Qualitative evaluation of a new general education program at a university in Hong Kong: Teachers’ experiences (pp. 73-89)
Authors: Daniel TL Shek, Lu Yu, and Wen Yu Chai
Abstract: From the 2012/13 academic year, the undergraduate degree programme in Hong Kong higher education has been transferred from a three-year to a four-year structure, with introduction of a rigorous component of general education in the new four-year curriculum. The present study aims to evaluate the implementation and impact of a new general education program, the “General University Requirements” (GUR), in the new four-year undergraduate curriculum of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) based on the views of teachers. A total of 68 teachers who had taught different GUR subjects in 2013/14 academic year were recruited to fill in an evaluation sheet designed to understand their views towards the GUR subjects. A total of 75 qualitative evaluation sheets were collected. Both close-ended and open-ended questions were used to assess teachers’ perceptions. Data analyses indicated that teachers generally had positive evaluation about the GUR. They perceived that the content, teaching methods, and assessment components of GUR subjects successfully engaged students in the learning process and helped students achieve the intended learning outcomes. Teachers also had positive impression and feelings towards the GUR subjects they taught, and perceived the GUR subjects as helpful in broadening students’ knowledge, cultivating their characters and important generic competences. Meanwhile, challenges in the implementation process were also noted. Findings from this study indicated the basic effectiveness of the GUR at PolyU based on teachers’ views. It also provided indications for further improvements of the GUR and general education programs in Hong Kong higher education.