Teaching and Learning at The University of Hong Kong HKU

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

Details of the Conference:

Date : 30-31 August, 2016 (Tuesday-Wednesday)
Venue : Wang Guangwu Theater (Graduate House), HKU
Keynote speakers :
The Reverend Duncan Dormor, Dean, St. John’s College, The University of Cambridge
Renaldo Michael Pearson, Assistant to the Resident Dean, Winthrop House, The Harvard University
Prof Adekunle Adeyeye, Founding College Master, Ridge View Residential College, The National University of Singapore

You are cordially invited to take part in the captioned conference which will be held on 30-31 August 2016 at The University of Hong Kong (HKU). Our goal is to bring experts, scholars, researchers, co-workers, and various stakeholders in the area of hall/residential education to discuss the development of this precious mode of education in universities.

We hope the conference would provide a platform for fruitful dialogues between hall wardens, college masters, resident tutors, and other experts engaged in the development of hall/residential education around the world. More details of the conference is outlined on our website http://www.cetl.hku.hk/conf2016/.

Concepts of Hall/Residential Education

  1. Evolution of halls, colleges, houses, and so on in top universities around the world
  2. Challenges facing hall/residential education in top universities around the world
  3. Hall/residential education in the Hong Kong context
  4. Different modes of hall/residential education in HKU
  5. Studies on, and projects related to hall/residential education

Generic skills for outside classroom activities

  1. Developing generic skills for outside classroom activities
  2. Assessing and evidencing generic skills for residential education

Application of e-learning on Hall/Residential Education

  1. Official launching of the “ResEd online course”, with demonstrations
  2. Application of e-learning in conference discussions: in plenary and deliberation sessions
  3. e-Portfolio for hall education, residential learning and co-curriculum activities

Staff Training on Hall/Residential Education

  1. Residential academic advising: Local and overseas experience
  2. Basic skills in conflict management
  3. Development of leadership skills among students
  4. Basic skills in counselling, advising, mental health first aid
  5. Inclusion and students with special education needs

Admission to the conference is free of charge and we very much hope that you are interested to participate. A confirmation of registration will be sent to all successful registrants.


For information, please contact:
Miss Michelle CHENG, Conference Secretary
Phone: 3917 1276; Email: cetlconf@hku.hk


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

Details of the workshop:

Date : 16 August, 2016 (Tuesday)
Time : 12:45 – 2:00pm
Venue : Room 321, 3/F, Run Run Shaw Building (Main Campus), HKU
Speaker : Dr. Vincent Tong, Principal Teaching Fellow (Connected Curriculum), University College London Centre for Advancing Learning and Teaching
Facilitator : Dr. Cecilia Chan, Head of Professional Development, Associate Professor, CETL


The Connected Curriculum is an institution-wide initiative that aims to ensure that all students at University College London (UCL) are able to learn through participating in enquiry and research at all levels of their programme of study. Creating an inclusive research and learning community is at the heart of the initiative, and we aim to equip students to address interdisciplinary challenges and to explore critically the values and practices of global citizenship. As part of the Connected Curriculum, we address a wide range of diversity issues in higher education curricula. In this presentation, I discuss how academics have been engaging students as partners in their education as co-producers of knowledge at UCL and beyond. I will also outline the rationale behind the R=T (Research equals Teaching) Consortium, in which students and research professors with international profiles in education work together to inspire academics and other students to bring research and teaching closer together.

About the Speaker:

Staff Profile: Vincent TongDr Vincent Tong
Principal Teaching Fellow (Connected Curriculum)
Dr Vincent C H Tong is the strategic lead for the Connected Curriculum and the R=T Consortium at University College London (UCL). Apart from working on research-based education at the UCL Centre for Advancing Learning and Teaching, he is a geophysicist based in the Department of Earth Sciences. Vincent is the UCL Principal Investigator of a major UK-led international research consortium linking geology and oceanography. He has first degrees in physics (Imperial College London) and in humanities (Open University), as well as a PhD in geophysics (University of Cambridge).


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)

Details of the workshop:

Date : 25 August, 2016 (Thursday)
Time : 11:00 am – 12:00 nn
Venue : Room 321, 3/F, Run Run Shaw Building (Main Campus), HKU
Facilitator : Dr. Cecilia Chan, Head of Professional Development, Associate Professor, CETL


This workshop is open to all teaching staff who are interested in finding out more about the different Teaching Excellence Awards. Staff will be provided an overview of the award schemes, the key selection criteria and advice in preparing an evidence-based teaching portfolio. Staff who are thinking about applying in the next round are strongly encouraged to attend. Staff who are not sure, or would simply like to know more about the scheme, are most welcome.


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

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As the curriculum broadened in scope and depth, more and more teachers are interested in developing meaningful and effective ways of documenting, monitoring and evaluating student achievements through ePortfolios. That’s why Professor Gavin Brown (Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Auckland) and Dr. Tanja Sobko (Faculty of Science, HKU) received a full-house attendance at their seminar “Assessing with ePortfolios” on July 8, 2016.


Professor Brown introduced ePortfolio as a ‘systematic, purposeful and chronological collection of student work’ which empowers students to continuously learn through critical thinking and reflection. There are several aspects to facilitate the use of ePortfolios.

  • First, students need to understand the importance of reflection and self-monitored learning. A timely and continuous progress is the key – work must start early for students to curate and build the ePortfolio. Willingness to reveal different stages of work justifies improvements and connections to learning outcomes.
  • Second, for teachers, having a well-designed rubric and cross-references will lead to good assessment. Alternatively, an ePortfolio can be developed as a non-assessed dialogue with students – but some incentives or motivation will be necessary.
  • Third, be flexible about the platform for ePortfolio. Professor Brown believes that current market options have similar technology. It is not necessary to be too restrictive.


An example in HKU

In the second part of the seminar, Dr. Sobko shared her ePortfolio experience in a BSc Exercise and Health course with 30 students. She aimed to promote eHealth Literacy 1 via the combined use of wearable device ‘Mi band’ and ePortfolio. Students wore the tracker device to record their daily activity levels (e.g., walking distance, hours of deep sleep) electronically, and wrote regular reflections during the process.


It was found that students became more aware of their personal health, and incorporated more scientific references in their reflection writing as the weeks passed. Key words to describe content quality of ePortfolio evolved from ‘interesting’, ‘personal’ at the beginning to ‘reflective’, ‘evidence-based’, ‘organized’ at the end of the course.

Dr. Sobko particularly saw the added value of the data collected in helping to ‘track, support and explore development of new literacies in eHealth literacy.’

TELI is now working closely with teachers on a few pilot projects to understand the features that they’d like to see in ePortfolios. If you’d like to collaborate, please get in touch via enquiry@teli.hku.hk.

Download the presentations here:
Prof Brown’s presentation
Dr. Sobko’s presentation

Summary of workshop details here.

1 The ability to seek, find and understand health information from e-sources, and apply that knowledge to solve personal health problems.


Prologue: Initiating a large scale collaboration is not much different from starting a Mexican wave – grab the people around you, gather a concerted effort to do something exciting and let others pick up the momentum.

The 2nd annual Asian e-Table was held on May 12-13. We joined hands again with e-learning advocates from nine top-notch universities 1 in Asia to spark ideas for a common Asian position so as to create a bigger impact in the region.

photo_2016-07-12_10-08-28[From left to right] Professor Roger CHENG (HKUST), Ms Helie KIM (YU), Professor Joon HEO (YU), Professor Toru IIYOSHI (KU), Professor Ricky KWOK (HKU), Dr. Huang Hoon CHNG (NUS), Professor Xiaoming LI (PKU).

“Crowdsourcing” Contents – Internationalization at Home

Producing high quality contents require tremendous time and resources so why not make the most out of them? The Asian e-Table is looking to establish a common platform to pool the contents developed by all the institutions involved. Once this is achieved, we aim to develop a mechanism for credit transfer. Taking advantage of the Asian time zone, the platform could potentially serve as a synchronized virtual classroom where students can learn, collaborate and co-create with their overseas counterparts, right at home.

Incoming Skype call from Professor Anant AGARWAL, Chief Executive Officer, edX.

Regional (E-)Teaching Excellence Award

For e-learning material producers, one major source of frustration is the lack of awareness, support and acceptance by fellows. Therefore it is of crucial importance that recognition is given to teachers who are willing to adopt this new practice – and excel in doing so. The Asian e-Table is looking to launch a Regional (E-)Teaching Excellence Award to reward and promote excellence in e-teaching. It is also an effective way to celebrate achievements in e-learning, which can potentially evolve into communities of practice headed by the awardees. Making e-learning an “established” practice could be the way to sway more professors in, which means wider and better collaboration.

Incoming Skype call from Professor Benson YEH, Director of MOOC Program, National Taiwan University.

The big shot – Asian Consortium

With these new initiations, the Asian e-Table aims to create some buzz which could generate a more extensive wave of international e-learning collaboration. Our ultimate goal is to connect all the e-advocates in the region into an Asian Consortium. By benchmarking the quality of e-learning and associated parameters, and enhancing professional development and teacher training, we hope to turn e-learning into the new standard of learning.

1 Kyoto University, National Taiwan University, National University of Singapore, Peking University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, The University of Hong Kong, University of Science and Technology, with Yonsei University as a new member


Technology has opened up new opportunities for professional development. Choices are no longer restricted to traditional half-day seminars. With new online platforms such as the Blended & Online Learning & Teaching (BOLT) Project, we can now learn anytime, anywhere. This project aims to support technology-facilitated teaching through developing online resources and forming professional learning communities. Leaders of the project, Professor Lim Cher Ping from The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK) and Mr. Darren Harbutt from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU); together with two project teachers, Assistant Professor Veronika Schoeb and Mr. David Watson from PolyU, shared their experiences in developing blended learning in a seminar on 31 May 2016.

(4) Dr. Lim copy

Professor Lim shared EdUHK’s grassroot approach towards promoting professional development of blended learning in Hong Kong. They begin with providing programme/course/department-based support within individual faculties, then sharing the resources with other faculties in the institution, and eventually with other local and international higher education institutions.

(5) Veronika

Dr. Schoeb is one of the teachers who took the BOLT Foundation course and applied the knowledge in developing her course “Qualitative research methods and statistics.” A variety of learning activities were tried out in her teaching, including Kahoot, online test, group work, onsite fieldwork and classic face-to-face sessions. This blended learning approach promoted active learning and was evaluated positively by her students.

(6) David copy

Mr. Watson urged the audience to check out the BOLT Foundation course to learn more about blended and online learning. You may also sign up for the CMALT Professional Development Module, a mentor-supported online module in developing a portfolio to showcase your expertise in learning technologies. Be sure to subscribe for the BOLT Newsletter as well!

(3) Darren copy

More photos of the seminar can be found on our Facebook and Twitter.

Afternote: The HKU team has developed an online module on the basis of e-learning in collaboration with the BOLT team. The course will re-run this summer. Stay tuned for more information.

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Digital and virtual learning tools create new possibilities in internationalizing our learning environment. In a seminar on 20 Apr 2016, Professor Ricky Kwok was invited to share his ideas on how technology broadens the concept of internationalization.

What is internationalization?
Ricky began the conversation by brainstorming with participants some characteristics of “internationalization”:

Internationalization = intention + interaction + intensity

The intention of internationalization is to create an environment where students must interact with people from different cultures. The intensity of interactions is a major area to consider when evaluating students’ international experience. The intensity of intercultural experience correlates to the willingness to interact with local people, such as using the local language and being involved in community projects.

Internationalization at Home


We can intensify the process of internationalization at HKU using technology. With digital and virtual learning tools, we can bridge the distance among learners and institutions. Digital learning has made it possible for us to connect learners worldwide through Massive Open Online Courses. For example, in HKU02.1x The Search for Vernacular Architecture of Asia, Part 1, students from all over the world were invited to analyze their local living environments using key concepts from the course. In HKU03x Humanity and Nature in Chinese Thought, a synchronous online debate on a global scale was organized.

Virtual learning also allows us to replicate our learning environment for overseas students to explore without needing to be here. Currently, we are planning to build a 3-D virtual tour of buildings on the HKU campus in collaboration with the Google Cultural Institute. If more tertiary institutions worldwide offer similar virtual tours, more students can “visit” universities overseas without travelling.

HKU is a focal point of multiple ethnicities and cultures. With technology, we can expand our web to reach international students in a more innovative way. What are your views on this? What digital and virtual tools would you like to try in enhancing internationalization? Share your ideas with us.


Further reading

  1. Join-the-Conversation3: Enriching international learning experiences in your course: What can digital and virtual learning do for you?
  2. THE announces the most international universities in the world in 2016 (14 Jan 2016)
  3. HKU’s goal to achieve internationalization


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

Details of the workshop:

Date : July 8 (Friday), 2016
Time : 12:30 p.m. – 13:30 p.m.
Venue : Room 321, 3/F, Run Run Shaw Building (Main Campus), HKU

  • Professor Gavin T. L. Brown, Director, Quantitative Data Analysis and Research Unit, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Auckland;
  • Dr. Tanja Sobko, Assistant Professor, School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, The University of Hong Kong.


  • Dr. Susan Bridges, Associate Professor, CETL, The University of Hong Kong

Sandwiches will be served with coffee and tea.


Focusing on what you value: A considered approach to assessing ePortfolios
ePortfolio creation, using any of a number of digital tools, is an opportunity for students to assemble work that shows not only high quality products and performances, but also to show development over time, focus on speciality, and demonstration of breadth. These highly valued characteristics of engaged learning make adoption of eportfolio as a basis for assessment very attractive. In addition, policy pressure encourages academia to keep up with innovations in educational technology related to learning and assessment. Demonstrating entry-level competence in a number of professions (e.g., teaching) is often achieved by assembly of an ePortfolio.

However, enthusiasm for ePortfolios often overlooks the challenges facing the assessment of the completed ePortfolio, especially around both the feasibility and validity of rankings, scores, judgements, and/or feedback. A number of approaches to assessment exist (e.g., checklist completion, quantification of components, rubric-based judgement, and professional intuition). This seminar will emphasise the importance of defining clearly the curricular goals targeted by the ePortfolio and overview the pros and cons of the various approaches. Using insights from psychometrics and recent research into the experience of students in ePortfolio usage, the seminar will help participants work towards defensible practices that lead to valid interpretations and decisions about student learning embodied in an ePortfolio.

ePortfolio in higher education in Hong Kong–Applicability of an ePortfolio, through online reflection/feedback of using wearable technology.
The interactions between human beings and the wearable technology can be linked to learning concepts/instructional methods like knowledge building, situated, self-regulated and active learning. They may also be linked to development of new literacies, such as eHealth. To understand this process in higher education in Hong Kong, a multiple case study including 30 students from an undergraduate course, BSc Exercise and Health has been conducted. Each student used a wearable device (activity tracker) over a period of five months, reflected weekly on emerging personal data, documents their thinking and action in the ePortfolio, and engaged in an online forum. The participants entered their experiences with the biometric data, lifestyle adaptations (e.g. more sleep), special situations (e.g. hike, HR changes during activity) and how these experiences led to specific searches and actions on the web and/or in their real social network. The ePortfolio allowed the students to critically reflect on their progress and for the researchers to intervene at any time on the issues related to the participants’ postings. Evidence regarding change in eHealth at the beginning and end of the intervention were collected with a well-established questionnaire. By documenting the activity tracker in their own ePortfolio, the students continuously learned to search and to critically assess personal and available online information, organize it and present for peers/tutor. This in turn was expected to enhance their critical thinking, raise questions about health related topics, stimulate further inquiry – make the ePortfolio a tool for reflective and autonomous learning.

About the Speakers:

Professor Gavin T. L. Brown, PhD is the Director of the Quantitative Data Analysis and Research Unit in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. After 13 years a teacher, Prof Brown was a standardised test developer for 9 years working on diagnostic educational testing, including the computer-assisted asTTle system. His research focuses on testing, assessing, and measuring student achievement and analysing the human and social factors that help and hinder greater learning outcomes. Gavin is the lead editor of the Routledge Handbook of Human and Social Factors in Assessment (2016) in which insights gleaned from educational psychology and policy research are applied to large-scale testing programs and classroom assessment. Methodologically, Prof Brown has extensive experience with classical test and item response theory, exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, and multivariate statistical analysis.
Dr. Tanja Sobko has multidisciplinary expertise in nutrition, healthy lifestyle interventions (PhD, 2006, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden) and recently Physical Activity and Sports Nutrition (HKU). She contributed early-nutrition work for WHO, Programme for Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity. Her recent research focuses on lifestyle modifications for families with pre-schoolers for better health. Dr Sobko is a PI for the projects “Targeting Early Obesity” (Macau), and “Play and Grow” (Hong Kong) – both aim, through exposing the families to nature, to influence daily habits and routines early in life. She teaches courses “Physical Activity and Health”, “Sports Nutrition” and has been engaged in Teaching and Learning Development, focusing on ePortfolio and its applicability in the context of undergraduate education at HKU. When she doesn’t research, she actively practices Aikido and hikes around HK and other exciting countries.


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

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

Details of the workshop:

Panellists : Dr Julie Chen, Dr. Wilton Fok, Ms. Francesca Sin
Discussants : Prof. Grahame Bilbow, Prof. David Carless, Dr. Tracy Zou
Date : June 8 (Wednesday), 2016
Time : 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Venue : Room 321, 3/F, Run Run Shaw Building (Main Campus), HKU
Hot dishes will be provided.


In the University of Hong Kong, experiential learning is a distinctive component in the undergraduate curriculum. The University is also committed to providing a wide range of international and Mainland learning experiences for students under the HKU Horizons framework.

Designing assessment and providing feedback in experiential learning is never an easy task, and the great variety of student experiences involved in experiential learning, including community engagement, has often been associated with challenges in assessment. However, if we can accommodate for and make use of the diversity and authenticity embedded in experiential learning, there is the opportunity to turn these challenges into great learning opportunities.

In this Join-the-Conversation event, we will briefly share our findings from an earlier small-scale study involving interviews with nine teachers and two students at HKU. A panel-led discussion will then follow. Our panellists will outline assessment and feedback practices in their experiential learning programmes and address questions from the audience. The event will be closed by Prof. David Carless, a world renowned expert in assessment and feedback, who will round off by providing comments on the discussion and highlighting some key take-away messages.

About the Panellists

Dr. Julie Chen is an Assistant Professor jointly appointed by the Department of Family Medicine and Primary Care and the Bau Institute of Medical and Health Sciences Education. She has been leading the Professionalism in Practice (PIP) programme, which links a student with the same primary care preceptor over three years to experience what professionalism looks like in real life. Julie is a family physician engaged in the development, implementation and evaluation of new initiatives in the medical curriculum to encourage early learning of professionalism and humanism in medicine. For this work, she has been recognized with a Faculty Teaching Medal and Teaching Excellence Award (Team).

Dr. Wilton Fok is a Principal Lecturer and Assistant Dean in the Faculty of Engineering. He has been leading experiential learning programmes for students from engineering and other disciplines since 2009. He started with a service learning trip after the Sichuan earthquake and has now extended learning experiences to other locations, such as Tianjin, Shanghai and Guangxi. Wilton will also share how his students made use of smartphones to collect artifacts for e-portfolio production in a recent mission to Sichuan.

Ms. Francesca Sin is Assistant Director (Experiential Learning) in the Faculty of Social Sciences. She leads the Social Innovation Global Citizenship Programme in the Faculty. Francesca read Economics at the University of Sydney for her undergraduate degree. She also received a Master of Business Administration, Postgraduate Diploma in Education and Master of Education from The University of Hong Kong and a Certificate of Entrepreneurial Management for Social Enterprises from Education-for-Good / St James’ Settlement. Apart from teaching, Francesca is also heavily involved in many education-related programmes with NGOs and social enterprises throughout Hong Kong, China and developing countries on a voluntary basis. She is currently a candidate of Doctorate of Education in Organisational Leadership from the Meridian University in the States, focusing on Transformative Education.

About the Discussants

  • Prof. Grahame Bilbow, Director, Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, HKU
  • Prof. David Carless, Associate Dean (Learning & Teaching), Faculty of Education, HKU
  • Dr. Tracy Zou, Assistant Professor, Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, HKU


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


Date : June 6, 2016 (Monday)
Time : 12:45pm – 2:00pm
Venue : Room 321, 3/F, Run Run Shaw Building (Main Campus), HKU
Speakers : Dr. Lap Ki Chan
Assistant Dean (Pedagogy), Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine
Associate Professor, School of Biomedical Sciences

Panelists :
Dr. Charlene C. Ho, School of Biomedical Sciences
Dr. Fraide A. Ganotice, Jr., Bau Institute of Medical and Health Sciences Education
Dr. Veronica Lam, School of Nursing
Dr. Law Ming Fai, Department of Social Work and Social Administration
Dr. Gordon Wong, Department of Anaesthesiology

About the seminar:

Interprofessional team-based learning (IPTBL) is an innovative teaching initiative which aims at promoting active learning and collaborations across disciplines. The students work in teams and learn how the various medical specialities resolve clinical cases together. IPTBL gives students from various disciplines an opportunity to develop friendship and work with pre-professionals of other expertise before they practice in the “real world”.

In this seminar, Dr. Lap Ki Chan, the Principal Investigator of a UGC-funded project on IPTBL, will share with you the key features of this new pedagogy, as well as his pioneering experience in implementing IPTBL with 500+ students from HKU and PolyU across 7 different programmes related to medical health care.

Learn more about IPTBL here.

About Dr. Lap Ki Chan:

Dr. Lap Ki Chan, M.B.B.S. (HK), F.H.K.A.M., F.H.K.C.O.S. (Orthopedics), F.R.C.S. (Edinburgh), Ph.D. (Duke), is an associate professor in the School of Biomedical Sciences, the Deputy Director of Bau Institute of Medical and Health Sciences Education, and an Assistant Dean (Pedagogy) at the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong. He has a background in orthopedics and physical anthropology and teaches gross anatomy to medical and other health professional students and is the coordinator of the Education Division of Anatomy in the School of Biomedical Sciences. His teaching excellence has been recognized by such awards as the Outstanding Teaching Award from The University of Hong Kong. He is the educator in the Asia Pacific region for the AO Foundation (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Osteosynthesefragen). He serves as an associate editor for Anatomical Sciences Education and has co-edited the book “Teaching Anatomy – A Practical Guide” (Springer). His research interests include innovative pedagogies in anatomy education, teacher training, and interprofessional education.


For enquiries, please contact Miss Cherry Lai by email cherry.lai@hku.hk.

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