Editorial – Inspire, engage, support: Effective ways to deepen student learning – Tracy Zou

“Seek opportunities to show you care. The smallest gestures often make the biggest difference.” – John Wooden (basketball player, coach, and author)

In the past several months, university teachers kept exploring ways to support and engage their students even though the challenges posed by online or blended learning seem to be less threatening. It might be a good idea to introduce new strategies and pedagogies to motivate your students. A number of articles in Issue 13 of Teaching and Learning Connections reported some of these approaches, such as immersive technology and simulation ward. Yet, it is equally powerful when teachers show their support to students in everyday encounters. In the current Issue 14, we include five articles that show how teachers inspire, engage, and support their students in order to deepen their learning in various ways, for example, through involving them in knowledge co-creation, redesigning an assessment task, and introducing multimedia and graphical elements. Please see the introduction to each article below:

1. Co-creating knowledge with students: The application of Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) in the social science discipline by Kara Chan in Hong Kong Baptist University illustrates her design of the course-based research assignments and research projects that enables students and the teacher to co-create knowledge, which addresses the gaps in advertising research. This co-created knowledge was so powerful that the industry adopted it to make their advertisement more effective, relevant and ethical.

2. The concept of spatialised knowledge in instructional design by Jack Tsao introduces the theory of spatialised knowledge and explores how it may apply to instructional design. The author challenges the conventional teaching and learning that often focuses on replicating knowledge and urges for facilitating spaces for critical inquiry and practices engaged in social discourses.

3. Teaching in the time of COVID-19: Using a video-based assessment to enhance student engagement during the pandemic by Benjamin Lucca Iaquinto introduces how a video-based assessment better engaged his students compared with text-based assessment. The fun element is one of the factors, but more importantly, it allows students to express their ideas more creatively and freely.

4. A holistic approach to science education – Interview with Dr. Janet Chan features an informal interview with Dr. Janet Chan who received HKU Outstanding Teaching Award 2020. The conversation focuses on how Dr. Chan designed a holistic approach to science education that embraces key elements such as a challenging problem or inquiry, sustained inquiry, authenticity, student voice and choice, reflection, critique and revision, public product, and impact. In this article, sustained inquiry, authenticity, and student voice and choice are elaborated with examples and reflective thoughts by Dr. Chan.

5. Partnering with students in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Ways to inspire, engage, and support by Tracy Zou and Lily Leung presents a reflective account of their experiences of partnering with five interdisciplinary undergraduate student teams in pursuing the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. The authors emphasised that a true partnership with students is based on a clear understanding of the partnership role, which needs to be made explicit with student partners at the beginning of the journey.

Tracy Zou
Dr. Tracy Zou

Editor of ‘Teaching and Learning Connections’
Assistant Professor
Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning
The University of Hong Kong

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