Development of Mentoring Scheme, e-learning Modules and Relevant Language Curriculum for an Interdisciplinary Science Programme
Principal Supervisors

Professor Wong Teng Fong
(Earth System Science Programme)


2 years and 2 months

Approved Budget

HK $500,000

  • Abstract
  • Brief write-up
  • Video Report


  • This proposal from the Earth System Science Programme (ESSC) comprises both a teaching development and a language enhancement component.

  • In the teaching development component, we propose to initiate a peer mentoring scheme and to continue developing e-learning modules for early engagement of our majors in ESSC and expediting their transition from high school to university. Most high school students have had very limited exposure to critical thinking and the interdisciplinary approach, which are skill sets crucial for success in an interdisciplinary curriculum of the university. The role of a mentor is to provide targeted advices to the junior peers on how to study and excel in the new setting of a university, based on her or his past experience as an interdisciplinary major who has gone through the learning curve.

  • E-learning modules have proved to be an effective mechanism for filling in the gaps in background of new students that cannot be covered more comprehensively in ESSC introductory courses. From other funding sources, 6 modules have already been developed, and given the positive responses from students, we propose to develop 4 more, thus accumulating a critical mass of 10 modules in Earth System Science.

  • There is a paucity of teaching materials with relevant scientific contents in advanced English courses. In the language enhancement component of this project, we propose to compile an anthology of articles suitable for the English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) to showcase outstanding technical writing in its courses. Articles will be selected from scientific journals and news media, on topics such as global and local environmental changes, natural hazards, and the food-energy-water nexus. ESSC faculty will provide annotated introduction on the scientific background and comments on the style of presentation for each article.

Brief write-up

Project objectives

Two major Objectives: (i) a teaching development; and (ii) a language enhancement component.

Three aspects were planned for Earth System Science Programme (ESSC)-major students to expedite their learning via (a) mentoring scheme; (b) modifying and implementing eLearning modules in different courses; and (c) English enhancement activities.

Activities, process and outcomes

  1. ESSC Peer Mentoring Scheme: a total of 26 mentors and 81 mentees participated in the scheme, each mentor was paired with 3-7 mentees for regular academic advising meetings.
  2. Modifying and Implementing eLearning Modules in Different Courses: 5 eLearning modules comprising (1) 5 groups of animations and 2 tutorial videos were produced for two atmospheric science modules; (2) Polishing a Minerals and Rocks Gallery; (3) 31 videos for Hong Kong Geology; and (4) 7 videos for Taiwan Geology.
  3. English enhancement activities: close cooperation between English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) and ESSC to provide prompt advising to ESSC students includes: regular meetings between ELTU and ESSC, ELTU staff involving in ESSC teaching activities, ESSC staff participating in ELTU consultation session for science students and incorporating scientific papers in undergraduate course.

Deliverables and evaluation

Based on survey, student’s instant feedback and teacher’s observation, all the three aspects achieved our project goals. Students do not only gain support academically from their senior students, eLearning modules and English advising activities, they also build up a stronger bonding with students/teachers and motivate their learning. We do support further development of the above activities.

Dissemination, diffusion, impact and sharing of good practices

All the three aspects stimulate students’ self-learning motivation, help developing students’ critical thinking and enhance science students’ English presentation and writing skills. We believed that sharing our eLearning modules and further cooperation with other units would definitely strengthen both teaching and learning in this high-tech society.

Video Report

Please click the following link for viewing the report.