Assessing and Providing Evidence of Generic Skills

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

Date : 4 May, 2016 (Wednesday)
Time : 12:45pm – 2:00pm
Venue : Room 321, Run Run Shaw Building

Abstract:

As the world moves towards knowledge-based economies, increased emphasis is being placed on graduates’ acquisition of generic skills competency along their disciplinary knowledge. Most universities have emphasized the skills development in their educational outcomes.

A mixed method study conducted in Hong Kong with a representative sample of over 2500 undergraduate students from three research-intensive universities found that majority of the students believe that generic skills are important and are better developed through activities particularly in extra-curricular and out-of-class activities such as internship, experiential learning, student societies and residential education.

In this workshop, we will introduce a framework for the development of generic skills based on the concept of “avoider” and “engager” on student approaches to learning in oppose to the well-known deep and surface approaches. We will also discuss how these skills can be assessed (if it should be assessed at all) and how can students document these learning outcomes as part of their learning process?

Facilitators

  • Dr. Cecilia Chan, Head of Professional Development, Associate Professor, CETL

About the Speaker:
Dr. Cecilia Chan
Head of Professional Development/Associate Professor

Dr. Cecilia Chan is the Head of Professional Development and an Associate Professor in the Centre of the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning at The University of Hong Kong (HKU). Cecilia has a dual cultural background; she was originally born in Hong Kong but grew up in Ireland. In addition to her dual cultural background, she also has a dual discipline expertise in engineering and education; she has been playing an important role in enhancing engineering, business and science education. Her combined expertise in these fields and multi-cultural experience enabled her to lead and conduct research on topics such as assessment, technology enhanced learning and the development and assessment of 21st century skills from east to west in the different disciplines.
Cecilia holds a PhD in Engineering from Trinity College, a postgraduate diploma and a MA in Higher Education. She also held a Fellowship from King’s College London. She has received many teaching awards and has over 15 years of effective practical experience in engaging students. Cecilia is also the recipient of the HKU outstanding young researcher award 2015/16.

Registration

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

Reaching Out: Partnership with Secondary Schools on STEM Education

School-university partnership is an important concept driving TELI’s work in reaching out to the younger generation. On March 19, we co-organized the “STEM Learning Fair 2016” with Pak Kau College in Tin Shui Wai to showcase our work in MOOCs, flipped classroom, and engineering education. About 100 secondary school teachers and over 260 students joined the event, where we exchanged ideas and experiences on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education.

At a time when discussions on innovation, entrepreneurship and information literacy are rekindling in the education sector, it is important that we communicate with young people and their teachers the opportunities afforded by STEM education in meaningful and appealing ways. For students, learning in these subjects is a first step to become good problem solvers. “They define objectives more clearly, think more logically, and are better at coming up with step-by-step solutions,” said Professor Ricky Kwok, Associate Vice-President (Teaching and Learning), who gave a keynote speech at the half-day event.



Using a simple learning kit consisted of a battery, a wire and a magnet, TELI challenged a group of primary students to figure out theories behind maglev trains.

For teachers, STEM activities often help them understand better the curiosity and educational needs of their students. “The question is, how to make the most of face-to-face class time to take that interest further,” asked Dr. Leon Lei, E-learning Technologist of TELI, who gave a talk on the challenges of STEM education at the parallel session. Based on his experience in teaching first-year engineering students, he reminded teachers that bringing more hands-on components and group-work experience to class is key to achieving learning objectives of STEM subjects. You may view Dr. Lei’s powerpoint here.

Ricky made special mention that in late April, HKU will be launching an open online course on the basics of flipped classroom and blended learning. Both primary and secondary school teachers are more than welcome to make use of resources in the course to enhance their classes.


Partnering with secondary schools is a rewarding experience for TELI. We will continue to collaborate with different organisations in technology education to further our impact in the community.

Further reading

  1. Promotion of STEM Education – Unleashing Potential in Innovation (Curriculum Development Council, 2015)
    http://www.edb.gov.hk/en/curriculum-development/renewal/index.html
  2. The Ecosystem of Innovation and Technology in Hong Kong (Our Hong Kong Foundation, 2015)
    http://ourhkfoundation.org.hk/index.php/2015-09-23-05-07-31/2015-12-16-09-14-10

Join-the-Conversation3: Enriching international learning experiences in your course: What can digital and virtual learning do for you?

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Jointly Organised by Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL), E-learning Pedagogical Support Unit (EPSU) and Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative (TELI)

Speaker : Professor Ricky Kwok, Associate Vice-President (Teaching and Learning)
Moderator : Dr. Tracy Zou, Assistant Professor, CETL
Date : April 20 (Wednesday), 2016
Time : 12:45pm – 2:00pm
Venue : Room 321, 3/F, Run Run Shaw Building (Main Campus), HKU
Hot lunch will be provided.

About the Joint Event

Like many other leading universities, HKU is seeking to enhance the internationalisation of its curricula and its teaching. But what can be done in a course or a programme to bring the international learning experiences to students without the need to travel? A recent policy paper (2015) by European Parliament advocates that digital and virtual learning offers a promising way to realise international collaborative experiences and achieve ‘internationalisation at home’.

During the first join-the-conversation in January, we identified digital and virtual learning as one of the eight learning challenges and opportunities associated with the internationalisation of teaching and learning in HKU. In this joint event, we will further look at the ways that recent advances in information and communication technologies open up new possibilities to enrich international experiences in courses and programmes. Participants will be able to review a range of approaches and techniques whereby digital learning may facilitate international learning experiences for students, evaluate the value and feasibility of these approaches in HKU’s context, and discuss the possible applications of some of the approaches in their courses or programmes.

Registration

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

Chat-n-Snack Session: Curious about Teaching a Common Core Course?

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Dear Colleagues,

As a way to prime the pump for next year’s Proposal Process—which will be modified and streamlined—we will have an informal gathering in the CC Lounge for those interested in the possibility of developing a Common Core proposal. We will be seeking, as always, the courses that you most want to teach that are for students across all the faculties, interdisciplinary and multimodal in nature, make use of active assessments, and are organized around issues of “profound importance.” We are also seeking courses that are highly experiential, use a flipped classroom or other alternative forms of design, and that align with one of our newly formulated “clusters”.

Chat-n-Snack Session
“Curious about Teaching a Common Core Course?”

Date: April 19, 2016
Time: 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Venue: Common Core Lounge, Room 150, 1/F, Main Building

Everyone is welcomed! And snacks included….

All best,
Gray

Gray Kochhar-Lindgren, PhD
Professor and Director: The Common Core

Reflection: How do I do it? John Dewey: “We do not learn from experience … we learn from reflecting on experience.”

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

Date : 5 April, 2016 (Tuesday)
Time : 12:45pm – 2:00pm
Venue : Room 321, Run Run Shaw Building

Abstract:

In academic contexts, reflection is an essential tool for both teaching and learning. It refers to the active intellectual monitoring and evaluation of one’s own formal learning and professional practice activities, and this very process that leads to new knowledge and self-understanding. This workshop would focus specifically on the context of reflective learning, and examines how reflection can be an essential part of teaching and learning within higher education. By exploring the possible conceptualization and implementation of reflective learning within the different disciplines, we will discuss and share insights and tools on how to motivate, engage, and assess the learning of students through reflection.

Facilitators

  • Dr. Cecilia Chan, Head of Professional Development, Associate Professor, CETL
  • Dr. Michael Chan, Project Officer, CETL

About the Speaker:
Dr. Cecilia Chan
Head of Professional Development/Associate Professor

Dr. Cecilia Chan is the Head of Professional Development and an Associate Professor in the Centre of the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning at The University of Hong Kong (HKU). Cecilia has a dual cultural background; she was originally born in Hong Kong but grew up in Ireland. In addition to her dual cultural background, she also has a dual discipline expertise in engineering and education; she has been playing an important role in enhancing engineering, business and science education. Her combined expertise in these fields and multi-cultural experience enabled her to lead and conduct research on topics such as assessment, technology enhanced learning and the development and assessment of 21st century skills from east to west in the different disciplines.
Cecilia holds a PhD in Engineering from Trinity College, a postgraduate diploma and a MA in Higher Education. She also held a Fellowship from King’s College London. She has received many teaching awards and has over 15 years of effective practical experience in engaging students.

Dr. Michael CHAN
Project Officer

Dr. Michael Chan received a M.A degree in Cultural and Religious studies and a Ph.D in Religious Studies both from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2010 and 2015 respectively. As an Adjunct Lecturer for different higher education institutions in Hong Kong, he teaches undergraduate courses on comparative culture and religion, particularly on the development of contemporary religious traditions and its connection with current global issues.
Michael is responsible in managing and executing different research projects on teaching and learning at CETL. Apart from working on the Centre’s latest project on developing and assessing generic skills in engineering education, he is keen to explore avenue of teaching and learning that approximates to his own research interest in culture and religion, particularly on the impact of ethnic diversity and multiculturalism on teaching and learning approaches and experiences.

Registration

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

Conquering the 4Cs: Creating Engaging In-class Activities

Flipping the classroom allows teachers to present instructional materials before class mostly via short videos, freeing class time for interactive activities in the face-to-face sessions. But, what is the definition of quality in-class activities? Dr. Lily Zeng and Professor Ricky Kwok shared their insights in a workshop on 8 March 2016.

The 4Cs

Ricky’s formula of engaging class activities comprises 4Cs:

Collaborative
Collaborative work promotes mutual scaffolding and peer-to-peer learning. For example, in Professor Rick Glofcheski’s Tort Law class, students had to analyze legal cases together.

Competitive
It is also a good idea to balance collaboration with healthy competition in the classroom. We should provide students with a platform to race with each other and achieve a given goal within limited time. For example, In CCST9003 Everyday Computing and the Internet, students are challenged to solve a Rubik’s cube in the shortest time possible.

Co-creation
By giving students a chance to co-create content, we are prompting them to learn from each other. For example, Professor Benson Yeh asked students to design their own questions for the class.

Credits
Students should be given credits for their effort; where possible, their participation should be appropriately assessed. This will incentivize students to constantly improve their performance. For example, participation in the Interprofessional Team-based Learning (IPTBL) for health professional students would contribute to the grade of some students.

Gamification

The 4Cs can take many different forms. One possibility is to engage your students with learning games during the lesson.

As Ricky pointed out in the workshop, “Gamification is all about how to engage students; how we can incentivize them to take desirable actions. And desirable actions in our context today, is to make learning happen; it’s to achieve the learning outcomes.” “With a good design, you can … engage your students [to] learn the things that you want them to learn. And if you can structure that learning activity as a game, then it will be even better.”

Developing a learning game may seem an impossible challenge to some. But don’t worry. TELI is here to work with you. You can always bring your rough ideas to us and we can brainstorm together. The following questions may help you get started:

  1. Which topic do you want to work on?
  2. Do you want students to play the game as pre-class or in-class activity?

It is possible to begin with a rough idea and develop it into something big. In fact, it is okay even if you don’t have any idea about gamification at all. Come to us. We will show you game prototypes we are currently developing and offer you suggestions.

Further reading

  1. Sharing by Rick Glofcheski on Flipped Learning
  2. The Successful Story of Professor Benson Yeh, a Teacher-turned-Entrepreneur
  3. Not just for fun: Gamify your class

President Mathieson: Girls4Tech is exactly what HeForShe envisages

Event video

HKU is a committed member of the UN campaign HeForShe. The overall goal of HeForShe is to spread awareness and spark actions on the responsibility that men and boys have in eliminating all forms of discrimination against women. TecHKU and TELI share the same vision. They mobilised a group of HKU students to organise a hands-on workshop “Girls4Tech” for secondary school girls in late February, and received enthusiastic support from our President Professor Peter Mathieson, “I’m particularly keen to see the University hosting this kind of event. This is exactly the kind of thing that the HeForShe campaign envisages. Starting at all ages – the idea of trying to improve gender equality. Technical careers are not just for boys, they’re for everybody.”

“Girls4Tech” aims to nurture computational thinking in secondary school girls and to inspire them on possibilities of developing a career in the tech sector. A detailed report on the event is available here.

Design of CLOs, PLOs and Mapped Assessments Workshop Summary

Presentation Download

Dr. Cecilia Chan presented a workshop entitled “Design of CLOs, PLOs and Mapped Assessments” in collaboration with Prof. Pauline Chiu, the Acting Dean for the Faculty of Science (also the Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning). The lunchtime, interactive workshop took place on Monday, 29th February, 2016 and attracted over 70 HKU colleagues and students across disciplines.

Cecilia gave a brief overview of the curriculum reform in Hong Kong (2012), including the introduction of the common core curriculum, Outcomes Based Approach to Student Learning (OBASL) and whole-person education at HKU. All programs within HKU has to declare their Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs), Program’s Learning Outcomes (PLOs) to students. Leading by example, Cecilia presented the workshop’s four learning outcomes:

1. Apply the concepts of outcomes-based approach to student learning (OBASL)
2. Identify and write learning outcomes in your course using appropriate verbs and the Bloom’s taxonomy
3. Align your course with the programme outcomes and HKU aims
4. Justify the evidence for student learning in your course/programme

As a form of formative assessment, casino chips were awarded to attendees who participated by answering, commenting or asking questions during the workshop! This activity motivated much discussion and smiles during the workshop.

Aligned teaching and assessment activities with learning outcomes are critical to student learning.
Cecilia provided the rationale behind OBASL which is to help students better understand what they are expected to achieve, how they should go about achieving and how that achievement should be assessed. Learning outcomes should be seen as a contractual obligations to our students and should be written from the perspectives of the students.

Next, Cecilia presented an example of OBASL based on a driving course and discussed the practice of designing observable and measurable outcomes using Bloom’s taxonomy. In general, each step of Bloom’s taxonomy requires a greater depth of learning. Cecilia stressed that higher level of learning domains are not exclusive to senior students and could be appropriate for Year 1 students if it is the required skill level for the intended learning outcomes. The workshop attendees were encouraged to write learning outcomes, teaching activities and assessment methods using verbs that correspond to the learning domains of the Bloom’s taxonomy. Examples were shared amongst the attendees followed by discussions on the challenges when designing learning outcomes suitable to skill level of Year 1 undergraduate students.

The University has decided on a set of educational aims which also constituted as learning outcomes. Besides disciplinary knowledge, the remaining 5 education aims of HKU are focused on students’ generic skills competency. Attendees were invited to share their perspective on whether their current programmes have sufficiently covered all the HKU educational aims and some of the potential barriers. This generated a lively discussions and comments on whom should be responsible to ensure the education aims are achieved and the challenges on the assessments and the accreditation process of generic skills competency. Some examples of matrix mapping with CLOs with PLOs were presented as they are important evidence of students learning and demonstrate the alignment between CLOs with PLOs.

In closing, Dr. Chan reiterated CLOs, PLOs and HKU education aims are our contractual obligations to our students. Whilst there are challenges and issues we may face when designing CLOs and PLOs, it is essential to student-centred learning. Cecilia thanked all the attendees in particular Prof. Chiu for her contribution to the workshop and the Faculty to sponsor lunch. Last but not least, Cecilia distributed prizes for the attendees with more than 10 casino chips.

Face time; screen time: What should I do in my “lectures”?

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Organized by Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL), E-learning Pedagogical Support Unit (EPSU) and Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative (TELI)

Speakers: Dr. Lily Zeng, Assistant Professor, CETL
Professor Ricky Kwok, Associate Vice-President (Teaching and Learning)
Date : 8 March, 2016 (Tuesday)
Time : 12:45pm – 2:00pm
Venue : Room 321, Run Run Shaw Building (Main Campus), HKU

About the Joint Workshop

Many teachers who are planning to flip their classes might agree that moving traditional lectures online is an effective way to deliver instructional materials. More importantly, it can also make room for quality interactions between teachers and students. However, after the flip, what kind of learning opportunities can we create to engage, inspire, provoke, or even shock our students in the face-to-face sessions, the “face time”? How should face time and screen time be meaningfully blended? In this workshop, you will hear cases of flipped classes in different disciplines, analyze the key elements of the pedagogical strategies used in face time, identify the activities that you might be able to use, and come away with initial plans for a flipped class. Be sure to bring your wireless device and a lesson that you are considering flipping to work on!

This workshop is open to the first 42 registered participants to ensure that there is enough time to accommodate questions, provide comments, and give feedback for each participant.

Registration

For enquiries, please contact Miss Bonnie Yu by email yka0201@hku.hk.

Thinking Big, Starting Small: Hands-on Workshop on Creating Your SPOC

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Developing small private online courses (SPOC) is an increasingly popular teaching strategy in higher education. On January 26th, TELI’s SPOC team organized an interactive workshop offering participants a rare opportunity to gain hands-on experience in creating a video that can serve as an online lecture.

One clear advantage of restructuring a lecture into a series of short online videos is portability across time and space – it allows students to learn anytime, anywhere. Students are free to pause and review sections of the videos, which is not possible in traditional lectures. Condensing a two-hour lecture into short videos of about 6 minutes each also tend to be more engaging.

While creating an online course may seem a daunting task, it can actually be done by following a simple three-step approach: revisiting the course structure, storyboarding and scripting, then studio filming. At the workshop, a mock-up filming studio was set up to give our participants a taste of video production. They were invited to draft a short script in groups and speak in front of the camera and a green or blue screen that can be chroma-keyed into any background that you like. The responses were positive overall. Participants commented that this experience made them “feel much more comfortable when someone tells [them] ‘let’s shoot a video’” and “it’s doable.”

The recordings were edited by our team and sent to individual participants after the workshop.

It is TELI’s mission to provide technological support to teachers in creating online videos and e-learning materials. We are re-running this interactive workshop in March – please contact us​ to schedule your session.