Equipping students for challenges of information explosion
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How do you manage your email accounts? What strategies do you use to search for information on the Internet? How do you remind yourself of deadlines for submitting assignments or paying bills? These are some daily issues you may not pay attention to but if you know how to manage them properly, your learning and work efficiency will be improved.
Understanding the importance of information management, City University of Hong Kong (CityU) will launch a new General Education course on “Information Management and its Social Impact” in Semester B 2007-08.
“Information management is an essential skill in this information explosion era. Students are bombarded by a wide range of information sources, including lectures, tutorials and other informal gatherings. The way they acquire, organise, retrieve and use the information plays an important role in their study, career and whole-person development,” said Dr Ron Kwok Chi-wai, the course coordinator and an associate professor in the Department of Information Systems.
Proper information management could help students master high-level learning more easily, said Dr Kwok. The course provides students with the opportunity to enhance their “Info IQ”, a concept advocated by the University of California in Los Angeles.
“By developing their Info IQ, or the ability to leverage information and technology effectively and efficiently, students will be better equipped to sift through the sea of information in which they are immersed,” Dr Kwok added.
Dr Kwok believed students could take full advantage of the course by experiential learning and, therefore, the course would focus on hands-on learning activities. An example would be using the body brush technology developed by Professor (Chair) Horace Ip Ho-shing in the Department of Computer Science.
“Students will visit the interactive-media laboratory to try to classify and use some virtual image information using the body brush technology. They will experience how to manage virtual information, which is also essential in this new world,” Dr Kwok said.
To enhance students’ information and English literacy at the same time, the course also ties in with the Language Companion Course (LCC), one of the major initiatives implemented by the University to help students master the English language.
LCC makes use of the “wiki” and “blog” technologies to create a communication platform between the online English tutors and students. Students would be assigned group tasks via the platform to learn the skills in information management through virtual team work, said Dr Kwok.
The three-credit course spans one semester and comprises both lecture and tutorial. In line with the practicability of the course content, assessment of the course also emphasises real-life case studies, including both individual and group assignments.
“The course offers a fundamental knowledge base and is designed for students in all disciplines,” said Dr Kwok. “Students from all faculties and schools will find it very practical.”
The General Education courses form part of the new four-year degree structure. The University will launch the first six courses in Semester B 2007-08. The other five courses are: “Chinese Cultural Heritage in Modern Perspective”, “Identity and Citizenship in a Globalised World”, “Rational Thinking and Creative Ideas”, “Cinema: East and West”, and “Science and Technology: From Past to Future”.
For more details on GE courses, please visit http://vpue.cityu.edu.hk/ge/