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Experiential Learning Fund Staff-initiated Project 2017-18 (First Round)


Project Title Project Coordinator(s)
Innovative Pedagogies
Course code: TBC
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12
Ms. Candace Mok
Faculty of Education
Collaboration in designing T&L materials: Experiential Learning Project in India
Course code: TBC
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12
Ms. Candace Mok
Faculty of Education
Youth mentoring
Course code: BBED6783
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20
Dr. Margaret Lo
Faculty of Education
Developing resilient student teachers by nurturing resilience in vulnerable groups in Cambodia
Course code: TBC
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12
Ms. Jessie Chow
Faculty of Education
An Experiential Approach to Learning and Teaching in a Regional Educational
Institution: Broadening Student Engagement

Course code: BBED6742
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20
Dr. Valerie Yip
Faculty of Education
Developing the competence in STEM education
Course code: TBC
Number of undergraduate students participating: 40
Dr. Valerie Yip
Faculty of Education
“Cost-Sharing Flats” Pilot Project
Course code: BUSI2816
Number of undergraduate students participating: 50
Ms. Juan Du
Faculty of Architecture

Experiential Learning Fund Student-initiated Project 2017-18 (First Round)


Project Title Project Coordinator(s)
2017-2018 Ying De Group Winter Service Trip
Number of undergraduate students participating: 28
Ms. Jane Ka-yuet Chan
Faculty of Social Sciences
Mindoro SwarmBots Project
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12
Mr. Sidhant Gupta
Faculty of Engineering


Innovative Pedagogies

Staff-initiated Project
Course code: TBC
Ms. Candace Mok, Faculty of Education
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12

This course introduces innovative pedagogies to students, engages students in critical examination of the current education system at primary and secondary level and offers experiences for students to practice innovative pedagogies in real, situated contexts. This course places emphasis on practice of theories in real life situations and in a practical manner. Students will work with a community partner of their own choice based on interests and chosen topics in a 3-month placement. After this course, students should be able to select and design innovative pedagogies both suitable and practical for specific contexts regardless of their teaching level or teaching environment. On-going support and facilitation with be provided by the course instructor throughout the course while mentoring and guidance will be provided by community partners during the placement. Students’ performance in the course will be evaluated through a variety of means including in-class presentation, reflective writing, and invention and design of T&L materials. Designed materials will be adopted and used by the community partners.



Collaboration in designing T&L materials: Experiential Learning Project in India

Staff-initiated Project
Course code: TBC
Ms. Candace Mok, Faculty of Education
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12

In this project, undergraduate and post-graduate students will work together as a task force to exchange teaching and learning ideas concerning lesson and curriculum design with the FT teachers of partner school in India. The collaboration this year aims to provide valuable learning opportunities for student teachers to work across subject boundaries, to contribute to the development of work of our community partners (Happy Tree Social Services) and stimulate critical thinking and reflection on educational issues through sharing perspectives and experiences in an international experiential learning trip to Delhi, India. Students in this course will be mentored by the course instructors, Happy Tree Social Services (our local NGO that we have partnered with) and the teachers on site in India. Undergraduate and post-graduate students will also co-mentor each other which will be a truly innovative part of the course and will help reinforce the constructivist theories that underpin the UG and PGDE Teacher Education programmes at HKU.



Youth mentoring

Staff-initiated Project
Course code: BBED6783
Dr. Margaret Lo, Faculty of Social Sciences
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20

This elective course is designed to develop in UG Education Majors the knowledge, skills, beliefs and awareness needed to be an effective mentor and advocate for disadvantaged youth to address social and educational inequality. The course integrates regular university-based interactive seminars on mentoring skills with an experiential learning component in which each participant mentors a secondary learner, supporting and advocating for the learner academically and socially on a regular basis across two semesters.

Student-teachers will meet with the secondary learner-mentee on a one-to-one, face-to-face basis for eight to ten meetings and also contact their mentee electronically (e.g. whatsapp) once a week to provide social and academic support. The mentor-protégé meetings will be primarily outside of school to broaden proteges’ experience and horizons. Two excursions in Hong Kong will be organised for all mentors and mentees to visit a part of Hong Kong unfamiliar but of interest to the mentees, or undertake an activity which is new/unfamiliar to mentees.

Mentees (protégés) from secondary schools will benefit socially and academically from having a personal mentor as they navigate the challenges of secondary education and adolescence. The school will benefit from having additional support for their students, many of whom live below HK’s poverty line. Student-teachers in the Faculty of Education enrolled on the course will develop mentoring skills and a deepened understanding of society which will contribute to their overall development as education professionals.



Developing resilient student teachers by nurturing resilience in vulnerable groups in Cambodia

Staff-initiated Project
Course code: TBC
Ms. Jessie Chow, Faculty of Education
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12

The programme sets out to build a long-term relationship between the Faculty of Education at HKU and a rural school in Cambodia which houses children impacted by trafficking and poverty. The focus will be to co-construct a curriculum to develop resilience for the children there with the teachers and volunteers of the school by adopting a ‘train the trainers’ model of professional development. Through this sustained relationship we aim to attend to both the rural Cambodian and the HKU communities by developing global leaders with social awareness and empathy. Research demonstrates that teachers’ resilience enhances their job satisfaction and teaching effectiveness, and at the same time, allows teachers to nurture resilience in their own students to cope with the challenges of the 21st century. Since 2015, the Faculty of Education of HKU has endeavored to advance teacher education by designing dynamic experiential learning programmes both abroad and here in Hong Kong. The current program highlights one of the key approaches that contextualizes the knowledge of teachers’ resilience in working with a vulnerable target group and carefully incorporates Kolb’s (2015) reflective learning cycle into the program. Student teachers learn to integrate academic theories and actively experiment through continuous observation, trial-and-error and reflection. Students also receive structured input sessions and reflect through ongoing guided reflective exercises.



An Experiential Approach to Learning and Teaching in a Regional Educational
Institution: Broadening Student Engagement

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

The course “An Experiential Approach to Learning and Teaching in a Regional Educational Institution” (BBED6742) has widened the learning horizon of BEdBSc students in 2015-2017. In SETL 2015-16, our nine participants particularly valued the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the real-world problem (mean score – 88.9), the field experience (86.1) and the support from the HKU supervisor (91.7) and Thailand mentors (88.9). Based on the recent GHELF project 2016-17, HKU students have indicated strong expectations on this program, particularly on teaching science in an overseas context.

Built on the previous success, this project will aim to:

  • broaden the student engagement by inviting BEd/BEng students to join this program so that they can collaborate with BEdBSc students in teaching and learning (interdisciplinary learning);
  • emphasise STEM education in the immersion period (interdisciplinary learning/internalization)
  • extend the field experience to teach grade 6 so that our participants can better understand the importance of transition between primary and secondary levels (innovation)
  • produce quality teaching (STEM) materials for the Thailand school to use (innovation and impact)

The UGs will attend a few sessions to understand issues and trends in science (STEM) education. During the immersion period, they will be supported by HKU instructors and Thailand mentors to develop curriculum materials, and organize
science/cultural activities for both primary and secondary students. This proposed study will broaden the HKU student learning experience as discussed above.



Developing the competence in STEM education

Staff-initiated Project
Course code: TBC
Dr. Valerie Yip, Faculty of Education
Number of undergraduate students participating: 40

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education adopts an integrative, cross-disciplinary approach for pupils to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to tackle real-life problems. To achieve this goal, it is essential to develop HKU STEM-related major students to become proficient STEM educators. This project will adopt a multiple-track approach to provide the flexibility for students to decide which area(s) they would like to focus on, and hence reflect more critically on their roles in STEM education. They will work closely with teachers, academic unit, non-governmental, governmental and commercial stakeholders to support the ultimate beneficiaries – the school pupils. All HKU students will have the opportunities to learn from mainland or overseas STEM industries/STEM learning centres to broaden their understanding about the issues related to STEM education.



“Cost-Sharing Flats” Pilot Project

Staff-initiated Project
Course code: ARCH7264 & ARCH7563
Ms. Juan Du, Faculty of Architecture
Number of undergraduate students participating: 50

This Experiential Learning Project will be incorporated into two seminar courses in the Department of Architecture – ARCH7264 Contemporary Urbanism – Adaptive Reuse and Regeneration (Fall 2017) and ARCH7563 Community Building Workshop (Summer 2018), both courses taught by the Project Coordinator. The goal of the project is to expose students to the real life issue of the lack of affordable housing in Hong Kong, and guide them to participate in a live project developed by the Project Lead in collaboration with the NGO Society for Community Organization (SoCo) to improve the living qualities of low-income working families that are cramped into Subdivided Units in old high-density neighborhoods in Hong Kong’s city centers.



2017-2018 Ying De Group Winter Service Trip

Student-initiated Project
Ms. Jane Ka-yuet Chan, Faculty of Social Sciences
Number of undergraduate students participating: 28

Ying De Group is a registered charitable organization. It is planning to a project called Ying De Winter Service Trip (2017-2018 年度英德小組冬季旅程). It is a 5-month project which consists of one internal preparation trip, two pre-trip workshops for participants, one external service trip, and post-trip debriefing sessions.

The committee members is going to complete a preparation trip during the reading week in October 2017. Various activities will be done in the 7-day service trip to Yingde City, such as village visits and class teaching at a local school. Pre-trip workshops and post-trip sharing sessions aim to help participants in consolidating their learning experiences and reflecting themselves through this servicing opportunity. All the proceeds raised (after deducting the costs) will be used to subsidize Yingde students who have financial difficulties to continue their studies.



Mindoro SwarmBots Project

Student-initiated Project
Mr. Sidhant Gupta, Faculty of Engineering
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12

We plan to organize a two week trip to the Mindoro Island in the Philippines during semester 1 (tentatively in December), where we shall work with the NGO “Ecotone Resilience”, in partnership with Hong Kong startup “Scoutbots” to make a 3D map of the Coral Reef in the area using a swarm of robots that we shall build ourselves. Using the massive amount of data that we will generate, we will work with environmentalists and researchers to determine a safe coral protection baseline, which will serve as a guideline to the government when designating tourist areas in Mindoro. We shall be collaborating with the large number of scientists, researchers and conservationists already present in Mindoro.

Mindoro is being developed into a tourist destination over the next few years. There is a main road being constructed into the area that we shall work in. For now, it is remote and inaccessible by car. Mindoro is a part of the Golden Triangle, which has the highest biodiversity of marine life on the planet. The area is a prime reproductive region for fish and thus, is the birthplace of the Philippine marine ecosystem. Mapping the sea-bed and coral reefs would enable researchers and conservationists to better understand the coral structure, biodiversity and vulnerability of the corals to environmental degradation.

Further, The data that we generate as well as the Scoutbots platform is open source and shall go a long way in initiating, supporting and growing similar projects across the world for negligible cost. The students at HKU shall benefit through experiential and practical applied learning as well as international transdisciplinary project experience.

We are working closely with Mr. Cesar Harada, an entrepreneur and senior TED fellow based in Hong Kong as well as Dr. Helep Yap, a Professor at The Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines.