The General Education (GE) programme will be continuously strengthened with information technology courses to complement the development of digital humanities, according to Dr. LAU Pui-yan, Flora, Director of the General Education Office.

In an interview with Shue Yan Newsletter, Dr. LAU said in view of the development of information and digital technology, she had invited academic staff from all departments to submit proposal for new GE courses related to information technology at the beginning of the 2019/2020 academic year. One of the three proposals, i.e. “Digital Games: Simulation, Interactivity” has become a new course of this academic year. The other two need to be much strengthened prior to developing into ten-week GE courses.

More focus on IT & application

She pointed out that as the University has decided to reinvent its liberal arts education and to develop digital humanities through technology. In this academic year, she invited colleagues again to submit GE course proposals focusing on information technology and its application skills.

“The call for proposal will be ended in the latter half of October. We will study the course aims, CILOs and suggested topics of each proposal and pick up those with good potential to develop into full courses.” Dr. LAU said.

In this academic year, four courses are technology-related, namely, “Digital Games: Simulation, Interactivity”, “Writing Your First Apps Using Python Programmes”, “International Communication In Digital Age” and “Predicting Human Behaviour With Big Data”.

According to Dr. LAU, in addition to IT courses, she hopes that there will be more new GE courses on humanities – “Being interdisciplinary, doing psychological reflection, having broad horizon of knowledge and being able to equip with comprehensive knowledge of both of the East and the West, should be the gist of GE programme.”

When asked which courses are more popular among students, she said in this academic year, courses related to local and Korean culture and coffee are more popular. Examples of these courses are “Hong Kong Popular Culture”, “Understanding Korean Society Through Dramas” and “Global Consumption And Culture Of Coffee”.

Responses are pretty positive

The GE programme was introduced in the 2017/2018 academic year. When asked about the students’ attitudinal changes towards GE courses, Dr. LAU said although there could be room for improvement in SLEQ scores, most of the written comments in SLEQ, especially in terms of teaching quality and fun learning, were becoming pretty “positive and good”.

“In the first and second years, some students did not take GE courses seriously. But in the past two years, students’ attitude have changed. As told by some colleagues, more students were interested to know how to perform the assignments better. I think one of the reasons is that students have started to realize that the results of GE courses will affected their class of honours upon graduation. Or simply, students enjoy the course.” Dr. LAU said.

She hopes that in the near future, the GE programme can build up its reputation further and be able to fulfill its objective of developing students’ skills, knowledge and social responsibility regardless of their majors or career plans.

Source: October 2020 Issue