HKU MOOC is edX Prize Top Finalist for 5 consecutive years


edX announced the world’s Top MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) shortlisted for 2022 edX Prize – Innovation in Online Teaching on Nov 17 2022. HKU MOOC So You Want To Be A Surgeon? is named 2022 edX Prize Finalist this year. The MOOC is led by Dr. Ian Yu-Hong Wong, Professor Stephen Wing-Keung Cheng and Professor Kent-Man Chu of the Department of Surgery with the support of HKU’s Technology Enriched Learning Initiative unit. This is the fifth consecutive year that HKU MOOC has gained global recognition as edX Prize Finalist.

According to Anant Agarwal, edX Founder and Chief Platform Officer at 2U, “the MOOCs on edX are committed to provide the world’s best open education to more than 46 million learners.” In addressing the prestigious 2022 edX Prize, Anant said, “this year’s finalists are recognized for creating best-in-class online learning experiences that deliver learner-centric, impactful outcomes on the edX platform.”

Being recognised as top 10 finalist out of thousands of MOOCs for five consecutive years attest to HKU’s continued pursuit of excellence and dedication in online course design and production and this achievement reflects the course team’s innovative spirit to inspire and upskill learning beyond international boundaries and time zones.

First-of-its-kind co-production by 15 surgical subspecialties

HKU So You Want To Be A Surgeon? is a first-of-its-kind surgery MOOC co-created by 40 world-class surgical experts from 15 subspecialties of HKU’s Department of Surgery (including vascular, thyroid, breast, gastrointestinal, colorectal, hepatobiliary and pancreatic, transplant, head and neck, plastic and reconstructive surgeries, urology, paediatric, trauma, cardiothoracic surgeries, and neurosurgery). This unique co-creation truly exemplifies the team work and cross-disciplinary collaboration that are crucial in carrying out a life-saving operation.

21st century work-based learning experience

The MOOC aims to help young students aspiring to become surgeons and physicians to learn about common clinical and surgical conditions, and modern advances and cutting-edge technologies in surgical practice at HKU Medicine and in the world. To create a robust learning experience for the 21st century learners, the course integrated subject domain learning with a work-based learning experience (WBL), providing career-relevant knowledge and experience sharing by 30+ local and international surgeons from different career stages.

The role of gender and achieving work-life balance for female surgeons

The job of a surgeon is both physically and mentally demanding for both male and female surgeons – one has to endure long hours of extremely high-focused work in an operating theater without rest. Today, gender perceptions in pursuing surgery as a career have changed and more aspiring female students have joined the world of surgery. Achieving work-life balance is never easy, in particular for the highly demanding work of a surgeon. Learners in the course are invited to view and follow six female surgeons who are at different stages of their career to learn about what surgery means to these females, and how they found work-life balance and job satisfaction.

Register the Course on edX:

Course Registration: on-going

Course Length: 6 Weeks

Prerequisite: No entry requirement

Course Payment: Free of charge for all learners in the Audit Track

(Audit Learners have an option to upgrade for a Verified Certificate, see the course page for details.)

Student Feedback on Teaching and Learning (SFTL) in 2022-23 Semester 1


Period: November 7 to December 5, 2022
For all undergraduate, Common Core, and taught postgraduate courses
in 2022-23 Semester 1

Student Feedback on Teaching and Learning (SFTL) is one of the key mechanisms for the University to gather feedback from students at the course level. It offers a formal channel for students to provide anonymous feedback on the courses they have taken. Findings from the SFTL surveys are useful for improving teaching, enhancing course delivery, and shaping the teaching and learning environment.

All feedback is anonymous. More details about the SFTL could be found on the Frequently Asked Questions page. For enquiries, please contact the Teaching and Learning Evaluation and Measurement Unit (T&LEMU) at sftl @ or 3917-4862.

Teaching Exchange Fellowship Scheme Seminar

Grants for overseas visits through ‘Teaching Exchange Fellowship Scheme’

To promote HKU staff to bring in new ideas and teaching methods to improve teaching through interaction with overseas university teachers, HKU will award up to $50,000 for reciprocal staff visits. This funding is provided through the “Teaching Exchange Fellowship Scheme”. The seminar provides an overview of this funding scheme and information on the application process. Staff will be guided on how to go about planning exchange visits to enhance the scholarship of teaching at HKU, which is the aim of the scheme. It will explain, and also showcase examples, on how this funding opportunity can be used by HKU teaching staff to share experience and to collaborate on teaching and curriculum development initiatives with overseas reputable universities through reciprocal visits.

The seminar is open to all teaching staff interested in finding out more about this Teaching Exchange Fellowship Scheme. Staff will be provided an overview of the scheme, how to lodge an application, the key objectives, amounts they can apply for, eligibility and advice in preparing an application. Staff who are thinking about applying are strongly encouraged to attend. Staff who attended the last seminar but found they had insufficient time to make overseas contacts, or who are thinking of planning ahead, in time for the next round (having a Friday, January 6, 2023 closing date), would also find the seminar useful. If you are not sure whether this scheme would be relevant to teaching innovations you have in mind, or would simply like to know more about the scheme, you are welcome. The Circular on this scheme can be found at link.

Date: 2 December 2022 (Friday)

Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Venue: RRS 321 (3/F, Run Run Shaw Building, Main Campus)

Chair: Dr. Bin Bin Yang, Associate Professor, School of Chinese, HKU

Facilitator: Dr. Luke Fryer, Associate Professor / Assistant Director (Programmes), CETL, HKU


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Ms. Lavina Luk at

Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning

Recording of lectures and other classroom activities

Dear colleagues,

You are encouraged to explore different pedagogies to optimise student learning.  Among which, the use of audio and audio-visual recording of lectures and other classroom activities may be considered.  A set of guidelines related to classroom recording and how such recordings should be managed is therefore developed so as to standardize the practice across the University.  Please refer to the Guidelines here for details and handle all recordings with due care.

Best wishes, Ian

Professor Ian Holliday
Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor
(Teaching and Learning)

Policy on Student Plagiarism

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

Dear colleagues

Just a quick note about plagiarism. The University is committed to upholding the highest standards of academic integrity, and has in place a Policy on Student Plagiarism in Undergraduate and Taught Postgraduate Curricula.  Please do inform your students about proper academic practice. Relevant resources could be found in the plagiarism website.

Thanks and best wishes — Ian

Professor Ian Holliday
Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor
(Teaching and Learning)

Teaching Exchange Fellowship Scheme 2022-23

Applications are invited for the Teaching Exchange Fellowship Scheme

The Scheme aims to enhance the scholarship of teaching and learning at the University, including experiential learning, through enabling academic staff members to share experience and to collaborate on teaching and curriculum development initiatives at reputable universities where excellent pedagogical practices or curriculum innovation are being implemented, and to facilitate reciprocal visits to the University by academic staff of these institutions.

All full-time teaching staff with a minimum of two years of service at the University are eligible to apply.

Deadline for Application
Interested colleagues are encouraged to attend the Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning seminar on Friday, December 2, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. via Zoom. All applications and supporting documents should reach Ms. Cynthia Wong, Curriculum Development and Quality Assurance Section of the Registry on or before Friday, January 6, 2023.

Enquires may be directed to Ms. Wong at 2241 5535 or via email to

For more details, please read the circular below.
Announcement circular from the Chair of Teaching and Learning Quality Committee (document 191/922) (HKU Portal login required)

Teaching Development Grant (TDG) 2022

Message from Curriculum Development and Quality Assurance Section of the Registry

Teaching Development Grant (TDG) 2022

This is to remind colleagues that the next round of TDG application will close on October 14, 2022, and the cut-off date for the third round of application is December 28, 2022. Please refer to the invitation circular (document 157/222, URL below) for details:

All applications should be submitted online via the TDG system, which is accessible through or HKU Portal (navigation: HKU Portal > Manager Self Service > Teaching Development Grant (TDG) > TDG System).

General enquiries on TDG may be directed to Ms. Cynthia Wong ( of Curriculum Development and Quality Assurance Section of the Registry.

Teaching Excellence Award Scheme 2022

Message from Curriculum Development and Quality Assurance Section of the Registry

Applications are now invited for awards under the Teaching Excellence Award Scheme (TEAS) in 2022.

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 (UDTA), 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. Faculties should encourage their teachers with outstanding contributions to teaching and learning to apply for these awards.

The Scheme was reviewed in the past year, and there are changes inter alia to the eligibility and selection criteria as well as application procedures. For further details, please refer to the circular from the Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) at:

CETL has developed a dedicated website ( to provide useful resources for applicants. Applicants are also encouraged to contact their CETL Faculty liaison academics for advice on the preparation of the submission.

All applications should be submitted online, with endorsement, on or before October 24, 2022.

Teaching Matters (for HKU Teaching Staff)

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

Dear colleagues,

As you are aware, assessment is an important vehicle for supporting and guiding student learning. The University has an overarching assessment policy which sets out the philosophy and principles that guide and regulate assessment practices. The key principle is that students should be assessed in an appropriate, fair, rigorous and transparent manner. Solid and timely feedback, not restricted to scores or grades, should be provided. In particular, the QAC Audit Panel has advised us to enhance students’ understanding of the grade descriptors used in undergraduate and taught postgraduate courses, and to provide better feedback.

You are therefore requested at the start of each semester to talk students through the grade descriptors used in their courses, so that they understand the level of performance expected of them. You are also asked to give timely feedback on assignments and written examinations, so as to enable students to learn from what they have done well and what they have done badly.

The Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL) will continue to work on enhancing assessment practices and providing good feedback to students. If you have any thoughts or need any help, you are most welcome to contact the CETL staff liaison for your Faculty/Office as set out below:

CETL Staff Liaison Faculty / Office
Dr. Susan Bridges
Arts, Dentistry, Education and Medicine
Dr. Cecilia Chan
Architecture, Business & Economics, Common Core, Engineering, and Science
Dr. Luke Fryer
Social Sciences, and Law

Opportunity is taken to draw your attention to a new exciting initiative called “Collaborative Online International Learning” (COIL). Through online technology, COIL connects teachers and students from two or more universities in different countries, enabling them to engage in discussions, collaborative projects, and other virtual exchanges (in class or out of class). Fully aligning with the University’s internationalisation at home strategy, COIL expands our course offerings, and broadens students’ horizons. You are strongly encouraged to develop COIL courses for undergraduate and taught postgraduate students, and consult the CETL staff liaison for your Faculty/Office as necessary. Details about COIL can be found on the T&L website.

Best wishes, Ian

Professor Ian Holliday
Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor
(Teaching and Learning)

UG T&L, S1 2022-23

Dear colleagues and students

Just a quick note about the new academic year.

T&L arrangements

As you know, all UG programmes will be delivered f2f in S1. Faculties will support students who cannot return to HK for the start of S1, but the experience will not be as good as actually being here. Pls do try to get back as quickly as possible. TPG programmes are making their own decisions about S1 T&L arrangements and informing their students directly.

Teaching rooms

We’ll be occupying many teaching rooms up to full capacity in S1. At the same time, we’ll be requiring everyone to comply with our health protocols in all classes, whether lectures, tutorials, labs, studios or anything else – masks on throughout, no eating or drinking at all.

Lecture recordings

For the past couple of years, we’ve asked teachers to upload lecture recordings to HKU Moodle. In S1 our policy will change. Teachers may still upload lectures to Moodle, especially during the add/drop period when many students like to audit courses online. However, this will no longer be required (unless a Faculty decides to retain the policy). To keep everything simple, ITS is creating a ‘hide’ button in Moodle. This will enable teachers to decide which lectures they wish to share with students and which they prefer not to share.

We look forward to welcoming everyone back on Sept 1. HKU offers an immersive experience, much of which can be gained only by coming on campus and participating in the many activities taking place here.

Best wishes for S1!


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