Yew Chung College of Early Childhood Education
I'm a Senior Lecturer in Hong Kong. With TESOL, I'm the Digital Learning and Technologies Strand Coordinator and an active CALL member.
What can be learned about online courses from Hong Kong in the 2019-2020 academic year? Face-to-face classes were interrupted by the sudden closure of schools for 3 weeks due to protests in the Fall term and for 11 weeks due to the coronavirus in the Spring term. In both terms, courses were suddenly converted to an online mode. This has meant that lecturers - many with little experience with technology - have had to quickly make decisions about developing an online course to achieve course intended learning outcomes, selecting tools, assessing students, and encouraging student engagement. This has also meant that students have had no choice about their mode of learning and no preparation. This has resulted in a wide range of successes and failures. For example, in a recent online academic writing class delivered in a mandatory 3-hour session, the presenter found that students were "attending" with mixed success and engagement while shopping, working, traveling in public transportation, and sharing space at home with family members. Many students were limited to mobile phones; many reported no access to printers and free wifi. While this kind of disrupted education is unique, lessons can be learned in regards to how lecturers can adapt courses for online delivery and for addressing students' online needs. In this session, the presenter will share the following: feedback from students, feedback from colleagues, local education news, and personal reflections. The presenter will end with some general thoughts on adaptability in teaching and best practices for moving courses online.