Teaching Grants Special Call (2020/21)

Teaching Grants Special Call (2020/21)

Driving student engagement and motivation with the cloud-based flipped classroom model in BIM education (6000750)

  • Principal Investigator: Dr. Calvin KEUNG (ACE)
  • Category: Flipped / Hybrid Classrooms
  • Abstract:
    The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way of teaching and learning, and they are undertaken remotely on digital platforms. This sudden shift away from classrooms to online learning platforms has created a new study mode that may persist in the post-pandemic period. Thus, students are confronted by an uncertain and increasingly complicated future. To prepare them for these challenges, the flipped classroom can offer a new learning experience to students. The flipped classroom is a strategy to replace the traditional approach to teaching and learning. It is a new pedagogical model that encourages active learning, student engagement, and self-directed learning. In the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry, Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an emerging technology, and its adoption has evolved substantially in recent years. The growing popularity of BIM has led to considerable demand for competent BIM professionals in the industry. Thus, BIM education, which has the primary objective of equipping students with necessary BIM skills, prepares new generations of industry professionals. As such, this proposal presents how the CityU BIM expert teams up with the cloud engineers and programmers to develop a cloud computing platform by employing the flipped classroom approach. By utilising cloud-based technologies, students can access learning materials whenever is convenient for them and control over the learning pace to suit their schedule. Cloud gaming can also provide solutions to particular problems seen in traditional classroom environments, for example, lower cognitive outcomes and poor attitudes towards learning. Eventually, it is expected that the cloud computing platform enhances student’s learning performance, produces enhanced learning outcomes, and increases student motivation in BIM-related courses.

Flipping online classes and distance learning with multiple tools (6000751)

  • Principal Investigator: Dr. Yuk Wah CHAN (AIS)
  • Category: Flipped / Hybrid Classrooms
  • CO-Investigator: Dr. Yun Wah LAM (CHEM), Dr. Wanxin LI (SEE)
  • Abstract:
    This project aims to explore innovative instructive methods and pedogogy that will enhance the effectiveness of online classes. From our previous experiences in distance teaching, students expressed that there was often a concentration problem. The innovative methods in the project will bring positive impacts to e-teaching and e-learning by (1) actively engaging students through making use of existing zoom space and other online tools; (2) developing creative short pedagocial videos; (3) enriching students’ experiences as “instructor” in flipped classrooms; (4) motivating students’ explorative spirit by having multiple teaching tools in class and cultivating a hybrid mode of teaching and learning.

Computer-Aided Design Centric Teaching: A Hybrid Classrooms Pedagogy For Engineering (6000752)

  • Principal Investigator: Dr. Derek HO (MSE)
  • Category: Flipped / Hybrid Classrooms
  • Abstract:
    The Covid‐19 pandemic has caused a huge socio‐economic impact and impaired routine classroom teaching across the globe. While the situation is still far from over, online solutions for teaching are rapidly emerging and being constantly improved by educators and educational institutions. The questions of how to raise effectiveness in computer-based teaching and learning have become of urgent importance. Coinsidentally, in engineering design, there had been decades of evolution in design methodology towards greater reliance on computed-aided design (CAD) tools. However, the education of engineering design lacks behind significantly. It is not uncommon that CAD tools are incorporated into a course sparingly and hapharardly, often only as an afterthought. In this project, we aim to develop a pedagogy for teaching materials engineering that centers on computer-aided design. This pedagogy can be used to enhance existing engineering courses with a design focus, i.e. those that emphasize “synthesis” rather than “analysis”. The pedagogy introduces CAD tools right from the beginning of the course so that students can learn CAD design and fundamental engineering principles concurrently. The intented learning outcomes are envisioned to include abilities to capture design ideas in computer software, perform simulations, benefit from immediate feedback, cope with practical design tradeoffs, thinking creatively, and present ideas effectively.

Teaching and assessment of oral presentations in Zoom: Developing empirically-informed materials and guidelines for CityU-Learning (6000753)

  • Principal Investigator: Dr. Simon HARRISON (EN)
  • Category: Flipped / Hybrid Classrooms
  • Abstract:
    COVID-19 has dramatically altered the ecology of social interactions and posed major challenges for the assessment of English language speaking activities that were designed to be face-to-face. Individual and group oral presentations offer a case in point because teaching and assessment materials generally assume that the speaker presents against a backdrop of slides in front of an audience with whom he or she must interact. This situation relies on a particular embodied participation framework or “small ecology in which different signs in different media (talk, the gesturing body and objects in the world) dynamically interact” (Goodwin, 2007, p. 199). Teaching and assessing oral presentations online inevitably changes this ecology with regards to the dynamics of the interaction between the speaker, audience, and slides. How is the speaker-audience-slide interplay affected by the online environment? What are the implications for the linguistic, interactional, and social skills that our students use, need, lack, and can or cannot be expected to demonstrate when assessed? To answer these questions, an enactive-ecological approach will be applied to analyzing a corpus of individual and group PowerPoint presentations delivered in Zoom. Building on the principal investigator’s research in English for Academic Purposes (Harrison, 2020a, under revision), the proposed project will deliver empirically-informed materials and guidelines for teaching and assessing oral presentations online at CityU.

Teaching and assessment of oral presentations in Zoom: Developing empirically-informed materials and guidelines for CityU-Learning (6000753)

  • Principal Investigator: Dr. Simon HARRISON (EN)
  • Category: Flipped / Hybrid Classrooms
  • Abstract:
    COVID-19 has dramatically altered the ecology of social interactions and posed major challenges for the assessment of English language speaking activities that were designed to be face-to-face. Individual and group oral presentations offer a case in point because teaching and assessment materials generally assume that the speaker presents against a backdrop of slides in front of an audience with whom he or she must interact. This situation relies on a particular embodied participation framework or “small ecology in which different signs in different media (talk, the gesturing body and objects in the world) dynamically interact” (Goodwin, 2007, p. 199). Teaching and assessing oral presentations online inevitably changes this ecology with regards to the dynamics of the interaction between the speaker, audience, and slides. How is the speaker-audience-slide interplay affected by the online environment? What are the implications for the linguistic, interactional, and social skills that our students use, need, lack, and can or cannot be expected to demonstrate when assessed? To answer these questions, an enactive-ecological approach will be applied to analyzing a corpus of individual and group PowerPoint presentations delivered in Zoom. Building on the principal investigator’s research in English for Academic Purposes (Harrison, 2020a, under revision), the proposed project will deliver empirically-informed materials and guidelines for teaching and assessing oral presentations online at CityU.

Flipping the classroom on planning and sustainable cities (6000754)

  • Principal Investigator: Dr. June WANG (POL)
  • Category: Flipped / Hybrid Classrooms
  • Abstract:
    This is a project to revise the course POL2528 Urban Planning and Sustainable Cities to engage flipped classroom method and to explore a comparative approach towards participatory urban planning policy making in different institutional contexts within the Greater Bay Area. This project consists of two parts: the first part is the preparation phase of the course, including online lecture recording, case studies, and establishing a strategic partnership with a variety of sectors to be involved, local and overseas (including local NGOs and community representatives, Legislative Council members, State Key Laboratory of Subtropical Building Science at the South China University of Technology); the second part is the teaching and refinement phase of the course. The 13-week course adopted a hybrid approach of online lectures and offline teaching, giving full play to the initiative of students’ independent learning and enhance the effectiveness of the course teaching. Through innovatively introducing the flipped classroom format, this course allowing students to fully understand the course topics before class and better participate in interactive discussions during class. Combined with field trips in Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong, and Guangzhou, China, this course provides students with a great flipped classroom environment and live experience about public participation in planning. In this course, two workshops with guest lectures and one on-line seminar with multiple stakeholders in the participatory urban policymaking process will be held to provide students with additional exposure to interdisciplinary knowledge and practical experience in different social contexts.

A Virtual Course Assistant for Flipped/Hybrid Classrooms (6000755)

  • Principal Investigator: Dr. Linqi SONG (CS)
  • Category: Flipped / Hybrid Classrooms
  • Abstract:
    The coronavirus outbreak has witnessed a number of emerging online education tools to support flipped/hybrid classrooms like Zoom. Online education could support more students due to the sufficient capacity and can provide more interactive and personalized education due to the availability of convenient interactive platforms and data collected during the teaching/learning activities. In a flipped classroom, it becomes more convenient for students to talk and share ideas within the class, as the ways and tools in online teaching and learning make students easy to be grouped and heard of. However, managing such a great number of students in a class is challenging especially when teachers need to perform lecturing (sometimes in a hybrid mode), answering questions from students in both voice and text form with topics ranging from course logistic questions, course content, comments, suggests to casual chats and complaints. Therefore, a virtual course assistant will be very helpful in managing the online teaching and learning process. Proposal No. STDG20B011 In this project, we aim to build a virtual course assistant that is able to automatically respond to students’ questions related to course general information and/or course content, such as course credits, class time, lecture slides link, examination mode, etc. Technically, we aim to combine the strength of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques, ensuring the virtual course assistant can clearly understand question semantic meaning and generate the answer sequence accurately and reasonably. We will first survey the requirement of the course and collect data, then build the virtual course assistant system in one or two courses (e.g., CS 2066 and/or CS6493), test their functionality, and receive feedback.

Development of a flipped classroom platform for the effective teaching and learning of BIM (Building Information Modelling) (6000756)

  • Principal Investigator: Dr. Jackson KONG (BST)
  • Category: Flipped / Hybrid Classrooms
  • Abstract:
    Building Information Modeling (BIM) is the process of generating and managing building data during its design, construction and operation. The process produces the Building Information Model database, which encompasses building geometry, spatial relationships, geographic information, quantities and properties of building elements. BIM has been undergoing rapid and extensive development in the past 15 years and is becoming a norm in the construction industry, both local and worldwide alike. As such, BIM has been incorporated into the curriculum for various disciplines of construction including architecture, civil engineering, building engineering, building services engineering and surveying. From a pedagogical perspective, BIM is usually taught in a conventional computer workshop setting, in which instructors would demonstrate the usage of BIM and students would follow by repeating the process on his/her own desktop. Such a teaching and learning approach is reasonable for practioners in the industy or advanced learners in college. However, at the introductory or beginners’ level, particularly for a relatively large class (>30 students) with students of diverse computer literacy, the said teaching and learning approach would be ineffective and create a learning problem that some learners will be bored whilst others will be lost. Unless students are proactive in learning and with relatively strong computer literacy, they would find it very difficult to learn BIM in such a teaching and learning environment.

    To enhance the learning of the subject and making more effective use of the class time, the flipped classroom approach provides a better teaching and learning alternative by blending online learning with face-to-face learning sessions. In this approach, students need to take up a more proactive attitude to prepare for the class in advance, be more engaging in learning during class, and be assessed after class, so as to ensure that the intended learning outcomes are achievable. To this end, this project aims to make use of the latest muli-media technology to develop a flipped classroom platform for beginning students of BIM. The platform comprises two major modules:

    1) samples of relatively small-scale, local construction projects, including one or two selected from CityU campus, based upon which a series of self-directed online learning video would be developed to demonstrate how BIM would be applied for the design and construction of the selected projects. In addition, the said series of video would be supplemented with VR photos of the actual buildings and its components for facilitating students to Proposal No. STDG20B013 2 compare against the output from BIM;

    2) to help students progressing along the learning path, a series of tailor-made assessments would be designed for them to complete before, during and after the face-toface learning sessions. The whole package of teaching and learning material would be developed to fit in a 10- to 13-week semester for university students, no matter local or abroad or it can be used separately as a series of self-directed learning video for the construction personnel interested in picking up this new essential skill. To the best knowledge of the project leader, no such platform is available to date.

    It is noteworthy that the aforesaid flipped classroom approach has been successfully implemented by the project leader for another CityU course, which findings were disseminated in a paper, see Appendix A. With the assistance of the EDGE office, his experience was also documented in a Youtube video and shared via the website of the Flipped Classroom Approach in Hong Kong Higher Education (https://www.flippedclasshk.net/teaching-cases-cityu, video https://youtu.be/3Zm0oA41U8g).

Understanding Animation from an Intercultural Perspective (6000757)

  • Principal Investigator: Dr. Max HATTLER (SCM)
  • CO-Investigator: Prof. Marina Estela GRACA (University of Algarve)
  • Category: E-Course Exchange
  • Abstract:
    The Teaching Development Grant Understanding Animation from an Intercultural Perspective is an international “E-Course Exchange” project designed to allow active cultural and knowledge exchange between students from City University of Hong Kong (CityU) and University of Algarve (UAlg), Portugal, who work together in remotely via virtual learning environments. This project is rooted in the Project Leader (PI) and Co-Leader’s (Co-I) combined knowledge and experience of teaching, research and practice in the history, ontology, and aesthetics of animation. SM2228 Understanding Animation is a course offered by the PI at SCM/CityU. It provides an introduction to the global history, theory, forms and styles of animation that have emerged since the introduction of cinema. With examples drawn from animations created in all parts of the world, the course offers an ideal vehicle to provide expanded opportunities for ideas and knowledge exchange with overseas students and their teacher who are studying and teaching a similar course. The project will be held in Semester A 2021/22, with three lecture-based classes of SCM’s Understanding Proposal No. STDG20B014 2 Animation co-taught by the Co-I via Zoom. Three classes of her History and Analysis of Animated Images course at UAlg will in turn be co-taught online by the PI. Students from both universities will then be grouped across locations to collaboratively and remotely work on a video essay assignment. This coursework project is designed to challenge students to compare and contrast their own, culturally specific understandings of animation, forcing them to engage with differing viewpoints on a peer-to-peer level and critically reflect on their own preconceived notions, and to synthesize this intercultural negotiation in the context of academic enquiry through the production of a collaborative video essay.

    Blending both traditional and technology-based teaching and learning methods, this TDG project helps to transform the social distancing of the pandemic into a unique opportunity for more effective, collaborative, and international education. It leads to an intercultural academic exchange of knowledge and experience, and the discovery-led creation of new knowledge in the field of animation studies and animation history. The findings of this experimental teaching and learning project will form the basis of a scholarly paper for conference presentation and publication in a peerreviewed academic journal. The best resulting student works will be shown to the public and submitted to student conferences and festivals.