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Student sharing - Video Series of “Top Tips for HKDSE English Exam”

Overcoming Challenges for a Great Cause

Chan Yat Cheung, Justin
Postgraduate Diploma in Education in English (Secondary)

The school suspension caused by the coronavirus outbreak was certainly an unprecedented challenge encountered by teachers and students across the city. Our student teachers, being on teaching practicum, were also pushed further to the next level, exploring even more innovative ways to sustain students’ motivation and attention when interactions were limited in the “virtual” mode.

Chan Yat Cheung, Justin, a student from the Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) in English (Secondary) programme was inspired by the principal of his practicum school, who videotaped himself teaching various subjects and uploaded the clips for students’ self-regulated learning.

Realising what he could do for local students, Justin joined the project called “Video Series of ‘Top Tips for HKDSE English Exam’” initiated by Ms Tanya Kempston, Lecturer of the Academic Unit of Teacher Education and Learning Leadership, Faculty of Education. It is a series of short videos in which PGDE students shared their own experiences of how they prepared for the three written papers of the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) English Exam. The videos are to better support the HKDSE candidates and are great for their last-minute preparation.

Although taking a one-minute video seems an easy task, it has taken Justin more time and efforts thinking from a learner’s perspective behind the scenes: what last-minute tips and reminders would be useful to candidates? How could he condense plenty of information within a short time? How should he present his ideas without having any materials in hand for easier understanding?

Not only was the process painstaking, Justin also could not help but wonder how much impact the video could leave on the viewers. Nonetheless, he was able to overcome all the doubts and challenges: “Despite all these uncertainties, I convinced myself just to give the very best; after all, it is one of the little help we can offer at this critical time.” Given these constraints, a flexible attitude is the key as he learnt to adapt his instructions and utilise the resources made available. It was for sure a memorable learning experience for him and his fellow classmates.



Valuable Takeaway from a Challenging Time

Wong Yue Hei, Vanessa
Postgraduate Diploma in Education in English (Secondary) 

In February, the Education Bureau, HKSAR announced that all face-to-face classes would be suspended owing to the coronavirus pandemic. It had become extremely challenging for the 2020 Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) candidates as there were great uncertainties about the assessment arrangement. Also, they had to continue exam preparations via online lessons during school suspension, which could cause them even more pressure. In light of this, our student teachers were encouraged and invited to produce the Video Series on “Top Tips for HKDSE English Exam” for the 2020 HKDSE candidates. Wong Yue Hei, Vanessa, a student of the Postgraduate Diploma of Education in English (Secondary) programme, was one of the contributors of the project. Our student teachers hoped to share their personal experience of preparing for the HKDSE English papers, so as to offer as much help as they could, and to relieve the candidates’ burden.

Vanessa would say remote teaching was quite a new concept to her, and it was not something that she would have anticipated before. But it was proven to be a valuable learning opportunity. Being part of the project, she has learnt how to use a clear, simple and precise language to convey a message within a one-minute-long video. The processes of planning, filming and editing video provided her the opportunity to learn and reflect deeply on various instructional strategies, and how to keep her instructions short and simple. This experience has also allowed Vanessa to explore various video editing skills, which became extremely useful and practical when she started producing teaching videos for her practicum school. Apart from video editing skills, she has also reflected on how to maintain the learning experience as engaging and interactive for her students.

Although the current situation is not the most ideal, it helped Vanessa to be more flexible and be able to see the new opportunities and possibilities to do certain things that the student teachers could possibly bring back to a traditional classroom in the future.