UGFN Animated – Flipped Classroom with Whiteboard Animations (2015-16)

Principal Supervisor(s): Dr. LI Ming Kenneth

Co-supervisor(s): Dr. LAI Chi Wai Kevin, Dr. SZETO Wai Man

In Dialogue with Nature (UGFN1000), a foundation course compulsory to all undergraduates from different disciplines, requires students to read science-related texts before interactive tutorials. These texts are good starting points for a higher level thinking of the cross-text central issues “What is life?”, “What is mind?” and “What is science?” of the course. From our experience, students are very interested to reflect on these central issues but many of them, regardless of possessing science background or not, find it difficult to have in-depth discussion. The lack of prerequisite knowledge beyond the texts, misunderstanding of concepts, inadequate comprehension of abstract ideas, and inability to connect different texts are the common obstacles. Since UGFN lectures explain only the individual texts in a very limited time, a lot of time in the interactive tutorial classes is usually used to deal with these difficulties. In view of this, a set of three micro-modules has been developed to flip the classroom of UGFN1000 for better learning and teaching by providing eLearning remedial supplements. Short whiteboard animations have been tailor-made to explain prerequisite knowledge and to clarify misconceptions necessary for in-depth discussion of the central issues. The micro-modules are available online for students’ self-paced learning. The micro-modules do not focus on the background information and contents of individual texts. Instead, they are issue-based which are tailor-made to provide prerequisite knowledge beyond the texts, clarification of concepts, and connection of different texts necessary for higher level thinking of the cross-text central issues. Instead of conventional video recording of short lectures, attractive whiteboard animations can enrich student’s learning experience. They enable step-by-step illustration with voiceover narration to explain complicated and abstract ideas in an attractive and enjoyable way.

For more details, please refer to the following article:

Li M, Lai CW, Szeto WM. 2017. Whiteboard Animation: An Innovative Teaching and Learning Tool for Flipped Classrooms. In Nygaard C, Horsted A, Branch J, Bartholomew P (ed.) New Innovations in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Oxforshire: Libri Publishing Ltd. Pp. 159-175 (published on 16 Oct 2017)