City University earmarks HK$9M for e-learning

The City University of Hong Kong (CityU) said Tuesday it has allocated HK$9 million to implement an e-learning strategy.

According to CityU CIO Andy Chun Hon-wai, HK$5 million of the amount will be used to set up two grants -- the DEC (Discovery-enriched Curriculum) Mobile App Development Grants (MADGs) and the DEC Technology Adoption Grants for Teaching Innovation (TAGs). The first round of applications for the two grants attracted about 30 proposals from teachers and students, he noted.

While MADGs encourage the adoption of mobile-learning through the development of mobile apps that support teaching, learning, research, administration and other general uses, TAGs support the purchase of necessary mobile devices, software, and apps needed to implement innovative teaching methods, said Chun.

“We have consistently upgraded and expanded the e-learning platform to create a technologically advanced and pedagogically rich environment that supports a diverse range of teaching and learning needs,” he said. “We recently have enhanced our mobile-learning and social-learning capabilities. We will continue to move aggressively as a leader in this area. In particular, we will address specific teaching and learning needs to support the new 334 academic reform to enhance the competitiveness of our students.”

According to Chun, the remaining HK$4 million will be used to support other e-learning initiatives, including the development of a Facebook -like social environment for knowledge sharing and discussion, and the provision of recorded or live-stream lectures.

In addition, Chun said CityU has created a mobile web technology platform that allows the university to easily transform its entire public online interface, consisting of hundreds of websites and hundreds of thousands of web pages, to be mobile friendly.

The university also launched its first mobile learning pilot scheme in March 2011, allowing students to borrow from a stock of 400 iPads and iPod Touch devices, Chun noted. Under the support of Professor Wang Guiguo, Dean of the School of Law a school-wide mobile learning project in October 2011 began subsidizing iPads for all law students, he said, adding that about a thousand iPadshave been in use.

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