E-learning issues explored at CityU

Grace Ho

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The “2006 e-Learning Forum for Greater China” at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) gathered together 200 key participants from higher education institutions in Hong Kong, the mainland, Taiwan and Singapore to share their experience in and examine issues on e-learning relevant to the Greater China region. The two-day forum (19 to 20 May) was organized by CityU and Blackboard Inc.

CityU recognizes the importance of information technologies (IT) in supporting teaching, learning, research and administration. In the present era of globalization, e-learning is an important trend in higher education institutions around the world.

Organizing the “2006 e-learning Forum” underscores the University’s commitment to e-learning, maintains the University’s place at the forefront of IT development and preserves its leadership in the changing IT educational landscape.

At today’s opening ceremony, Dr Jerry Yu, CityU’s Chief Information Officer, gave a talk entitled “IT in higher education”. He said: “IT has become a part of the core business of tertiary institutions in the 21st century, a crucial means for fulfilling an education mission. This forum is an excellent opportunity for participants to exchange ideas on the trends and issues relevant to e-learning in higher education institutions in the region.”

Other plenary speakers included Mr George Calvert, Chief Operating Officer, Cernet-Blackboard Company; Ms Melissa Anderson, Senior Pedagogical Advisor, Blackboard International; Professor Yin Jie, Vice-President, Shanghai Jiao Tong University; Professor Liu An-chi , President, Feng Chia University, Taiwan; and Dr Eva Wong, Director of the Education Development Office, CityU.

Mr Calvert spoke on “Changing Curriculum for e-Learning” and Ms Anderson discussed “Leading e-Learning Success: Examples of Pedagogical Best Practices”. They stressed that effective learning through IT should be learner-centered, and, more importantly, that e-learning should encourage meaningful interactions among learners and instructors, and contribute to a reflective learning environment supported by IT.

Professor Yin and Professor Liu shared the e-learning and resources experiences in their respective universities. Dr Wong outlined the latest progress and future plans for the e-learning project at CityU. “We have been consolidating resources for a single e-learning platform in the University,” Dr Wong said. “We are aiming at a mission-critical application of IT for accelerated growth.”


There were also sessions at the forum on e-learning strategy and pedagogy, a workshop on Chinese language support, and a roundtable discussion on institutional support for e-learning.

Representatives from over 40 higher education institutions and organizations in Hong Kong, the mainland, Taiwan, Singapore and the US attended the forum. They undertook a thorough discussion of a range of topics and learnt a great deal from each other about the best practice for providing a holistic IT-rich environment to enhance teaching and learning.

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