2017-182016-172015-162014-152013-142012-13

Experiential Learning Fund Project 2016-17


Project Title Project Coordinator(s)
Support Training of Parents and Rehabilitation Practitioners to work with Children with Down Syndrome and / other disabilities in Special Education Settings in Macau
Course code: SHSC5026
Number of undergraduate students participating: 6
Ms. Winnie Cheung
Faculty of Education
Unleashing the Potentials of Community and Nonprofits through an Online Interactive Map
Course code: POLI3098
Number of undergraduate students participating: 60
Dr. Helen Liu
Faculty of Social Sciences
Behind The Fair Trade Label
Course code: FOSS2019/CLIT3019
Number of undergraduate students participating: 15
Ms. Elsa Lam
Faculty of Social Sciences
Glocal Solutions: A Multi-disciplinary Approach through both Hardware and Software Construction to Improving a Vietnamese Rural Community’s Library Facility, Reading Literacy and Habits
Course code: FOSS2019/CIVL2109/CLIT3019
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20
Ms. Elsa Lam
Faculty of Social Sciences
Learning from Craft : Reconstructing Fujian’s Wooden Architectural Tradition
Course code: ARCH1071
Number of undergraduate students participating: 70
Mr. Donn Holohan
Faculty of Architecture
Nutrition and Public Health, Environment, Social and Education Experiential Learning in Cambodia With UNlimited institute
Course code: BIOL4962
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20
Dr. Jennifer Wan
Faculty of Science
Transformative Business Immersion
Course code: BUSI2816
Number of undergraduate students participating: 60
Mr. Beau Lefler
Faculty of Business and Economics
International Capstone Experience
Course code: DENT5031
Number of undergraduate students participating: 18
Professor Gary Cheung
Faculty of Dentistry
Wastewater Treatment in Myanmar: A Multi-disciplinary Experiential Learning Experience for Engineering Students in a Developing Country
Course code: TBC
Number of undergraduate students participating: 15
Dr. Chui Chun Kit
Faculty of Engineering
Curriculum Design in Cambodia: An Experiential Learning Project with Happy Tree
Course code: TBC
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20
Dr. Gary Harfitt
Faculty of Education
Teaching in Vietnam: An Experiential Learning Project with PEACE
Course code: TBC
Number of undergraduate students participating: 15
Dr. Gary Harfitt
Faculty of Education
Youth Mentoring
Course code: BBED6783
Number of undergraduate students participating: 15
Dr. Margaret Lo
Faculty of Education
An Experiential Approach to Learning and Teaching in a Regional Educational Institution: Continuing the Good Practices

Course code: BBED6742
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20
Dr. Valerie Yip
Faculty of Education
Support Training of Teachers to Work with Children with Communication Disorders in Special Education Settings in China
Course code: SHSC5026
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12
Professor Lena Wong
Faculty of Education
Shaping the Landscape: Land Art Workshop & Exhibition
Course code: CCHU9023
Number of undergraduate students participating: 120
Ms. Vincci Mak
Faculty of Architecture
Recording and Displaying Local Culture through Cultural Tourism at Yuen Long
Course code: SOCI2055
Number of undergraduate students participating: 50
Dr. Gary Wong
Faculty of Social Sciences
Mental Health Promotion and Active Engagement of People with Mental Health Issues – A Collaboration between HKU and Four Service Centres for People with Mental Health Issues
Course code: CCHU9022
Number of undergraduate students participating: 120
Dr. Paul Wong
Faculty of Social Sciences
Hong Kong’s Disappearing dialects
Course code: CCHU9056
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12
Dr. Cathryn Donohue
Faculty of Arts
Understanding the Microplastics Pollution in Hong Kong Waters
Course code: ENVS3303
Number of undergraduate students participating: 40
Dr. Christelle Not
Faculty of Science


Support Training of Parents and Rehabilitation Practitioners to work with Children with Down Syndrome and / other disabilities in Special Education Settings in Macau

Course code: SHSC5026
Ms. Winnie Cheung, Faculty of Education
Number of undergraduate students participating: 6

The project aims at providing our speech therapy students with opportunities to apply their knowledge of speech and language development, their therapeutic and service management skills to a different cultural community. From their classes, students have learned that speech therapy practice should be guided by the World Health Organization’s framework of International Classification of Functioning, Disabilities and Health (ICF).

According to the ICF model, the contextual factors that facilitate and pose barriers to patients’ rehabilitation process are different from one cultural community to another. The project will be structured in such a way that our students will learn to plan and implement therapeutic and service management skills that take into consideration of these contextual factors. In Macau, speech therapy is not often available to those who need it; our goal is to facilitate our students to work in collaboration with the Down Syndrome Association’s social workers to train parents of children with Down Syndrome on speech, language and communication facilitation skills. To ensure a lasting impact of our students’ professional service on the clients and their parents, it is suggested that we visit the center for 1-2 days per week for several weeks. With this arrangement, the parents and staff at Macau Down Syndrome Association will have time to digest our students’ teaching, apply the skills learnt, reflect and ask questions when our students come back again a week/ a few days later.



Unleashing the Potentials of Community and Nonprofits through an Online Interactive Map

Course code: POLI3098
Dr. Helen Liu, Faculty of Social Sciences
Number of undergraduate students participating: 60

One of the major challenges facing nonprofit organizations is to assess the needs of the community so that they can address the service gaps or overlapping services. Through the support of the GHEL funding, this project enables students to apply an online interactive mapping tool to map the available resources and services for the low-income families in one of the selected neighborhoods in Hong Kong. Students will first develop a database that maps the services and resources provided by the organizations and informal groups in Sham Shui Po with reference to existing data sources. Then, they will conduct field visits and engage in constructive dialogues with service providers and service recipients to acquire first-hand information on the needs of the community. Students will then create an innovative, interactive, and searchable online map of available services and resources in the selected community. The final deliverable would include an innovative map which is able to indicate the different services provided within the community and is categorized by location, organization and eligibility and supported by a newsletter documenting students’ effort and reflection of their community work.



Behind The Fair Trade Label

Course code: FOSS2019/CLIT3019
Ms. Elsa Lam, Faculty of Social Sciences
Number of undergraduate students participating: 15

Built on a 2016 pilot this multi-disciplinary project between Faculty of Social Sciences and Department of Comparative Literature encompasses fair trade stories for tea pluckers, focused upon mother child well-being in Sri Lanka. In 2017, the project will include oral health and child protection/safety with students from the Faculty of Dentistry. The 2-month internship is broken into 3 periods and students will:

  1. Assist Save the Children track the maternal child health project progress, capturing how tea pluckers’ lives change.
  2. Lead an oral health promotion for mother and child (lead by Dentistry students).
  3. Work with the tea estate pluckers/ managers on the child protection/safety issues. Applying needs analysis and creative writing skills they will develop promotional materials.

Results will be presented in the final community meeting. There is a pre-trip orientation and post-trip debriefing. Former students will contribute to the pre-trip orientation based upon adapted modules from 2016.



Glocal Solutions: A Multi-disciplinary Approach through both Hardware and Software Construction to Improving a Vietnamese Rural Community’s Library Facility, Reading Literacy and Habits

Course code: FOSS2019/CIVL2109/CLIT3019
Ms. Elsa Lam, Faculty of Social Sciences
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20

This multi-disciplinary project provides an overseas platform for the current Internships from Comparative Literature (new collaborator), Social Sciences and Civil Engineering. With World Vision Vietnam (WVV) and the local community in Tien Lu District, the aim by the end of 2-month is to deliver a new library building, a needs assessment report on reading habits, a proposal/ promotional materials to promote reading for primary school students. Under WVV supervision, 20 students from diverse disciplines take turns to lead and deliver the different deliverables. The impact on the local community includes a new building and ideas for community mobilization for promoting reading among the primary school students. Students receive advance training on global development model, country information, needs assessment, ethics, narration and project management. The promotional materials for reading developed by Comparative Literature is a new deliverable for use by the community, whereas, the needs assessment supports the NGO planning.



Learning from Craft : Reconstructing Fujian’s Wooden Architectural Tradition

Course code: ARCH1071
Mr. Donn Holohan, Faculty of Architecture
Number of undergraduate students participating: 70

70 first year students of architecture will travel to the ancient village of Peitian, Fujian province to collaborate on a village regeneration project. This project focuses specifically on the village’s disappearing intangible cultural heritage, and centers on the continuing decline of Peitian’s craftsmen – whose skills and traditions are in danger of dissolution. Through a series of material workshops and site visits with carpenters, students will experience, examine and document the tools and processes associated with Peitian’s vernacular wooden architecture. Through a following design phase, in collaboration with the wider community and teachers, they will become part of a process of knowledge exchange which will adapt these traditions in response to emerging technologies and other cultures of timber construction. Students will develop construction details and prototypes and will work together on the construction of a real timber structure which will add to the ongoing process of village reconstruction and embodies an approach which integrates and legitimizes local crafts.



Nutrition and Public Health, Environment, Social and Education Experiential Learning in Cambodia With UNlimited institute

Course code: BIOL4962
Dr. Jennifer Wan, Faculty of Science
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20

This project is running for the third year. It provides a service learning opportunity for students to go to Cambodia in Summer. This time, the project not only cover health, nutrition and social economics aspects, but also education and linguistic area. The overall objective is to serve more students from different majors from the School of Biological Sciences, as well as other Faculties to promote inter-disciplinary cooperation and knowledge exchange.

The major purpose of the Capstone is to allow students to apply their knowledge and theory learnt in class while relating it to society to create social impact in order to achieve personal growth and assist students in making career choices. Students will have chance to hold seminar with a university in Cambodia, research and survey in rural area, visit NGOs and agencies to understand the public health and education works.



Transformative Business Immersion

Course code: BUSI2816
Mr. Beau Lefler, Faculty of Business and Economics
Number of undergraduate students participating: 60

Students in this experiential learning project will immerse themselves in an unfamiliar culture and business environment in a nearby developing country. For around one month, they will live with local families in homestays and will work with local governments and small businesses. The students will share basic business management principles like accounting and marketing to selected businesses, and in some instances will partner with local government-run economic development programs. These principles have been proven to positively affect business success, and will enable the owners to better provide for their families and help grow the local economies. Students will contribute to a reflective blog, and will prepare consulting reports for the businesses with which they work.



International Capstone Experience

Course code: DENT5031
Professor Gary Cheung, Faculty of Dentistry
Number of undergraduate students participating: 18

This course aims to develop our final year dental students as a global citizen and professional of the future. In particular, it allows students:

  1. To experience the provision of dental service in an outreach (less privileged) environment;
  2. To improve communication skills, especially when meeting people of different social and cultural background.
  3. To plan and execute an oral health-related project and raise the awareness of the targeted population.
  4. And, for the overseas target population:

  5. To improve the oral health awareness of the target population in order to reduce their dependency on professional dental service in the long run;
  6. To educate local oral health care-givers in maintaining a preventive strategy;

Specific deliverables include (depending on location) the followings:

  1. oral health education promotion (e.g. exhibition)
  2. minimally invasion preventive or curative care (local licence permitting)
  3. oral hygiene interactions



Wastewater Treatment in Myanmar: A Multi-disciplinary Experiential Learning Experience for Engineering Students in a Developing Country

Course code: TBC
Dr. Chui Chun Kit, Faculty of Engineering
Number of undergraduate students participating: 15

This is a pilot project preparing for a credit-bearing Engineering overseas design project course. We aim to initiate long-term collaborations with universities in Myanmar, offering wider opportunities for HKU students to enrich their overseas learning experience. Overseas learning opportunity will be provided for 50% of all Engineering students in 2019 and for 100% Engineering students in 2020.

HKU students will embark on an experiential learning trip to Dagon University (DU) in Myanmar to work on a cross-disciplinary collaborative learning project with 35 DU Science students in Chemistry, Industrial Chemistry, Botany and Zoology disciplines from Jan 2 to Jan 9 2017.

The one-week project focuses on wastewater treatment in developing countries. This project will enrich students’ understanding of the importance of water, sanitation, and hygiene as keys to national development, and experience how Engineering and Science professionals can work together in wastewater treatment. Students from both institutes will work in teams to design, develop, and deploy an experiment to examine the wastewater condition in Myanmar. Engineering students from HKU will lead the development of technologies (e.g. implementation of Arduino-based remote data sensing and cloud-based database) to measure and report the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) in wastewater samples, which is commonly used as an indicator of the degree of organic pollution of wastewater. Science students from DU will be leading the wastewater sample collections, experimental design and reporting of the results beyond the project time frame.



Curriculum Design in Cambodia: An Experiential Learning Project with Happy Tree

Course code: TBC
Dr. Gary Harfitt, Faculty of Education
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20

This 1-year project partners with Happy Tree Foundation in Cambodia to help the English education for orphans and other underprivileged children(4-12 years old) in Cambodia. 20 HKU BEd students will provide support and assistance to the teachers and volunteers in Cambodia through the development of teaching materials and the sharing of ideas on how to implement an English curriculum in orphanages owned and run by Happy Tree. Mentoring will come from the NGO in HK and Faculty teachers. The presence of our students over a period of time (2 trips, in total 4 weeks) will also provide children the chance to communicate in English with our students.



Teaching in Vietnam: An Experiential Learning Project with PEACE

Course code: TBC
Dr. Gary Harfitt, Faculty of Education
Number of undergraduate students participating: 15

This 1-year project partners with PEACE (in HK) and Maison Chance (in Vietnam) to promote English teaching to disadvantaged children in a school outside Ho Chi Minh City. 15 HKU BEd students will visit Vietnam (2 trips, in total 4 weeks) to provide support to the teachers and volunteers of Maison Chance to deliver English lessons, helping the children acquire vocabulary and speaking skills. They are expected to prepare lesson plans to teach. These are skill-oriented and systematic programmes catering to needs of the children to improve their abilities in speaking English and other basic skills. PEACE will provide comprehensive pre-trip workshops to help HKU students in terms of preparation, teaching skills and child education. Students will also have the chance to work with local volunteers and handicapped students at the school and interact with their families. Mentoring will come from PEACE and Faculty teachers.



Youth Mentoring

Course code: BBED6783
Dr. Margaret Lo, Faculty of Education
Number of undergraduate students participating: 15

This two-semester project partners with local secondary schools to develop 15 HKU BEd students (future secondary school teachers/ mentors) with the knowledge, skills, beliefs and awareness to be effective mentors for secondary school students, and to address the social and educational inequality faced by the disadvantaged youth (their mentees). Each mentor-mentee pair will meet 8-10 times over the year, join 2 excursions/visits, and also have regular online contact for giving academic and social support.



An Experiential Approach to Learning and Teaching in a Regional Educational Institution: Continuing the Good Practices

Course code: BBED6742
Dr. Valerie Yip, Faculty of Education
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20

This two-semester project aims to support 20 HKU BEdBSc students and 10 teachers of Sarasas Ektra School in Thailand to develop an understanding of science education in a different cultural context. HKU students will attend 18-hour workshops before they participate in 2 weeks’ immersion in Thailand. During the immersion period, they will observe lessons taught by their mentor teachers, develop materials for the lessons they will teach for the 400 grade 7-12 pupils, and organize science activities for these pupils. The learning experience will be shared and discussed in two presentations, one for the Thailand school and the other at HKU. The teaching materials will also be used by the Thailand counterpart.



Support Training of Teachers to Work with Children with Communication Disorders in Special Education Settings in China

Course code: SHSC5026
Professor Lena Wong, Faculty of Education
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12

This Summer-semester project aims at providing 12 HKU BSc (Speech & Hearing) students with opportunities to apply the knowledge about speech and language development, speech therapy skills, information counseling skills and service management skills in a community where the official language and dialect, infrastructure of rehabilitation services, education background of their collaborators and availability of service are all different from those in Hong Kong. They will have 8 full-day stay in China to have seminars, observation, demonstration sessions and work collaborative sessions on speech therapy intervention skills at Hubei Province Rehabilitation Centre.



Shaping the Landscape: Land Art Workshop & Exhibition

Course code: CCHU9023
Ms. Vincci Mak, Faculty of Architecture
Number of undergraduate students participating: 120

About 120 students taking this Common Core Course will go to Yuen Long to co-develop mental maps with local villagers to reveal the physical changes and day‐to‐day environmental issues in the village landscapes under the urban development over the years. They will then create and exhibit art works and installations to express their findings, views and ideas at those “gone-landscape” locations to engage the general public to reflect on the importance of those habitats to the livelihood and culture of the old Hong Kong villages. The two community partners, Rotary Club and Hulu Culture will contribute to student learning through training before their visits and feedback on their works. As recognition of quality, outstanding student works will be selected to their annual professional publication and annual flagship event of Hulu Culture for public exhibition in March 2017. Locals can continue to use student works to promote awareness of environmental and cultural matters inside the villages. Interdisciplinary collaboration is piloted with two courses from Sociology and Linguistics. Student findings and works from this course will lay a foundation or serve as a reference for students taking these two courses in the Spring term.



Recording and Displaying Local Culture through Cultural Tourism at Yuen Long

Course code: SOCI2055
Dr. Gary Wong, Faculty of Social Sciences
Number of undergraduate students participating: 50

Students will create a tourist map and lead a free cultural tour at Ha Tsuen – a traditional village at Yuen Long under threat of urban development – based on their historical and cultural investigation of the site. Students would have the first hand experience from cultural tours and attend professional training workshops on travelling guide writing. They will carry out oral history interviews with residents and apply virtual reality (VR) technology to record natural and built environment. Students would consolidate their learning through a critical reflection on evaluating the role of cultural tourism in recording and preserving local culture of Ha Tsuen. This project would benefit local community by recording and displaying the history, culture, daily life and future development projects of Ha Tsuen through the project outcomes. There are six community partners having strong network in local community and specialising in tourism, publishing, history and culture. Students will also benefit from having interdisciplinary collaboration with students and colleagues from Arts, Architecture and Engineering faculties.



Mental Health Promotion and Active Engagement of People with Mental Health Issues – A Collaboration between HKU and Four Service Centres for People with Mental Health Issues

Course code: CCHU9022
Dr. Paul Wong, Faculty of Social Sciences
Number of undergraduate students participating: 120

Collaborations with four service centers are formed for this 1st-semester Common Core course. 120 HKU students will work in small teams to plan and implement social service activities at their assigned mental health service centers. Each student will be on-site working for min. 3 hours. Through this project, students will obtain the chance to in-person “see, sense, and have contact” with the patients (and potential patients), apply their knowledge learnt from lectures, and develop a broader perspective and critical understanding of mental health and mental illness.



Hong Kong’s Disappearing dialects

Course code: CCHU9056
Dr. Cathryn Donohue, Faculty of Arts
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12

This course aims to contribute to ongoing efforts to document Hong Kong’s disappearing dialects, to try to understand how and why this is happening, and to help raise awareness about this issue within the community and Hong Kong more generally. Students will work with the Hakka/Waitau villagers in Yuen Long as well as with Chiuchau/Hokkien communities elsewhere in Hong Kong. The class will involve a film expert to demonstrate crucial techniques for creating documentary videos, a key component of the course, helping with theoretical and practical aspects. Students will work with the villagers, NGOs, volunteers, and students from other fields Students will learn from the CCHU9023 class about urbanization and how it may have impacted language practices. Students will work with Dr Wong’s group (SOCIO2055) to develop materials for use in their cultural tours, and will contribute to the Hulu Culture Yuen Long exhibition (and possibly also to the publication). We will contribute to a website, dialects.hku.hk, where the videos will be posted.



Understanding the Microplastics Pollution in Hong Kong Waters

Course code: ENVS3303
Dr. Christelle Not, Faculty of Science
Number of undergraduate students participating: 40

Students will address the plastics pollution and in particular the role and importance of the microplastics. Students will perform a complete scientific research on the microplastics content of Hong Kong coastal waters. In collaboration with the Plastic Free Seas (PFS) NGO, students will collect samples, then back to HKU they will have to chemically clean samples to identify and count the different type of plastics present in the sample. Finally, all the data will be combined, to obtain a regional data set to work on, where student will try to identify parameters (tide, rain, winds, location of recycling facilities … ) that control the microplastics pollution in Hong Kong. The project represents a good opportunity for the student to understand and realize how daily life can affect our environment and how to communicate and share their knowledge is important for the NGO like PFS and local community.