News  | 20 Feb 2020

Teaching and Learning in Spring 20


This page is designed as a one-stop information page for faculty members, staffs, and TAs/IAs. Content will be continuously updated.

Last update:March 19, 2020


  • Teaching in Spring 20 
  • Proctoring online exam using Zoom
  • Information on Zoom meetings/webinars


Teaching in Spring 20
Spring 2020 will start on Feb 17. The first two days will be reserved for off-site exams of Fall 19. Therefore Spring instruction starts on Wed Feb 19. An updated Academic Calendar is published at Academic Calendar. Please note the following points as you plan your course for Spring 20:

  1. Some Fall 19 courses have scheduled off-site meeting on Feb 20. If you have online instruction that day, some students may have to skip class and watch video later. This is not desirable but the impact is already the minimal.
  2. Classes will start in online mode until further notice (tentatively March 16, or until high schools resume), after which classes will be switched to "mixed mode" (to be clarified). Students are not required to be on campus in Spring 20.
  3. Online instruction has to follow the class schedule and has to be interactive. Passive modes such as RVC or posting previous lecture videos are not allowed. The goal is to make online delivery as good as in-class mode. 
  4. When you design assessments such as quizzes, midterm, and final exam, please keep in mind that not every student is on campus.
  5. For activities that cannot be done in online mode such as labs, please plan ahead for alternative/contingency plan just in case we cannot return to in-class mode for an extended period.


  1. General reference: Adopting Online Teaching and Learning in the CEI website
  2. Using scheduled classrooms for interactive online lectures and tutorials
  3. Accessing Campus online resources from Mainland China

Proctoring online exam using Zoom

  1. General reference: Online Exams using Canvas in Adopting Online Teaching and Learning
  2. Video recording of the Science School sharing session on online exam (Mar 18, 2020)


  1. You should gather all your TAs in a lab or classroom to proctor the exam together so that you need not communicate with your TAs remotely when problem arises.
  2. You must run a "dressed rehearsal" together with your TAs and students. Otherwise you are extremely likely to encounter unexpected problems in the real exam.

Information on Zoom meetings/webinars
You are strongly advised to use Zoom meeting/webinar because it is a proven platform and many of us used it last term. It will not be difficult to find someone to help when you encounter problem. 

Whether you are new or old to Zoom, we suggest you begin with the following information pages for update info:

  1. a general introduction to Zoom at HKUST 
  2. technical details concerning accounts, etc.
  3. A beginner's guide to scheduling a Zoom meeting by Jones Choy / Phys Dept

Training sessions:

  1. For recording and materials of previous training courses, logon Canvas -> Courses -> Zoom Meetings Basics and Advanced Sessions.


  1. Instructors, IAs, TAs can use the HKUST subscription for hosting Zoom meetings. It is good for hosting lectures and tutorials. The license allows up to 300 participants in the same meeting. Please refer to
  2. Instructors who prefer to use webinar instead of meeting for lectures need an add-on. Please following the link above. This is not available to IAs/TAs. In fact most instructors may not need it either. Zoom meeting can be used to run large lectures too. For a comparison between Zoom meeting/webinar, please see
  3. Students need not use the HKUST subscription. They can get a free account from Zoom. See

If you need to use handwriting or mark-up:

  1. If you have an ipad/tablet that has a pen, you can host your meeting there and export your whiteboard.
  2. If you have an ipad/tablet but do not want to host your meeting there, you can join the meeting from your ipad/tablet after you start the meeting from another computer. (You can join the same meeting from multiple devices using your account.) You will then be able to share from your tablet the whiteboard, or even its whole screen so that it can use any software (such as OneNote) to do handwriting. 
  3. If you don't have any device with a pen, you can borrow a "visualizer" which is a webcam with a stand. PHYS, CHEM, and LIFS have these visualizers.