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            Positive response to online CityU-Learning taster courses for schools

            PINKY CHOI

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            Dr Leung introduces the binary number system through his magic demonstration.
            Dr Leung introduces the binary number system through his magic demonstration.

            A pilot programme called the CityU-Learning taster courses developed by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has been well received by secondary school students.

            CityU was the first local university to conduct such online learning on a campus-wide scale in response to the coronavirus outbreak.?

            The outreach CityU-Learning taster courses support secondary school students learning at home and offer a taste of university learning during the anti-epidemic period.?

            Students can enroll in these free online courses and explore their interests in different subjects as preparation for university education.

            Enrollment for the first two CityU-Learning taster courses on 26 and 27 February exceeded expectations. More than 100 S.1 to S.6 students from 50 local schools participated, including La Salle College, St Joseph's College, Diocesan Girls' School, Wah Yan College Hong Kong, St Paul's Convent School (Secondary Section), among others.?

            The taster courses mode are online, flexible, real-time and interactive. The tailor-made content is delivered through a simple and interesting approach, aiming to facilitate the learning needs of students at different school grades and give them chance to sample a university experience.

            The first two courses, namely “AI workshop with Pokémon” and “Binary Magic” were conducted by Dr Cheung Chak-chung, Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, and Dr Leung Wing-ho, Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science, respectively.?

            Dr Cheung guided participants to use deep learning that identifies objects and classifies different types of Pokémon, encouraging students to apply this learning outcome to other problem domains. While Dr Leung introduced the basic concept and applications of binary number system through his magic demonstration.?

            “It is convenient to share electronic teaching materials with the students on CityU-Learning,” said Dr Cheung. The functions of “Chat” and “Polling” facilitate smooth teaching, a better understanding of students’ instant responses and effective management of different class activities. The secondary school students can also enjoy interactive communication with professors and participate in different fields of study so as to identify their articulation pathways.

            Dr Leung felt encouraged by the students’ active participation and responses to his questions.?
            “This kind of taster course provides a platform for secondary school students to continue learning at home and acquire new knowledge outside school lessons,” he said.

            The courses received positive feedback from participants.?

            “I enjoyed this AI lesson. It offered me an opportunity to gain new academic knowledge at home. The professor’s guidance led to my easy understanding of AI knowledge, even turning me to have greater interest in this topic,” said Chen Wan-lam, an S.4 student from Tseung Kwan O Government Secondary School who joined the AI workshop.

            More CityU-Learning taster courses will be offered in March, with topics ranging from physics, law, business to liberal arts and social sciences. For more details, please visit mobile.esmooth01.com.cn/provost/outreach/taster.htm?or email to outreach@cityu.edu.hk.?

            The functions of “Chat” and “Polling” on CityU-Learning facilitate professor a better understanding of students’ instant responses.
            The functions of “Chat” and “Polling” on CityU-Learning facilitate professor a better understanding of students’ instant responses.

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