• Organizers: Jointly organized by Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, Centre for Applied English Studies, and the Common Core
  • Abstract: The online mode of teaching and assessment this academic year has created significant challenges while also generated opportunities to develop new practices. Regarding teaching, one challenge has been how to foster interaction and active participation in an online environment. Considering assessment, one challenge has been how to transform face-to-face assessments (e.g. tests, presentations) to an online mode (e.g. live online Zoom presentations, video-recorded presentations). This series of workshops aims to provide HKU teachers with practical ideas on how to improve teaching and assessment of oral, written, visual, and digital literacies.* These ideas apply to both online and face-to-face environments.

Written Workshop

Sharing Exemplars with Students to Improve Written Communication and Assessment Literacy

  • Date & Time: 24 June 2020 (Wednesday) 10:30am – 12:00noon (HK time)
  • Venue: Conducted via Zoom
  • Speaker: Dr. Phil Smyth, Centre for Applied English Studies, HKU
  • Facilitator: Dr. Tracy Zou, Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, HKU
  • Abstract: Exemplars are sample texts, typically student-created, used to help develop student understanding of standards of assessment, and as aids for students to improve their communication. They are popular with students and research suggests their use leads to improved student performance in assessments. What is often less clear, however, is how best to use exemplars with students so that there is little unproductive copying, and the learning challenge is not drastically reduced. This workshop enables participants to understand the rationale for exemplar use within courses, and outlines a typology of possible approaches to exemplar sharing. Workshop participants will be invited to plan and discuss how they might use exemplars in their courses, including how they might share them, when to share them, and how they might lead discussion around exemplars with students.
  • About the speaker: Dr. Phil Smyth is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Applied English Studies, University of Hong Kong. His current professional and research interests include exemplar use, assessment feedback, working with students as partners, and developing teacher learning communities for professional development.


Speaking Workshop

Speaking: A Tale of Multiple Entities

  • Date & Time: 30 June 2020 (Tuesday) 10:00am – 11:00am (HK time)
  • Venue: Conducted via Zoom
  • Speaker: Dr. India Plough, Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, Michigan State University, USA
  • Facilitator: Dr. Tracy Zou, Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, HKU
  • Abstract: This discussion-based workshop begins by asking: what does it mean to speak effectively? And, how do we assess that effectiveness? The answer, of course, depends on one’s purpose in speaking. The goal may be to transmit information as clearly, as accurately, and as concisely as possible, relatively independent of listeners. Or, the goal may be to share meaning and convey a message, the development of which is dependent on listener understanding. In between these two conceptualizations of speaking, multiple communicative events, each requiring varying communication skills, can be created. In turn, these skills then determine test format and design. Throughout the workshop, participants will examine different speaking activities and tests for their overall purpose, the skills they are targeting, and their alignment with each other.
  • About the speaker: Dr. India Plough is an assistant professor in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities (RCAH) at Michigan State University. She teaches sociolinguistics and is the director of the RCAH’s Language Proficiency Programme and the Cultures and Languages across the Curriculum Programme. She led the development of the speaking component of the Examination for the Certificate of Proficiency in English (Michigan Language Assessment). She has worked on collaborative projects including language teaching, learner assessment, teacher training, and programme development with students, teachers, and administrators in Argentina, Brazil, China, Greece, Japan, Peru, South Africa, and the U.S. Her current research and publications are in the areas of Interactional Competence Language Testing (2018) and Nonverbal Behaviour [In Salaberry & Burch (Forthcoming) Assessing Speaking in Context].


Digital Workshop

Supporting Students to Complete Video Assessments

  • Date & Time: 8 Jul 2020 (Wednesday) 10:30am – 11:30am (HK time)
  • Venue: Conducted via Zoom
  • Speaker: Mr. Patrick Desloge, Centre for Applied English Studies, HKU
  • Facilitator: Dr. Tracy Zou, Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, HKU
  • Abstract: The use of video for assessment has emerged as a way showcasing oral and visual literacies outside of physical spaces. While most teachers recognize the potential of video as an assessment format, it can be challenging to clearly identify and define specifications for these assessments. In this workshop we will begin by discussing some potential benefits of using video as an assessment item. We will then try to identify some potential genres of video that might be appropriate in various contexts. Finally, the workshop will define the various stages of video production and map some of the key pitfalls that students often experience as they undertake the video production process.
  • About the speaker: Patrick Desloge is a Senior Lecturer and Coordinator for Digital Literacy Communication Support at the Centre for Applied English Studies, HKU. He is currently involved in an inter-institutional UGC grant to develop resources to support digital literacy at HKU and he is leading a TDG grant to explore the use of Digital Storytelling as a reflective assessment in experiential learning.



Join-the-Conversation: Save a thousand words: Developing students’ visual communication literacy

  • Date & Time: 12 Aug 2020 (Wednesday) 10:30am – 11:30am (HK time)
  • Venue: Conducted via Zoom
  • Speaker: Dr. Benjamin Iaquinto, Dr. Jessie Chow, and Dr. Larry Baum
  • Facilitator: Dr. Tracy Zou, Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, HKU
  • Abstract: ‘The fantasy of a pictorial turn, of a culture totally dominated by images, has now become a real technical possibility on a global scale.’ (Mitchell, 1994, p.15) Both our academic and personal lives nowadays are filled with images and graphics. The ability to communicate effectively using various visual modes and tools can significantly enhance the quality of our communication and widen its reach. Perhaps it is time for us to consider going beyond the usual focus on writing and speaking in academic training and embed the development of visual communication literacy in our courses. The three speakers have systematically incorporated visual literacy into their courses through setting the relevant intended learning outcomes, providing students with opportunities for practice, and assessing this literacy formally. Their courses have been reviewed/badged as Communication-intensive Courses (CiC) with visual literacy highlighted. In this event, the speakers will introduce their conceptions of visual literacy and talk about what they do in their courses to help students produce an effective visual.
  • About the speaker:

    Dr. Ben Iaquinto is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Hong Kong where he teaches a range of tourism geography courses. His second year course ‘Tourism in the Shrinking World’ has been badged as a Communication-intensive Course (CiC) as it enables students to develop their visual, digital and written communication skills. As tourism is highly visual and increasingly digital, it is important for students to develop literacies in these areas. Dr. Jessie M.L. Chow is a Lecturer (experiential learning) in the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong where she has been instrumental in the establishment of local and overseas experiential learning projects across undergraduate and postgraduate teacher education programmes. She is a trained teacher and educational psychologist with extensive experience in working with schools and NGOs, and organising service-learning projects. Three of her EL courses have been badged as communication-intensive courses, which focus on developing students’ visual, written, and oral literacies.

    Dr. Larry Baum is a research officer in the LKS Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong. After earning a PhD in Neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego, he has conducted research on biochemistry, genetics, and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, and other diseases. He has taught both the lectures and tutorials for the Common Core course CCGL9042, The Evolution of Civilization, for several years. At scientific conferences, he often presented his research as posters, a common conference format because they efficiently and quickly convey key messages. For this reason, in 2016 he began assigning students to use posters instead of essays or slides for their final presentations.