Showcase Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia 2015

Service learning and learning for service in Chinese medicine education (#126)

Hong Qi Zhang 1 , King Chong 2 , Kelvin KM Yue 1 , Feng Tu 1 , CC Cheung 1 , TP Yip 1
  1. School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
  2. Centre of Holistic Teaching and Learning, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

Abstract Content (up to 300 words recommended)

 Preparing students for life and work in a complex and uncertain future, we are expected to have high levels of adaptability, excellent social and communications skills. Whole Person Education (WPE) is the corner stone of our University (HKBU), and is particularly emphasized in our School of Chinese Medicine. At undergraduate level, WPE is embodied by the 7 Graduate Attributes (GA) and our students are expected to achieve upon their completion of studies.

We have initiated a Community of Practice (CoP) on WPE in Medical Services in 2013 to enhance the professionalism and WPE. The Project aims to focus on 4 GAs (Citizenship, Creativity, Communication and Teamwork), through integrating relevant courses and units, and contextualized multiple-intelligence activities by positive transference, a series of enriched co-curricular activities and learning capstone experiences.

This presentation will show our preliminary progress of this project. Focusing on service learning, its major initiatives cover a great variety of curricular and co-curricular activities. Direct and indirect evidence from both faculties and students are collected for evaluating its effectiveness. For faculties, direct evidence pertains to the changes in teaching practices while indirect evidence relates to self-reported changes through a questionnaire-based survey adapted from Beach and Cox (2009) used in US universities. For students, their performance in representative work constitutes direct evidence whereas learning surveys apply to gauge students’ perceived achievements as indirect evidence.

Overall, the preliminary results are encouraging. The survey results and observations suggest that students are learning better with clearer goals, equipped with service spirit and skills and are progressing in achieving the aforesaid 4 GAs. For faculties, they have been revamping teaching practices and the questionnaire findings show that they believe the changes in student learning engendered by their participation in CoP. 

Addressing the theme/s of the Conference (up to 200 words recommended)

Theme:  Educating graduates to be responsive and adaptable professionals

As a pedagogy of combining classroom instruction with meaningful community service, service learning is considered useful in enhancing professional and whole person development for our Traditional Chinese MedicineTCM students. Having been proven effective in helping faculties improve their teaching and ultimately benefit student learning in United States, Faculty Community of Practice (CoP) is adopted as an overarching approach to achieve our mission.

Originating in United States, Communities of Practice (CoPs) refer to cross-disciplinary groups of faculty and staff members engaging in collaborative activities for enhancing teaching and learning (Cox, 2004). It has been shown that CoPs can significantly help faculties improve their teaching and ultimately benefit student learning (Cox, 2001; Handzic and Lagumdzija, 2010).

Our medical professions shoulder the obligation of maintaining and enhancing public and personal health. Effective fulfillment of this obligation requires our medical practitioners to not only possess the excellent professional knowledge and skills, but also serve with sympathy, benevolence and high ethical standards.

Devoting to holistic and total development of students, WPE represents an ideal model in cultivating our TCM students to fulfill the professional, social and community expectations.