Message from the Director of CETL – Dr. Susan Bridges

Dear colleagues,

Welcome to this 16th issue of Teaching and Learning Connections which continues CETL’s focus on celebrating HKU’s amazing academics and students!

2021 proved to be another challenging year and colleagues and students again demonstrated their versatility and adaptability in the face of shifts from face-to-face to online teaching and a range of modalities in-between. In this issue, we celebrate our 2021 Teaching Excellence Awards (TEA) winners ( and hear from their own words as they share their passion for teaching and innovation. The CETL team have been constantly inspired by HKU academics’ tireless dedication to teaching and innovation to create flexible learning experiences for our students. One maxim from our 2019-20 Education 4.0 series has stayed with me and that was, “Plan for online first”. If the course is designed with online in mind, we can then draw on these technology-enhanced activities whenever face-to-face is possible while the reverse creates enormous disruption and stress for both the course teachers and students. CETL will continue to support course designers in our Summer and Winter Sandbox Series.

Apart from our academics’ agile response to the pandemic, students have emerged as proactive agents to support their own learning and that of their peers. In the cases highlighted in this 16th issue of Teaching and Learning Connections, we read of how HKU students have collaborated with faculty partners to initiate and co-design teaching development projects. Examples range from facilitating peer tutoring to designing assessment and teaching materials to piloting co-teaching modules. Student agency and empowerment were viewed by all as key drivers of success. HKU students became co-designers of their learning experiences, co-creators of teaching materials, co-teachers and assessors. We are continuing to see a growth in Students as Partners (SaP) projects, aka Student-Faculty Partnerships at HKU. This issue provides a timely showcase of local and international SaP projects from New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. We trust that these will inspire other HKU colleagues to develop innovative collaborations with our students.

As we move forward, there is much to learn from our recent experiences. While retaining the mission of enhancing the student learning experience and supporting achievement of HKU’s educational aims, CETL academics on various task forces and working groups of the Undergraduate Teaching and Learning Strategy 2021-28 are envisioning new possibilities for preparing our students for what many in academia are conceiving as a ‘postdigital’ future. In line with this opportunity, our CETL team’s 2021 Retreat-at-Home supported our re-envisioning and enactment of CETL’s mission and vision:

CETL Mission and Vision

With the support of the University Grants Committee and the University, CETL’s professional development space on the 3rd Floor of the Run Run Shaw Building has been totally re-designed to respond to the new demands of blended and hybrid learning environments. We look forward to sharing more with you at our upcoming launch in 2022! Additionally, the CETL Programme team has been expanding their suite of offerings and we are planning to launch Asia’s 1st Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PCAP) in early 2023!

This 16th issue gives a small insight into the dedication and commitment of HKU’s T&L community – academics, students, administrators and global partners. I encourage you to continue to share your rich and diverse innovations and to benefit from the CETL community’s professional learning opportunities!

Dr. Susan Bridges

Dr. Susan Bridges

Director, Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning
The University of Hong Kong

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