Newsletter No. 94

CUHK Newsletter 2 No. 94 4th October 1996 New to the Campus? SEE HOW TDU CAN HELP F ifty-five new faculty members attended a one-and-a-half day orientation workshop organized by the Teaching Development Unit (TDU) on 29th and 30th August 1996. Thepurpose of the workshop, which made its debut lastyea r ,is to prepare new teaching staff for the tasks ahead and to familiarize them with the University and its services. The theme for this year was 'The Art of University Teaching'. The event started w i th welcoming speeches by the head of the TDU, Prof. Leslie N. K. Lo, and pro-vice-chancellor, Prof. Ambrose Y. C. King. In the ensuing experience-sharing session, Prof. Lo and seven e x p e r i e n c ed t e a c h i ng staff representing the spectrum of faculties spoke to the new staff on research and teaching. This was followed by questions from the participants. After a s ump t uous l u n ch at the University Guest House, the afternoon session began opportunely with a half-hour campus tour. The group then returned to the Wong Foo Yuan Building for a session called 'Pathways to Excellence', wherein the newcomers were assigned to four different groups for discussions w i th experienced CUHK staff on teaching methods and research activities. On the second day the new staff were introduced to the library, computer, and personnel services of the University by representatives f r om the respective sections. The CUHK Newsletter spoke to six participants of the orientation programme about their feelings on the workshop — wh i ch part they found the most/least useful, what topics they think should have been covered but weren't.... All of them say they enjoyed the experience-sharing session of the first day, a nd have constructive comments to make on the other parts. Prof. John Miltenburg is a visiting professor in the Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management. He is on a year's research leave from McMaster University in Canada, where he has been teaching for the past 14 years. Prof. Miltenburg says the first day of the workshop exceeded his expectations. In particular, he comments, The theme, the programme, and the calibre of many of the speakers in the morning and the group leaders in the afternoon combined to create a quiet but unmistakable message that teaching is important at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and that, like art, it is something faculty members continually work at and derive pleasure from. ...Probably because I'm getting older, I especially enjoyed the comments of the older speakers.' Prof. Miltenburg observes however that in the group discussions, certain members were rather quiet. Some, he says, may be recent Ph.D. graduates w h o m i g ht have felt themselves inexperienced in teaching or who might have been uncomfortable using English. To help b r i ng out their ideas, Prof. Miltenburg suggests that in future each group member be asked to write down one point on the topic under discussion and then turn to his/her neighbour to discuss each other's point. Either of the two points or both can then be presented to the group. P r o f . V i t o B e r l i n r e c e i v ed his education in Switzerland and taught architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. He had his first experience of the East while teaching architecture at the South-East University in Nanjing. Before joining the Architecture Department at CUHK he taught computer- aided architecture design at the Kobe Design University in Japan for three years. Prof. Bertin says he very much enjoyed hearing the views of old-timers and me e t i ng o t h er n ew staff. He also appreciated the information booklets handed out. However he thinks it would be helpful to put in a flow chart the ideal sequence of applying for the different types of identification on campus — the staff ID card, the library borrower's card, computer accounts, parking permits, and so on 一 since each step is often dependent on the completion of other steps. P r o f. Valerie Levy of the Nursing Department lived in Hong Kong for a short period of time 30 years ago. She had a good time here, so when she saw the advertisement for her post, she responded. Before joining the University, she had been teaching nursing, in particular midwifery, up to master's level for six years in London. For Prof. Levy, meeting and talking to people during lunch and tea was a very interesting part of the workshop. Although she also found the computer lab tour i n t e r e s t i ng, she w o u l d have l i k ed instructions on getting on the Internet. Regarding the group discussions, since 'the participants' backgrounds vary greatly in terms of teaching experience and the nature of their disciplines', she suggests that it would be helpful for the discussions to be 'a little more structured'. But overall Prof. Levy says, 'It was a very good one- and-a-half days. The workshop made me feel I'm part of the University.' Prof. Catherine McBride of the Psychology Department obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California and pursued post-doctoral studies at Florida State University where she had also been teaching for three semesters before joining The Chinese University. This is not her first time in Hong Kong; she has visited China and Hong Kong a couple of times before with her Chinese husband. She liked the questions raised at the end of the experience-sharing session, especially those that addressed the issue of teaching in English, the students' second language. Since she doesn't speak Cantonese, Prof. McBride says she would have liked to hear more about people's experience in using English to teach students for whom it is a second language. But as it was, she found the discussion topics 'too philosophical... unanswerable or would take years to think about.' Prof. David Ah l s t r om of the Department of Management has been teaching both full-time and part-time in graduate schools since 1988, including at Rutgers Un i v e r s i ty and N ew Yo rk University. In 1989 he spent a year in Hong Kong on an international studies exchange programme. The TDU workshop has given him some very good teaching suggestions, he says. He also points out that the information on the various grants was helpful, albeit a bit too general as each department has different requirements. Prof. Michael McClellan of the Music Department received his Ph.D. in 1994. He has taught at graduate level in the United States for three years. The most beneficial aspect of the workshop for him was meeting new faculty members and having a forum to discuss their common concerns. The workshop also afforded them the opportunity to learn from one another's past experience. Prof. McClellan says that he now has a better understanding of what the University expects of him and what he can expect from his students. He points out, however, that perhaps more time can be devoted to a discussion of problems associated with teaching students whose mother tongue is not English. O Piera Chen John Miltenburg: I specially enjoyed the comments of the older speakers. Vito Bertin: A flow chart explaining the sequence of applying for different types of identification will be useful. Catherine McBride: I would like to hear more about using English to teach Chinese students. Valerie Levy: Discussions could have been a little more structured. David Ahlstrom: Information on grants is too general. Michael McClellan: I have a better understanding of what the University expects of me. Orientation for New Faculty 1996-97 Speakers of the Experience-sharing Session Speaker Unit Prof. Leslie N. K. Lo Head of Teaching Development Unit Prof. Lam Man Ping Department of Educational Psychology Faculty of Education Prof. Liew Soung Chang Department of Information Engineering Faculty of Engineering Prof. Roger H. M. Cheng Department of Educational Administration and Policy Faculty of Education Prof. Kinnam Lau Department of Marketing Faculty of Business Administration Prof. Stanley Vittoz Department of History Faculty of Arts Prof. Tunney F. Lee Department of Architecture Faculty of Social Science Prof. Julian Critchley Department of Clinical Pharmacology Faculty of Medicine