Innovation in Engineering and Science Education

Innovative Curricula Design Conference „Higher Education in 2020“
Innovation in Engineering and Science Education
Dr. Cecilia Ka Yuk Chan
Associate Professor
Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL)
University of Hong Kong
Tere hommikust.
Meeldiv kohtuda
Ma ei räägi “palju” eesti keelt.
Think Out of the Box Puzzle
Pretend that the above is drawn on a piece of paper,
draw 4 straight lines with an imaginary pen without
lifting up the pen so that the lines go through all the
dots using only 4 lines. How can it be done?
My Life - From Engineering to Education
• Bachelor – Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics –
Trinity College Dublin
• PhD – DSP, Computer Vision – Trinity College Dublin
• Researcher/Software Consultant in Industry
• Lecturer and an Assistant Head in Engineering
• Postgraduate Dip. and MA in Higher Education
• Associate Professor in Centre for the Enhancement of
Teaching and Learning
• Fellow in King’s College London
• Education Research (esp. Science and Engineering)
Research Vs Teaching
Tenure and Promotion
University of Hong Kong World Rankings
2013 – 2014 (No. 43)
2008 – 2009 (No. 18)
2013 – 2014 (No. 26)
Engineers and Scientists Perception
How can you do
“active learning”
in mathematics?
PBL, isn’t that what
we have been
doing for the last
20 years with our
student projects?
That just won’t
work in
We can’t afford to
spend time to teach
them skills that are
unrelated to the core
learning, blah!!
Overview: Primary Issues in Engineering and
Science Education
Student Retention
Student Recruitment (Quality Vs Quantity)
Pedagogy – active learning
Generic skills/Global competence
Student Motivation and Engagement
Active Learning
Why plan for ‘Active’ Lectures?
Problem of Attention span
Psychological constraints on learning:
Concentration drops with sustained and unchanging low level
activity (such as sitting and listening), but to follow lecture content
concentrated effort is required.
10 – 15 mins
Students attention is typically maintained for _____________
English: How are you?
Chinese: 你好吗?
Pinyin : Nǐ hǎo ma?
Two ways to tackle some of the issues
• Common Core Curriculum
• Experiential Learning and “out of classroom”
HKU Common Core Curriculum - Goals
1. To enable students to have a broader perspective and a critical
understanding of the complexities and interconnectedness of the
problems and issues that they are confronted within their everyday
2. To enable students to have a deeper understanding of their own
cultures and other cultures, and to appreciate the interrelatedness
and diversity among cultures;
3. To enable students to see themselves as members of local as well
as global communities and to play an active role as responsible
individuals and citizens in these communities;
4. To enable students to develop the key intellectual skills that will be
further enhanced in their disciplinary studies.
HKU Common Core Curriculum - There are 4
main area of inquiry:
Scientific and
Literacy 44
China: Culture,
State and
Society 37
How do the students learn?
Diverse modes of learning:
• participative and experiential nature of learning
• case-based learning, inquiry-based learning, problem
based learning, action-based learning, small group
learning, etc.
• to enable students to engage in collaborative work,
provide leadership in team work, conduct critical
analysis, see things from different perspectives,
make informed decisions
How are students being assessed?
Diverse modes of assessment.
• Keeping a journal to reflect on lectures and readings
• Making a movie
• Engaging in fieldwork
• Undertaking research
• Constructing a website
• Doing group projects and presentations.
A Common Core Course
Experiential Learning @ HKU
I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I
understand. – Confucius (Chinese Philosopher)
Forms of Experiential Learning
Cooperative education placements
Practicum experiences
Classroom-based hands-on laboratory activities
Field studies
Exchange studies
Community service learning
Many more..
This bottom-up initiative has been made as one of
the common learning experiences in the 4-year
Bringing the real project into classroom
• Through planning, design, management of
construction and until completion of a real
project, students gain a sense of ownership and
satisfaction of the project
• Improvement in communication skill when
meeting with people from different social and
cultural backgrounds
• Promotion of teamwork and multidisciplinary
Project Mingde
In order to motivate our student, we
need to motivate ourselves first
Students are the seeds of today and are the
crops of the future
Thank You
Thank you for your participation!!!
If you wish to contact me for further information
Phone: +852 3917 8534
Answer to the riddle