S2 Teaching Arrangements for UG and TPG Courses

Many thanks to the 270 teachers who completed the recent survey on hybrid T&L and the 100 or so colleagues who attended follow-up Zoom town-hall meetings. The data and discussions were extremely useful. I’m writing now to brief you on decisions taken about S2 teaching arrangements for UG and TPG courses on the basis of input received from teachers across all 10 Faculties.

Teaching

Teaching arrangements in S2 will be similar to our current arrangements in S1, with one important exception:

– In S1, a teacher with an allocated classroom is expected to make use of it by offering hybrid-mode teaching (or, in rare circumstances, f2f teaching).

– In S2, a teacher with an allocated classroom will not be obliged to make use of it, but will instead have the option of switching to 100% online mode.

– Please note that any teacher wishing to exercise this option must seek endorsement from their Programme Director or Head of Department/School.

– Please also note that all teachers, including those switching to 100% online mode, will be required to be in Hong Kong during S2, unless they have an authorized leave of absence.

Communication

Communication with students is essential. By 11 December 2020, all course coordinators are asked to provide clear information about delivery mode:

– Lectures: In SIS, under ‘Enrollment Information’ there is a ‘Course/Class Attribute’ section. Alongside ‘Delivery of lectures’, course coordinators should ask their departmental or faculty office colleagues to insert one of three options: online, hybrid, f2f. (Only in very special circumstances will the f2f option be available to teachers, and again it must be endorsed by the Programme Director or Head of Department/School.)

– Small-group interactive sessions such as tutorials, labs, studios, clinical practicums: One of the same three options (online, hybrid, f2f) should be chosen and communicated clearly to students through the regular channels used by each Faculty.

Exams

In S2, final exams will take place online. As in S1, the only exceptions to this general rule will be exams that need to be held in-person either because there are special requirements (eg professional programmes), or because all the students taking a course are in Hong Kong and it is safe for them to attend an in-person exam. Faculties will issue separate guidance to their students about this.

Assessment

In S2, students will no longer be offered three course assessment options for most of the courses they take: letter grade, pass/fail, late drop. Rather, we will remove the pass/fail option and retain only late drop as an alternative to the default option of letter grade. The deadline for students to late drop a course will be 23:59 on 9 April 2021.

AV audit

Alongside teaching arrangements for S2, the other major theme in the recent staff survey is AV facilities. We are currently conducting an AV audit of all 153 centrally-allocated classrooms against a checklist derived from the survey. Ahead of S2, we will upgrade as many classrooms as possible and update the teaching space information provided by LES (https://www.les.hku.hk/teaching-space).

Renewed thanks for all the valuable feedback. Please contact me with queries: ian.holliday@hku.hk.

Best wishes, Ian
Professor Ian Holliday
Vice-President (Teaching and Learning)
The University of Hong Kong