CITE Open Conference Systems, Digital generations -> Learning society

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Encouraging Student Engagement with URely
Leo F.H. Ma

Last modified: 2015-04-14


Many researches indicated that active learning is one of the effective pedagogical practices in student learning. And it is particularly true for small-class teaching. But the question is how about effect on large-class teaching? The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) launched the general education programme in 1970’s to combine Chinese humanistic ideals and western liberal arts in order to broaden students’ perspectives in university learning journey. Apart from the university general education programme, all undergraduate students are required to enroll in the college general education programme which offers a wide variety of courses related to the developmental contexts of university students and life. Being a member college of CUHK, the New Asia College develops its own general education programme to their college students comprising both large-class lectures and small-class tutorials. This paper firstly introduces the curriculum of the General Education Programmes offered by the New Asia College and then focus on a large-class lecture on information literacy with more than 680 students. With such a class size, students traditionally can only accept knowledge passively by listening to the instructor instead of actively engaging in the class. It is almost impossible to implement common active learning activities such as role-playing, group discussion, paired activities, hands-on exercise, etc. due to the limited times and resources. The author then discusses how to develop and implement uReply, an interactive mobile apps, in the information literacy class to enhance student learning in a large-class setting. Adopting the concept of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), uReply is one of the learning technologies in the Mobile Learning @ CUHK Project developed by the Centre for Learning Enhancement And Research of CUHK. Students can use their own mobile devices to download the apps and then respond to the questions posted by the instructor on uReply. They can immediately know the response from the class collectively. Using uReply, the instructor can engage students more effectively in large-class teaching and, hence, improve student learning in the class.