Teaching Innovation Award
- Winners in 2017 -
Winners of Teaching Innovation Award in 2017
Teaching Innovation Award (Staff category)
Department of Public Policy
Mission Statement:
Enhancing students’ creativity and performance using process innovation
Dr Chandra enables students to unleash their creative thinking and academic performance using various types of process innovation, from infusing cutting-edge research to teaching and learning, enabling students to develop their strengths and focus on marketable skills, to employing performance-driven supervision techniques that enable students to demonstrate the value of their work in the real world. Dr Chandra’s students have benefitted from innovative learning materials and techniques and won various awards.

Dr Chandra’s process innovation in teaching and learning involves the use of “visual thinking” to enhance understanding and doing (e.g., using flowcharts to visualize processes of solving social problems, to convey statistical concepts); “developing original content” about current affairs and relating them to concepts and theories; and result-oriented, motivational-driven “supervision techniques” to enable students to achieve excellence. These techniques have been used in six different courses at CityU: four undergraduate courses and one Master’s course. Specifically, Dr Chandra:

  • Contextualize students’ learning about social issues and solutions using original video materials. The videos inspire students, bring realism to the classroom, and ease the process of linking back to theories.
  • Develop visual narratives and manga comics to enhance learning and recall.
  • Connect students to the latest, cutting-edge research in the field by communicating them using the language that students can understand.
  • Foster creativity by designing assignments that focus on marketable skills (e.g., storytelling skills using videos; develop social innovation ideas, using flowchart to visualize solutions).
  • Encourage, motivate, and guide students to be the ‘captain of their own ship’ by setting clear goals and expectations, seeking a balance between independent thinking and constructive critiques, and using language as a means of motivation.

The outcomes of Dr Chandra’s approach include students winning awards (e.g., Challenge Cup 2016 in China; CityU CLASS’ DEC Award 2017); TLQ written comments where students describe him as innovative, creative, passionate and inspiring; TLQ scores; students appreciating scholarly research; and ex-students writing how the skills learned have proved beneficial. Some of the original visual outputs described above are publishable and are being refined for publication.

Teaching Innovation Award (Staff category)
Dr CHONG Pui-man Melody
Department of Asian and International Studies
Mission Statement:
To study and not think is a waste; To think and not study is dangerous”: Motivating Student Creativity and Innovation using Confucian Wisdom
Students’ creativity and innovation require more than just learning. While knowledge is acquired and training is given, the last step is vitally important – the ability to create new ideas. It is the best part of a teaching and learning journey. An effective learning environment is to “adventure.” It is the most important step we can take to cultivate intrinsic motivation in students while developing their confidence for innovation.

Dr Chong’s teaching pedagogies evolved from her teaching and work experiences as a teacher and a practicing manager. Her vision is threefold:

  • Promote positive, flexible and interactive learning environment
  • Allow mistakes and encourage self-reflection ability
  • Cultivate a spirit of adventure

These teaching strategies have been reflected in her teaching such as GE1121 The Japanese Way of Tea, GE2120 Asian Values and Managerial Practices, AIS5054 Pop Culture in East Asia, etc. Her innovative teaching principles and practices include:

  • Incorporating innovative elements and research findings from journals
  • Creating synergy for DEC by enhancing positive learning attitude, ability of problem-solving and task accomplishment
  • Promoting professional work behavior and creative critical thinking by effective consultation mechanism
  • Fostering self-discovery and interactive learning by both in-class and on-line discussions
  • Fostering students’ passion on creativity by designing interesting assignments
  • Offering new learning experiences including academic/practical seminars, writing workshops, traditional cultural and experiencing sessions
  • Enhancing students’ self-reflection ability and attitude on continuous improvement by using peer evaluation and citation revision systems
  • Providing timely feedback and transparent assessment criteria
  • Carrying out a constant review and refining course design based on students’ feedback and diversified learning behavior
Teaching Innovation Award (Research degree student category)
Ms HUA Congchao
Department of Linguistics and Translation
Mission Statement:
Getting students prepared for their academic life.
Ms Hua teaches GE1401 University English to freshmen from various disciplines. Under the course framework developed by current and previous coordinators of the course, Ms Hua enthusiastically delivered technology-enhanced lectures, motivated peer collaboration, and interactive engagement. Students learn and practice the fundamentals of academic writing through collaborative learning and individual assignments, in which Ms Hua extensively engaged students by offering challenging and practical advice. Effectively motivated by Ms Hua to refine their academic writings, students welcome Ms Hua’s teaching and have confirmed that the gain from the course will benefit their study in CityU and beyond.

Ms Hua has a deep understanding of teaching academic writing as well as of her students who are digital natives enjoying learning through technology. Adhering to the framework of the course developed by current and previous course coordinators, she effectively guides students of the new generation to utilize various technology-enriched academic writing materials matching their interests and learning habits, focusing on the purpose, process and product in writing as defined by the course learning objectives. As one of the tutors of GE1401 University English course, she incorporates input, collaboration and feedback in her lectures and tutorials. Students start from collaborating for simple tasks to working both individually and collaboratively on more complex ones, which offers them diverse opportunities to learn and explore the academic style and develop their academic writing skills.

Drawing from the resource pool of the course, Ms Hua uses not only individual online exercises, but also videos, concordancers, and social media to help her students learn about features of academic writing, avoidance of plagiarism and proper referencing. These various digital tools and sources enable the sustainability of learning by students themselves beyond the course and CityU.

As a dedicated and enthusiastic teacher, Ms Hua offered practical advice to her students within and beyond lecture hours. Ms Hua’s teaching proves to be effective, which is manifested by students’ progress in each round of drafts. Their positive feedbacks are also evidence to the rewarding and beneficial experience that they have gained from Ms Hua’s classes.

Ms Hua is thankful to Dr Carolin Fuchs, the current course coordinator, for the course framework and materials.

Teaching Innovation Award (Research degree student category)
Department of Media and Communication
Mission Statement:
Learning through discovery and technology to create innovative video productions
Through creative and hands-on exercises, Mr. Madrid-Morales’ students learn how to incorporate digital technologies in the creation of professional video productions for the mass media. While experiencing with different narrative visual forms, students embark on a process of re-discovery of Hong Kong and its many hidden stories. At the end of the course, students can avail of an online video portfolio showcasing their work, including dynamic video feature stories and long form TV commercials for local businesses and NGOs.

The three pillars of Mr. Madrid-Morales’ teaching practices are personalized learning, exploration and discovery, and teaching with technology. To be able to personalize their learning process, students are asked to complete mobile-based surveys at the beginning, middle and end of the semester, which provide useful information about their needs and expectations for the course. In his classes, Mr. Madrid-Morales’ allows students to experiment with different formats, tools and languages to tell their own stories in innovative ways. Assignments are connected to local communities to encourage students to solve real-life problems. For example, students are asked to produce TV commercials for Hong Kong NGOs and small businesses or to locate untold stories about everyday life in the city that can be turned into short films.

The best measurement of students’ attainment of learning outcomes is the quality of their video productions, which they are encouraged to combine into an online video portfolio that they can use when looking for employment after graduation. In the words of his students, Mr. Madrid-Morales is a patient and passionate teacher. In TLQ comments, students regularly highlight the detailed and regular feedback provided to them, which combines individual advice, with in-class group viewing and sharing sessions, as well as blind peer reviews. Mobile-based tools are used to facilitate the exchange of feedback and to spark discussions.