We are pleased to announce that the Centre of Teaching and Learning was set up on 1 August 2018. In this issue, the E-Learning Team interviewed Dr Sharon Wong, Programme Director of the Centre of Teaching and Learning, on Monday, 8 October 2018. She explained the major functions and services of the Centre. Below is the record of our conversations.
Why is the Centre set up?
The Centre was officially set up on 1 August 2018. It was initiated by a recommendation by the UGC Audit Panel on the enhancement of teaching and learning of the School. The establishment of the Centre proves the School’s commitment to further reinforce its quality of teaching and learning, and to retain quality teachers considered to be our valuable assets.
What is the mission of the Centre?
The mission of the Centre is to enhance teaching and learning in the School. It focuses on one of our values – Being ‘Creative and Innovative in Teaching and Learning’ – stipulated in the School Strategic Plan 2017-2025. The development of academic staff and learning support staff will be directed to this objective.
What are the roles of the Centre in the School?
The Centre has formed an Academic Staff Development Working Group reporting to the School’s Training and Staff Development Committee (TSDC). With this Working Group, the Centre serves as an executive arm of the TSDC, plans, and implements teaching and learning programmes and activities for teachers and support staff.
What are the main functions and services of this newly established centre?
The services of the Centre are threefold. The main function is to look into teaching and learning in the School and to consolidate relevant best practices and innovations. For example, in the Community College, we have introduced the Core Curriculum and Experiential Learning Programme that have been in effect in the academic year 2018-19. In addition, we encourage teachers to experiment other modes of teaching, like creative education and technology-based learning.
Another function is to collaborate with the Quality Assurance Team to standardise the quality of teaching and learning. In this area, we have worked on the Programme Outcome-Based Assessment (POA) which consists of four stages. We are now concluding the third stage. Before the final stage of the full implementation of the system, we will consult colleagues on the feasibility of using a standardised POA template for school-wide adaptation. After that, we will proceed to disseminate the POA-related information to all colleges and to clarify the working procedures.
The third function is inculcation. From an educator’s perspective, teachers are assets to their institutions. Professional academic staff development plans and personal development plans are of equal importance. In such plans, we identify teachers as whole-person practitioners aspiring for life-long learning. We organise teachers’ personal development programmes which nourish their professional growth, and improve their teaching quality.
What are the plans for this academic year?
Staff development programmes comprising a series of workshops, talks, and seminars for both full-time and part-time teachers will be provided. Apart from the induction workshop, personal development workshops for teachers will also be conducted in early 2019. On pedagogy, workshops on creative education and technology-based learning will be run. For the latter, experience-sharing sessions on the use of technology or electronic-based teaching will be organised in the academic year 2018-2019.
Besides, roundtable discussions for full-time teachers on how to handle students from cultural diversified backgrounds will be held. For part-time teachers, we plan to solicit experts or coaches specialising in certain professions to share their successful teaching experience in particular disciplines with us.
Dr Sharon Wong
Featured Photo by Steve Huntington on Unsplash