The International Virtual Forum: Students-as-Partners in Online Learning – Voices from HKU was successfully hosted by the Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL) at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) on 30 September 2020. The Forum has gathered students, teachers, and senior leaders to discuss online learning in the current challenging time and its impact on higher education in the coming years.
The Forum has attracted 1,234 participants from countries including from Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Jordan, Lebanon, Macau, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, United Arab Emirates, United States, and Vietnam. In the first 90 minutes, over 940 participants were consistently active online.
The Forum started with a warm opening by President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Xiang Zhang and a conversation between Professor Zhang and Dr. Susan Bridges, Director of CETL, on how HKU positions its status in teaching and learning, supports staff members and students, and strengthens its position as Asia’s Global University.
A keynote speech made by Professor Nancy Law focused on designs for learning and insights gained from and beyond COVID-19. With students playing the role of learning partners, a chat between Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) Professor Ian Holliday and a student panel was then held, which shed lights on concerns, challenges and ideas going forward.
Another highlight was sharing of experiences by four HKU teachers who introduced their experiences of creatively responding to the COVID-19 related challenges and using new pedagogy with enabling technology to enhance student learning experiences. The Forum ended with an exciting international panel discussion facilitated by Dr. Cecilia Chan from CETL with leaders from reputable universities in Australia, the United Kingdom, Finland and Ireland on what is happening around the world and how collectively we could shape the future of higher education.
HKU has made a global presence regarding online learning through this Forum with speakers and attendees from different parts of the world and showcase of its best practices in online learning.