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Staff-student meeting on Common Core

On March 8, 2010 Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) Professor Amy B.M. Tsui and a number of staff, including Executive Director of CETL and members of the Common Core Curriculum Committee and the Teaching and Learning Quality Committee, met with fourteen students to discuss issues related to the Common Core Curriculum. The meeting was initiated by office bearers of the Students’ Union and its associated Faculty Societies in an attempt to address students’ queries over the implementation of the Common Core Curriculum in 2012.

Students were informed of why HKU would be implementing the Common Core in the context of undergraduate curriculum reform. In particular, the Common Core would enable students to broaden their horizons beyond their chosen discipline and would give them the opportunity to explore issues of profound significance to humankind in the 21st century. Teachers from various Faculties explained how the Common Core would be incorporated into their future curricula, and assured students that the Common Core would fit into professional degrees as well as double-degree programs involving multiple Faculties.

Since most Common Core courses would have a heavy weighting of coursework assessment, students were concerned about the workload implications. It was explained that student workload hours for each standard 6-credit course would be between 120 and 180, so coursework assessment should not lead to additional workload. The meeting ended with Professor Tsui’s remarks on the importance of constant dialogue between students and staff, and her words of thanks to the students for initiating and joining the meeting.

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Assessment is a dynamic and evolving component of the undergraduate learning experience. Recognizing that conventional assessment practices may not adequately serve the changing needs of students and the changing expectations of university graduates, the Steering Committee on 4-Year Undergraduate Curriculum has put forward eight recommendations for consultation with Faculties, students and other stakeholders. Consultation is anticipated to complete in January and the Steering Committee plans to present its recommendations to Senate for consideration at its meeting in March 2010. The recommendations focus on the following areas:

  • University and Faculty Assessment Policies
  • Assessment Approaches
  • Forms of Assessment
  • Capstone Experience and Graduation Requirement
  • GPA Weightings and Honours Classification
  • Grading and GPAs at HKU
  • Provision of Feedback
  • Treatment of Failures
Student Consultation

On January 20, 2010 Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) Professor Amy B.M. Tsui and Dean of Student Affairs Dr. Albert Chau met with over 20 students representing Faculty Societies, Students’ Associations of residence halls, the Independent Clubs Association and the Central Executive Committee of the HKU Students’ Union. Students shared their views on the recommendations put forward by the Steering Committee and had an open discussion with Professor Tsui and Dr. Chau on issues ranging from workload concern driven by diverse forms of assessment to provision of feedback from teachers. Input from students, as well as those from Faculties, will be considered by the Steering Committee when it finalizes its recommendations to Senate.

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Assessment Consultation Documents (HKU Portal Authentication is required)

University Life Trio is an annual event organized by the Centre of Development and Resources for Students (CEDARS) in which Year One students and their parents are invited to join a campus tour, a main program, and a tea reception. This year the event took place on January 17, 2010 and over 700 parents participated with much enthusiasm. The objective of the program is to help parents, students and the University work effectively together to facilitate students’ learning and growth.

It is the University’s conviction that parents, students and the University are collaborators in university education. At the Trio, Vice-Chancellor Professor Lap-Chee Tsui, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) Professor Amy B.M. Tsui, and Dean of Student Affairs Dr. Albert Chau addressed the audience on university teaching and learning and student life. There was also a panel discussion session and the Trio provided a good opportunity for parents to find out how students, other parents, and university staff address certain mutual concerns.

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