivered through a single mode.

Communication

By 11 December 2020, course coordinators will provide all students with clear information about delivery mode:
– Lectures: In SIS, under ‘Enrollment Information’ there is a ‘Course/Class Attribute’ section. Alongside ‘Delivery of lectures’, course coordinators will insert one of three options: online, hybrid, f2f. (Only in very special circumstances will the f2f option be available.)
– Small-group interactive sessions such as tutorials, labs, studios, clinical practicums: One of the same three options (online, hybrid, f2f) will be chosen and communicated to students through the regular channels used by each Faculty.

Exams

In S2, final exams will take place online. As in S1, the only exceptions to this general rule will be exams that need to be held in-person either because there are special requirements (eg professional programmes), or because all the students taking a course are in Hong Kong and it is safe for them to attend an in-person exam. Faculties will issue separate guidance to their students about this.

Assessment

In S2, we will no longer offer students three assessment options. Those options were devised in response to the uncertain situation we all faced when getting to grips with the rapid switch to online and hybrid T&L over the past 12 months. They are not appropriate as a long-term measure. In S2, we will therefore remove the pass/fail option. Students will still have the option of late drop should they experience unforeseen difficulties with their courses. The deadline for students to late drop a course will be 23:59 on 9 April 2021.
Please do contact me with queries: ian.holliday@hku.hk.

Best wishes, Ian
Professor Ian Holliday
Vice-President (Teaching and Learning)
The University of Hong Kong

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Important message from Professor Ian Holliday, Vice-President & Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching & Learning)

Dear colleagues

Many thanks to the 270 teachers who completed the recent survey on hybrid T&L and the 100 or so colleagues who attended follow-up Zoom town-hall meetings. The data and discussions were extremely useful. I’m writing now to brief you on decisions taken about S2 teaching arrangements for UG and TPG courses on the basis of input received from teachers across all 10 Faculties.

Teaching

Teaching arrangements in S2 will be similar to our current arrangements in S1, with one important exception:

  • In S1, a teacher with an allocated classroom is expected to make use of it by offering hybrid-mode teaching (or, in rare circumstances, f2f teaching).
  • In S2, a teacher with an allocated classroom will not be obliged to make use of it, but will instead have the option of switching to 100% online mode.
  • Please note that any teacher wishing to exercise this option must seek endorsement from their Programme Director or Head of Department/School.
  • Please also note that all teachers, including those switching to 100% online mode, will be required to be in Hong Kong during S2, unless they have an authorized leave of absence.

Communication

Communication with students is essential. By 11 December 2020, all course coordinators are asked to provide clear information about delivery mode:

  • Lectures: In SIS, under ‘Enrollment Information’ there is a ‘Course/Class Attribute’ section. Alongside ‘Delivery of lectures’, course coordinators should ask their departmental or faculty office colleagues to insert one of three options: online, hybrid, f2f. (Only in very special circumstances will the f2f option be available to teachers, and again it must be endorsed by the Programme Director or Head of Department/School.)
  • Small-group interactive sessions such as tutorials, labs, studios, clinical practicums: One of the same three options (online, hybrid, f2f) should be chosen and communicated clearly to students through the regular channels used by each Faculty.

Exams

In S2, final exams will take place online. As in S1, the only exceptions to this general rule will be exams that need to be held in-person either because there are special requirements (eg professional programmes), or because all the students taking a course are in Hong Kong and it is safe for them to attend an in-person exam. Faculties will issue separate guidance to their students about this.

Assessment

In S2, students will no longer be offered three course assessment options for most of the courses they take: letter grade, pass/fail, late drop. Rather, we will remove the pass/fail option and retain only late drop as an alternative to the default option of letter grade. The deadline for students to late drop a course will be 23:59 on 9 April 2021.

AV audit

Alongside teaching arrangements for S2, the other major theme in the recent staff survey is AV facilities. We are currently conducting an AV audit of all 153 centrally-allocated classrooms against a checklist derived from the survey. Ahead of S2, we will upgrade as many classrooms as possible and update the teaching space information provided by LES (https://www.les.hku.hk/teaching-space).
Renewed thanks for all the valuable feedback. Please contact me with queries: ian.holliday@hku.hk.

Best wishes, Ian
Professor Ian Holliday
Vice-President (Teaching and Learning)
The University of Hong Kong

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Message from Professor Ian Holliday, Vice-President & Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching & Learning)

Dear colleagues and students,

I’m writing to share with you the exciting news that David S. Lee of the Faculty of Business and Economics has been honoured with the 2020 UGC Teaching Award (Early Career Faculty Members). The UGC Teaching Award was established to honour teachers who excel across the entire UGC sector.

After completing graduate studies at Harvard University and UCLA School of Law, David qualified as a lawyer and gained extensive experience in law and finance before joining HKU in 2015. In the past five years, he has received six teaching awards – four from his Faculty, the HKU Early Career Teaching Award, and the HKU Teaching Innovation Award. David’s teaching impact is evidenced by the fact that, almost on a weekly basis, students – not only current, but also former – reach out to him for advice on pursuing graduate study, selecting professional opportunities, embarking on entrepreneurial ventures, and other significant life choices. David believes passionately that teachers are also leaders and should adopt an agile mindset to navigate the current volatile teaching environment. He has been a pioneer in adapting technology for teaching practice, which has helped him teach effectively during these extraordinary times. Perhaps the best example is the MOOC, Fintech Ethics and Risks, which he co-designed and co-taught. This course, the first of its kind globally, has enrolled over 11,000 students.

The University’s press release can be accessed at: https://www.hku.hk/press/news_detail_21678.html

Please join me in extending our warmest congratulations to David!

Best wishes, Ian

Professor Ian Holliday
Vice-President (Teaching and Learning)
The University of Hong Kong


Message from Professor Ian Holliday, Vice-President & Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching & Learning)

Dear students

I’m writing to update you on a few issues.

Assessment choices

As you know, we’re offering all UG and TPG students three assessment choices for S1 courses: letter grade, pass/fail, late drop. Assessment choices can be submitted through SIS from 09:00 on Monday September 28 to 23:59 on Saturday October 10 (https://sweb.hku.hk/student/servlet/MyChoice/Status). This deadline is final, and no modifications will be permitted once it has passed. I’d like again to advise all students to think very carefully when opting for pass/fail grading. Courses that are simply passed will be recorded as P on the transcript, with no impact on the GPA calculation. For UG students in particular, this could have important knock-on effects. Internally, we rely on SGPA data for elective opportunities, such as academic exchange and other funded programmes. Externally, employers and universities around the world examine transcripts in some detail when taking decisions about jobs and postgraduate study. Students without solid GPA data may therefore place themselves at a significant disadvantage. Please consult your teachers, your academic advisers, the Academic Advising Office (https://aao.hku.hk/impact-pf/), your family and your friends before submitting your assessment choices. Please also note the points below about honours classification.

Honours classification for UG programmes

For most UG programmes, HKU has an honours classification system informed by the GPA system. Students graduating from programmes employing this system may be awarded first-class, second-class (upper or lower) and third-class honours. They may also graduate with a pass degree. To calculate a student’s GPA, we make reference only to credits accumulated through study at HKU. In turn, to award honours to a student we normally employ a ‘50% rule’, which mandates that at least half of the credits of a degree curriculum should be letter-graded. This means that a student taking a programme requiring 240 credits for graduation will normally be required to have at least 120 letter-graded credits. A student with fewer than half the total credits letter-graded will normally be awarded a pass degree with no honours classification. This reinforces the need for students to think extremely carefully before opting for pass/fail grading, especially if they are in special situations such as senior-year entry.

Award classification for TPG programmes

For most TPG programmes, HKU has an award classification system informed by the GPA system. To calculate a student’s GPA, we make reference to credits accumulated through study at HKU. In turn, to make an award of distinction at graduation we normally employ a ‘50% rule’, which mandates that at least half of the credits of a degree curriculum should be letter-graded. This means that a student taking a programme requiring 60 credits for graduation will normally be required to have at least 30 letter-graded credits (unless there are courses which are not letter-graded). This reinforces the need for students to think extremely carefully before opting for pass/fail grading.

SETL/SFTL

Following extensive consultation and piloting in the Common Core, we’ve reformed our Student Evaluation of Teaching and Learning instrument. It’s now called Student Feedback on Teaching and Learning, reflecting the fact that what teachers receive from students is not formal evaluation, but rather feedback. We’ve also simplified the instrument as much as possible. SFTL will be used for all course and teacher feedback in 2020-21. The new SFTL form can be viewed at https://tl.hku.hk/tl/student-feedback-on-teaching-and-learning-sftl/.

We’re looking forward to seeing some of you on campus once f2f teaching partially resumes on Tuesday. Please do drop me a line with queries – ian.holliday@hku.hk.

Best wishes, Ian

Professor Ian Holliday
Vice-President (Teaching and Learning)
The University of Hong Kong

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Message from Curriculum Development and Quality Assurance Section of the Registry

Teaching Excellence Award Scheme 2020

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This is to remind colleagues and students that nominations are now invited for awards under the Teaching Excellence Award Scheme (TEAS) in 2020.

The TEAS aims to recognise, reward and promote excellence in teaching at the University. Under the Scheme, there are four categories of awards, viz. University Distinguished Teaching Award, Outstanding Teaching Award (OTA), Early Career Teaching Award (ECTA) and Teaching Innovation Award (TIA). Besides individual awards, both OTA and TIA comprise team awards to recognise and encourage collaborative effort and achievement in enhancing teaching and learning. All Faculties are encouraged to nominate colleagues who have made outstanding teaching and learning contributions for these awards. For ECTA, in particular, we hope to receive at least one nomination from each Faculty.

For further details, please refer to the circular from the Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) at:

http://intraweb.hku.hk/reserved_1/cdqa/doc/TEAS/TEAS-List-A-2020.pdf

Nominees are encouraged to contact the Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL) for advice on the preparation of teaching portfolios.

All nominations and the supporting documents should reach Ms. Synthia Chau, Curriculum Development and Quality Assurance Section, by October 23, 2020. Enquiries may be directed to Ms. Chau at 2859 2440 or email to schau@hku.hk.

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