Updated: Sep 5, 2022
Professional staff: Ms. Judy Lo & Mr. Rudi Chow
Department: Information Technology Services Centre (ITSC), The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)
Being part of the University’s Campus Work Scheme, the eLearning Student Ambassadors (eLSA) Programme was launched in 2020 to equip students with necessary skills to thrive in the digital environment. Training and practice are two main components of the eLSA programme. The programme provides students with training on various digital and multimedia production topics, including photography, videography, audio editing, video editing, website design, desktop publishing, fundamentals of programming and digital animation. Ms. Lo and Mr. Chow remarked that active learning, in particular, the processes of creating and thinking, is essential to digital training. Hence, the training emphasizes hands-on exercises and students are given the opportunity to create their own work. In addition, students can showcase what they have learnt by producing the eLSA Portfolio on Instagram. Last year, they provided online course recommendations for peers. This year, the student ambassadors are working on book promotions.
eLSA Portfolio IG: @cuhk_learning
In terms of the selection process, Ms. Lo and Mr. Chow tended to value the significance of students’ motivation for joining the programme. This is because it is important to recruit students who will remain committed throughout the programme and will provide constructive support to other peers. Equally important is that matching students’ interests with the digital skills offered by the programme can enhance student engagement and participation. While the programme was received highly positively, the team also encountered different challenges particularly during the fifth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic when the students were not able to return to campus. They resiliently adapted and rearranged the whole training schedule to online studio mode together with the implementation of suitable open-source software for students to use for free at home. Despite the sudden change of the mode of the training programme, they were impressed that online learning did not limit students’ creativity.
In the future, the ITSC EDT team will continue offering training according to students’ needs and interests and will explore the possibility of applying a flipped and hybrid (online and offline) approach in combination with other novel pedagogies that encourage students’ participation and collaboration. In other words, developing a number of adaptable approaches where class engagement and learning materials can be modified and applicable in times of emergency (crises) and also accessible digital repositories to support personalized learning in addition to the future face-to-face lessons when the situation is back to normalcy. Ms. Lo and Mr. Chow also encourage other colleagues to experiment with different teaching approaches in order to find the most suitable method for their student cohorts.
eLSA Training - During the photography training sessions, students can gain valuable hands-on experience with the use of the Digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera.