Education and Research Technology Forum 2015

[Click here to view photographs from the forum.]

The Education and Research Technology (ERT) Forum 2015, held in conjunction with the Chief Information Officers (CIO) Forum in Hong Kong from January 29 to 30, 2015, was focused on the integrative aspects of ICT services and technologies, such as MOOCs and open source in support of a wide array of education and research innovative approaches, and adapting to new media learners. Risk management, sharing resources, intellectual property and ownership were amongst the complexities amid a changing technology environment and variety of platforms flipped learning and virtual communities could thrive. 

Trendy and innovative technology in the use of MOOCs and the extended "flipped" classroom in shaping student learning attitudes, expectations, classroom teaching, assessment and learning outcomes were demonstrated through presentations by National University of Singapore, Peking University, HKUST (host of the ERT Forum 2015), University of Hong Kong, Tsinghua University and Kyoto University. Discussions highlighted the continuing challenges of communicating blended learning as a new norm, bridging the digital gap and improving educational access in outreach learning and public education, and culturally-sensitive approaches to learning through technology.

website ert keynote

The keynote speech by Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX, a major online learning platform founded by MIT and Harvard, addressed learner-centric approaches in expanding access to education and advancing research.  Themes in online education, active learning and pre-university enrolment in MOOCs were recurrent highlights during dialogue. Bruce Thompson from the Asia-Worldwide Education division of Microsoft spoke on practical applications and case studies in leveraging big data in the context of research, scalability, tracking performance and optimizing resources for competitive grants. 

The entrepreneurial aspects of developing one's own MOOCs courses and setting new pedagogical horizons were exemplified through presentations by faculty in HKUST, Tsinghua University (XuetangX) and Kyoto University. In discussing possible collaborations amongst member universities, participants also looked to the findings of the NMC Horizon Report 2014, an New Media Consortium (NMC)-Educause collaborative effort outlining the complexities and impact of emerging technologies on teaching, learning and creative inquiry to aid universities and faculty in strategic technology planning.

Two key priority areas for collaboration, (i) pedagogy and programs, and (ii) research and development in teaching and learning, were agreed to by APRU members in closing at the collaborative discussion and synthesis session. Projects and working groups are expected to develop further in these areas over the next 1 to 2 years.

A multi-year APRU MOOCs pilot project is in development with regular virtual meetings conducted amongst CIOs, faculty and technologists of University of Malaya, University of Indonesia and HKUST.  A short progress report was presented at the forum.

Venue: Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study

Program schedule: http://2015aprucio.ust.hk/programme.php.