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HKUx Blog edx MOOC

Date : 18 March 2020 (Wednesday)
Time : 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Venue : To be held virtually by Zoom
Speaker : Dr Leon Lei, Ms Crystal Luo, Ms. Sharon Keung

Registration link: http://bit.ly/hku_online_assessment

Same as other dimensions of teaching and learning, course assessment has been digitizing extensively since the past decade. Despite multiple-choice question banks, technology solutions such as online proctoring, sophisticated essay marking (e.g. Turnitin GradeMark), peer-grading systems (e.g. Turnitin PeerMark) have been introduced for online learning. Meanwhile, there is a pressing need for teachers to evaluate students’ performance within and beyond the campus. Teachers may worry conducting such online assessment requires high digital literacy skills, some also worry online learning may include the risk of incurring academic misconduct behaviour in online learning.

Through the workshop, participants are expected to have a reflection on better practices and design considerations in online assessment. Upon completion of this seminar, the participants will be able to:

  • Understand the potential and affordances of online assessment
  • Understand the mechanism of conducting basic online test proctoring
  • Design an assignment or a quiz activity on HKU Moodle

During class suspension at HKU, instructors have to switch to online teaching to deliver course content. There are two effective ways for instructors to deliver online teaching:  one is to produce pre-recorded videos and the other is to schedule live teaching sessions with students. They serve different purposes. We provide students with basic knowledge of a subject by producing pre-recorded videos, in which instructors may prepare PowerPoint slides and explain the subject content with their voice and talking head recorded. After students gain sufficient basic knowledge of a subject, in live teaching, instructors can make use of the precious time to interact with students to probe their understanding of the subject, address their questions and discuss more advanced topics. Live teaching is an invaluable opportunity for students to interact with and learn from their peers and their instructors. 

The HKU Learning Management System Moodle (https://moodle.hku.hk/) is our central online learning resource for course teachers to share engaging online learning content with their students. In particular, the Panopto system (http://lecturecapture.hku.hk/), a centrally managed video capture solution, is integrated seamlessly with the Moodle system to enable instructors to record or upload lecture videos for sharing with students in Moodle. A step-by-step guide for instructors can be found here: https://hku.to/elearn_video

As for live teaching, HKU ITS has entered a campus license with Zoom (http://hku.zoom.us/). Using features like screen sharing, chatroom and whiteboard, instructors can schedule meetings to have rich real-time interaction with their students. In addition, meetings can be recorded and put on Moodle for students to revise later. 

The following diagram summarizes the use of different tools for online teaching. More advice for instructors can be found here: https://hku.to/elearn_quickstart

In TELI, we are working closely with ITS colleagues to provide prompt support to teachers and students as to the use of the above-mentioned tools. For example, we are monitoring the workload and response time of the Moodle and Panopto systems. When needed, the capability of the two servers (i.e., processor, memory and disk space) will be enhanced. In addition, TELI colleagues Leon Lei (9162 3384) and Tyrone Kwok (5964 8396) are happy to provide individual consultation to teachers via WhatsApp. 

Written by Dr Tyrone Kwok, Dr Leon Lei, Ms Crystal Luo and Ms Sharon Keung

We believed most of us agreed that Hong Kong is undergoing a difficult period. Due to the pandemic outbreak in these few weeks, face-to-face classes have been suspended, and all teaching and learning activities have to be converted into an online format. As many learning activities have already been designed for face-to-face teaching and learning before the outbreak, it is a challenge for teachers to redesign them within a short period of time as well as to facilitate engaging and productive synchronous/asynchronous online sessions. Moreover, students also struggle to fully immerse themselves in the online learning environment due to the limitations of the offline environment in Hong Kong.

To help teachers to overcome the challenges, TELI has developed a full list of supporting resources:

  • E-learning Quick Start Guide: This guide serves as a portal of online resources provided to HKU staff and students (including Powerpoint, Zoom, Panopto and Moodle). It briefly describes how online learning can be adopted in different teaching context and styles. The guide includes technical demonstrations of the tools as well as tips and strategies for creating an engaging online learning session for students. Additional resources such as teacher showcases, good practices on blended/online learning and video production are also provided in this guide. A student version of this quick start guide is also available for students (link).
  • Online Learning FAQ Video Channel: Teachers can quickly learn the basics of PowerPoint, Panopto, Zoom and other related tools through step-by-step demonstrations and explanations.
  • Real-time Online E-learning Consultation Channel: Teachers can contact the E-learning Technologists at TELI for a one-to-one consultation session on questions related to online T&L.
    • Leon Lei (9162 3384) and Tyrone Kwok (5964 8396) who can both be reached via WhatsApp text messages.
  • Faculty-/Department-level Face-to-face Training: Hands-on training and deep-dive tool demonstrations on online learning tools can be provided to teachers on demand. The training will also include showcase sharing by teachers. Please contact Dr Leon Lei (culei@hku.hk) for training arrangements.

Your health and safety are always our top priority. Please stay vigilant and continue to make personal health your top priority. 

Written by Dr Leon Lei, Ms Crystal Luo, Ms Sharon Keung and Dr Tyrone Kwok




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 remain prevalent, with increased global mobility resulting in its significantly accelerated spread. This is all the more evident with the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, which is showing no signs of slowing down.

In the age of information overload, it is crucial to have access to verified facts and figures regarding appropriate public health protocols and precautionary measure – it acts as means of reducing anxiety and fears regarding infectious diseases, and above all a crucial first line of defense against misinformation.

In this course, we will look at the fundamental scientific principles underlying epidemics and the public health actions behind their prevention and control in the 21st century, with follow-up discussions and supplementary content on how these concepts may be helpful to us in better understanding the COVID-19 outbreak.

This is the second (spread of infectious diseases) of the four courses, and will cover the following topics:

  • Basic Concepts in Infectious Disease Epidemiology
  • Epidemiologic Triangle: The Pathogen, The Host and The Environment
  • Evidence Synthesis
  • Infectious Disease Modelling

Week 1
Infectious Disease Epidemiology – Tracking Infectious Diseases + Discourse with Epidemiologists on COVID-19 Outbreak

The incubation period is frequently mentioned in the context of the 14-day quarantine protocol for the recent COVID-19 outbreak, but have you ever wondered what the incubation period really means, and how it is relevant to stopping the spread of diseases? In the first week of this course, you will be introduced to basic concepts in infectious disease epidemiology, such as the epidemic curve, incubation period and its uses, transmissibility of communicable diseases, timescale of disease transmission, severity of infectious disease, and difficulties associated with severity estimation. After class discussions held with epidemiologists and various experts of the field will also address the recent outbreak.

Week 2
Epidemiological Triangle ­- Understanding Disease Transmission and Examining the Spread of COVID-19 (Supplementary Reading)

Over the course of less than a month, the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) had spread from Wuhan China to far reaches of the world including Europe and North America; what are some human factors associated with the spread of a virus, and how are other extraneous factors implicated in outbreaks such as this? The three main pillars that make up the epidemiologic triangle (pathogen, host, and environment) will be explained as means to understanding the spread of disease. In addition, the evolution of pathogens will be examined through case studies on the Myxoma virus, the human immunodeficiency virus, and antimicrobial resistance. Finally, host factors that affect disease transmission and severity such as age and sexual mixing will be addressed. A supplementary module will include discourse on influenza immunity and transmission in time, age and space, while supplementary reading on “Real-time nowcast and forecast on the extent of the COVID-19 outbreak, domestic and international spread” will further explore concepts discussed in class.

Week 3
Infectious Disease Modeling – Mathematical Modeling of Infectious Diseases and Forecasting of the COVID-19 Outbreak (Supplementary Reading)

Numerous recent studies have forecasted the geographical spread and peak of outbreak of COVID-19, but many may be curious to know how these estimations made, and what evidence there is to lend support to these hypotheses. In the final week, you will be introduced to the mathematical modeling of infectious disease, specifically the susceptible-infectious-recovered (SIR) model, and its role as a tool for evidence synthesis. You will also identify the various elements of uncertainty that may occur at all stages of the modeling process. The supplementary module of the week will address the concept of precision public health, while supplementary reading on “Nowcasting and forecasting the potential domestic and international spread of the 2019-nCoV outbreak originating in Wuhan, China: a modelling study” will examine the dynamics of infectious diseases through mathematical modelling.


Join Epidemics II now.

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(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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