Tai Kwun and PMQ in Central, Blue House in Wan Chai and Mei Ho House in Sham Shui Po are just a few examples among the many revitalised historical architectures in Hong Kong. Visiting these historical sites connects future generations with our city’s colonial past and unique stories, without a comprehensive understanding of which, they cannot undertake any sensible inquiry into political, social, or moral issues in our society. Since these heritages scatter over the territory, site visits present realistic logistic issues to teachers coping with a crammed curriculum. While the advent of VR is promising a revolution in teaching and learning, the lack of training and support to school teachers in developing and customising VR teaching materials presents a bottleneck.
The team aims at training teachers to produce and tailor VR teaching materials on Hong Kong colonial architecture, for instance, adding narration and drama elements. Trained teachers then conduct workshops for their own students while designing assignments to examine students’ learning outcomes. The immersive and dynamic experience allows students to explore the locations in greater detail and at their own pace, that they are encouraged to discover their preferred way of learning. In addition, teachers may obtain audio feedback recorded real-time while individual students “visit” the heritage, proven to be more in-depth than those obtained via post-trip worksheets. Materials developed by teachers can also be repeatedly used and even mutually shared with other schools.
The project enables the younger generation to better understand colonial architecture’s significance in Hong Kong’s history, architectural style, conservation approach and role in tourism development. Individualised learning with an immersive environment leads to enriched learning experience and results. Trained teachers may produce more VR tours of Hong Kong’s heritage for future teaching and create a student-centred approach which embraces multiple learning styles and preferences.
– 3000 primary and secondary school students
– 200 primary and secondary school teachers
Cynthia has honed her research abilities from working on a variety of research projects with her experience and expertise in real estate management, facilities design and planning, and built heritage revitalisation. Her versatile and research-led approach to teaching, featuring interactive and creative perspectives, is well received by her peers and students. She has recently adopted VR technologies in her teaching of heritage revitalisation and green built environment design. Dr Hou is actively engaged in local/international research collaboration. She received her PhD in Real Estate and Construction from HKU and is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Funded by the Knowledge Transfer Project Fund by CUHK, she is working in collaboration with Professor Morris Jung to develop an online platform supported by VR to enhance Hong Kong students’ understanding of colonial architecture.
Morris is the Director of Centre for Learning Sciences and Technologies which studies how students learn, and the best methods and media to achieve that goal. His research focuses on learning sciences, gamification, educational VR as well as teacher facilitation in technology-enhanced learning environment. With an engineering background, he also holds positions in various professional and academic bodies. Morris received his PhD in Education from CUHK.