Independent Learning in Need or in Crisis? Independent Learning Under the new Four-Year Undergraduate Curriculum in Hong Kong
Refereed conference paper presented and published in conference proceedings

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AbstractAccompanied with the rapid development of technology, independent learning, especially in the format of multi-media, has inspired a great deal of enthusiasm and energy in academia over the past few decades. This is certainly the case in Hong Kong since the number of university students has continued to increase dramatically. One particular point that has placed Hong Kong in the spotlight is that there will soon be a complete switch from the previous 3-2-2-3 education curriculum to the 3-3-4 curriculum in 2012. Under this new system, university students will be required to spend four years rather than three to obtain an undergraduate degree. In response to this, Hong Kong teachers and administrators have been propelled to reconsider the role self-access centres should play in this situation. The eight tertiary institutions currently funded by the University Grants Committee have all been running language centre or self-access centre, sometimes both. The majority of these centres provide language learning resources and language support, some of them are directly under language centres. The Independent Learning Centre (ILC) of the Chinese University of Hong Kong is a special case. It serves more or less as a standalone unit, and there have been instructions from higher authorities to broaden its scope from language to subject-related matters. The ultimate goal is to create an online platform that contains comprehensive teaching/learning materials on various disciplines for students to study on their own. This paper uses the ILC as a point of investigation. Through discussing the challenges and difficulties it faces in the process of transition, this study explores the role self-access centres should play, including what is practical and reasonable, and what is theoretical and idealistic. It begins with a review of the concept of independent learning and the ideology behind it, followed by a discussion of autonomous learning in Hong Kong and the functioning of the self-access centres, proceeds with the challenges the ILC faces, and concludes with possible solutions to these challenges in the face of the upcoming four-year curriculum. It is hoped that this research can shed light on what independent learning means, if technology is the ultimate solution to budget strain, and how self-access centres should perhaps function with the benefits of students in mind.
All Author(s) ListChan YHV, Gaskell DD, Tan MA, Chao LYF
Name of Conference10th European Conference on e-Learning (ECEL)
Start Date of Conference10/11/2011
End Date of Conference11/11/2011
Place of ConferenceBrighton
Country/Region of ConferenceGreat Britain
Detailed descriptionAcademic Conferences Limited
Pages117 - 123
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
Keywordsautonomy; education reform; financial imperatives; independent learning
Web of Science Subject CategoriesBusiness; Business & Economics; Education & Educational Research

Last updated on 2021-21-10 at 00:17