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Strategic Moves, Quick Facts and Achievements


Early Career Teaching Award 2023

Professor Gary CHAN

Professor Ying Wai CHAN
Assistant Professor
School of Biological Sciences

‘I am honoured to have recently received an Early Career Teaching Award at HKU, where I began my higher education journey as an Assistant Professor in 2019. As a science educator, I constantly ask myself how I can best equip my students with the knowledge and skills they need for their futures. My teaching approach focuses on two main aspects: developing students' communication skills and using problem-based learning to enable them to tackle real-world challenges. 
Anne Roe, a noted psychologist, once said, "Nothing in science has any value to society if it is not communicated." This quote emphasises the importance of teaching our graduates to communicate effectively with diverse audiences. Inspired by the concept of communication-intensive courses (CiC), I collaborated with the CiC Committee to redesign two of my courses. By incorporating various communication tasks, peer feedback activities, and experience sharing, I strive to enhance my students' oral presentation and reflective writing skills. 
Problem-based learning is at the core of my teaching philosophy. In my lab courses, students are presented with questions that require them to conduct experiments and apply their knowledge from lectures to find solutions. Working in groups, they discuss different approaches to answer these questions. To foster a more engaging learning environment and promote independent learning, I also utilise the flipped classroom approach, allowing students to study lab materials and videos before attending lab sessions.
Through these teaching strategies, I believe I have achieved some of my primary goals: motivating and inspiring students to learn, and helping them develop communication skills and hands-on research experience. The joy I find in teaching has exceeded my expectations, and I am committed to continuous improvement. I look forward to learning and incorporating new knowledge into my teaching activities in the coming years, ultimately benefiting my students and their future endeavours.’


Prof Ying Wai CHAN received the HKU Early Career Teaching Award 2023