On 6 July 2020, The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK), together with Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University and Minin Nizhny Novgorod State Pedagogical University, held an online conference, titled “Adjustments and Support by Tertiary Institutions amid the Coronavirus”. More than 30 senior management staff from the three universities participated in the event to discuss challenges that educators have encountered during the worldwide coronavirus pandemic and to share practical solutions and new technologies to enhance online teaching effectiveness.
Professor Stephen Cheung Yan-leung, President of EdUHK; Professor Dr Aleksandr Fedorov, Rector of Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University; and Professor Dr Elena Ilaltdinova, Rector of Minin University; delivered welcome speeches to mark the beginning of the online conference. They said they believed the conference would create synergy among the three universities to develop strategic and flexible plans to promote online learning in higher education.
Colleagues from the Russian universities shared their experience in introducing different online advanced training courses to school teachers. Professor Irina Filchenkova, Vice-Rector (Education) of Minin University, and Professor Anastasia Oladishkina, Director of the Teachers’ Professional Development Center, outlined prospects for the development of teacher education in the post-COVID-19 period. Professor Ludmila Guseva, Director of the Foreign Language Department, shared the related measures that their university had implemented during the pandemic.
Professor Anna Tyshetskaya, Vice-Rector (Education) of Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, shared her experience in preparing a university analytical report to address challenges related to the spread of the coronavirus. Professor Anna Budarina, Director of the Institute of Education, and Dr Kseniya Degtyarenko, Director of Educational Programs, provided some recommendations to tackle the difficulties in shifting to online learning.
Senior management staff from EdUHK also provided their insights. Professor Lui Tai-lok, Vice President (Research & Development), pointed out that the pandemic outbreak and lockdown had alerted educators to be more responsive to emerging challenges and unanticipated circumstances. To make higher education more portable, he emphasised the importance of sharing resources among international universities.
Professor John Lee Chi-kin, Vice President (Academic) and Provost, shared good practices to showcase how online learning was adopted in the University. He also elaborated on how EdUHK set up different dedicated task forces to address emotional distress and anxiety among teachers and students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Professor Kong Siu-cheung, Director of Centre for Learning, Teaching and Technology, introduced the EdUHK Open Classes Platform and demonstrated how to engage students using different e-learning tools. He combined synchronous and asynchronous online teaching methods to facilitate effective e-learning and e-teaching.
After the presentations, the participants discussed how to enhance the quality of online teaching. Professor Pamela Leung, Director of the School Partnership and Field Experience Office, and Mr Lau Wai-tat, Director of Estates, shared how their units have supported student learning beyond the classroom since the COVID-19 outbreak.