A showcase of web teaching practices

by Regina Lau, Thelma Yim and Karen Lai

City University's third annual WebCourse Fair 2003 kicked off on 14 January with a virtual exhibition showcasing the use of the Internet for teaching and learning. Around 30 teaching staff members shared online how they

make use of audio-visual learning packages, online quizzes, self-assessment tools and 3D animations to stimulate students' interest.

The fair also incorporated physical seminars, which were opened by the University's Chief Information Officer, Dr Jerry Yu, on 23 January. Eight staff members from a wide spectrum of academic and administrative departments shared their experiences of web teaching and learning.

"We had physical booths for the past two fairs," said Dr Crusher Wong, Teaching Development Coordinator in CityU's Enterprise Solutions Unit (ESU), which organized the fair. "This year we wanted to create a virtual setting to promote the culture of using the web to communicate." The virtual setting simulates a physical exhibition, with each virtual booth "staffed" by a course instructor. Features such as a Q&A session with the instructor, an on-line survey and real-time demonstrations of the web project also help to put across the message of web-based teaching.

Officially introduced to CityU in 1998, around 400 web-based courses have been offered to promote e-learning among staff and students. "Web technology has become more practical to use," said Ms Maria Chin, IT in Education Systems Manager for the ESU. "For example, in some science disciplines the use of 3D animation is more relevant to the subject and can really help students understand complicated ideas."

In his welcoming speech at the seminars, Dr Yu announced the launch of the second version of the Student e-Portal, a major communication channel between the University and its students. The portal provides student-focused, timely and pertinent information, ranging from class timetables to campus news to educational resources such as "a word a day".

Speakers at the seminars included Dr Eva Wong, Acting Head of the CityU Library's Digital Academic Resources, Professor Douglas Vogel, Chair Professor of Information Systems in the Department of Information Systems, Mr Alex Tham, Instructor in the Department of Marketing, and Mr Square Fong, Lecturer in the Division of Building Science and Technology.

The virtual exhibition of CityU's web teaching practices can currently be viewed at http://www.cityu.edu.hk/WebCourseFair. You are welcome to visit the virtual booths, explore the web projects on show and learn from the hands-on experience of CityU administrative and teaching staff.