合作教學—專訪李潔瑩博士 How to Co-teach? Interview with Dr. Rebecca Lee Kit Ying

 

你在「合作教學」(Co-teaching)方面表現出色,你能分享一下有關的教學是怎樣的嗎?為何會採取這種教學模式?

我任教的通識課程主要介紹香港常見疾病,如流行性感冒、老人痴呆、關節炎等。課程分為兩部份,第一部份由我講解不同疾病的基本知識,第二部份則邀請威爾斯親王醫院的醫生到課堂上,向學生分享相關的臨床經驗。採用合作教學,是因為選讀這個課程的學生均來自不同學院,未必每位都有一定的科學知識基礎,所以我希望藉著這種教學模式,幫助他們由淺入深,讓他們先具備基本科學知識,才進一步了解各種疾病,從而提高學習成效。

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除了「合作教學」,你還有用其他教學方式作輔助嗎?

時常會有學生向我反映某些課程內容太深奧,讓他們難以理解。因此,幾年前我申請了資助,自行研發了一套教學軟件,供學生於課餘時間使用,希望能幫助他們溫習。軟件分成幾個部份,其中我將教學簡報中較困難的生字抽出來,整理成一個詞彙表,另外又將一些較抽象的概念(如流行性感冒及HIV細菌的生命週期)製成動畫,藉此令它們變得較為容易。

除此之外,我亦有特別為這個課程設立問題庫。一開始任教時,有幾個學生曾經問我有沒有課外練習可以做,尤其修讀文科的學生會覺得理科較難掌握,所以想在期末考前多做練習。但由於課程並非根據單一教科書制定而成,因此很難找到現成的練習,最後我決定為學生設立問題庫。而為了讓學生互相學習,同時提高他們的參與度,我並沒有親自準備題目,反而邀請他們每人各自構思並遞交一條問題,然後我再將所有問題集結成一個線上問題庫,有遞交問題的同學則獲得瀏覽問題庫的權限。雖然這個活動是自願性質,但都有超過7成的學生參與。

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你平日如何跟班上的學生互動?

我比較喜歡聽取學生意見,因為這樣才能真正明白他們的感受,所以每個學期一開始的時候,我都會請學生填一份問卷,希望藉此了解他們的學術背景、對課程的期望、感興趣的範疇等,然後再調整課程內容。另外,授課時我會加入不同課堂活動,例如使用uReply,讓學生用自己電話答問題,又會播一些與課程內容有關的電視劇或電影片段,以增加課堂的趣味性。

任教系內主修科目,與任教通識科目有什麼不同之處?

不同之處在於,通識科目的學生在科學方面的學習經驗相異,因此任教時需要就課程深淺程度作調節,使內容不會過份簡單或困難,以符合每位同學的需要。另外,通識科目的學生大多是因應自己興趣而選擇課程,所以我希望他們在完成課程後真的會有得著,並且能夠將所學的知識應用出來。為此,我經常會在課堂上列舉日常生活例子,幫助他們將課堂知識聯繫到日常生活當中。而亦因為這樣,我需要定期更新教材內容,以緊貼社會時事。

 


 

You have applied co-teaching to your course with very good results. Could you share with us your experience? Why would you adopt such a mode of teaching?

The General Education (GE) course that I teach aims mainly to introduce the common illnesses in Hong Kong, such as influenza, dementia and arthritis. The course is made up of two parts. The first part is delivered by me, teaching the basic knowledge of various diseases. As for the second part, we invite medical practitioners from the Prince of Wales Hospital to come and share with students relevant clinical experience they have encountered. I have adopted co-teaching because students taking this course are from different faculties and probably not every one of them has a solid foundation in scientific knowledge. With this mode of teaching, I hope to help them learn step by step starting from the essentials, ensuring that they have acquired the basic scientific knowledge before delving into the details of various diseases. This can enhance students’ efficiency of learning.

Apart from co-teaching, have you adopted other supplementary teaching methods?

Often there are students telling me that certain parts of the course contents are too complicated and they find them hard to understand. A few years ago, I applied for a subsidy to develop a software for assisting students’ learning in their spare time. The software consists of several parts. There is a glossary that I compiled by extracting difficult phrases and terms from the lecture PowerPoint presentations. There are also animations that I produced to explain some of the more abstract concepts, like the life cycles of influenza virus and HIV virus, so as to enhance students’ understanding.

Apart from that, I have set up a question bank specifically for this course. When I first started teaching the course, several students asked me whether there were any supplementary exercises for them to do. The arts majors, in particular,  tend to think science courses are difficult to handle and want to do some practice exercises before the final exam. As the course curriculum is not developed on the basis of one single textbook, it is rather hard to look for exercises which are ready for use. I decided to establish a question bank for my students. In order to enable them to learn from one another and at the same time to encourage their participation, I do not set the questions myself but invite each of them to devise and submit one question. I will then collect all the questions and create an online question bank. Students who have submitted questions would have the right to get access to the question bank. Although this is a voluntary activity, more than 70% of the class have participated.

How do you usually interact with students in class?

I tend to listen to students’ opinions so that I can truly understand how they feel. At the beginning of each semester, I would invite every student to fill in a questionnaire. This allows me to know more about students’ academic backgrounds, expectations on the course, areas of interests, etc., and to modify the course contents accordingly. Besides, I would incorporate different class activities in my teaching to make the class more interesting. For example, I have introduced uReply to the classroom which enablesstudents to answer questions using their mobile phones, and I have made played video clips of plays and films related to the course contents.

What are the differences between teaching major courses of your Department and GE courses?

One of the differences is that students taking GE courses come from diverse backgrounds in terms of their knowledge of science and former learning experience. To cater for each student’s need, it is necessary to adjust the level of difficulty so the course will neither be too easy or too challenging. Another point is that the majority of students select GE courses according to personal interest. I hope that they can really gain something after completing the course and can apply what they have learnt. For this reason, I always utilize in class examples of everyday life to help them link the knowledge acquired to daily living. And I have to revise my teaching materials on a regular basis to keep them up-to-date.

 

通識教育模範教學獎

Exemplary Teaching Award in General Education

為表揚傑出通識教育科目老師的貢獻,香港中文大學教務會通識教育委員會於2006年設立「通識教育模範教學獎」,邀請全校通識科目老師及學生提名,並由該委員會之常務委員會根據課程設計、教學方法、課業指導三方面評審。

In recognition of the contributions of teachers who offer General Education courses, the Senate Committee on General Education (SCGE) resolved in 2006 to launch the Exemplary Teaching Award in General Education. Nominations are invited from all the GE teachers and undergraduate students. The nominations are reviewed by the SCGE Standing Committee basing on the course design, teaching and learning activities, and tutelage in the General Education courses they offered.

 

 

 

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