The Teacher and Student Conference (5 December) aims to promote the exchange of ideas and sharing of experience across institutions on fundamental issues of general education.
Teachers’ panels and students’ panels will be conducted in parallel. Students will present a paper submitted to a general-education course, or share experience taking a general-education course or programme, or present reflections on a topic of interest in general education. Teachers will present results of a teaching-and-learning research, or share reflections and experience with a general-education topic, course, programme, or teaching method.
Venue: LSK LT7
Venue: LSK LT7
|Keynote Speech: Global Citizenship: Goals and Means
Speaker: Nigel DOWER
Venue: LSK LT7
Venue: LSK 201
Moderator: Klaus COLANERO (CUHK)
Venue: LSK 202
Moderator: YEUNG Yang (CUHK)
Venue: LSK 204
Moderator: NG Ka Leung Andy (CUHK)
Venue: LSK 206
Moderator: PANG Kam Moon (CUHK)
|Activating Global Citizenship: Varieties of Institutionality in the Common Core@HKU
LAM Man Ho Adrian
(Common Core University Curriculum, HKU)
|Heavenly and Mundane—Perspectives in Classics
HO Wai Ming
|Teaching "In Dialogue with Nature" (GFN) in CUHK, Shenzhen
JIANG Lili, Tony LO, SONG Hongbin
|Implementation of Criterion Referencing in GEFP
PANG Kam Moon, CHEUNG Hang Cheong Derek, CHIU Chu Lee Julie, GAO Xin, LIAO Liang Shelly*, WONG Bon Wah Baldwin, WONG Wing Hung
(GEFP, CUHK / *RCGE, CUHK)
|Internationalization and Global Citizenship: Policy in Practice in a University
(Student of School of Accountancy, CUHK)
|Can Science be Pluralistic? Reflections on Teaching Traditional Chinese Medicine in a Science General Education Course
SZETO Wai Man
|Criterion-referencing for Student Success: An Early Review and Vision for Future
LIAO Liang Shelly*, CHEUNG Hang Cheong Derek, CHIU Chu Lee Julie, GAO Xin, PANG Kam Moon, WONG Bon Wah Baldwin, WONG Wing Hung
(GEFP, CUHK / *RCGE, CUHK)
|Designing International General Education Curricula: Challenges and Opportunities
Cecilia Titiek MURNIATI, Marcella E. SIMANDJUNTAK, Ridwan SANJAYA, Budi WIDIANARKO
(Soegijapranata Catholic University)
|Is There Such a Thing as Right or Wrong? In Dialogue with Zhuangzi, Bible and DNA: The Secret of Life
LO Chun Yeung
|Application of Socratic Method in Peer Assisted Study Sessions
SHUM Yu Hei*, NG Ka Leung Andy, SZETO Wai Man
(*Dept. of Psychology, CUHK / GEFP, CUHK)
|Criterion Referencing Requires Abandonment of Additive Scoring
(Dept. of Physics, CUHK)
|Lunch Break (Venue: Open Area, 1/F, LSK)
|Afternoon Registration (LSK LT7)
Venue: LSK 201
Moderator: HOI Wan Heng Sandy (CUHK)
Venue: LSK 202
Moderator: YEUNG Yang (CUHK)
Venue: LSK 204
Moderator: WONG Wing Hung (CUHK)
Venue: LSK 206
Moderator: CHEUNG Hang Cheong Derek (CUHK)
|Demystify the West and Objectivize China: The Understanding of Social Inequalities and the Training of Global Citizen
|Experiencing Classics in the GEF Programme through Farming
LI Ming, CHENG Wai Pang Damian, CHIU Chu Lee Julie, LAM To Kam Cherry, LAU Hoi Lung, LUI Wing Sing, WONG Wing Yu Esther
|Educating Chinese Middle Class Youth on “Gender Matters”: A Pedagogical Reflection
|Factors Contributing to an Engaging Tutorial Discussion: A Focus Group Study
NG Ka Leung Andy, CHEUNG Hang Cheong Derek
|Ping Che Evolving: Understanding Its Community in Response to “City Development”
WONG Ka Po, CHAN Yin Ha
|The Value of Being CUrious: From Dialogue with Nature and Humanity, to a Dialogue with Readers and Our Own Minds
Serena YUE*, Tiffany PAU*, Bernard TSENG#, Felix YUE@, Emily LEUNG^
(*Student of School of Life Sciences, CUHK / #Student of Dept. of Computer Science & Engineering, CUHK / @Student of Dept. of Mechanical & Automation Engineering, CUHK / ^Student of Faculty of Medicine, CUHK)
|Does General Education in Science Have Gender Differences?
KIANG Kai Ming, CHENG Wai Pang Damian, YU Nga Hin Elly
|Micro-modules in Variety: Evaluation from Users’ and Developers’ Perspectives
CHEUNG Hang Cheong Derek, NG Ka Leung Andy, WONG Ka Tai Isaac
|Supporting the United Nations 2030 Agenda: The Experience of CUHK Library
Lily KO, Leo F. H. MA
|Introducing an English Language Reflective Journal Writing Micro-Module
Karl HOLM, Jovita YEUNG, Mimi YU, Rodney HO, Yvonne LOONG, Felix CHAO
|The Philosophy and Practice of Suzhi Education and General Education in China
Beijing Institute of Technology
|Students' Intellectual and Ethical Development in Learning "In Dialogue with Nature"
LIAO Liang Shelly
Venue: LSK 201
Moderator: HOI Wan Heng Sandy (CUHK)
Venue: LSK 202
Moderator: YEUNG Yang (CUHK)
Venue: LSK 204
Moderator: LO Chun Yeung Edwin (CUHK)
|Charles Taylor on Multiculturalism and Global Citizenship
HUNG Tsz Wan Andrew
(PolyU Hong Kong Community College)
(Student of Global Studies Programme, Faculty of Social Science, CUHK)
|Gamification in "In Dialogue with Nature"–A Sharing of First-hand Experience
KWAN Ka Leong*, CHU Ching Tin#
(*Student of Dept. of Psychology, CUHK / #Student of Dept. of Physics, CUHK)
|Chinese Language in the Globalized World
LEE Siu Lun
(Yale-China Chinese Language Centre, CUHK)
|Nomadic Transdisciplinary Researchers: Traveling Knowledge and the CommonCore@HKU
Gray KOCHHAR-LINDGREN, GU Guolin, Aisha WAHAB, Faustina YIP
(Common Core, HKU)
|Supplement Students’ Diverse Needs through an Integrated Micro Modules Courseware Platform
KIANG Kai Ming, WU Jun
ZHANG Xufeng, LIU Yaxian
(Suzhou University of Science and Technology)
|Virtual Experiential Learning for General Education Foundation Programme
NG Ka Leung Andy, CHEUNG Hang Cheong Derek, LEUNG Cheuk Hang, KWOK Pak Nin Samson* (GEFP, CUHK / *Dept. of Philosophy, CUHK)
Venue: LSK LT7
LAM Man Ho Adrian (Common Core University Curriculum, HKU)
In the interconnected and interdependent globalised era, higher education institutions are prominent in offering an open and an interactive platform to facilitate ongoing democratisation of knowledge and engagement among stakeholders. The idea of ‘‘global citizenship’’ is well incorporated into the liberal arts curriculum, including specific dimensions like recognition, emotion, motivation, and participation, which aims to cultivate and strengthen undergraduate students’ roles and responsibilities in relation to the wider global community. The introduction of liberal arts curriculum or general education in undergraduate study in Hong Kong is hence an important move in realising cross-disciplinary teaching and learning. This exploratory qualitative study focuses on the Common Core at the University of Hong Kong, particularly on the Area of Inquiry of Global Issues. This area aims to enable students to think globally and live as informed and active members of a global community. Therefore, the author is interested in investigating how the concept of ‘‘global citizenship’’ is reflected by and incorporated into this wide range of courses based on their content and structure. Meanwhile, the author plans to solicit views from students to evaluate how successful are these designs in reflecting and shaping global citizenship among them. It is hoped that this study can reveal some potential alignments between top-down designs and bottom-up responses with regard to global citizenship in university general education. Meanwhile, the possible limitations can shed light on how future courses could be designed to better cater the diverse perspectives and interests among these students as the future global citizens.
Paula HODGSON (CLEAR, CUHK)
The concept of internationalization of the curriculum has been explored in the university since 2015, when departments were invited to consolidate the notion of an internationalized curriculum, including learning outcomes, content, learning activities and assessment in courses, while setting up online modules to help achieve an internationalized curriculum and prepare staff for internationally recruited staff and students. Programs have been established to show components of global citizenship in the curriculum, and staff across departments are working towards the implementation into courses. Global citizenship describes a postmodern identity with a value framework in which individuals should be proactive on environmental protection, respecting equity of human rights and undertaking social responsibility. Thus, global citizenship has a close connection with intercultural competence. Students can develop the competence and experience internationalization through exchange programs, attending international competitions, working on international collaborative projects, and attending cultural exchange activities such as field trips and other activities organized on campus. As there are a variety of internationalized curricula across programs in both formal and informal courses, local and internationally recruited educators can embark on the possibility of inclusivity of local and international students in the classroom. This may imply that educators share common goals to embrace student diversity and strategies to enable them to draw on different perspectives and readily build on one another’s skills and talents. While not all students can have opportunities for exchange activities or to interact with non-local students in class, educators can consider bridging massive open online courses in the curriculum so that all students can broaden their global outlook and develop intercultural competence through interacting with global learners of diverse backgrounds and experiences.
Cecilia Titiek MURNIATI, Marcella E. SIMANDJUNTAK, Ridwan SANJAYA, Budi WIDIANARKO (Soegijapranata Catholic University)
Global competitiveness has necessitated universities worldwide to undertake vast and expensive measures to redesign and revamp their curricula, improve their students’ services, and other similar measures. The term internationalization is not limited to the use of English as the medium of instruction or the number of international students. Internationalization of higher education has taken a much more profound meaning that encompasses strategies and approaches to instill global perspective in their learning, teaching, and research activities. This paper aims to present challenges of designing international general education curricula. It also delineates opportunities that universities can take advantage of to create courses that support the whole person education, nurture individuals who are able to become caring leaders and respond to global challenges.
Keywords: general education, internationalization, whole person education
HO Wai Ming (GEFP, CUHK)
“The petty man of Heaven is a gentleman among men; the gentleman among men is the petty man of Heaven.” (The Great and Venerable Teacher) Zhuangzi teaches us to see things from different perspectives. Reading Zhuangzi, we cannot help but admire his mastery in creating fantastic, and yet thought-stimulating images. Looking down from ninety thousand li above in the sky, what would the gigantic Peng see? What can Zhuangzi inspire us, moderns, living in hyper-dynamic and extremely success-driven societies? Not only Zhuangzi, other classics also motivate us to see things from different angles. “But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first,” we may read in Matthew 19.30 What is success? Who are successful? The first or the last?
In the presentation, I am going to share my understanding and teaching of this way of seeing in contrast with other perspectives students may encounter in reading classics for general education. What should we see? And how? “The mind’s sight becomes sharp only when the sight of the eyes begins to weaken, and you’re [Alcibiades] still a long way from that.” (Symposium 219a) Do we cling too tightly to conventional norms and worldly interests? Flexibility in seeing is freedom. Pause and turn around ... This is Platonic paideia, and is what we can learn from classics.
WANG Tongyi (Student of School of Accountancy, CUHK)
LO Chun Yeung (GEFP, CUHK)
Ethics is puzzling and elusive, yet we make ethical judgement all the time. Many thinkers have contributed to the discussion of this intriguing human faculty from widely different premises. “In Dialogue with Humanity” (UGFH) and “In Dialogue with Nature” (UGFN) are two General Education Foundation courses compulsory for all CUHK students, where they have to reflect on perennial questions in human civilization through the reading of classic texts. In UGFH, two of the texts (Zhuangzi and Bible) can be studied in the context of meta-ethics. One can be seen as a proponent of moral relativism, while the other can be understood to attribute right or wrong to divine commands. On the other hand, in UGFN, the idea of physicalism brought up by James Watson in DNA: The Secret of Life also has huge implication to the problem of ethics. In my presentation, I will share my experience in teaching these texts with regard to the theme of ethics during UGFN and UGFH tutorial classes.
JIANG Lili, Tony LO, SONG Hongbin (CUHKSZ)
The curriculum of General Education (GE) in CUHK (SZ) follows the GE Programme of CUHK, consisting of 18 credit units of GE (GE Foundation + 4 Areas UGE) courses that required by the undergraduate curriculum. We have been teaching the GFN course at CUHK (SZ) since the University established. We would like to share: 1) experience in teaching this text-based course in Shenzhen; 2) the students’ response and feedback; 3) the difficulties encountered in the past few years; and 4) possible ways of improving the students’ understanding of the GFN reading materials in future.
SZETO Wai Man (GEFP, CUHK)
With a history of more than two thousand years, Traditional Chinese medicine (or Chinese Medicine for short) has been widely practiced in Asian countries and is now regarded as a complementary health approach in the West. However, understanding Chinese Medicine proves to be challenging – because the fundamental concepts in Chinese Medicine, such as qi (vital energy), yin yang and wu xing (five phases), are hardly comprehensible from the perspective of modern science. In this presentation, I would like to share my experience of teaching Huangdi Neijing (Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor), the classic medical text generally cherished as the foundation of Chinese Medicine, in a science general education course. Through the reading of Huangdi Neijing, students are invited to make sense of the fundamental concepts in Chinese Medicine and evaluate whether Chinese Medicine is merely a product of primitive thinking and would finally be absorbed by Western medicine, or it provides a valuable alternative view on humans and Nature that has been neglected by modern science. These discussions serve to engage students in reflecting on the nature, achievement and limitations of modern science and the viability of a pluralistic account of Nature.
SHUM Yu Hei*, NG Ka Leung Andy, SZETO Wai Man (*Dept. of Psychology, CUHK / GEFP, CUHK)
Peer learning, conceptualized as the acquisition of knowledge or skills through mutual supports and discussions among matched companions or students with equal status, is becoming a common practice in higher education. Among different ways of implementing peer learning, peer tutoring, such as Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS), was one of the most well-adopted methods. Yet not all peer tutoring programs gave a satisfactory outcome. There were some common challenges experienced, such as the low participating motivation and the poor group dynamics in discussions. These major challenges, if not being handled well, might even result in group dissolution. Some researchers had suggested that the Socratic Method is a plausible solution to these challenges. It is a constructivist pedagogical approach that emphasizes an active exchange of questioning and responses between the leader and students. Through the Socratic Method students are guided to solve the problem themselves and, more crucially, reflect further on their own understanding and opinion via the challenges from their peers or the leader. With these potential advantages, the Socratic Method was introduced to PASS for the General Education Foundation Programme at The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2017-18 Term 2. In this presentation, we are going to report the implementation of this pedagogy and the reflections arisen.
PANG Kam Moon, CHEUNG Hang Cheong Derek, CHIU Chu Lee Julie, GAO Xin, LIAO Liang Shelly*, WONG Bon Wah Baldwin, WONG Wing Hung (GEFP, CUHK / *RCGE, CUHK)
Criterion-referenced assessment means to measure students’ performance against a set of prescribed criteria and standards, which are the sole considerations in grading (i.e., not subject to subsequent grade-distribution adjustment) and made known to students well in advance. Ideally, this provides clear goals for student achievement in a course of studies—what knowledge, skills, and attitudes to achieve (criteria prescribed); where each stands in achieving them (standards met); and how one may move up the “ladder” of achievements.
General Education Foundation Programme (GEFP) comprises two compulsory, seminar-based, reading-intensive courses, "In Dialogue with Humanity" and "In Dialogue with Nature". Assessment in both courses involves the evaluation of students’ ability to read classics, to discuss with classmates issues of timely and timeless concerns, to collate intricate information, and to reflect and covey personal views on good life, good society, and humans’ place in nature in academic papers. In other words, GEFP demands students of a wide range of capabilities, spelt out as five intended learning outcomes (ILOs) for each of the two courses. To incorporate the ILOs into the grade descriptors of the course, and further to translate them into criteria and standards in the rubric for each assessment component, pose a big challenge. Added to it is the vexation of converting grades obtained from various assessment components into the course grade.
This paper attempts to review the design and implementation of criterion-referencing in GEFP, newly launched in September 2018, by examining the difficulties encountered and foreseen, and exploring ways to address them.
LIAO Liang Shelly*, CHEUNG Hang Cheong Derek, CHIU Chu Lee Julie, GAO Xin, PANG Kam Moon, WONG Bon Wah Baldwin, WONG Wing Hung (GEFP, CUHK / *RCGE, CUHK)
In accordance with the university-wide policy at CUHK to go criterion-referencing in student assessment from September 2018 onwards, 28-plus teachers of the General Education Foundation Programme (GEFP) kicked off the fall semester by presenting to students: the news that their course grades no longer have to fit into a "normal distribution"; and a set of expectations called "grade descriptors," and "grading rubrics" for components as varied as multi-choice quizzes, tutorial interactions, reflective journals, and academic essay. This presentation attempts to ask three guiding questions: How do teachers and students receive the change? What comes out of the first attempt to switch to criterion-referencing? In the long run, how to improve the effectiveness of criterion-referencing in informing teaching and learning? In addition, we will outline the investigation plans on the effectiveness and improvement of criterion-referencing in GEFP in the future.
Kenneth YOUNG (Dept. of Physics, CUHK)
Criterion referencing (CR) demands that grades are awarded for attainment of competencies defined by grade descriptors. Many assessment schemes adopt additive scoring (AS): the grades are determined solely by the total score X, obtained by adding up (with or without scaling or normalization) sub-scores X1, X2, X3, ... . The combination of CR and AS leads to a logical problem: the total score X cannot by itself reveal whether the desired competencies are attained. A solution is proposed, based on scrutiny of a matrix of descriptors. Pedagogical benefits include focusing student attention on mastery of fundamentals and arresting the trend of grade inflation.
Aurélien BOUCHER (CUHKSZ)
This paper aims to argue about the necessity to discuss the current situation of social inequality in a globalized and multicultural perspective.
The first part of the presentation will deal with the necessity to “demystify” the western democracies, which are often thought by young Chinese students originated from the middle class as a synonym of “meritocratic” societies. We will argue that the understanding of the mechanism through which social reproduction operates in democracy (such as “the implicit complicity of dominate people to their own domination) are crucial to make student appreciate that the separation of power is a central but insufficient condition to establish a meritocratic society.
In the second part, we will discuss the necessity to objectivize the existing social inequalities in China, which are progressively made invisible in political discourse and public statistics. In particular, we will underline the importance of discussing the misconception of the Pre-reform society as an equalitarian society.
Finally, we will conclude with Pierre Bourdieu, that the teaching of inequality from a multicultural perspective constitute a particularly good way “to offer to individuals the possibility to free itself from social determinism”.
WONG Ka Po, CHAN Yin Ha (ILC, CUHK)
Ping Che (坪輋), a rural area consists of six villages, was brought into the spotlight when North East New Territories New Development Areas Planning (新界東北發展計劃) was announced and resisted by the non-indigenous inhabitants. Though the government reviewed and replanned the Ping Che/Ta Kwu Ling New Development Area in the New Territories North Study (新界北研究) in 2015, the threat of land redemption remains. Since then, several locals and social activists have been organizing community engagement activities there, including community tours, art festivals and the establishment of Ping Che Mural Village. These not only revive rural cultures and empower villagers with strong identity, but also unite participants as a growing resistance to the Planning.
The stories of Ping Che are worth our attention to rethink “city development”. Starting from September 2018, 21 CUHK students of the Teaching Development and Language Enhancement Grant (TDLEG) project “CUHK in Communities” led by independent curator and urbanist Dr. Sampson Wong have engaged in the festive events and community activities there. It is hoped that, through the eight-month participatory learning and doings, students will have firsthand experience and understanding of the intertwined facets of the people’s living, especially under the threats posed by city development.
The Ping Che community is an exemplary case to rethink the legitimacy of the global trend of urbanization caused by developmentalism. In response to a top-down urban planning, how can we advocate and practice a community-initiated development with land justice and equal participation, hence constructing a civil society? Through on-site participatory learning at Ping Che, students will have first-hand observation and also chances to test the concepts learnt in class: the pursuit of good life, land justice, community-initiated development, and equal participation in a civil society, some of the core components of general education.
Lily KO, Leo F. H. MA (Library, CUHK)
The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a global plan to fight poverty, to establish equality and justice, and to achieve sustainable development for all countries. It consists of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets covering a wide spectrum of social and economic development issues. As a long term strategy, the ultimate goal of the Agenda is that no one will be left behind in the world regardless of one’s local citizenship. To enhance graduate’s global competitiveness, CUHK has been promoting the wide understanding of the SDGs within the CUHK community. In 2017, the CUHK Library launched its Strategic Plan 2017-2020 to align with the three strategic themes of the university: in education, nurturing lifelong learners as global leaders; in research, producing cutting edge discoveries with global impact and societal contributions; and engagement with recognition for CUHK’s distinctive culture and tradition. One of the CUHK Library’s strategic themes is to nurture graduates to be a lifelong learner and global leader in this interconnected, digital world. This presentation explores how CUHK Library supports the SDGs, including reading promotion (SDG#4 Quality Education), access to information (SDG#16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions), encouraging innovation and creativity (SDG#9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), in the university community. The authors conclude that library can contribute to the student development of global citizenship by implementing the SDGs of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.
LI Ming, CHENG Wai Pang Damian, CHIU Chu Lee Julie, LAM To Kam Cherry, LAU Hoi Lung, LUI Wing Sing, WONG Wing Yu Esther (GEFP, CUHK)
General Education Foundation (GEF) Programme is a common core programme which aims at shaping students into better global citizens by cultivating students’ knowledge, attitudes, and values through reading classics. Expanded from successful attempts since 2015/16 of incorporating rooftop farming into one of the GEF courses, “In Dialogue with Nature”, to enhance students’ appreciation of the science-related classics and their relevance to contemporary life, the project “Experiential Learning through Farming” is introduced in 2018/19 as a new endeavor to enhance student reflection in the GEF Programme. Through field-trips to farmlands and hands-on practices, students are expected to gain a better understanding and appreciation of the classics, and to reflect on their personal lifestyles, social system, and the ethics behind food production. A series of short lecture videos are produced and uploaded for student viewing prior to visits to a local farm and a village. Students are guided to reflect on issues including the environmental impact of agricultural technology, justice and land use, the influence of capitalism on consumption, and the attitude and ways of living with nature. This presentation aims to review the experience and feedback gained from the trial run of the project.
Serena YUE*, Tiffany PAU*, Bernard TSENG#, Felix YUE@, Emily LEUNG^ (*Student of School of Life Sciences, CUHK / #Student of Dept. of Computer Science & Engineering, CUHK / @Student of Dept. of Mechanical & Automation Engineering, CUHK / ^Student of Faculty of Medicine, CUHK)
CUriosity is a student-run magazine built on the foundation of passion and commitment. This is a project put together by a group of students who felt enriched and inspired by the UGFH and UGFN courses. We did not view it as a mere GE course but rather, it laid a foundation for us to sow the seeds of curiosity to discover and understand life. We loved integrating our knowledge as we explored different fields in new and expansive ways. Yet, we wanted to share this enthusiasm with fellow students and professors. With this end in mind we sought out like-minded peers, who also harbour a genuine curiosity for learning, and a passion for writing. With the generous support and funding from the General Education Foundation, CUriosity Issue 1 proudly made its debut in April 2018, while Issue 2 is solidly underway.
Students on the team spanned four faculties and had a variety of talents to offer, including: photography, illustration, writing and website design. The articles written, some of which stemmed from memorable texts in the “Dialogue with Nature” and “Dialogue with Humanity” readings, spanned a diverse spectrum: Why should we read classics like The Symposium in our modern age? What will Rachel Carson think of our rapid urbanization and efforts at “sustainable development”? What do the words “mental health” mean from a student’s perspective, and how do they overcome these difficulties? These are some issues explored in our magazine, as we endeavor to engage in a dialogue with our readers.
Karl HOLM, Jovita YEUNG, Mimi YU, Rodney HO, Yvonne LOONG, Felix CHAO (ILC, CUHK)
Reflective journal writing is an important genre of academic writing in which students are not only asked to think critically about any given experience, issue, or question, but also to be able to monitor their own development as learners. Here, we introduce an English language micro-module for self-directed learning of reflective journal writing skills aimed specifically at students taking the General Education courses “In Dialogue with Nature” and “In Dialogue with Humanity”. This micro-module is complementary to Chinese language versions, and supports regular workshops. In the design of this platform, we have tried to reach multiple aims: for example, while we suggest a linear progress throughout the module, we also provide several points of entry in order to satisfy different learning needs and individual preferences. Furthermore, we provide multiple types of exercises generated from authentic student texts in order for the students to monitor their progress. In terms of content, we found it important not only to explain in detail the process of reflective thinking, but also to exemplify and practice the language features of reflective journal writing. Thus, we include detailed sections on how to analyse writing prompts, generate ideas and arguments, andfinally outline and compose the writing. Therefore, we believe that core parts of this micro-module are also useful for learning general academic writing.
HAN Yuchen (CUHKSZ)
Gender/Sexuality and feminisms are more and more sensitive terms in China nowadays. The teaching process of the general education course titled “Gender Matters” is a practice of enriching students with the related knowledge and sensitivity in the first place. It also provides a lively field for exploring present-day Chinese youth’s views and possible change-making practices on gender issues.
In the first part of the presentation, I will introduce the empirical “field”, including the course design and assessment methods, the reactions and feedback from students, and a post-course “Gender Culture Month” initiated by me and the course students, which activated the feminist discussion campus-wide.
The latter part will be findings and discussion. Firstly, as a feminist pedagogy-oriented course, the traditional power structure between teacher and students was diminished, whereas, surprisingly, a new “political correct” power structure came out. Secondly, when the educator delivers the course in the philosophy of “pedagogy of the oppressed”, it is found that “individuation” is the common qualities of the youth, constructing their gender and sexual practices and identifications, and making them not “the oppressed” at all. Thirdly, the middle class family and sense of individuation bring the youth consciousness of civil right. This may conduce them to better understand and practise liberal feminism and queer feminism. However, Marxist feminism and the perspective of intersectionality are somewhat difficult to be probed. Fourthly, teaching and learning in English, as a standard setting in this Mainland-Hong Kong Cooperative University, is sometimes a barrier for in-depth discussion, while sometimes is a safety screen to “legitimize” the discussion.
KIANG Kai Ming, CHENG Wai Pang Damian, YU Nga Hin Elly (GEFP, CUHK)
Previous literature suggested that gender differences in learning habit, thinking pattern and the preferred study mode are influential to the gender difference in student’s performance in science subjects. In general, males prefer competitive mode of study which is more harmonic to the traditional science lessons and curriculums, while females prefer cooperative mode which is less harmonic.
With the case of “In Dialogue with Nature”, a general education course on science, this research investigates the gender difference in educational behavior and performance in studying this course. Both objective and subjective students’ performance were collected from their course grades, surveys and focus group interviews. Our analysis adopted the input-environment-output (IEO) model in which changes of students before and after studying the course were measured. It is found that, although males were found outperforming females on their self-efficacy and appreciation of science throughout the course, which matched the common belief, females experienced the larger improvement in these aspects of the course. More importantly, females performed better in their course grades, suggesting that this discussion and reflection-based course might indeed favoring females, unlike traditional science courses. This result seems to also confirm a reported phenomenon in the literature that males tend to be overconfident while females tend to be underconfident in their science-related knowledge and capability. This is also confirmed from the focus group interviews that females tends to be less active and less dominating in tutorial discussions on science topics in a mixed gender setting.
It is hoped that more in-depth investigation in this study in the future can suggest hints on curriculum and lesson design to cater gender differences on science education courses in general. In this presentation, we shall share our findings and hope to provide further insights on the issue.
PANG Haishao (Beijing Institute of Technology)
This research briefly introduces the history of general education in universities in China. It is discovered that the word suzhi (no single English term fully catches its nuances) has become central to contemporary Chinese education since 1980s. In higher education, the meaning of suzhi education is very close to liberal education, and general education, whole-person education, all-round education, etc. This paper will take them as the same concept.
Beginning from the 1990s, suzhi education and general education caused great reform in university education. There are mainly three aspects:
First, the idea of university and the purpose of education changed profoundly. During the last half-century, China always emphasized the important role of science and technology and paid more attention to specialized training. In 1990s, university recognized the peculiar limitations of special education then coined the slogan suzhi education which implied that the basic goal of education system reform is to raise the comprehensive (including moral, intellectual, physical and aesthetical) quality of all students. Universities and colleges should not just train specialists but cultivate educated men.
Second, more and more universities took various measures to carry out suzhi education, such as enlarging out-class activities greatly, enforcing general education curriculum, and training critical thinking and creative ability. All these attracted many students to join and played a very important role in broadening students’ horizon, improving their knowledge structure, and balancing with professional education.
Third, some universities started to do the experimental exploration of undergraduate cultivation mode which named “professional education based on general education with a wide range of knowledge”. They tried to foster the aims of general education through reform of university structure and management system innovation.
The most difficulty is how to fully realize the meaning and value of general education, how to save general education and its values within a system where specialism is dominant. Another complicated problem is how to respond to the impact of social change. The influence of commerce and utilitarianism is so strong that universities have largely abrogated their basic function of educating students and alter to researching and other things service in recent years. Surely the hope of a sound general education in China depends on the systematic reform of higher education.
Keywords: general education, suzhi education, higher education reform
NG Ka Leung Andy, CHEUNG Hang Cheong Derek (GEFP, CUHK)
Albeit e-Learning is a major trend in higher education, face-to-face discussion remains a crucial pedagogy in many university courses. It is important to understand the underlying factors that contribute to an effective and engaging discussion, such that students’ learning could be enhanced. The research question was addressed in the compulsory general education course, “In Dialogue with Nature” at The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2016-17. A survey was administered at the last session of the course to look into students’ perception of their experience in group discussion. Results showed that students have maintained a good social presence during the discussion. The positive discussion atmosphere revealed from the survey provided the basis for probing into the essential factors that lead to an engaging discussion. 38 students, among the survey participants, were recruited to take part in a focus group study. Students were asked to recall, as detailed as possible, their memorable discussion scenarios in the course. Focus group transcripts were then analysed by two independent researchers using techniques mainly aligned with grounded theory. Analysis shows that composition of group members (76.3 %), existence of different stances and interpretations in a group (42.1 %), nature of the discussion questions (50.0 %), discussion setting (42.1 %), students’ familiarity of the assigned texts (39.5 %), students’ fatigue level (31.6 %) and teachers’ feedback (21.1 %) are more prominent contributing factors to an engaging discussion. The results of this study should have pedagogical implications for higher education courses which adopt a discussion format.
CHEUNG Hang Cheong Derek, NG Ka Leung Andy, WONG Ka Tai Isaac (GEFP, CUHK)
The implementation of E-learning has been a growing trend in higher education. While online educational videos have shown benefit to students’ learning, it is essential to explore the cost-effectiveness in producing various types of micro-modules, concerning what learners could gain through watching videos of different formats, as well as the development cost of the videos. The questions were addressed in the context of a compulsory general education foundation course, “In Dialogue with Nature”, in The Chinese University of Hong Kong. A series of micro-modules has been developed to serve as supplementary learning tools. It aims to equip students with relevant scientific knowledge that is crucial for understanding the assigned readings as well as historical and technical knowledge which contextualises the discussion over the course issues. By now, four types of videos have been produced, including studio recorded lecture (1) without lecturer’s image, (2) with lecturer’s image; (3) Powtoon video; and (4) video recorded student discussion. In this study, semi-structured focus group interviews and survey were conducted to gauge the effectiveness of the video types from the students’ perspective. Teacher interviews were carried out to look into the cost of video production. Through these, a comprehensive picture on the input to produce micro-modules and their corresponding benefits to students’ learning were revealed.
LIAO Liang Shelly (RCGE, CUHK)
Intellectual skills or capacity is one of the important learning goals for general education and liberal studies. This study uses Perry’s intellectual and ethical development theory as a framework to explore students’ learning experiences in one general education course. By qualitative method, the research explores students’ understanding and interpretation on knowledge, which position he stays in according to Perry’s theory, discussed what these various approaches and levels mean and how we could reflect on GE teaching practice as well as GE curriculum with the perspective of Perry’s theory.
HUNG Tsz Wan Andrew (PolyU Hong Kong Community College)
Contemporary Global Citizenship is usually derived from the idea of cosmopolitanism based on Kant’s Universalist principles, or a kind of procedural ethics asserted by Habermas and Rawls. However, such theory is criticized by communitarian, such as Charles Taylor, as based on a kind of atomistic self and fails to recognize their particular morality, culture and identity shaped by their community which may be different from western liberalism. For Taylor, human beings, as an embodied being, are embedded in particular culture so that our values and our self-understanding are constituted by our community and the significant others. Taylor therefore argues for multiculturalism which attempts to recognize these different identities to a certain extent with substantive study of these cultures in order to reach a kind of fusion of horizons. Based on Taylor’s multiculturalism I would argue that global citizenship in the face of multicultural situation should be culture sensitive and be able to engage in dialogue among liberal as well as non-liberal cultures.
LEE Siu Lun (Yale-China Chinese Language Centre, CUHK)
In the process of globalization, connection between different parts of the world is becoming more and more important. In order to communicate among people of different linguistic background, English language has been serving as an international lingua franca for a long period of time. The economy success of Mainland China in recent decades has driven the world attention and the number of Chinese as a second language learners have been increasing. I would like to share the experience in teaching UGED1146, “Chinese Language, Culture and Language Learning”, to local, non-local and international students. The course equips students with understanding of Chinese language and its varieties in relation to society and culture. The active discussions and presentation of the students demonstrated that the course could help local students and non-local Chinese speaking students have more knowledge concerning the language and varieties they are using everyday in term of the role of Chinese language and culture in the globalized world. The course also helps Chinese as a second language learners to understand the history, cultural aspects, development and possible future of the language.
ZHANG Xufeng, LIU Yaxian (Suzhou University of Science and Technology)
Anand BENEGAL (Student of Global Studies Programme, Faculty of Social Science, CUHK)
This paper introduces a new semantic structure that better illustrates the evolving nature of social science concepts. In a globalising world, regular paragraphs of text (such as this one) are often ill-equipped to define and reflect the conceptual nuances of ideas in social science and general education. This paper proposes a semantic innovation that could help explicate these nuanced ideas and better reflect them on a page/slide.
This new semantic structure of mine also points to an interesting question in general education: are we at a time and space wherein we can say with certainty that it is possible to author truly original ideas? Or do we simply innovate and recontextualise ideas to our surroundings?
The paper will lean towards answering the question towards the latter: perhaps humanistic ideas are not a priori original, but this does not render the names of the innovators insignificant.
Gray KOCHHAR-LINDGREN, GU Guolin, Aisha WAHAB, Faustina YIP (Common Core, HKU)
Growing out of the Common Core’s experience with our Transdisciplinary Research Exchange with Utrecht University, we have now initiated Nomadic Transdisciplinary Researchers. In this programme, which is completely voluntary and carries no academic credit, students participate in selected events with a variety of “light-touch” research tasks including observations, short ethnographies, videos, drawings, apps, and, over time, compose their findings into a public presentation, a digital object, an artwork, or a scholarly paper.
The Nomads have recently intersected with Sustainable Cities and Landscapes (HKU Landscape Architecture & Association of Pacific Rim Universities) and are also in the process of connecting with Flight: Sights, Sounds, & Shows@ShaLoWan (Absolutely Fantastic Theatre Company, AFTEC); Contagious Cities: Microbes and Migration (Wellcome Trust, with art and science partners in Hong Kong, Geneva, and New York); and a new Common Core Social Impact Lab.
This panel discussion will focus on transdisciplinary research and how it enables a multi-faceted issue to be most effectively addressed. After a brief discussion of what piqued student interest and how the institution launched the Nomads, the panellists will reflect on the relevance of these connections for their own current work and on the subsequent creation of new intellectual spaces, including future work options in the context of real-world encounters.
KWAN Ka Leong*, CHU Ching Tin# (*Student of Dept. of Psychology, CUHK / #Student of Dept. of Physics, CUHK)
We are going to share personal reflection on Dr. Kiang Kai Ming’s idea on Gamifying in education that he used in the General Education Foundation Course “In Dialogue with Nature”. Students are required to read and discuss science-related classics to nurture their science literacy. We believe that games can help us to experience the complexity of the texts.
The first game to share is a PC game called Civilization. In this strategy game, a customized historical scenario was given to students to experience the similarities and differences between the West and the East from 1500AD onwards. It is aimed to help students to reflect upon Needham’s Grand Question.
The second game is a modified version of the Turing Test. We played the game to enhance understanding of scientific creativity of human minds. Playing the Turing test allowed students to struggle and create new ways to hide or detect one’s real gender through conversations, encouraged students to reflect on the difficulty of constructing a computer that can play humanly in this game.
Gamification helps students to learn with dynamicity and unpredictability that makes learning vivid and lifelike, hence many students who attended the classes considered this as one of the most memorable learning experiences. We believe that the gamification experience offered students unique insights for the topics, such as historical constraints on Needham’s Grand Question and human intelligence’s characteristics.
KIANG Kai Ming, WU Jun (GEFP, CUHK)
Over the last 4 years, our team has developed close to 200 micro-modules to facilitate the classroom flipping pedagogy for the general education foundation course, “In Dialogue with Nature”. These micro-modules are structured as a supplementary courseware website on the KEEP platform two years ago. So far, this platform has served over 1000 students and has increasingly more users since its full launch this year.
To supplement and extend the course content, micro-modules in our platform cover wide-ranging topics as well as various formats including short lectures recorded in studios, edited seminars and talks given by field experts, and students sharing in discussion and presentation format. This diversity of micro-modules aims to serve different students for their different needs. Meanwhile, we integrated micro-modules developed under different projects for the same course in our platform. On top of that, featured videos are designed to help students to quickly have an overview of each part of the course. With them, student will be aware of what to look for before they go on to further explore the platform on their own.
Throughout the years, the micro modules have gained its popularity among students and teachers of “In Dialogue with Nature” and have effectively increased the quality of the discussions in the tutorials. In this presentation, we would like to share our experience and some of our tips for developing and managing such a large-scale micro-modules project.
NG Ka Leung Andy, CHEUNG Hang Cheong Derek,
LEUNG Cheuk Hang, KWOK Pak Nin Samson* (GEFP, CUHK / *Dept. of Philosophy, CUHK)
The rapid development of mobile technologies has opened up many new possibilities of using mobile applications in virtual experiential learning. With this emerging trend, we have developed a mobile application to enrich student learning experience in the General Education Foundation Programme. The app consists of a total of five modules; each corresponds to three to four classics in the Programme. Students assume the role of a protagonist to engage in challenging life scenarios or dilemmas to deal with essential issues and debates arising from the classics. Abstract concepts, cultural contexts and arguments in the classics are embodied in lively and vivid characters such as English scientist Charles Darwin, Greek philosopher Socrates, and Jesus Christ. Through the interactions with these characters, students could experience conflicts and concords among the thinkers. Educational contents are also delivered through interactive mini-games, animations, slideshows and videos. Students are guided to approach the problem from different perspectives and are expected to make informed judgements at the end of each module. In this presentation, the overall project design, rationales and development process will be discussed.