2011 T & L Symposium

The aim of the one-day symposium was to create an opportunity for scholarly discussion among local educators on inquiry-based learning approaches for undergraduate students. The theme of the symposium was "Engaging Undergraduates in Research and Inquiry – A Scholarly Dialogue". The discussion centered around three major areas: Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programs (UROP); Capstone experiences, and Problem-based/Case-based Learning. The dialogue focused on treating students as producers rather than consumers of knowledge and the wide range of ways this could be achieved. Renowned international scholar on research and inquiry learning, Prof Mick Healey shared with us international perspectives on undergraduate research and inquiry and facilitated discussion on the day of the symposium.

Date: May 20, 2011
Time: 8:45am-5:00pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre K, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology


The theme of the symposium is "Engaging Undergraduates in Research and Inquiry – A Scholarly Dialogue".
The discussion will center around the following three major areas.

1. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programs (UROP)

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, or UROP in short, is offered by many universities around the world to provide undergraduate students with a unique opportunity to actively engage in cutting-edge research under the guidance of faculty members.

2. Capstone Projects

Capstone projects are intended to capture the learning of students in the final stage of their studies in any given phase of education. Students are to apply the cumulative knowledge and skills they have acquired and demonstrate them in a large-scale project. The capstone project could take up to six months to complete and students should select a topic related to their studies. Final year projects (FYP) and internships are possible examples of capstone projects.

3. Problem-based/Case-based Learning (PBL/CBL)

PBL is designed based on the constructivist educational theories of Vygotsky, Dewey and others. PBL/CBL are student-centered instructional strategy which students work collaboratively to solve simulated problems of the real world.

General characteristics of PBL/CBL are:

  • Learning is driven by challenging, open-ended, ill-defined and ill-structured problems.
  • Students generally work in collaborative groups.
  • Teachers take on the role as "facilitators" of learning.

In PBL, students are encouraged to take responsibility for their group, organize and direct the learning process with support from a tutor or instructor.

Adapted from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem-based_learning