The Chinese University of Hong Kong


Chapter 13Teacher Support and Development

13.1 The Centre for Learning Enhancement And Research

CLEAR is the teaching centre of the University. It facilitates the assurance and continuous enhancement of quality in T&L of the University, and has six major goals:

To realize its duties, CLEAR collaborates and liaises with various CUHK units and committees including, among others, AQS of the Registry, the Graduate School, SCTL, SCLE, SCGE as well as SET. Many of the CLEAR¡¯s activities also support individual teaching staff directly.

13.2 Professional Development and Training

Professional development and training are offered for: (i) teaching staff, (ii) research supervisors, and (iii) teaching support staff. Teaching staff at the rank of Assistant Professor or below have to complete a package of seminars and workshops, termed the ¡°Professional Development Course¡± (PDC), designed to discuss mission and values of university education, teaching strategies and course planning, pedagogical advances, and other themes pertinent to T&L. They have to complete the PDC within their first contract. Those who are new to research supervision will have to complete an additional component on the topic. A separate PDC is mandatory for Pg students who will serve as teaching assistants at the University. Appendix 13-1 provides details of each of the courses.

CLEAR also organizes regular T&L seminars and workshops which are open to all members of the University. In addition, CLEAR and the Information Technology Services Centre (ITSC) co-organize the annual Teaching and Learning Innovation Expo (Appendix 13-2), in which excellent teachers and educational researchers from the University, other local universities, and foreign universities have the opportunity to exchange on the latest pedagogical developments. Furthermore, CLEAR provides support for individual teaching staff, such as course planning consultations and advice on writing statements of teaching philosophy.

CLEAR has also prepared, in collaboration with other units, a set of reference criteria for self- and peer-teaching evaluation (Appendix 13-3).

13.3 Pedagogical Support

CLEAR collaborates with teaching units of the University on various pedagogical initiatives, examples of which include, in-depth qualitative studies on student learning experiences in specific programmes, informational talks and seminars on T&L in departmental retreats, qualitative studies on teaching staff perspectives on the implementation of new programmes and so on. CLEAR welcomes any proposals from all teaching units of the University for collaborative T&L projects.

Research work at CLEAR also covers educational technology. CLEAR and ITSC provide a suite of pedagogical tools that make use of the latest educational technology, as well as user support for them, to all teaching staff of the University (Appendix 13-4). Please see also Section 9.5 for CUSIS and LMS.

13.4 Grants in Support of T&L

There are grant schemes supporting T&L available at the University, and faculty members are regularly invited to submit applications. The Teaching Development Grant Scheme (renamed as Teaching Development and Language Enhancement Grant since 2016) has been funding T&L projects since 2005 (Appendix 13-5). The Courseware Development Grant Scheme has a more specific goal of assisting teaching staff in creating multimedia-enhanced and interactive learning contents for their courses, such as facilitating the production of exemplary examples of micro-module and the adopting of eLearning and innovative pedagogies (Appendix 13-6). Ad hoc grants on T&L, if available, are usually announced through SCTL.

13.5 Recognition of Excellent Teaching

The University fosters and recognizes excellent teaching. Teachers are required to report details of their teaching and other activities in each academic year via the online Staff Profile Update System (Appendix 13-7), and such activities are recognized in staff appraisals and other mechanisms for rewarding teaching performance (Appendix 13-8).

The University also has award schemes in place for faculty members who have demonstrated excellence in teaching. Faculties recognize outstanding teachers annually through Faculty Teaching Awards (Appendix 13-9), and nominate at least one teacher for the Vice-Chancellor¡¯s Exemplary Teaching Award (Appendix 13-10). The OUGE also acknowledges excellent teaching through the annual Exemplary Teaching Award in General Education (Appendix 13-11). Each year, faculty members/ teams who are awarded the University Education Award (Appendix 13-12) are also nominated for the UGC Teaching Award.