Keynote Speakers

Prof. Emeritus Bob Fox
University of New South Wales,  Australia

Professor Emeritus Bob Fox, University of New South Wales, Australia (UNSW). Dr Bob Fox was Professor of Curriculum, Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education & Student Experience) (2013-2020). He held joint appointments as Professor of Innovation in Higher Education (AD), School of Education, UNSW Sydney, Australia and Professor (Hons) Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong (HKU) between 2013-2019. Professor Fox holds the University of Hong Kong (HKU) award, University Teaching Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching. Between 2000-2013 he was Associate Professor and Deputy Director, Centre for Information Technology in Education, Faculty of Education at HKU with one year at the Chinese University of Hong Kong as Professor and Associate Director, Centre for Learning Enhancement and Research before returning to HKU in 2009. He was also A/Dean (Learning Environments), Faculty of Education for the last two and a half years at HKU. Before working at HKU he was Associate Director and senior lecturer of the Centre for the Advancement of Education at Curtin University, Australia for 13 years; senior lecturer at the Hong Kong Vocational Training Council for four years; a TEFL teacher for five years in England, Hong Kong and Spain and further education lecturer for two years in England. Bob Fox has over 45 years-experience in teaching and research in Australia, South East Asia and Great Britain. His research focuses on learning and teaching innovation and change in higher education; technological practice and curriculum change; blended, mobile and open learning. He has published widely on these topics.


Topic: Changes in Education at University in the COVID Era


Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on how education is designed and how it is delivered world-wide. These changes are likely to have a long term and major influence on higher education post COVID. This keynote outlines how these changes have started to reshape one large-scale institution in Australia, focussing particularly on the curriculum, the design of courses and programs and how assessment and associated professional development of teaching staff have changed. The presentation will review online initiatives; curriculum frameworks; course design models and tools; staff capability building; changing education focussed contracts for teachers; and experiments in online assessments to replace traditional face-to-face assessments.




Prof. Joy Kutaka-Kennedy

National University, USA


Before entering higher education Dr. Joy Kutaka-Kennedy spent over twenty years teaching students from pre-school through high school in regular education, gifted education, at-risk education, and special education. She has taught over fifteen years at the university level, emphasizing special education teacher preparation in academic course work and clinical practice supervision. Having extensive experience with online education, course development and program evaluation, she won Quality Matters recognition for innovative course design and student engagement. She has given numerous national and international presentations on creativity and collaboration in the online venue; individual accountability in online group work; emerging technological trends in higher education; implications of generational differences and technological innovation in higher education; and the future of Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and deep learning in education. Her university faculty responsibilities include course design and oversight, field work supervision, and mentoring new faculty in higher education. Dr. Joy Kutaka-Kennedy serves as an officer of the California Association of Professors of Special Education, mentors prospective grant writers, completes program reviews for state and national accreditation, and performs editorial reviews for professional publications. She currently is working on designing new curricula to align with new state credentialing standards.


Topic: Humanizing the Online Learning Experience


Abstract: With the unexpected and pervasive shelter in place mandates due to COVID-19 restrictions, educators around the world at all levels from kindergarten through university colleges suddenly and precipitously were forced to adapt to online teaching and learning. After grappling with myriad issues involving technical matters including hardware, software, and internet connectivity, educators began addressing the thornier issues of new or different online pedagogy, appropriate curricular adaptations, modifications to instructional delivery, and expectations for social engagement. Educators also needed to revise HOW they presented themselves to students in the online milieu, WHAT they could do with the new technologies, and HOW they needed to find new ways to connect with their students. Educators needed to become more humane to humanize and thereby optimize online learning. They needed to go beyond lecturing and presenting static content to elicit more dynamic student engagement. They needed to deliver materials that demanded more higher order thinking skills and creative output from students. Instructors needed to develop online proxies for realistic, relevant student group work along with norms in the virtual environment. They needed to personalize learning so that each student could engage with their instructors. We are only beginning to globally revolutionize and humanize the educational learning experience in the digital environment. We can use what we know about social emotional learning to empower students to greater success by deepening our connections with them. We can grow our online presence and effectiveness to achieve greater student success.




Prof. Mido Chang

Florida International University, USA


Dr. Mido Chang received a Ph.D. in Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics from Teachers College, Columbia University. As a professor of educational methodology, Dr. Chang teaches research methods courses, including hierarchical linear models, structural equation models, and multivariate analysis at Florida International University. Her research deals with the equity issues associated with providing educational resources for all students, including racial and linguistic minority students. She has published over 70 peer-reviewed journal articles and proceedings. In her research, Dr. Chang employs longitudinal multilevel modeling, structural equation modeling, survival analysis, and discriminant analysis. Her research projects have been funded by the Discovery Research K-12 Program of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She has served on review panels for national and international funding agencies and professional journals.


Topic: Strategies for Effective Online Learning


Abstract: Online education has become the primary delivery format in education. Recent reports show that online enrollments in higher education institutions in the United States have continued to grow, with approximately 31.6% of all higher education enrollments in 2016, which is a 4.5% increase from 2012 (Seaman, Allen, & Seaman, 2018). Moreover, the dramatic change of education during the complete lockdown of human contact through the COVID pandemic has pushed educational researchers to seriously explore useful tools to facilitate students' online learning. 
However, many instructors are still resistant to online education due to several barriers in practice, including unmotivated students who had been passive learners, the unfamiliarity of the online environment, and unmet technical support. Attempting to improve the students' success and help instructors, several studies have examined various aspects of facilitation in online education and provided potential game plans promoting effective online learning. Martin,
Wang, and Sadaf (2018) highlighted the importance of prompt response to students' requests in emails or discussion forums. Instructors' timely communication and guidance establish teachers' presence, encourage students to become more engaged in their courses, and lead them to higher learning levels. Scholars such as Epp, Phirangee, and Hewitt (2017) and Martin and Bolliger
(2018) valued instructor-to-student interactions most when compared to student-to-student and
student-to-content strategies. The authors found that instructor-led facilitation strategies lead to a stronger sense of community among the students, supporting recent research findings. Besides,
several researchers point out the benefits of a systematic approach to content design, backward design, course organization, meeting learner needs, student interaction, periodic communication, etc. Some other researchers recommend the active adoption of blogs, discussion boards, Wiki, 3D virtual worlds.
I will open further discussion about researchers' suggestions to achieve deeper learning in an online context through effective strategies. 



Assoc. Prof. Eric C.K. Cheng

The Education University of Hong Kong, China


Dr. Eric Cheng is a specialist in knowledge management, educational management and Lesson Study. He is currently associate professor of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction of the Education University of Hong Kong. Eric earned his Doctor of Education in education management from the University of Leicester. He has been publishing locally and internationally, with over 50 articles in various media covering the areas of knowledge management, school management and Lesson Study. He is the author of an academic book entitled Knowledge Management for School Education published in 2015 by Springer. Eric has been successful in launching more than 10 research and development projects with external and competitive funds in the capacity of Principal Investigator (PI). He received the Knowledge Transfer Project Award from EDUHK in 2014-15, Scholarship of Teaching Award in 2013-14 and Knowledge Transfer publication Awards in 2012-13 form Faculty of Human Development of EDUHK.


Topic: Developing Schools' Professional Capital Through Lesson Study


Abstract: This presentation aims to discuss the extent to which Lesson Study, through its improvement of teaching quality, can enhance school’s professional capital. Lesson Study is a form of teacher-led collaborative action research developed in Japan has been advocated internationally to improve students’ learning outcomes. Professional capital in the schools refers to the intangible resources that come from the knowledge, experience and competencies of teachers, from teacher collaboration groups, and from their reflective teaching practices (Hargreaves and Fullan 2012). The presentation seeks to propose the organizational factors that facilitate the institutionalisation of the Lesson Study within schools, and discuss whether institutionalising the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycles of Lesson Study in schools could enhance their professional capital, and thereby determine the utility of professional capital for enhancing student learning outcomes.

Schools in Hong Kong and in many other places increasingly operate in a competitive environment as directed by the principles of accountability and efficiency. Yet, the school’s professional capital has not been fully exploited and utilised for school development. Developing a school’s professional capital has the potential as an innovative approach to improve the process of teaching quality of schools, including student learning outcomes. This presentation study will attempt to discuss the process for creating pedagogical knowledge by using the Lesson Study as an analytical lens to understand the development of school professional capital for enhancing student learning outcomes. Lesson Study articulates the relationship among the dynamic processes of knowledge acquisition, sharing, dissemination and adsorption systematically through operating the PDCA cycle that develop pedagogical knowledge.

Lesson Study was developed in Japan as a practice to enhance the professionalism of teachers. It is a promising knowledge sharing platform for creating pedagogical knowledge for teaching improvement (Cheng, 2018). Lesson study model involves a Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) process to improve teaching and learning by leveraging teachers’ tacit knowledge and codifying it into explicit knowledge for dissemination (Cheng 2015). Teachers share their pedagogical knowledge in the “Plan” stage for instructional design. Their tacit knowledge is leveraged, co-constructed and codified as explicit teaching knowledge in lesson plans and teaching materials. Their social relationships can be enhanced through this collaborative lesson planning process (Chong and Kong 2012; Groves et al. 2013; Cajkler et al. 2014). During the ‘Do’ part, a teacher implements the lesson and observed by peers. This enables the teacher to apply and internalize explicit teaching knowledge as tacit teaching knowledge through teaching practice (Takahashi and Yoshida 2004; Cheng 2014, 2019). The ‘Check’ part is conducted in the form of post-lesson conference which enables the teachers to review and reflect on their instructional design and decided pedagogies (Gutierez (2015; Kohlmeier and Saye 2017 and Saye et al. 2017). They then document the newly developed pedagogical knowledge as lesson plans and teaching materials for reuse (Leavy and Hourigan 2016). Such process enables teachers to exercise their reflective teaching practices and professional judgement for effective instructional design (Ansawi and Pang 2017) and that may strengthens their decisional capital. The ‘act’ part is the implementation of the improved lesson plan for enhancing student learning outcomes.

This presentation will provide insights into applying theories of school’s professional capital for enhancing quality assurance policy. Second, the management practices that facilitate Lesson Study for developing professional capital will be discussed. This will respond to the international debate of the culture and context dependent issues on using Lesson Study (Hadfield and Jopling 2016). Third, the presentation will discuss and disseminate effective management strategies for school leaders to manage school’s professional capital for improving teaching quality. This presentation outlines a research framework to examine the process for creating pedagogical knowledge by using the Lesson Study as an analytical lens to understand the development of school professional capital for enhancing student learning outcomes.