As the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) began impacting educational institutions across the globe, many schools were forced to design and implement plans for remote learning in a matter of days or weeks.
This was the case at City University of Hong Kong (CityU). In just eight days, this leading institution of over 30,000 students successfully transitioned all of its classroom instruction online using Canvas.
One of the first local universities to make the shift to campus-wide online learning in response to the Coronavirus crisis, CityU quickly made plans to train more than 1,000 teaching staff.
Dr. Crusher Wong, senior e-learning manager, and his team put together instructional videos and hosted interactive training sessions over the course of three days. They also built a 1,900-member Canvas site to post the instructional video and other resources about real-time online teaching for the university’s instructors to reference. The site saw 8,185 pages recorded in one day and 177 posted discussion messages.
“A few colleagues I know very well were reluctant to the idea of lecturing online in the first place,” said Dr. Wong. “But, with proper training and practice, our teachers became comfortable and value the opportunity to interact with students in real time.”
In addition to the video conferencing integration, teachers at CityU have taken advantage of Quizzes, Assignments, Discussions, and Media Recordings. More than double the average amount of media recordings have been produced this semester (1,900+ vs. 4,600+), mostly for student presentations and pre-recorded video lectures.
“All the tools inside Canvas are helpful to our teachers, but the assessment tools and Gradebook have become critical,” said Dr. Wong. “Many colleagues are discovering the capabilities of Canvas for assessing and grading for the first time. Most of them are planning for the final exams using Canvas Quizzes or Canvas Assignments.”
A Focus on Student Success
Teachers began executing their original class schedule, online and in real-time, on February 7. Canvas simultaneously hosted more than 2,000 students on the first day of semester as CityU switched to their fully online mode. Students reported being able to successfully engage with their teachers and peers without any issues.
“Facing successive challenges, CityU has been thinking out of the box and, with the support of our faculty, is providing our students with the best possible options,” said Professor Way Kuo, University President. “Our online learning platform ensures that learning effectiveness continues as scheduled and in an engaging way.”
Adapting to the impact of the Coronavirus certainly was not something CityU had previously planned for. But the community came together to ensure that educators and students were set up for success during this time of forced remote learning and will be prepared for any future challenges.