While e-Learning has been a global trend in higher education, face-to-face discussion is still a commonly practised pedagogy in universities and has been found to be more preferred to online discussion by students [2]. Students reported that they were more engaged and could receive immediate feedback in a face-toface rather than an online setting. This raises a follow-up question: what are the essential factors that contribute to an engaging and effective academic discussion? The research question was addressed in a general education foundation course, ‘In Dialogue with Nature’, in The Chinese University of Hong Kong. The course invites students to retrace the intellectual journey of human in the physical universe and the biological world, through which students are expected to reflect on the nature of science and the inter-relationship among science, nature, individuals and the society. Students are required to attend a one hour lecture, read a piece of science-related classics and participate in a two-hour discussion session every week.

Published in: World Congress on Education (WCE-2018)

  • Date of Conference: 15-18 July 2018
  • DOI: 10.2053/WCE.2018.0029
  • ISBN: 978-1-908320-91-9
  • Conference Location: Dublin, Ireland