The OUHK always places a strong emphasis on the need to adopt the latest technology for teaching and learning. With the completion of the Centre for Innovation (CFI) project, all the 40-odd planned tasks were successfully implemented to facilitate the OUHK’s development of the infrastructure needed for a contemporary learning and teaching environment.
The project, started in 2007 with a HK$62.8 million grant from the Government, also aims at developing a next-generation, student-centred learning environment that blends the strengths of distance learning, face-to-face teaching and online learning, characterized by flexibility, connectivity, personalization and intelligence.
There are five key deliverables of CFI:
- building of INFOWAY (an IT infrastructure)
- development of IFLMOL (an integrated system of innovative learning and teaching tools)
- implementation of e-learning initiatives
- support for academic projects
- development of an intelligent counselling system
Among the major deliverables of the CFI project is the building of INFOWAY, an IT infrastructure to enhance information dissemination and communication by improving the on-campus infrastructure and introducing changes from back-end to front-end, and from hardware to software.
An Intelligent Flexible Learning Model of Open Learning (IFLMOL) has been developed to include a ’Smart Learning and Teaching Space‘ that incorporates an iTutoring System and a set of e-learning tools.
The CFI project also includes e-learning initiatives for the development of online courses and programmes. A diverse range of online-learning components, including videos, animations, online discussions, activities and self-tests, are well-embedded in the learning context to facilitate e-learning.
In addition, the CFI supports innovative academic projects that directly benefit teaching and learning. Four major projects have been completed. They are the OLE-LiPACE which is a teaching and learning platform for LiPACE courses, a Nursing Multimedia Pack, a Mobile Assessment Tool for the Nursing Practicum and Free Courseware offered free to the public.
The Intelligent Counselling System or iCounselling System created under CFI provides 24×7 counselling services in two main areas: Academic Counselling and Academic Advisement. Academic Counselling handles enquiries related to programmes, courses, career and learning mode, while Academic Advisement is mainly for planning study and checking graduation status.
Vice President (Technology and Development)Prof. Leung Chun-ming said, ‘The CFI project has provided significant benefits to our staff, students, and tutors or academics in a variety of ways, especially in learning and teaching activities.’
Emphasizing that successful innovation involves communication, integration and collaboration, Prof. Leung concluded, ‘Academic and administrative units in general have responded positively to INFOWAY, especially the hardware upgrade and the online leave application function, while tutors and students appreciate the usefulness of the tools developed under IFLMOL.’