Sharing and discussion session

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL):

Empowering teachers for student learning enhancement

25 May 2021 (Tuesday)
3:00 – 5:30 p.m.


(A link and a password will be emailed to registrants)

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) promotes inquiry on teaching practice that advances student learning outcomes. It involves the reflective and scholarly evidence-based study of students’ learning that leads to innovations, changes or enhancements of practice. It also promotes commitments to public dissemination and sharing within communities of practice for continuous improvement of teaching and learning.

This sharing and discussion session aims to provide colleagues from the ELCs of the eight universities in Hong Kong with an opportunity to share their recent teaching and learning projects, pedagogy and initiatives. Let’s share our journeys to become specialists in evidence-based pedagogy and explore collaboration opportunities.



Facilitators: Dr. Lillian Wong (HKU), Christy Chan (CityU) and Pui Lee (HKUST)

English for Academic Purposes / English for Specific Purposes

(8 mins for each presentation)

Supporting studio talk production in architecture and related disciplines to improve affective and interpersonal communicative competence

Albert Wong (HKU)


Design studio is a major component of many undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in architecture and has been the subject of debate as far as teaching and learning goes (de la Harpe et. al., 2009; Ibrahim & Utaberta, 2012). Recent research shows that there is a significant affective dimension in studio dialogue (Osborne & Crowther, 2011) and that studio talk is highly subjective and interpersonal in nature with ramifications for assessment and learning (Ardington & Drury, 2017). Often, students undergoing studio training are not sufficiently aware of their instructors’ expectations or are confronted with conflicting messages relating to their competency and performance in the context of assessment which are also a source of distress. In this sharing session, I will discuss specific ways in which undergraduate students of architecture and related disciplines can be supported in English for Specific Academic Purposes (ESAP) instructional efforts to equip themselves with the necessary skills and techniques to show affective and interpersonal communicative competence when engaging in studio talk.

Students as Partners (SaP)

Ashley Hazell (HKU) and Marvin Dave Ng Chua (HKU Student, 2nd Year BNurs, Department of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine)


The processes, challenges and highs of working with 6 HKU nursing students on a SaP project to incorporate student experience of Life Science and other Faculty subjects to the Centre for Applied English Studies (CAES) 2nd year English in the Disciplines course for nursing students. 

The final destination for the project is (1) to help students tackle the learning of Medical Terminology for their Faculty courses as well as for their CAES course and (2) give CAES9721 “Academic Communication for Nursing Students” teachers a better profile of nursing students to support them in their future nursing careers.

Maximizing students’ discovery in research presentation: The development of a student research showcase and an e-learning website

Tiffany Pang (CityU)


This project helped our students extend their potential in research presentation by organizing a student research showcase, in which the students innovatively transformed their research writings into posters, and discovered the communicative strategies to effectively present their research findings to heterogeneous audience beyond the walls of the classroom. The posters of the student presenters were then digitalized and transformed into discovery-enriched educational resources on an e-learning website, where our students are directed to numerous analytical activities to sequentially explore various skills in research presentation, as well as analyze the rhetorical features of the poster presentations documented in the showcase event.

8 minutes discussion

Independent Learning

(8 mins for each presentation)

Investigating the feasibility of using an AI robot to enhance physical learning spaces for English language learners

Vincent LY Sheung Kwun and Dr. Andrew Morrall (PolyU)


This sharing session is about the latest practice regarding the use of an AI robot in the Centre for Independent Language Learning (CILL) in PolyU ELC. The robot is not only responsible for taking students around in the Centre and introducing to them several key learning spaces, but it can also answer student enquiries about English learning. The second half of the session aims at sharing opinions obtained from the stakeholders, and examining how these could contribute to the possible future development of the Centre.

Using e-books to boost students’ receptive and productive academic vocabulary knowledge

Jay Bidal and Dr. Linda Lin (PolyU)


This session reports on the preliminary results of a research project on students’ independent learning of academic vocabulary. By presenting qualitative and quantitative data gathered in the project, we share students’ experience in using specially-designed theme-based ebooks. The ebooks aimed for multiple contextualized exposures to the target words, promotion of receptive and productive word knowledge, as well as awareness-raising regarding various aspects of vocabulary, including collocation, connotation, morphology and pronunciation.

Re-engineering self-access language centers: Reaching out to students

Dr. Joe Ching (PolyU)


The 10-minute presentation reports a research project that aims to re-engineer the self-access language center (SALC) of Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The project has three main phases. In Phase 1, an online questionnaire survey and focus group interviews were conducted to solicit center users’ views on the learning materials, facilities and language support services. During Phase 2, center users’ feedback informs and shapes the changes made to the center. Phase 3 focuses on the evaluation of the changes made to the center. The strategies adopted in this project to transform a SALC may offer insights into the redesign of SALCs of other universities in Hong Kong.

8 minutes discussion

8 minutes break


(8 mins for each presentation)

Using a reflective journal to help students build presentation skills

Anthea Cheung (HKU)


Reflection, as a complex cognitive process, has the potential to support the practitioners in making positive changes in their acts as they relate their real experience to their emotions and the theoretical knowledge. In this semester, I have set up an online journaling platform for my second-year students to write informal and confidential reflective notes about their in-class speaking activities in an attempt to encourage the practice and scaffold learning. I will share with the audience my design of the activity and my students’ responses.

Task-based writing activities to enhance student engagement

Dr. Yılmaz Köylü (HKUST)


I believe that the pandemic has induced a great amount of stress not only on the teachers but also on the students. As a result, it is much more challenging to engage students when they have so many other concerns. In this practical presentation, I am going to share some ideas about how to create task-based writing activities to enhance student engagement.

LANCET: Developing an online platform for annotating expert and learner corpora

Dr. Simon Wang (HKBU)


In this brief presentation, I will introduce LANCET (onLine essAy aNd speeCh fEedback sysTem) an online platform built by the Language Centre of Hong Kong Baptist University with TDG funding for innovative teaching practices. While still a work in progress, this tool enables teachers to annotate both student written assignments and published texts by experts through a shared comment bank and a system tracking all sentences where individual comments have been given. It helps teachers to give feedback to students more efficiently and to monitor the issues that students often have in their assignments more effectively. Teachers can also label model essays for teaching materials development.

8 minutes discussion


(8 mins for each presentation)

Ethics in SoTL

Sarah Carmichael (HKUST)


There are well-established ethical principles for conducting research using human subjects in social science. These principles may not be sufficient or applicable to scholars investigating teaching and learning with their own students and colleagues. This presentation will explore how  SoTL practitioners can make appropriate ethical decisions when undertaking scholarly activities. 

Yes, no, or maybe: A reflection on the potential and challenges in using academic blogs to support knowledge transfer

Dr. Jason Man-bo Ho and Doreen Chong (HKUST)


This is a reflection on the pilot and launch of the Digital Platform for Scholarship (DPS), an internal platform introduced before the 2021 fall semester to facilitate knowledge transfer (Daniel, 2008) in a tertiary language center. The DPS project has revealed potential and challenges in using the platform to facilitate scholarly exchanges, overcoming boundaries and barriers resulting from the suspension of face-to-face professional sharing sessions during Covid pandemic. The presenters will also share the potential of using DPS as an affinity space (Gee, 2015) to support SoTL development (Tierney et al., 2020) through the forming of communities of practice.

An investigation of teachers’ perception and understanding of learning transfer

Dr. Natalie Fong and Dr. Locky Law (HKU)


The Project of Learning Transferability team from the Centre for Applied English Studies (CAES) of the University of Hong Kong conducted an e-survey with all CAES teachers in December 2020. The e-survey aims to understand teachers’ perceptions of learning transfer and to explore teachers’ perspectives of how to promote learning transfer in classrooms and make transfer happen more effectively. In the sharing session, the project investigators will report the key findings of the teacher survey and report teachers’ suggestions for how to integrate learning transfer into classroom instruction. The sharing will not only analyze the challenges of the promotion of learning transfer, but also discuss the subsequent changes to the course curriculum after the study.

8 minutes discussion

Overall Q & A and Discussion

Come and participate in the Discussion to learn, share and get inspired.
Teachers from the Language Centres of the 8 UGC-funded universities are all welcome.

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