13:45 – 14:15 Registration
14:15 – 14:25 Opening Ceremony
14:25 – 14:35 Plenary Speech
The Latest Developments of Vocational and Professional Education and Training in Hong Kong
Mr Esmond Lee, JP
Deputy Secretary for Education
Education Bureau, HKSAR
14:35 – 15:20 Keynote Speeches
Are we well-prepared for an AI connected future?

Dr Lawrence Cheung
Chief Innovation Officer
Hong Kong Productivity Council

Hong Kong International Aviation Academy's Professional and Vocational Training Services

Mr Richard Skinner
Hong Kong International Aviation Academy
15:20 – 16:20 Panel Discussion
Dr Lawrence Cheung
Chief Innovation Officer
Hong Kong Productivity Council

Mr Albert Chow
Executive Director
Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications

Ms Elaine Mak
Principal Assistant Secretary (Further Education)
Education Bureau, HKSAR

Mr Fred Sheu
National Technology Officer
Microsoft Hong Kong Limited

Mr Richard Skinner
Hong Kong International Aviation Academy

Mr Stephen Wong
Deputy Executive Director & Head of Public Policy Institute
Our Hong Kong Foundation
16:20 – 17:00 Networking Reception

Keynote Speech 2

Technology advancement and its impact on higher education

Speaker: Professor Hanqin Qiu

Constant Internet development and 5G technology around the corner will continue to intensify the heavy usage of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Wechat.  These evolutionary changes have shifted the traditional teaching and learning from a physical learning world to an e-learning environment.  By the end of 2018, over 60 million learners in the world had signed up for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and over 900 universities offered more than 11,000 MOOCs.

As a result of MOOCs development, students from all over the world can take courses offered by leading universities at any time and at their own pace without coming to the classroom.  All these developments have revolutionary implications for the university admission policy, student development strategies, staff and resource reallocation, and on-going quality assurance.

Facing this educational evolution and building on the successful experience of building the very first MicroMasters in Hospitality Management through MOOC by working with edX at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Professor Hanqin Qiu started a new and even bigger ambition to build the first stackable MicroBachelor in International Tourism Management (4 credit bearing courses for MicroCredential and 10 courses for MicroBachelor).  She will share with all of you the development strategies, the benefits to the students and staff, and the challenges to her journey for this innovation.

Keynote Speech 1

Making educational innovation work – preparing for future teaching and learning modes

Speaker: Professor Bjørn Stensaker

Massification, digitalization and globalization are currently driving a reconstruction of higher education in general, and in educational delivery in particular. Hence, there are frequent news about advancement in teaching methods, new experimental learning designs, or innovative technology-rich learning environments that potentially will boost student learning. There is arguably no lack of innovation and creativity in the higher education sector. Rather, one could argue that the future challenge for higher education is to select among the stream of innovations made, to scale them up matching the demand, and to provide them with a context enabling their sustainability and relevance for an increasingly diverse student population, and for a dynamic labor market. The keynote will identify different pitfalls as the sector is transforming, and discuss pathways preparing the sector for future teaching and learning modes.

Discussion Forum

Manpower needs for next decade from employers' perspectives

Panelists:      Professor William Leung, SBS, JP
Mr Peter Yan, JP
Ms Margaret Cheng
Mr Raphael Ding
Moderator:Dr Louis Ma

Panelists will share their viewpoints on the manpower requirements and expectation of university graduates for the workplace, and how universities prepare students for the next decade, including but not limited to desirable graduate attributes, qualities, skillsets as well as the impact of innovation and globalization in the new digital economy.

Enhancing ethics learning: use of storytelling approach

Alvin WONG, Ivy CHAN & LAW Shun Man
Hong Kong Community College
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Scholars have been exploring different pedagogies to promote ethics education in recent years.  To further enhance ethics learning, ethics-storytelling activities have been organised in a tertiary institution since 2016.  Storytelling is perceived as an effective and powerful means to convey message and engage audience while stories cover a wide range of anecdote, experience, adventures or values.  This study provides some empirical evidences on the effectiveness of the storytelling approach from students’ perspectives.

An ethical activity with the use of storytelling approach was conducted in February 2019.  The story content covered four main areas including daily-life situation, school situation, workplace situation, and philosophical (ancient) story of the Eastern tradition.  This pilot study consists of two stages of data collection.  18 students voluntarily participated in a questionnaire survey at the first stage..  Then, three participants were invited to attend in-depth individual interviews on voluntary basis to share their views and perceptions on the storytelling approach.

The preliminary findings were encouraging.  First, survey results showed that participants perceive storytelling approach is an interesting and effective way to learn ethics.  Second, results from in-depth interviews indicated that storytelling approach could help to transform the concepts of virtue into something interesting and relevant.  This preliminary findings seems consistent with the VAK learning style (Fleming and Mills 1992) to a certain extent.  Students may enjoy watching and listening to the well-told tale, and engaging the interaction with speakers in a relaxed and lively atmosphere.  Third, individual interviews also reported some positive comments from students on the philosophical (ancient) story content, especially when they see the relevance and application of the content to their current situations.  Further research may be conducted to examine different elements of the storytelling approach, and explore ways to incorporate students as storytellers to propagate ethical values in higher education.

Engaging sub-degree students in community-based research – Case study of a student research group in advocacy journalism

Benjamin CHENG & TSEN Wai Sing
College of International Education
Hong Kong Baptist University

This paper will present a case study of engaging sub-degree students in community-based research, and will discuss the approach and benefits of involving students to take part in research activities.  Students majoring in media and communication at CIE, HKBU, formed a student research group and applied quantitative research principles to projects that are of public interest within the context of advocacy journalism.  With the guidance of lecturers, students were engaged in topic identification and selection, for developing approaches of collecting quantitative data, producing reports and writing up press release to pitch actual mass media in Hong Kong.  Workshops that equipped students with the aforementioned research-related skills were conducted.

To measure the effectiveness of learning through the research group, several methods were adopted to solicit data for analysis. They included the monitoring of students’ learning progress by a written report in topic selection, preliminary qualitative study and survey question design.  Students were asked to complete an individual reflection to assess their learning outcomes.  In-depth interviews were also conducted with some students and alumni of the College who have participated in the research group.

Results of the methods showed that they have learned the importance of verification of arguments on social issue through field observations and quantitative data analysis.  They have also learned how to identify correct target group and ask meaningful questions to collect insights on social phenomenon.  By acquiring the principles and techniques of community-based research, students suggested their logical reasoning and critical thinking are enhanced.  The result of the interview with the alumni suggested that they have learned both research skills and were equipped with inquisitive mind that were both helpful for their articulation and career development.

For implications, teaching faculty can recruit students to join the research group and to offer a series of workshops on basic research skills, data collection, analysis and interpretation.  The students can also be engaged with topic identification so that their sense of ownership can be increased. Students should be involved in data collection, and teaching colleagues can use verbal presentation or written reflection to exchange ideas with students and to monitor their learning progress through the research project.  The faculty members could also work with the Corporate Communication and PR Department of their own institutes.  These colleagues may be able to give advice on how to translate research output into something that interest the public.

Promoting inquiry-based learning: what should be noted by using social media?

Benson HUNG
Vocational Training Council

This is a further development of a previous study entitled “Using Facebook to Promote Student Engagement in Authentic Learning for Vocational Education and Training (VET)”, which was presented as a research paper in Federation for Self-financing Tertiary Education Conference 2018: Striving for Quality Education on 1 June 2018.  Facebook, as an example, among many famous online social media has had a significant impact on education and has brought an amazing potential in promoting authentic learning.  However, it can be a difficult shift without an adequate involvement of students.  Even worse, despite the fact that students are encouraged to come together to discuss, exchange ideas, collaborate and resolve real-life problems, they merely nurture inquiry online.  Hence the purpose of this research study is to evaluate the factors affecting students’ comfort in nurturing inquiry to enhance their critical thinking skills by using social network.  The research methodology involved evaluation of a survey (N=87) based on questions to students about their comfort in nurturing inquiries and posting ideas on Facebook group.  At the beginning, students were encouraged to learn actively by directing their attention to the day's topic on social media.  Secondly, it was important to build a sense of community outside the classroom and to give them take-home problems relating to the day's lecture.  From time to time, teachers employed real-life case studies to challenge students and to provide support.  Throughout the semester, teachers made adjustments in teaching methods as the characteristics of the students became known.  By such doing, it was effective to help students make transitions from a classroom environment to an online learning platform with social media.  This research discovered the hurdles students faced in an online learning environment of social media.  The research findings showed that “fear of appearing dumb” is the number one hurdle for students in posting and inquiring online, following by two other key factors including “shyness” and “low self-esteem”.  In this connection, in order to encourage learners’ inquiry online, the instructor should prepare a safe and nurturing learning environment, and provide prompt guidance at the appropriate time.  Moreover, if the situation allow, the instructor may allows students speak on condition of anonymity to enhance participation outside the classroom.  Positively, this study affects the content knowledge and understanding of technology supported inquiry learning environments using the Facebook, and allows us to learn how to create an inquiry-based and technology-supported lesson outside the classroom.

Communities and agents of change – explorations of a framework for blended (e)Learning institutional change

Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

The landscape and borders of learning and institutional change are complex, because they are drawn from the forms of the past, transformations of the present and possible territories of the future.  Refashioning the (e)Learning borders of an institution and associated goals regarding institutional change is not a process related to information processes, nor can it be drawn from a blueprint per se, but has to evolve as responsive to the constituent parts of the whole.  

This research describes the implementation of a strategic institutional project at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in the area of eLearning, and the qualitative evaluation of this project’s model as a framework for blended (e)Learning institutional change.  The project was entitled, “3C: A strategic approach to enabling, integrating and enhancing blended (e)Learning within an institutional framework”, and the model used was three concurrent foci of collaboration, community and context (3C’s).  This study used a qualitative practitioner / researcher case study approach to evaluate the 3C model, utilizing data drawn from interviews conducted at the completion of the project with a group of 16 eLearning Advocates (eLAs) or “Agents of Change”.  The interviews with the eLAs were chosen to be the focus of this research as they had the most consistent and lived experience of the 3C model (as implemented via the project deliverables across 2 years).  

The eLA interviews provided situational vignettes through which the practitioner / researcher explored the rich sources of data and feedback on the 3C model.  These vignettes were categorized within a narrative around three factors related to blended (e)Learning institutional change.  These factors were: considerations of broad structural aspects (Renovation), feedback on specific aspects of the 3C project (Revolution) and the unexpected factors that had not been considered as part of the project (Revelation).  The examination of these contributed to a greater and more nuanced understanding of the 3C model as a model for institutional blended (e)Learning change and identified 11 recommendations for further consideration.  It is envisaged that the outcomes of this research are useful to institutions considering implementing similar strategic initiatives in the area of blended (e)Learning and has assisted the researcher in refining his own practice.

Sharing of flipped learning experience in lessons of Liberal Studies

Dennis TANG & Henry CHIANG
Hong Kong College of Technology

Today, teachers of higher education are facing difficulties in their classes of learners’ difference, short time span of concentration, and time constraints especially for adult learners.  Teaching strategies are characterized by one-way instruction.  Enhancement can be made such as interactive delivery strategy application, critical thinking and creative mind training, and encouragement during classes resulted in recognition of students’ learning outcomes achievement.

In recent decade, flipped learning is advocated by scholars to improve learning outcomes from structured learning experiences.  The strategy has been practicing in secondary schools while the trial in higher education is rare in Hong Kong.

This paper introduces how to apply flipped classroom and learning strategies to Diploma Yi Jin (DYJ) adult learners and examine their effectiveness of the new teaching methodology.  Specialized DYJ module “Liberal Studies” is chosen for the study.  Students come from a diversity of academic background, working experience, learning attitude and objectives.  They are the first time accessing the module contexts.

Before the lesson, students are informed to visit the mobile application “Schoology” to preview the learning materials of video files, text files, hyperlinks, and to post questions for discussion in class.

During the lesson, teacher has created face-to-face learning activities to facilitate collaborative work for student interaction and participation.  Student will visit the virtual 3D mobile application “Expeditions” with flexible and dynamic learning environment.  Each student can participate and respond actively and instantly in virtual scenarios of hot topics like “Applications of renewable energy” or “The local housing problems”.  

After the lesson, an interactive discussion forum or quiz is established by using the same mobile application “Schoology” or “Google Classroom”.  Teacher and students can communicate with each other from time to time on respective topics.  

Learning outcomes can therefore be achieved from pre-class of self-knowledge acquisition by students, knowledge internalization during class having students taking the lead to learn with teacher facilitation, and post-class of knowledge transfer with extended interaction among students and with the teacher.  

Video recording will be made in lessons showing active student participation and the dynamic class atmosphere.  Together with the multimedia content posted at Schoology and assessment results from students, they are evidences for the achievement of learning outcomes.  

Student feedback is collected to authenticate the achievement of learning outcomes.  Students are invited to fill in feedback questionnaire in assessing the motivation and persistence to learn.  Focus group discussion is conducted with more in-depth questions for qualitative data collection and analysis.

Examining students’ perceptions and satisfaction in blended learning

Helen WONG
The Hong Kong Community College
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Peter YUEN
College of Professional and Continuing Education
Hong Kong Polytechnic University

With the rapid technological advancement, the paradigm of student learning has been shifting with the emergence of e-learning.  e-learning involves the use of digital tools and interactive activities in learning.  Blended learning is a kind of e-learning, which involves different modes of learning in a subject to facilitate and enhance students’ learning.  In literature, it usually involves face-to-face learning with online or technology-delivered contents.  The use of an online learning platform allows students to take the subject without restrictions and at minimal economic burden.  Students can take the subjects delivered by the instructor without the time and place restrictions and enjoy learning support continuously with diverse, face-to-face, and interactive learning activities.

Blended learning has become popular within the higher education environment in the past decade.  In this digital age, blended learning, flipped classroom, and MOOCs have been spreading to Hong Kong as well.  In Hong Kong, the utilization of blended learning has predominated over students taking bachelor degree or above, whereas the applications and empirical investigations of blended learning on sub-degree students are largely unexplored.  Thus, the present research focuses on the investigations of blended learning among sub-degree students in Hong Kong.

With the development of blended learning, research has focused on identifying factors influencing students’ perception, attitude, and satisfaction towards as well as their adoption of blended learning.  The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) has been widely adopted to investigate one’s perception of new technology, provides a conceptual framework on examining factors affecting one’s satisfaction and adoption of blended learning.  Based on TAM, two important perceptions have been consistently highlighted, namely perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness.  They have been shown to jointly influence one’s satisfaction with new technology.  In literature, one’s satisfaction would further contribute to his / her continued use of a technological system.  Thus, as a whole, it is expected that one’s satisfaction of blended learning would mediate the effects of perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness of blended learning on the continuance intention to use it.

In this study, blended learning was adopted in teaching two topics of the subject of Financial Management, which is an elective subject in business programmes of a self-financed tertiary education institution, and used for the current investigation. The lectures covered two distinct but relevant topics, namely “Time Value of Money”, which discussed simple versus compounded interests, as well as “Discounted Cash Flow Valuation”, which introduced ordinary annuity, annuity due, and perpetuity.  Apart from the online and face-to-face lectures, sessions of Facebook live were conducted for students to ask questions.  A cross-sectional study was conducted to examine students’ perceptions and satisfaction in blended learning.  A set of well-validated instruments was adopted to capture the constructs of perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness (Davis, 1989), satisfaction (Bhattacherjee, 2001), and continuance intention to use blended learning (Taylor & Todd, 1995). items were anchored on 5-point scales ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree).  The reliabilities of the instruments were good in this study, with an average of α equals to 0.95.

A total of 145 associate degree students participated in this study.  In this sample, more than half of the participants had heard (55.2%) and used (53.1%) blended learning before.  Path analysis was employed to examine the associations among four key constructs about blended learning, namely perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, satisfaction, and continuance intention to use blended learning.  Results indicated that the path model fitted the data well in Hong Kong’s sub-degree students.  Specifically, when students perceived blended learning as being easy to use and useful, they tended to feel more satisfied on using it, which in turn strengthened their behavioral tendency on continuing to use blended learning.  Also, the indirect effect was found significant based on the bias-corrected bootstrapping confidence interval; students’ satisfaction on blended learning successfully mediated the effects of their perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness of blended learning on their continuance intention to use it.  To summarize, the present findings indicated that the sub-degree students’ perceptions of ease of use and usefulness in blended learning facilitated both their satisfaction to and intended continuance use of this new mode of learning.

In addition to quantitative data, qualitative data was collected to facilitate a much deeper understanding of students’ perceptions of having blended learning.  A focus group interview with five students was conducted; their opinions provided insights for future investigations, such as the potential moderating effects of subject difficulty and subject nature on students’ perceptions and satisfaction with the use of blended learning, and students’ motivation and engagement in learning.

The current study is just a preliminary investigation on students’ perceptions in using blended learning for one subject.  With the continuing development and popularity of e-learning and MOOCs in Hong Kong’s education in next decade, it is worthwhile to further understand students’ perceptions in using new delivery mode for different subjects.

Students’ perception of Quizizz on creating active learning and engagement

Eva WONG & Windy CHAN
Caritas Institute of Higher Education

Gen Z, digital natives, grow up not only with computers and internet access, but also with smartphones, social media, and mobile devices.  This pilot study aims to understand higher education students’ perception on the role of Quizizz®, free gamified quizzes for classroom, as an educational technology tool.  Quizizz® was incorporated into five lectures given to 77 students from a higher diploma programme in health discipline.  Eight students chosen at random participated in a one-to-one semi-structured interviews.  The interviews identified three key issues: (1) 100% agreed that Quizizz® served as a favorable educational technology tool; (2) 87.5% viewed there perceived learning increased; (3) 50% of students were satisfied with the use of Quizizz®.  Digital natives perceive adding variety when using educational technology tool as part of a pedagogical method is a non-zero-sum game.  This pilot study suggests further studies to understand how educational technology tools can be incorporated into teaching to increase both satisfaction and learning among higher education students in health discipline.  

An interactive approach for learning ethics: students’ perceptions on the use of scenarios and student response system

Alvin WONG, Ken TSANG & Simon WONG
Hong Kong Community College
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Joseph SO
College of Professional and Continuing Education
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Ethics education is an important cornerstone for curriculum design and student development activities.  To enhance ethics learning, educators have tried several approaches including in-class discussion, cases studies, debates, websites analysis, corporate campaigns analysis and games (Spain, Engle & Thompson, 2005; Goby & Nickerson, 2012; Wouters, van Nimwegen, van Oostendorp, & van der Spek, 2013).  Wong and Chan (2017) has done an exploratory study to understand students’ perception on some elements of ethical activities such as use of scenarios setting, role taking discussion, students’ response options and potential consequences.  With the aim to enhance ethical awareness, interactive ethical activities have been conducted in a tertiary institution.  This paper aims to provide some empirical evidences on the effectiveness of the interactive approach based on participants’ perceptions.

The ethical activity consisted of two main parts.  The first part mainly focused on public transportation etiquettes, and the second part covered computer ethics and etiquettes in social networking.  Several scenarios were created, and in an interactive approach, students were invited to provide real-time response through an online response system to indicate anonymously their decisions.  The conclusion part of the activity included discussions on potential consequences, soft sharing and reminders on relevant content.  This ethical activity has been conducted for three rounds during the years of 2017 and 2018.  A total of 59 tertiary students participated in a questionnaire survey on voluntary basis.

Results showed two preliminary findings.  First, students perceived that this interactive approach using a real-time online response system is an interesting way to learn ethics.  Second, evidences supported that this approach might help enhance their empathy and ethics awareness.  These findings enable educators to understand more about students’ perceptions on ethics education pedagogy, and provide reference for designing ethical activities.  In view of the limited data collected for this study at this stage, further studies are required to provide more evidences on the effectiveness of this activity design.  Future research opportunities also include comparison studies and interactive approach with new elements or other designs.

Mobile App based delivery with home-made website for learning and administrative support – sharing our financial Insights with FSTE Institutions

Brian SIU
School of Continuing and Professional Education
City University of Hong Kong

This paper describes our Learning Support Website development project that can benefit FSTE Institution’s Learning Support System budget planning and delivery mode.   Through adopting the latest Microsoft Technology with central database control, this paper suggests that while it is an option to purchase Content Management Software and subscribe to eLearning services there is the alternative of home-based development.   We postulated that it is not a must to go for subscription as some usage experience revealed issues on access efficiency, cost and usability efficiency.   Our research and development work experience on Mobile App based website delivery resulted in a set of programme templates called the Make-To-Order (MTO) development methodology for enhancing new systems to support new programme, new teachers and new cohorts of students, who will be trained to use the systems by repeatedly viewing our YouTube-based videos with no extra cost.

A brief overview of 12 core functions of learning support and programme administration will be described in the paper, covering: (1) Programme Mobile Apply; (2) Students download application form from drop box for application; (3) Programme Leaders accept application from drop box; (4) Course teachers upload learning material to course drop box; (5) Students download learning material; (6) Students submit assignments to course drop box; (7) Course teachers download and mark assignments from student submission; (8) Course teachers upload marked assignments to individual students private drop box; (9) Students receive marked assignments from teachers through private drop box; (10) Course teachers upload course marks and grades for Examination Board meeting; (11) Programme administrative personnel enroll teachers and students to new courses; (12) Programme administrative personnel make announcements, input class and room booking information for students and teachers immediate access through mobile phone devices.

Numerous tests have been made by the smart phone (mobile phone), with contributions from students, teachers and administrative support personnel as users.   The successful result showed that the Mobile App access to learning support platform provides extra attraction for the students learning engagement.

Discussions and exchange can be made with attendees providing our insights on budgetary issues, advantages and actual benefits to different stakeholders and efficiency gained through tailor-making our own systems as opposed to subscribing to the rather expensive eLearning services on individual student basis or purchasing content management package which requires deep learning curve and more layers of supporting personnel.

From a foe to a friend – forging a new alliance in Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL)

Carrie CHENG, Faith NG & Bethany CHAN
School of Continuing and Professional Studies
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Language learning opportunities and resources devoted to elevating students’ English standards and fostering their interests are vital in the realm of higher education today.  Two commonly seen complications at students’ English learning are inadequate language learning platforms and insufficient motivation.   Constraints are identified including facilitating English learning at fingertips and engaging students beyond classrooms.   To further understand the needs and trend of new learning mode, primary and secondary data were collected.   At which, a questionnaire survey was administered to students at our School to find out their attitudes towards Mobile-Assisted Language Learning (MALL).  The data echoed the increasing popularity of e-learning in education.  Concurrently, the article “Embracing Teaching and Learning Challenges and Trends in Higher Education” published online by The University of Hong Kong in July 2017, addressed related discussion at the top 10 teaching and learning trends in higher education worldwide.   Amongst the trends enlisted, 6 are technology-related.  It is worth noting that mobile-assisted learning is ranked as one of the top directions.  The findings encourage and acknowledge the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning, especially for both students and institutions in meeting challenges in higher education.  It is remarked that technology allows flexibility, personalised dimensions and student engagement in learning.  Riding on the accelerating trend of e-learning and blended learning, m-learning can be seen as a highly enriching and convenient tool to cater for the diversified learning needs of students in our world today.  

This paper summarises a project of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUSCS) on developing an English learning mobile app named iLearn English.   The project endeavours to establish a sustainable and resourceful m-learning platform for improving students’ exposure to English learning.   MALL via iLearn English aims to forge a new alliance in learning by proactively delivering and updating English learning resources with language enhancement features on daily reading, vocabulary use, grammar awareness and extended reading experience.  In the light of learning trends in higher education, strategic goals of CUSCS and learning needs of the students, the development of m-learning app is well-grounded for its unique learning benefits.  The paper presents the findings from planning to creating iLearn English with a focus on how the app confides to formulate an innovative platform for capturing students’ attention, developing self-directed learning habit and harnessing English proficiency through smartphone – our daily accessible device.

Micro lecture, prevalent mobile learning for training and education

Hong Kong College of Technology

Today, we see the popularity of “TED Talks”, “Khan Academy” and “MOOC” conducted via “Coursera”, “Udacity” and “edX” for e-learning.  The fast development of micro lecture in the business world and education sector in recent decade has kept in pace with the emergence of these new teaching and learning modes.  The diversity of industries which are using or planning to use micro lecture is increasing.

The advancement of mobile internet technology and the convenience of mobile devices such as smart phones with more and more powerful multimedia production and sharing capabilities are facilitating the development and popularization of micro lecture for training, teaching and learning.  

As compared with traditional and systematic formal courses, micro lecture is a new way of curriculum presentation and knowledge delivery.  It has the main characteristics: less and small content, short duration, and accompanied by the integrated learning system design.  One particular micro lecture usually only discusses one learning goal, which greatly reduces the traffic burden of the network and makes it easier for people to learn anytime and anywhere.

Micro lecture can be used in various applications for training in workplace.  It can be used for a staff at the point of need and in a just-in-time manner, as goal-oriented when changing the behavior of the user, as a complement of a traditional training course, and as a general or new preview content for employees before they participate in an intensive training course or a large event of learning.  When applying micro lecture in flipped classroom, students will learn autonomously, classroom learning is enhanced from collaboration of students, and teaching time can be redistributed more effectively.  

An exploratory study has been conducted on real applications of micro lecture for training and learning in various countries especially in China, which has a rapid development and adoption in last decade.  The presentation of the study helps to answer critical questions: Is micro lecture effective for training and education?  Is micro lecture a key enabler to assist organizations for training and learning?  What are the critical successful factors?

With the prevalence of mobile, our organization has planned to use micro lecture for training and learning.  This paper also describes the methodology used for assessing the implementation.  With both quantitative and qualitative methods, there will be more results generated from data collection and analysis using on-line survey questionnaire and focus group discussion, as recommendations and future development of micro lecture.

Implementing blended learning in tourism and hospitality course: challenges and opportunities

Chammy LAU
College of Professional and Continuing Education
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Helen WONG
Hong Kong Community College
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Combining face-to-face classroom teaching and e-learning virtual platform, blended learning approach provides a flexible, convenient and accessible environment to those digitally-oriented new generation learners.  Not limited to distance-learning course, on-campus-based course can also be strengthened by engaging the students in an interactive learning environment.  However, much of the existing research focuses on the discussion on the acceptance and intention of using technology model to explain the motivating effect of learners.  Little research has been done to explore the challenges and opportunities in implementing the blended learning from a teacher’s perspective.  This study offers a timely intervention for evaluating various ways to adopt e-learning for on-campus course.  The aim of this study is to understand teachers’ conceptions, beliefs and the application of e-learning technology, especially on how to create synergy with classroom teaching.  Apart from the action research taken by the authors, in-depth interviews with a group of teaching practitioners in higher education sector were conducted and analyzed.  Our study found that educational podcasting including lecture capture, online streaming, video interview case, flipped classroom and students work recording were the most preferred tool to supplement direct teaching.  Our findings also affirmed that podcasting allows the teachers to overcome the challenges of geographical and temporal limitations.  Yet, stimulating on-line interactive dialogue among learners, teachers and peer-to-peer was the most desired components for further improvement.  Recommendations on how to accomplish collaborative theme-teaching by integrating multiple subject knowledge are embraced.  

Approach for accreditation of online learning programmes organisation: Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications

Alan WU & Sam HO
Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications

As technology advances, online delivery is becoming an important element in higher education.  The Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ), stipulated as the statutory accreditation authority for qualifications seeking recognition under the Hong Kong Qualifications Framework (HKQF), developed an approach for accreditation of online learning programmes, after conducting a study involving a literature review and a pilot exercise.

In conducting the study, the following key questions were explored:
(a) How should HKCAAVQ define online delivery and online learning programme for accreditation purposes?
(b) How should HKCAAVQ construct the eligibility requirements (if any)?
(c) Could the accreditation standards for Learning Programme Accreditation (LPA) and Learning Programme Re-accreditation (Re-LPA) under the Four-stage Quality Assurance Process of HKCAAVQ be applied to accredit online learning programmes? If not, what would be the additional requirements?

Definitions for online delivery and online learning programme

As observed from the literature review, there are many different terms and definitions for online delivery.  To conform with the definition of a learning programme in the relevant legislation, HKCAAVQ defines online delivery as “delivery that is enhanced by the use of technology and is delivered through a digital learning platform to provide structured teaching, learning and assessment”.   When online delivery is adopted in the majority of the teaching, learning and assessment activities in a learning programme, such a learning programme will be considered as an online learning programme (OLP).

Eligibility requirements

Development of OLPs requires careful planning and design.   To safeguard the integrity of the HKQF and to better manage the risks of HKCAAVQ and that of the institutions, HKCAAVQ stipulates the requirement that an institution must have the track record of developing and delivering conventional learning programmes.   Track record is, however, not limited to HKCAAVQ’s accreditation history.  If an institution is self-accrediting in its home country or it has been accredited by a recognised accreditation authority in the home country, this recognition is also relevant to HKCAAVQ’s consideration of track record.

Accreditation Standards

To understand the extent to which the accreditation standards for LPA and Re-LPA under the Four-stage Quality Assurance Process are relevant and sufficient for the accreditation of OLPs, reference was made to the practice of other quality assurance organisations/agencies in Australia, selected European countries, and the United States.  The findings suggest that same set of accreditation standards should be applied to accreditation of learning programmes regardless of delivery mode.  That is because any outcome-based learning programme must be designed such that an average learner can reasonably achieve the intended learning outcomes at the completion of the programme.  

Research also suggests that the quality of OLPs can be assessed by the same standards as face-to-face delivery mode with some adaptation of evidence to fit the particular characteristics of online delivery.  The consideration is that with the use of technology, it is reasonable to expect that delivery is enhanced and learning analytics can be used to inform the evaluation of effectiveness of delivery.  In order to do that, it is also reasonable to expect that an institution has the expertise in instructional and system design and also the resources to support the development and delivery of OLPs.

Pilot Exercise

In October 2017, HKCAAVQ conducted a pilot exercise to test the conceived approach.  The findings from the pilot exercise indicated that the definition can easily be operationalised, the track record of the institution applying for accreditation of OLP provides the necessary protection for all stakeholders of the HKQF, and while the accreditation standards for LPA and Re-LPA are relevant and sufficient for the accreditation of OLPs there are additional evidence requirements, such as authentication of students undertaking learning and assessment and the use of learning analytics for continuous improvement.

Following the completion of the study, the accreditation service for OLPs was launched in April 2018.

Helping students to find their paths: the effectiveness of a newly-developed career guidance course for associate degree students in Hong Kong

Danny LAM & Josephine YAU
College of International Education
Hong Kong Baptist University

Traditionally, colleges and universities leave the job of helping their students to find their career paths to guidance counselors in the university careers centre or counselling centre.  However, not all students will visit these centres and many of them therefore graduated from colleges and universities without knowing how to write a CV or introduce themselves in an interview properly, let alone being well aware of their career interests.  Even though sub-degree programme providers in Hong Kong aim at preparing their students to articulate to degree programmes and to land on their chosen occupational fields, the career guidance provided may sometimes be inadequate.

In this connection, the institution in which both authors are working has recently developed a one-unit course entitled “Planning for Your Academic and Career Pathways” to better prepare all the freshmen for their future paths.  This new course for all Year 1 associate degree students lasts for 13 hours and it covers topics in career planning, job values, job skills, the 21st century job market, personal statements, CV and interview skills.  The purpose of this course is to motivate students to start their career exploration and look on how much their interests and values match their career and study plans.   To reduce teachers’ workload in teaching this one-unit course, the flipped learning approach was adopted and several e-learning platforms have been employed.   To measure the effectiveness of this new course, apart from the traditional teaching evaluation on lecturers’ effectiveness and students’ learning experience, students were invited to complete an online survey comprising several well-established research instruments in vocational psychology, namely, Career Decision-Making Self-Efficacy Scale (CDMSE), Career Decidedness Scale (CDS), Occupational Identity Scale (OIS) and Career Exploration Survey (CES) in Week 1 (the first lesson) and Week 7 (the last lesson).  233 students completed both surveys and pair-sample t-tests to investigate if there are any significant changes on these measures of career development in students after taking this course.  The results are promising in which significant improvements in all measurements were found in the end of the course.  The empirical data from this study will not only be used to inform curriculum revision, but can also provide strong justification for sister institutions to develop similar courses to benefit their own students in the next decade.

Poster design as a new assessment task – another way to learn

KIU Kin Yan
Community College of City University
City University of Hong Kong

I joined the workshop organized by the Federation for Self-financing Tertiary Education two years ago.  The workshop suggested us to move beyond traditional assignment designs in general education classes.  After that workshop, I was inspired by Professor Paul Hanstedt and made changes for my teaching.

I taught a General Education course named “Nature and Conservation in Hong Kong”.  The course aims to help students to appreciate various natural resources in Hong Kong and to understand the threats and conservation status of these invaluable resources.  

After submission of all the assignments at the end of the semester, students were requested to do questionnaire survey in order to collect feedback.  41 students’ responses were received out of 70 students who took this course.  

In fact this course required students to do several assignments:
1) Poster to promote the conservation of an endangered species (group work)
2) After visit report to a heritage site and a geological place (group work)
3) After visit report to a biological resource site (individual work)
4) Newspaper summary on conservation issues and reflection (individual work)

Students were asked which assignment type(s) they liked (and they could choose more than one).  Among the 41 students who gave the feedback, 24 of them like to do the poster design.   17 of them enjoyed doing the group visit report.  16 students liked to do the individual after visit report and only 11 students reflected that they liked the newspaper summary and reflection writing.  Students also gave reasons why they liked to do these assignments.

Moreover, there are FOUR course intended learning outcomes:
1) Identify the biological and geological resources in Hong Kong;
2) Analyse the impacts of human activities on the natural heritage sites;
3) Evaluate the effectiveness of conservation policies for biological and geological resources;
4) Reflect on citizens’ responsibility on nature conservation.

Students were also asked whether these assignments could help achieve the course intended learning outcomes.

Students found that both individual assignments enhance their understanding of human impacts the most (i.e., outcomes 2).  Group visit reports allowed them to achieve learning outcome 1, while the poster design on an endangered species gave them a great opportunity to reflect on citizen’s responsibility on nature conservation, i.e., learning outcome 4.

At the end, these posters were displayed at the MTR Community Art Gallery at Kowloon Tong Station in July 2018.  Students did learn something as they need to search for relevant information about the endangered species, such as how rare they are, what are the threats they faced, which Ordinance protect them or what efforts have been done so far to conserve them.  General public can also get a chance to learn through those posters.

A revisit of the group assessment methods in higher education programmes

Joseph SHIEH, LEE Kai Lok & Edward CHOW
HKCT Institute of Higher Education

Group assessment, which considers the performance of a team, is commonly used in higher education programmes.  We believe that, with synergy, student performance would be better when working in teams than in individuals.  Also, from the perspective of Assessment for Learning, group assessment provides an effective platform to facilitate student development in team spirit, collaboration skills, communication skills, and prosocial behaviours, all of which cannot be measured by individual assessment but are deemed to be important learning outcomes as well as desirable graduate attributes of most, if not all, in higher education programmes.  In general, members of the same group obtain the same mark in group assessment.  There is, however, a discussion on whether individuals should obtain marks matching their performance in the group work.  We consider the discussion not merely a matter of handling “free riders” to make the assessment fair to all group members, but a deliberation of the nature of group assessment.  We argue that, because of the synergy in the group process, “assessing individuals in group assessment” should not be equated to “putting an individual assessment in a group assessment”.  Some research showed that peer assessment could be usefully and meaningfully to factor individual contributions, and students had positive perceptions of peer assessment (Cheng & Warren, 2000; Kench et al., 2009; Shu et al., 2012).  This study aims to probe into the conceptual issues relevant to designing and implementing group assessment in higher education programmes.  53 students studying programmes in sports at diploma (D) and higher diploma (HD) levels.  Two groups (i.e., SPO-D and SPO-HD) would be formed.  Data collected through engaging participants in peer assessment to reveal their group members’ contribution in five area, including “Participated in Discussion”, “Data Collection”, “Quality of Work”, “Complete the Task on Time”, and “Teamwork”.  The result showed that there was positive correlation in “Participated in Discussion” and the final result.  The study comes up that the students agreed the result should be proportionate to their participation in group work.

Applied Education Forum

6 December 2019