2 November 2017 (Thursday)
eLearning Community of Practice Interest Groups Preview I
Teachers Share Innovative Teaching Ideas
The first recruitment exercise of the eLearning Community of Practice (eLCoP) was held in a relaxing afternoon of November. This small but friendly meeting aimed at recruiting teachers to the six interest groups that focus on different eLearning areas. Core members of the eLCoP, Professor Sidharth Jaggi, Dr Frankie Wong and Dr Jacqueline Wong, were there to share their eLearning ideas, strategies and experience. The event attracted a number of like-minded teachers, and was followed by a heated and inspiring discussion as to how to work together on mutually interested teaching innovations and technologies.
Sidharth explains how he flips his class
“Flipping the classroom” is an intriguing concept in education, and has attracted considerable interest around the world. As the leader of an interest group that focuses on this new teaching technique, Sidharth has a lot of stories to tell. He has been implementing the approach in his Engineering courses for a few years. Before class, students were asked to watch videos and read textbooks on an online platform called Piazza. Class time was spent on discussions, solving problems, and doing presentations in groups. Students can help each other and earn points from their peers if they can provide good answers. As the platform records each student’s performance and their interactions, students are more motivated to learn the pre-class materials and engage with their peers during class. In the session, Sidharth shared a number of interesting strategies he used to facilitate the approach, such as issuing coupons to students for seeking peer help. Sidharth’s sharing stimulated discussions as to how to use the flipped classroom approach in a large class.
Frankie talks about Location-based Learning (LBL)
Not long ago, a mobile game craze caused people to go to strange locations only to catch rare Pokemon. Other than games, location-based services such as navigation and social network have already penetrated into our daily lives. The question is, how can educators utilize these exciting technologies to enhance learning experience? Frankie, who teaches geographic information systems, often takes his students outside the classroom to learn in the fields. To him, using technologies (e.g. uReply Go, 7scences, etc.) in this type of learning can help teachers to collect information about student learning processes and progress. Such data is useful for teachers to design field activities next time. He provided several suggestions to teachers who want to adopt LBL. The principle is to start small, and to let students build a relationship with the place.
Jacqueline shares ideas on dynamic classrooms
The role of instructor is changing. Instead of being a “sage on the stage”, some teachers prefer becoming a “guide on the side”. Jacqueline from the Business School strives to incorporate a more open-ended project-based learning approach in her teaching. In her classes, students have freedom to direct their own learning in project work and solve real-world challenges that interest them. However, a traditional classroom setting may not be able to support such student-centred pedagogy. Jacqueline is therefore interested in the development of interactive classroom that can facilitate a dynamic engagement between teachers and students.
Joining the interest group
After the sharing, there were some exciting discussions on possible collaborations between the core members and the teachers. Another recruitment exercise that focuses on three other eLearning areas will be held in early December.
eLearning Community of Practice (eLCOP) is a new initiative to assist teachers working on similar eLearning strategies to network and gather together regularly. Together they gain support and advice from each other. Typical activities in each of the 'interest groups' will include experience sharing by member teachers, and invited talks on related pedagogy or technology. The interest groups may also be the platform that nurture bigger inter-disciplinary projects.
The Preview workshops are our first attempts to recruit teachers. Devoted teachers who have pioneered certain eLearning strategies will be showcasing their work as well as explaining the preliminary activity plans of the interest groups they are making the effort to establish.
In this Preview workshop I, the highlights are:
Introduction of eLearning Community of Practice
Professor Paul LAM, Centre for Learning Enhancement And Research
Flipped Classroom and Blended Learning Pedagogical Explorations
Professor Sidharth JAGGI , Department of Information Engineering
Technology in Improving Learning Spaces
Dr. Jacqueline WONG, Department of Decision Sciences and Managerial Economics
Learning Opportunities Outside Classroom with Technology