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Thursday 25 April 2024
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CETL Reflections, Tips, and Quotes

CETL Quote of the Week – Dr. Lisa Cheung

Link to the page
"Exposing students to different teaching spaces enhances students' motivation. I designed lessons as different blocks (lecture, activity, and follow-up blocks) in which students engage in individual or collaborative learning spaces. They grow from being 'dependent' in receiving course input to becoming 'independent' by applying key concepts in collaboration."
Dr. Lisa Cheung
Centre for Applied English Studies
Faculty of Art, HKU

Posting date:  10-Oct-2022

Sep 2022

CETL Tips of the Week – Strategies to reduce student anxiety during active learning

Contributed by Dr Peng Simin, Faculty of Dentistry, HKU
Link to the page
Active learning is widely adopted by instructors. However, some students reported experiencing anxiety during active learning activities, as well as the fear of receiving a negative evaluation. How can instructors mitigate students' anxieties and maximise their benefits in active learning?
  1. Foster relationships among students during group work
    Allowing students to choose their groupmates or providing sufficient time to build up a level of comfort with each other will help them develop a supportive relationship with their peers.
  2. Develop positive student-instructor relationships
    It is important for instructors to perform nonverbal immediacy behaviours (e.g., smiling), as well as verbal immediacy behaviours such as employing the expression "we" when presenting and providing constructive feedback during the class.
  3. Highlight the benefits of sharing ideas or uncertainty
    Instructors should guide students to develop constructive feedback to their peers, so that they could see the value of sharing new ideas or challenges (e.g., hearing diverse opinions).
  4. Encourage critical dialogue and diversity of opinions Encouraging students to discuss ideas with each other before presenting in the class allows students to clarify their understanding. This preparation work decreases students' anxiety and helps them gain confidence in completing tasks.
Notes: If students have a negative experience (e.g., failing on something or receiving a negative evaluation) in class, their anxiety will get worse in future situations (von der Embse et al., 2018). Research findings also reveal that repeatedly exposing students to cold calls or random calls in the class would not help unless they had a positive experience (e.g., constructive dialogues) (Cooper et al., 2018).

  • Cooper, K. M., Downing, V. R., & Brownell, S. E. (2018). The influence of active learning practices on student anxiety in large-enrollment college science classrooms. International Journal of STEM Education, 5(1), 23.
  • Von der Embse, N., Jester, D., Roy, D., & Post, J. (2018). Test anxiety effects, predictors, and correlates: A 30-year meta-analytic review. Journal of Affective Disorders, 227, 483-493.

Posting date:  30-Sep-2022

CETL Tips of the Week – Get Out!! Teaching ‘Plants and Planting Design’ With and Without Field Trips

Contributed by Mr. Gavin Coates, Faculty of Architecture, HKU
Link to the page
  1. Online presentations of field trips using either recorded videos or livestreaming using platforms such as Zoom or Twitch are very useful in situations where face-to-face teaching is not possible due to social distancing regulations or other reasons.
  2. One of the benefits of video and live stream recordings most often cited by students is the fact that they are retrievable and can be reviewed repeatedly.
  3. Online field trips can also serve an iterative function by motivating students to visit and carry out their own field trips, modelling a 'read the landscape' approach.
  4. Assignments can be designed whereby students provide content from their own individual or small group field trips so they take on part of the teaching role and/or help build up an archive of knowledge and experience, based on the adage 'the best way to learn is to teach'.
Online field trips can be efficient, especially during the pandemic. However, nothing can really substitute the experiential value of in-person field trips. In-person field trips are impactful and memorable not only in terms of directly experiencing and understanding the realities of the environment but also because of the socialization factor during travel and walking time which gives ample opportunity for informal peer-to-peer learning.

  • For more concrete examples, please refer to the HKU Digital Arboretum at www.digarb.hku.hk.

Posting date:  19-Sep-2022

Components of Transdisciplinary Education

CETL Tips of the Week – Components of Transdisciplinary Education

Contributed by Professor Louise McWhinnie, University of Technology Sydney
Link to the page
Transdisciplinary education prepares students for a changing and accelerating world by addressing complex and connected problem-based challenges that often can no longer be contained within the boundaries of particular disciplines and their methodologies. The following points illustrate just some of the components of transdisciplinary, integrated, and problem-based learning.
  • Transdisciplinary Education works across, between, and beyond the traditional disciplines of the university by navigating approaches driven by the problem space rather than a disciplinary approach.
  • It also requires the construction of methods to enable students to access practices across disciplines and form connections, encouraging the application of methods appropriate to a complex problem by identifying methods they would not normally experience in single disciplines.
Frame creation
  • Central to transdisciplinary education is the need to generate new ways of framing problems.
  • Frame creation and wide-ranging and accessible methods are central to transdisciplinarity.
  • Frame creation develops an open and focused approach that generates not only problem solving, but also problem posing.
  • Curiosity is core to students' education and academics' work within the transdisciplinary space. Teachers need to consider at what point in students' previous learning experiences have curiosity and collaboration been reduced to singular achievement.
  • It is easy to think that transdisciplinary education simply requires the joining up of the disciplines. But complexity and networked challenges require connections in thinking, that teachers and students should address collectively.
  • A vital component of accelerating change and transdisciplinary education is introducing students to connectivity. This requires students to understand that innovative outcomes in one field are linked to and impact upon others.
Data, technology and ethics
  • Transdisciplinarity challenges students to ethically comprehend the sheer scale of technological capabilities and our social responsibility in the social aspects of accelerated advances.
  • Risk requires that students are encouraged and rewarded to learn from, and not be afraid of potential failure, instead seeing it as a necessary by-product of curiosity and exploration.
  • Emeritus Professor Louise McWhinnie. Summary notes for ‘Transdisciplinary Experiential Learning... not just Student Learning’
  • Experiential Learning Seminar Series. Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, The University of Hong Kong. https://talic.hku.hk/elseminar22/

Posting date:  09-Sep-2022

Aug 2022

CETL Quote of the Week – Mr. Mathew R. Pryor

Link to the page
I came into teaching following years of professional practice as a landscape architect, and quickly realized that to be effective as an educator, disciplinary knowledge needs to be allied to good teaching craft. I had to learn to teach, an iterative process which, for me, closely parallels the design process. Skills and judgment are built through repeated cycles of study, application, observation, and critical reflection.
Mr. Mathew R. Pryor
Associate Professor of Teaching
Department of Architecture
Faculty of Architecture
University Distinguished Teaching Award 2021

Posting date:  29-Aug-2022

CETL Quote of the Week – Team of Dr. George L. Tipoe

Link to the page
Collaboration drives innovation. When professionals work in alliance, new solutions that transform practice emerge. Using team-based case-oriented discussion, it provides students from different disciplines to learn about, from, and with one another.
Dr. George L. Tipoe (Leader) of Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine,
Prof. Amy Y.M. Chow of Faculty of Social Sciences, Dr. Fraide Jr. A. Ganotice of Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine,
Dr. May P.S. Lam of Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine,
Dr. Janet Y.H. Wong of Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine
Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice – an "eMART" Approach
Teaching Innovation Award 2021 (Team)

Posting date:  19-Aug-2022