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CityU launches new online learning initiative

An exciting new initiative launched by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) promises to inject creativity into online learning.

BOLD@CityU comprises a series of powerful talks, named BOLD Forum, by six notable CityU scholars, including CityU’s University President.

BOLD stands for “Be Original, Leading Discovery”, and the initiative aims to inspire students in knowledge discovery and support their academic planning through a lively and engaging learning experience.

The topics cover a rich range of popular subjects such as public health, data science, biomedical sciences, business, art and creativity, and electronic engineering.

This inspirational new series will appeal to secondary school students in Hong Kong and overseas.

CityU’s University President will share his insights on data-driven management of societal health at the inaugural talk on 30 April.

The other speakers include the Chair Professor of Media Art, School of Creative Media; Dean, School of Data Science and Chair Professor of Data Science; Chair Professor of Molecular Medicine, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Acting Dean, College of Business and Chair Professor of Management Sciences; and, Head, Department of Electrical Engineering and Chair Professor of Electronic Engineering

This new initiative echoes the success of the newly developed CityU-Learning Classroom for Secondary School Students, an integral part of BOLD@CityU, which offers secondary school students a taste of university education during home learning. It also showcases CityU’s tremendous creativity in nurturing talent for future generations.

BOLD@CityU demonstrates the university’s boldness in the way the institution conducts teaching and learning and boosts innovation and discovery in successive challenges.

More educational institutes go virtual

Another article noted that taking a lesson from the SARS epidemic in 2003 that shut down universities in Hong Kong and Singapore, Taylor’s University has invested RM50 million in its Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), which it had also previously utilised whenever Malaysia’s haze situation caused campus closures.

In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the world today, this has proven to be a prudent move. It is now reaping benefits for the university’s community, as Malaysia faces a prolonged movement control order to contain infection within the country.

Each course site features lectures, e-tutoring, e-assessment, e-submission and e-forums, which enables students to access all learning materials, take tests, connect with their lecturers, collaborate with their peers and take charge of their learning anytime and anywhere.

Students’ progress is tracked using a progress bar, and digital badges are awarded when students complete all the required activities online.

Coping with an academic life online

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant call for social distancing has created an extremely challenging environment for students, parents and teachers. Eventually, however, life will return to normal. When that time comes, online learning will also be normal, one expert stated.

When schools reopen, he predicts, students will return to them with a new appreciation for how well they can navigate in both the real world and the virtual world.

He argues both teachers and students are going to need their digital skills “to be successful in the future. This might not have been how we wanted them to get [those skills], but there is value that comes out of this [trying time].”

These skills may not just be of use in the distant future. What students are learning now will prepare them for future disruptions – and not just pandemics.

“This experience will change how we approach school suspensions for things such as bad weather days. The next time we need to move to remote learning, we will be prepared.”

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