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Identifying and Assessing the Student Learning Outcomes in Residential College System

Organised by Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL)

Details of the workshop:
Date : 9 March, 2017 (Thursday)
Time : 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Venue : Room 321, 3/F, Run Run Shaw Building (Main Campus), HKU
Speaker : Chair Prof. Haydn Chen, Vice Rector (Student Affairs), University of Macau
Facilitator : Dr. Cecilia Chan, Head of Professional Development, CETL, HKU

Evaluation of the overall student performance in the Residential College (RC) System of the University of Macau (UM) is reported under the “4-in-1”* education model which commenced in August 2014. The evaluation methodology included the grade points average (GPA), the counselling cases, sports competition, employment data, plus specially-designed surveys to measure the learning outcomes of the competencies** that the RC education focused on. Particularly noteworthy is this study included undergraduate students with and without the RC experience so a comparison of the two groups of students can be made.

The major findings show a positive and encouraging trend in the impact of RC education on students is significant and noticeable, despite the fact that the RC system was launched only two years ago. Some highlights of the study are: 1) the five areas of competencies that RC nurtures have clearly shown the learning outcome; 2) a significant correlation of academic achievement in terms of cumulative GPA with RC experience is found, also for the low-performance students (GPA<2) RC experience clearly helps students to improve more effectively; 3) the pastoral care and the peer support that students received in the RCs have resulted in a significant decrease of counselling cases; 4) team spirit cultivated for student athletes show its impact on the awards; 5) employment profile in recent years show steady improvement. The values of the RC experience on the students’ overall achievements are reflected in this evaluation report. Conclusions are drawn to reflect the impact of the "Community and Peer Education" on the growth of students, which, in turn, supports the vision of the University of Macau who has pioneered the unique 4-in-1 education model together with the university-wide RC System.

*4-in1 Education Model: It includes “discipline”, “general”, “research & internship” and “community & peer” education. Undergraduate students must receive passing grades in all four area before they can graduate.
** Competencies: The five competencies in the experiential learning of the RC education are: “healthy living”, “interpersonal relationship & teamwork”, “leadership & service”, “culture engagement”, and “citizenship with global perspective”.

Biography of Haydn H.D. Chen

Prof. Haydn H. D. Chen’s education background has taken him through prestigious schools via the Tsing Hua University (Taiwan) for his BS degree, then the MS and PhD in the Department of Materials Science, Northwestern University in US. Dr. Chen’s professional career commenced with a Research Associate appointment at the Argonne National Laboratory before joining the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) (1978 to 2000). Since 2000, Dr. Chen has spent over 16 years in teaching, research and academic administration in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau, in the capacity as Chair Professor, Head of the Department, Vice President for Student Affairs or President of Tunghai University. These experience put him in a very unique group of educators who have held key positions as an academic faculty and concurrently an academic administrator in four universities across the Pacific ocean.

Having supervised over 50 MS and PhD students and worked closed with more than 20 research associates and visiting scholars in four universities, Prof. Chen has authored or co-authored over 300 journal articles and delivered more than 200 technical presentations. At UIUC, Dr. Chen’s research focused primarily on metals and alloys in which he pioneered x-ray diffraction studies of kinetic processes of ordering or coarsening in technologically important Ni-based super-alloys, Fe-based shape memory alloys and Al-based light metal alloys. Dr. Chen and his team had invented a grazing incidence x-ray diffraction method for the nondestructive measurements of residual stresses in thin films; this technical paper was downloaded/viewed over 8000 times, and cited over 130 times. Further, in a period of 10 years, Dr. Chen had led, as the Director of a Collaborative Access Team, with partnership between UIUC and national laboratories, industrial firms for a major project to have designed and constructed two sectors of beamlines, along with six experimental stations, at the Advanced Photon Source (APS), Argonne National Laboratory. These instruments are rated most outstanding apparatus at APS today.

At the City University of Hong Kong, Dr. Chen has expanded his research into thin films and coatings with particular emphasis on electric ceramics such as ferroelectrics, nitrides, etc. Over a span of four years more than 60 articles were published which represent the most highly cited collection of papers. As the Head of the Applied Physics and Materials Department at CityU, Dr. Chen has led the Department to become the flag ship of the materials program in Hong Kong and propelled the advancement of world ranking of the university. Dr. Chen continued to maintain scholarly work during the 8 year period as the President of Tunghai University in Taiwan. At the University of Macau, Dr. Chen was responsible for the establishment of the Graduate Institute of Applied Physics and Materials Engineering and supervised the first cohort of doctoral degree students. This was in addition to his official duties as the Vice Rector for Student Affairs with primary responsibilities for the creation of a Residential College system for experiential collegiate learning of soft skills.

Prof. Chen’s trajectory of research on materials science has won himself the Humboldt Research Award in Germany (2000) and Award for Outstanding Scholar in Taiwan (2005-2010). He is a Fellow of ASM-International since 1989, a Fellow of Japan Society for Promotion of Science and a Fellow of Hong Kong Institution of Engineers. He was chief editor and key reviewers of many journals and participated actively in several professional societies.

For information, please contact:
Ms. Noranda Zhang , CETL
Phone: 3917 4729; Email: noranda@hku.hk​