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Academic Teaching

Students' Corner: Experiential Learning

Our experiential learning (EL) project was first launched in 2012, with the support from the Gallant Ho Experiential Learning Centre, and it pioneered the Ecology & Biodiversity overseas experiential learning at HKU.  At the end of each experiential course, students are encouraged to reflect on their learning experience and indicate how it compares to a typical classroom-taught course, pointing out the pros and cons (these reflections are sent to one of the Student-Demonstrators after the final grades are announced).  Not all students send us their comments, but those that do often take an appreciable effort in sharing their thoughts.   Take a read... 

Animal Behaviour Field Course:  academic year 2016/17   

This was my first step on the African continent and now it became an opening of a wonderful field course…


It is the most rewarding course in HKU I have ever had!  I didn’t expect that it was so much fun to go for safari, analyze elephant behaviors and be amazed by a lion hunt in front of our vehicle!  Needless to say, this field course is a perfect complement of BIOL 4303 Animal Behavior.  This field course gives practical skills and experience to students.  Local geographical features and behavior of carnivores and herbivores are impressive.  However, most importantly, you can’t observe and experience these in person in a lecture room!  It is also more fascinating to watch the behaviors, especially lion hunt and elephant charging, in the field.


Besides, I met good teammates working together for these days.  We were also very lucky to observe the entire rhino notching process in person.  It was also an honor to have friendly and caring demonstrators and, of course, a knowledgeable and experienced professor to teach us in the entire trip.  What can be better than that?


With no doubt, this field course will be a lifelong memory for me.  I am also sure that every student majoring in Ecology and Biodiversity should have a memory like this in his or her heart…

Chang Alan Chi Leung

Ecology & Biodiversity

Marine Mammal Field Course:  academic year 2016/17

The marine mammal field course has provided me an unforgetable learning experience which cannot be offered by ordinary lectures. The greatest part of the course was I could see the free-ranging animals face to face during the sea-based surveys. Of course, the field course was way more than a dolphin watching activity. Apart from observing the dolphin's behaviours, we have to design our own data sheet to record information from what we saw. After the surveys, we had discussions on each encounters with professor and demonstrators. In my opinion, this was the most valuable part of the course as I learnt a lot of skills and techniques required by animal behaviours research. Then, I could applied what I learned in the next day of survey which made me more familiar with the knowledge. This kind of experiential learning helps students to make quick progress on knowing how to carry out scientific research. I remember in the last two days of survey, we were able to make similar observations with the demonstrators. The professor was also impressed by the progress we made. The field course is definitely worth organising and I wish I can have more chances to participate in this kind of course.

Hau Chak Leong

Ecology & Biodiversity

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Video clips by students