French programme in the time of Covid-19
In light of the development of the COVID-19 outbreak, face-to-face teaching at the University was suspended in February 2020 to reduce the risk of infection. To comply with the University’s recommendation, HKU French programme switched to online teaching.
This semester, all French courses were running as scheduled using video conferencing and cloud-based applications. Course assessments were also conducted online through various methods.
As for other HKU programmes, this unprecedented situation was challenging yet instructive and enabled us to measure our level of readiness as well as our ability to adapt to quick changes.
Switching to full online teaching, our goal was to minimize the disruption and to ensure that both the amount of teaching and learning hours as well as the quality of courses were not affected by these changes. We were also careful to offer a streamlined experience across our different courses so as to provide students with a clear and user-friendly learning environment.
Things were largely facilitated by the amount of work the French programme had put into developing online resources, teaching and learning, and evaluation material over the past ten years, as well as by our previous experience with the SARS outbreak in 2003.
Furthermore, our team of teachers was aware that giving students the opportunity for regular online interaction also played an important role in supporting students morale when they were spending most of their time at home with no chance to meet each other.
Many students and teachers reported very positive experiences with online interaction. Our team also held weekly meeting this semester to share good practice and to ensure good communication.
There is no doubt that this semester has been complex and tiring on many levels, yet we are happy to see the level of engagement of both students and teachers as well as the experience our team has gained in this difficult time.