Teaching and Learning at The University of Hong Kong HKU

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Organised by Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative (TELI)

Date : September 9, 2017 (Saturday)
Time : 2:00pm
Venue : 1/F, Broadway Cinematheque, 3 Public Square St, Yau Ma Tei
Speakers :
- Gina Marchetti, Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature, HKU
- Aaron Magnan-Park, Assistant Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature, HKU
- Stacilee Ford, Honorary Associate Professor in the Department of History, HKU

Registration: http://bit.ly/hkcinema2

The talk will be conducted in English.

About the seminar:

Understanding the role Hong Kong plays on world screens animates the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) devoted to Hong Kong films. Together, let’s examine 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.

This presentation introduces you to the key films, stars, directors, and genres that represent Hong Kong on global screens. We will chat about how flows of capital, people, technologies, ideas and creativity circulate and shape the cultural industry of filmmaking globally, resulting in transnational co-productions and cross-cultural co-operations.

Join us to learn more about Hong Kong cinema as an expressive art and a creative industry.


The Karate Kid (dir. Harald Zwart, 2010)
Fist of Fury / The Chinese Connection 精武門 (dir. Lo Wei 羅維, 1972)
Enter the Dragon 龍爭虎鬥 (dir. Robert Clouse, 1973)
An Autumn’s Tale 秋天的童話 (dir. Mabel Cheung 張婉婷, 1987)
The Killer 喋血雙雄(dir. John Woo 吳宇森, 1989)
Infernal Affairs 無間道 (dir. Andrew Lau and Alan Mak 劉偉強和麥兆輝, 2002)
In the Mood for Love 花樣年華 (dir. Wong Kar Wai 王家衛, 2000)

HKU free online course: Hong Kong Cinema through a Global Lens

Week 1 Teaser
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Trailer and sneak previews


About this course
“If history is our guide, we can assume that the battle between the intellect and will of the human species and the extraordinary adaptability of microbes will be never-ending.” (1)

Despite all the remarkable technological breakthroughs that we have made over the past few decades, the threat from infectious diseases has significantly accelerated. In this course, we will learn why this is the case by looking at the fundamental scientific principles underlying epidemics and the public health actions behind their prevention and control in the 21st century.

This course covers the following four topics:

  1. Origins of novel pathogens;
  2. Analysis of the spread of infectious diseases;
  3. Medical and public health countermeasures to prevent and control epidemics; and
  4. Panel discussions involving leading public health experts with deep frontline experiences to share their views on risk communication, crisis management, ethics and public trust in the context of infectious disease control.

In addition to the original introductory sessions on epidemics, we revamped the course by adding:

  1. new panel discussions with world-leading experts; and
  2. supplementary modules on next generation informatics for combating epidemics.

You will learn:

  1. the origins, spread and control of infectious disease epidemics;
  2. the importance of effective communication about epidemics; and
  3. key contemporary issues relating to epidemics from a global perspective.

Who is this class for
This is an introductory course suitable for all learners, with no prerequisite required.

Join the fight against epidemics now.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for more updates!

(1) Fauci AS, Touchette NA, Folkers GK. Emerging Infectious Diseases: a 10-Year Perspective from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Emerg Infect Dis 2005 Apr; 11(4):519-25.

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It’s always good to recognize your own achievement after reaching a goal. Same for completing a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) – After working so hard for a course, the best way to reward yourself is to get a unique certificate. With a certificate, you can easily share your achievement with your employers and friends.

Q: How to get one?
A: As we offer courses on both edX and Coursera, the process of application differs for the two platforms. But in general, you will need to complete the following 3 steps to get the certificate:

  1. pass the course
  2. verify your ID on edX or Coursera
  3. make a payment to edX or Coursera

Q: How much is a certificate?
A: It depends on the course. Usually USD 50.

Q: Is it printed?
A: You will receive an e-certificate on the edX or Coursera platform. You will NOT receive a printed copy but you are welcome to print it. Check out these links for more details on where to find your Certificate on edX and Coursera.

You may also add your certificate to your LinkedIn profile (edX, Coursera).

Q: I followed all the steps but still can’t purchase / download it. What’s wrong?
A: Please contact us at enquiry@teli.hku.hk and let us know your name, the email you used to register at edX and/or Coursera, and the issue involved. You may also include a screenshot of the problem you encountered.

Q: Is the certificate issued by the University of Hong Kong?
A: It is jointly issued by the platform (edX or Coursera) and HKU. However, please note that the certificate does not count as credit towards a degree from our university.

Q: I can’t afford to pay for a certificate. What should I do?
A: You can file an application for financial aid from edX and Coursera.

Q: Can I still take the course without buying a certificate?
A: Yes of course! Most of our course content is free (except the Honours track in Materials in Oral Health). You are more than welcome to join our courses without buying a certificate. You can choose to upgrade to a verified certificate later if you change your mind. The verification upgrade deadline may be different for different courses. More details can be found here: edX, Coursera.

Still got a question? Contact us.
Happy learning!


Educators, wherever we are, should keep up with the challenges and trends in higher education worldwide. One effective way to stay informed is to engage in dialogues with colleagues from around the world. On 20 June, 2017, we learnt about the top 10 challenges and trends in Australian universities in a seminar delivered by Dr Caroline Steel, Strategic Educational Consultant, APAC, Blackboard International ASCILITE Life Member Awardee and Past President Adjunct Academic, The University of Queensland.

The following is the list of key challenges and trends ranked by Australian academic leaders in a study led by Dr Steel:

10 Teaching and Learning Challenges 10 Teaching and Learning Trends
  1. Student career development and employability
  2. Student engagement and satisfaction
  3. Assessment and feedback
  4. Technology-enhanced pedagogical practice
  5. Student attrition
  6. Improving work-integrated learning
  7. First year experience and transition
  8. Personalized adaptive learning
  9. Academic adoption of educational technologies
  10. Academic misconduct
  1. Learning analytics;
    Unbundling qualification
    (both items ranked number one)
  2. Teaching quality standards;
    Fully online courses;
    Students as partners
  3. Mobile-enabled learning;
    Adaptive learning technology
  4. Digital examinations
  5. MOOC’s;
    Open Education Resources (OER’s)

Key Challenges in Teaching and Learning
Student career development and employability is considered to be the biggest challenge in the Australian higher education context. In the past, universities mainly focused on training students into critical thinkers. In today’s rapidly changing society, educators should take one step further to educate both the ‘thinker’ and the ‘worker’. Given the rapid development of automation, AI and cognitive computing, some jobs may no longer exist in 10 years’ time. Students may not be fixed to one career throughout their lives. To prepare students for this highly uncertain future, HE institutions should help them acquire various employability skills and develop cross/trans-disciplinary thinking.

The second challenge is student engagement and satisfaction, in both on-campus & online teaching. According to Professor Karen Nelson, an interviewee in the study, student engagement constitutes of three parameters: behavioural, cognitive and affective. The challenge for universities is to “create the educational conditions that will trigger emotion and motivation so that students are engaged.”

Major Trends in Higher Education
The two most prominent trends in Australian higher education are learning analytics and unbundling qualification.

Learning analytics is a potential game changer in higher education. ‘There is enormous potential in learning analytics,’ said Professor Martin Carroll in an interview for the study. However, even though analytics have been used by lots of industries in Australia, high education is falling behind. It is necessary for institutions to keep up with the trend and look for ways to use analytics to improve teaching and learning.

Unbundling qualifications is another prominent trend in Australian higher education. Universities are now looking into the possibility of unbundling qualifications and micro-credentialing as alternative ways to provide learning, so that learners can obtain the skills they need as quickly as possible. For example, instead of completing an entire MBA programme, some professionals may only want to learn certain components of the degree. If universities are able to repurpose some of the content, then more choices will be available to learners. After obtaining skills and credits from various programmes and fields, learners can demonstrate their expertise in their e-portfolios.

It is worth noting that, among the top 10 T&L trends, 6 are tech-related, namely

  • Fully online courses
  • Mobile-enabled learning
  • Adaptive learning technology
  • Digital examinations
  • MOOC’s
  • Open Education Resources (OER’s)

This finding is certainly encouraging as the use of technology enhances teaching and learning and better prepares institutions for the challenges in higher education. Technology allows flexibility in learning and makes personalized learning possible. Learning management systems and grading tools such as Turnitin make it easier for teachers to assess students and provide feedback. The blending of face-to-face lectures with e-learning tools, such as Mentimeter and Kahoot!, caters for students’ diversified learning needs, which potentially enhances student engagement.

What about Hong Kong?
We are embracing the same challenges in Hong Kong and are working along similar lines. Here at HKU, we strive to cultivate students’ employability skills (e.g. cognitive flexibility, negotiation) and develop cross-disciplinary thinking through events such as Inter-professional Team-based Learning (IPTBL) and Girls4Tech. To enhance student engagement, we are constantly designing new in-class activities, apps and games. To ensure the best learning experience for our students, our efforts in course development is paralleled by research efforts in learning analytics.

More and more teachers are joining the ride in developing MOOCs (on edX and Coursera) and SPOCs to enrich students’ blended learning experience. To further open up learning opportunities to a wider range of learners, we are also exploring the possibilities of e-portfolios. More initiatives will be in place to shape the T&L landscape in Hong Kong in response to challenges and trends in higher education.

What do you think? How will you respond to these challenges and trends? Share your views with us.

Further reading

  1. “Learning and Teaching Challenges in Higher Education in Australia: A View from the Top”, an Australian academic leadership study conducted by ASCILITE and Blackboard International in 2016


Organised by Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL) and Faculty of Education

Details of the workshop:

Date : 20 June, 2017 (Tuesday)
Time : 12:45pm – 2:00pm
Venue : Room 321, 3/F, Run Run Shaw Building (Main Campus), HKU CPD 3.29, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus
Speaker : Dr Caroline Steel, Strategic Educational Consultant, APAC, Blackboard International
ASCILITE Life Member Awardee & Past President Adjunct Academic, The University of Queensland
Facilitators : Dr Susan Bridges, Associate Professor, Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning / Faculty of Education, HKU


Universities of today are fundamentally challenged by the need to educate for both ‘the thinker’ and ‘the worker’ so that current and future students will see value in their university education in a rapidly changing global society. The pressures of a fast-evolving global economy and society mean that we are educating students for highly uncertain work and life futures. Adding significant complexities to this current state-of-play, universities themselves are struggling to transform in the face of digital disruption and globalisation.

In Australia, universities have experienced a decade of increasing massification of higher education that has seen our domestic and international student body grow to 1.4 million, whilst government funding and commitment to higher education have reduced, and the academic workforce has been further casualised. At such a pivotal snapshot in time, we were interested in how Australian university leaders conceived of their key challenges and trends and how they were responding. In 2016, *we conducted a survey and follow up interviews with academic leaders at the Deputy Vice Chancellor and Pro Vice Chancellor level to understand how they prioritised their learning and teaching challenges and influential trends and how they were responding institutionally. This presentation outlines the Australian regional context and reports main findings of the study. The presenter will also ask those attending to consider the challenges in the context of the Hong Kong University Sector.

*The research for this paper was conducted as a collaboration between ASCILITE and Blackboard International.

About the Speaker

Dr Caroline Steel is a Strategic Educational Consultant for Blackboard International. Caroline was Associate Professor and Director of Digital Learning at La Trobe University and President of ASCILITE (Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education). She brings a wealth of expertise from a range of academic leadership, faculty and central learning and teaching roles. She has developed institutional digital strategies, designed innovative approaches to academics’ technology and learning spaces adoption, and explored the impact students’ digital learning practices on learning (including mobile learning). Caroline has published extensively and retains an adjunct academic position at The University of Queensland.


For information, please contact:
Ms. Noranda Zhang , CETL
Phone: 3917 4729; Email: noranda@hku.hk​


Organised by Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL) and Faculty of Education

Details of the workshop:

Date : 29 June 2017 (Thursday)
Time : 10:00 am – 3:30 pm
Venue : Room 321, 3/F, Run Run Shaw Building (Main Campus), HKU
Facilitators : Dr. Luke Fryer, Associate Professor, CETL, HKU
Mr. Peter Lau, Lecturer, CETL, HKU
Dr. Ada Lee, Lecturer, CETL, HKU
Hot lunch will be provided.

This forum aims to provide a platform to discuss how to provide effective training and development of teaching skills for Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs). Forum speakers, including teachers, administration staff and postgraduate students, from various local universities will share their experience, good practices and the challenges they have encountered. Discussion will include, but not be limited to the following sub-themes:

  1. Roles and responsibilities of GTAs in academic department
  2. Reflective teaching
  3. Challenges encountered in teaching
  4. Challenges to balance teaching and research duties
  5. Expectations for the training programme
  6. How to engage GTAs in training programme
  7. Feedback on teaching performance
  8. Collaboration with teaching departments
  9. Evidence of how GTAs benefit from training programme

We believe that postgraduates have great potential to achieve both teaching and research. All research supervisors, faculty members, administration staff and students are welcome to join us in co-constructing a way forward through the challenges our students face in seeking to maximise their teaching impact.


For information, please contact:
Ms. Noranda Zhang , CETL
Phone: 3917 4729; Email: noranda@hku.hk​

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By the courtesy of the Teaching Innovation Unit at the Centre for Teaching and Learning Development of the National Taiwan University (NTU), TELI participated in a professional development programme entitled “eProfessor” that was held on April 29-30, 2017 – the Labour Day long weekend. We have heard about the magic of this bootcamp from Professor Benson Yeh (former Director of the MOOC Project in NTU) for a couple of years – but seeing is believing.

Success factors of NTU’s e-learning professional development programmes

  • Blended with a Facebook closed group for pre-event communication and community building
  • Intensive face-to-face sessions focusing on participatory learning
  • Genuine sharing of successful and failing experiences by both invited speakers and participants
  • Real-time support from organizing team: from video production to instructional design – prompt follow-up on the spot


Some 30 teachers showed up at the training. Before the face-to-face programme began, they were asked to prepare a Facebook post with a short smartphone-quality clip telling their fellow bootcamp members two things about themselves: one that is true, one that is false. The purpose is twofold: to get some experience about video-taking, and to break the ice in the group. As Rick Levin said, watching yourself on a screen could be horrifying for first-timers – so this pre-event assignment seemed to be a good warm-up exercise for everybody.
The highly participatory bootcamp features hands-on exercises, group work with peer-feedback, workshops and experience sharing. The topics included:

  • Flipped classroom and peer-to-peer learning
  • Practical lessons from pioneers of flipped classroom teaching and learning
  • Instructional design for problem-based learning
  • Pedagogical skills in an e-learning environment
  • Tools to facilitate the visualization of teaching and learning materials (e.g., DIY video making software)

The intensive face-to-face sessions might look demanding, but they equipped members with the necessary skills and supporting network to jumpstart a forward change in technology-enriched pedagogical practices. In his sharing of flipping a civil engineering course, Professor Huang Yin-nan said it is important to have partners in an e-learning journey. Collaboration and interaction facilitate reflective practice, and provides an emotional safety net when teachers are in doubts and encounter frustrations. “We share both successful and failing experiences. In fact, very often we learn more from the latter,” he told the participants.

(Source: http://ntumoocs.blogspot.hk/)

Throughout the “eProfessor” initiative, challenges are matched by support. The 10-people strong Teaching Innovation Unit at the Centre for Teaching and Learning Development provided comprehensive support on-the-spot: from setting up closed groups on Facebook for your course, to getting filming equipment ready for lecture recording. They have also produced excellent tutorials for teachers’ self-learning. Here is a sample on proper lighting for video-taking:

Thank you NTU, we have so much to learn from you!

What Works? Intercultural Groupwork in the Common Core-banner

Organised by Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL) and Faculty of Education

Details of the workshop:

Date : 19 May, 2017 (Friday)
Time : 12:45pm – 2:30pm
Venue : Room 321, 3/F, Run Run Shaw Building (Main Campus), HKU
Speaker : Dr. Abelardo Pardo, Associate Professor, The University of Sydney, Australia
Facilitators : Prof. David Carless, Associate Dean, Faculty of Education, HKU
Dr. Cecilia Chan, Head of Professional Development, CETL, HKU


The increasing presence of technology mediation offers an unprecedented opportunity to use detailed data sets about the interactions that occur while a learning experience is being enacted. Areas such as Learning Analytics or Educational Data Mining have explored numerous algorithms and techniques to process these data sets. Additionally, technology now offers the opportunity to increase the immediacy of interventions. However, not much emphasis has been placed on how to extract truly actionable knowledge and how to bring it effectively as part of a learning experience. In this talk, we will use the concept of feedback as the focus to establish a specific connection between the knowledge derived from data-analysis procedures and the actions that can be immediately deployed in a learning environment. We will discuss how there is a trade-off between low-level automatic feedback and high-level complex feedback and how technology can provide efficient solutions for the case of large or highly diverse cohorts.


abelardoAbelardo Pardo is Associate Professor in the School of Electrical and Information Engineering at The University of Sydney, Australia. He is the director of the Learning and Affect Technologies Engineering Research Laboratory and deputy director of the Centre for Research in Learning and Innovation. His research interests include the design and deployment of technology to increase the understanding and improve digital learning experiences. More specifically, his work examines the areas of learning analytics, personalized active learning, and technology for student support.


For information, please contact:
Ms. Noranda Zhang , CETL
Phone: 3917 4729; Email: noranda@hku.hk​

What Works? Intercultural Groupwork in the Common Core-banner

Jointly organised by CETL and Common Core

Details of the workshop:

Date : 15 May, 2017 (Monday)
Time : 12:45pm – 2:00pm (Light refreshments will be provided.)
Venue : Room 321, 3/F, Run Run Shaw Building (Main Campus), HKU
Speaker : Dr. Tracy Zou (CETL) and Prof. Gray Kochhar-Lindgren (Common Core)


Rated as both the ‘best and the worst learning experiences’ by both students and lecturers, groupwork is a complex matter. What, then, about intercultural groupwork? Doesn’t this complicate the matter even further? Students could, of course, potentially develop their cultural competence and gain multiple perspectives about each other and the subject matter, but the issue is how can we actually make it work its best for everyone?

During this workshop, we will explore together how we might make intercultural groupwork creative, energetic, and effective. A number of good practices identified from 15 Common Core courses, as well as those from the scholarly literature, will be shared.


Dr. Tracy Zou is an assistant professor in the Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL) at HKU. She has been engaging in the development and promotion of effective university teaching and learning on a number of topics, for example, groupwork, assessment, and internationalisation of teaching and learning. She has also been involved in groupwork research at both course and curriculum levels.

Prof. Gray Kochhar-Lindgren: Director, Common Core


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Want to join learners from all around the world to learn about how Chinese philosophers view humanity and nature? Register this free online course at edX.
The course was very well received by learners in its previous two runs, and now the third run will begin on June 13 2017!

Highlights of the course

  • In the format of a dialogue, Chad Hansen, Chair Professor of Chinese Philosophy, Emeritus, HKU, analyzes and discusses the essence of Chinese philosophy from his unique perspectives
  • Various animations and visual aids were used in post-production of the lecture videos to further help students learn the course content
  • Knowledge check questions and learning activities designed to relate to student daily lives so learning is applicable

Click here if you cannot access Youtube

Sneak Preview 1
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