20 Jun, 2022 (Mon)

Learning by Teaching: Rethinking Experiential Learning in General Education

Delivery Mode: Online via ZOOM

Language: English (supplemented with Cantonese)

Speaker: Dr. Li Ming Kenneth (Office of University General Education)


Learning is a process in which knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. Unlike traditional learning, experiential learning is an active learning process through direct experience and reflection. The direct experience could enhance the understanding of course concepts and foster deep thinking on the application of book knowledge from multiple aspects in real-life situations. The concrete experience could also foster a sense of relevance, immediacy, and empathy, thereby engaging learners in active self-reflection, which often leads to a change in their perceptions, attitudes, and values. Aligned with the University’s vision to enrich students’ learning experience, co-curricular experiential learning elements have been developed in many courses in the GE Foundation Programme, the four GE areas, and College GE. Supported by the Teaching Development and Language Enhancement Grant (2019-2022), a Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)-related Experiential Learning Activities Fund was established to support experiential learning initiatives in the SDG-GE courses. Over the years, GE Teachers have been experimenting with various experiential learning activities in their classes. On the one hand, these activities benefit students’ learning; on the other hand, the design and implementation of these activities can be challenging, in particular under the influence of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Using experiential learning activities in different GE courses as study cases, this talk shares the values and practice of experiential learning in GE as well as the reflection on its challenges and ways ahead.


Dr. Li Ming Kenneth obtained his B.Sc. and M.Phil. degrees in Biology, and a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is currently a Lecturer in the Office of University General Education and has been teaching GE courses in CUHK for ten years. The courses he has taught include the GE Foundation course UGFN1000 In Dialogue with Nature and the blended learning version of this course (UGFN1001) for a cross-institutional project with students coming from three other local universities. Dr. Li has developed the Area B GE course UGEB2296 Experiencing and Rethinking Science and Technology in Agriculture, which is an experiential learning course on modern agriculture, permaculture, and related Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). He has also co-taught the College GE courses GESH1010 Orientation and Outreach and GESH4010 Work and Productive Life. Dr. Li is devoted to developing a diverse pedagogy, such as student-centered teaching, flipped classrooms, blended learning, peer-assisted learning, students as partners, and experiential learning. He has endeavored to nurture students beyond the courses for their personal growth and development. Dr. Li has received a number of awards, including the Exemplary Teaching Award in General Education in 2019, the Vice-Chancellor’s Exemplary Teaching Award (General Education) in 2019, the University Education Award (Teams) in 2021, and the Positive Workplace Service Awards (Individual Award) in 2021.