Regina Ip – FinTech MOOC Online Learning Experience Sharing 1/3

Hello and welcome! We're very fortunate to have with us today Regina Ip. Regina Ip is a member of the Executive Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. But she's also chairperson and founder of the Savantas Policy Institute, and we'll be talking to her in a bit of both of these hats, but she's also someone who has done the course and has shared some of her experiences. And also, Ricky Kwok. Ricky Kwok is the Associate Vice President for Teaching and Learning here at HKU, and really responsible for all of our online learning initiatives. So, Regina, what made you decide to do the course? Because I've heard a lot about FinTech, but I did not really know what FinTech is all about, what sort of technologies are involved and what sort of new products, new business models are produced. So I decided to enrol in your course. Was this the first online course you had done? Yes, yes, yes, yes. And I was very excited about it. In terms of your experience with the course, what did you like? What worked? It was highly comprehensive, with lectures by you. I think your lectures were one of the most lucid. Because you are a professor, I think you have a practice or a habit of speaking clearly to students. And then you brought together experts of different backgrounds, lawyers, entrepreneurs. And there were interesting cases, which helped me a lot to gain insight into what's really happening. So do you feel you have a better understanding of what FinTech is now? Yes, yes, yes, yes. And also at the same time, were there things about the course that we could do better? Things that you think we could change or improve? The beauty of this sort of course is, although it's instructor-paced, every module is not too long, half an hour, you know. So for part-time learners like myself, I could click on the screen at the end of a long day, and do one module or two modules at my own pace, so long as I complete the course in six weeks. So I think it's highly beneficial for part-time learners, whatever the age, whatever the work. That's the beauty of online courses. This is something that I think Ricky, we've been looking a lot at in the context of online learning. Yea, I think one question I'd like to follow up is the interaction between you and the courseware. Do you find the assessments comprehensive enough also for you to gauge your level of understanding? There were quizzes. Most of the quizzes were really quite easy, and there was an end-of-course survey. I did all of that. I thought those were useful. And to help myself, I jotted down notes during every module, and I kept my FinTech notes, to make sure I don't lose the knowledge. Do you feel challenged when you work on those quizzes and the survey and all these assessment tasks? The quizzes were not that challenging. The surveys were interesting, and the cases were very interesting. Compared with conventional residential course where teacher teaches in a classroom, online courses would not have the sophisticated assessment tools available to us yet. Like, for example, in a conventional course we can ask students to do presentations, we can ask students to answer difficult problems in a sit-down examination. Things like that. But in an online course, we still don't have that kind of technology yet. So any comment about these deficiencies? Depends on what you want to achieve, if you want to have a degree, of course you need to write papers, do presentations, comprehensive assessment. But remember, these MOOCs, they are highly advantageous for part-time learners. People who already got degrees or who simply want to enrich their knowledge in new fields, so you don't need to be too demanding. I think I paid maybe US$ 100 for a Cert, but that's purely for fun. I wasn't going for grades that sort of thing, so I don't think you need to worry too much about that. If you don't make it too challenging, you don't make it too grade-oriented, exam-oriented, more people will enrol in the course. Because Hong Kong, we're already ahead, a lot of us, than the testings. We already have a learning culture, which is, I think, excessively centred on grades. So it's good to have something different. And you can test our awareness
of content in different ways. Ask us to maybe do video online sharing, take part in panel discussion, rather than in the conventional testing methods. I have a couple of follow-ups about your remarks. Did you participate in the forum discussion frequently, like typing in some kind of comments or questions? I did a bit of typing, but not a lot. Maybe you could tell me more about what this forum discussion, the design. What's the purpose? I think the major design rationale behind a forum is to provide a channel for students to interact with each other and for the teacher to give some further insights. Because in an online course you don't have the face-to-face discussion or meeting like this. So this is like the only communication channel available to students and the teachers. Some teachers will try to use the forum as part of the assessment, like imposing some requirements that you have to post something on the forum, or you have to answer some questions on a forum. So this is some kind of pedagogical decisions made by some other teachers. Another thing that I like to follow up is, an interesting decision that you made. On the one hand you think
that the qualification is not that important. You're not going after the grades, right? It's not about a degree. But what made you decide to buy the certificate? Maybe just to satisfy my vanity. I did sort of make the grade, you know? And post it on Facebook. All good reasons. Yeah, yeah. I noticed that you are very accommodating if you can't finish the course at instructor-paced speed, you could redo it at your own speed, which is a good thing. Yeah, this is one of the surprises. So some people literally wait for the self-paced to see how quickly they can do it.

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