FAQs for Teachers


Please visit our e-Learning Resource Hub https://elearning-resource.hku.hk/, or the T&L About the New Semester website https://tl.hku.hk/teachonline/online-resources-for-teachers/. Additional resources on online teaching are available from ITS, CETL, TeLi and the Libraries.

We agreed that in 2020-21 students taking online classes will be required to turn on their webcams when the teacher asks them to do so. (Virtual backgrounds are of course permissible.) We also agreed that students may apply to their teachers for exemption on a case-by-case basis. If it’s not possible for a teacher and student to reach agreement, the case may be referred to the Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) in the relevant Faculty or, in the case of Common Core courses, to the Director.

Many teachers report very positive experiences with online interaction. In particular, use of the chat box function in Zoom can trigger participation from students who ordinarily are quite recessive. Others face challenges and problems, however. One way to encourage interaction might be to introduce an assessment component devoted to participation. Even a 10-15% allocation could make a difference. There are also Zoom functions, such as the ‘attendance tracker’, that enable teachers to monitor student participation and intervene with a question or private message. Similar functions are available in MS teams and other platforms. Please consult TeLi or CETL colleagues on e-learning tools.

Moodle remains the best way to keep in touch with students. In addition to any uploaded materials, please do post weekly consultation hours for students to schedule individual conversations with you (using, say, WhatsApp or Zoom). Many students have questions, but they no longer have the option of catching hold of a teacher after a lecture or calling by during office hours. This is also a way to keep the academic advising function going: https://aao.hku.hk/10-tips-online-tl/

One suggestion made by a colleague in Social Sciences is to ask students to complete a weekly assignment consisting of a brief account of the lecture and a short list of questions related to the material covered in it.

Some Faculties have created online platforms for teachers to post good and bad experiences of online learning. This is also something we could consider doing for HKU as a whole, linked to Faculty pages. In many Faculties informal groups of colleagues are coming together to share experience and provide mutual support. This is clearly a very welcome development.