Staying The Course: Online
Innovations & MOOCs
Various teams and individuals have worked very hard to ensure students in all programmes continue to receive a high quality education and rigorous training in their disciplines. Although we are moving back to face-to-face teaching as much as possible, the outbreak has propelled us to turn our earlier experiments into something more substantial. Some of the highlights include:
Online medical apprenticeship
Zoom enables students to submit questions during lessons, which generates discussion just as in in-person clinical rounds. It also opens an avenue for collaborative teaching with overseas institutions. A joint grand round was organised with the University of Ottawa, giving students virtual exposure to a nonlocal setting.
Virtual reality for anatomy teaching
This was already in place prior to COVID-19 and that early start has paid off. VR has made it possible to continue cadaver-based anatomy teaching throughout the pandemic and to bring in innovations, such as gamification, to deepen student engagement.
Telemedicine in clinical education
Bedside teaching was converted to web-side teaching, a move that not only enabled learning to continue but provided an opportunity to train students in telemedicine — a format that is likely to grow in future and requires different kinds of skills from bedside consultations. A Teaching Development Grant has now been awarded to formally introduce telemedicine to the MBBS curriculum.
Alongside these innovations, the Faculty provided regular updates to staff and students on teaching and learning arrangements in line with the University’s Task Force on Infectious Diseases and our own requirements. Special notifications were sent to students in their clinical and final years and those on their Enrichment Year abroad.
HKUMed has four MOOCs (massive open online courses), which provide the public with free access to specially designed classes led by our professors. Before the pandemic, two MOOCs had been launched, Epidemics I and Epidemics II, and since then Epidemics III and IV have been introduced with COVID-19 content, featuring top instructors in HKUMed as well as some of our international collaborators. Together, the four courses provide an accessible overview of the fundamental scientific principles underlying epidemics and the public health responses to prevent and control them.