HPE holds first in-person student conference following the pandemic

A relaxing moment: all participating students and teachers pose at the Central Plaza after the conference.

A student explains her project to Professor Li Wai-keung (second from left), Dean of FLASS, and Professor Philip Yu Leung-ho (far right), Head of the Department of Mathematics and Information Technology.

After listening to a presentation by a student, Dr Gary Chow Chi-ching, a convener for Honours Projects and Capstone Projects at HPE, asks follow-up questions about her project.

A student briefs Dr Eric Poon Tsz-chun, a convener for Honours Projects and Capstone Projects at HPE, about the results of his project on Tchoukball. To promote the sport, the project created a website containing an online training kit, a video demonstration of playing Tchoukball, and other related photos and information.

The Department of Health and Physical Education (HPE) organised an in-person HPE Student Conference 2022/23 on 13 April 2023 to strengthen students’ ability in conducting research and presenting their research findings. Twenty-two final-year students of the Bachelor of Education (Honours) (Physical Education) programme (BEd(PE)) presented the results of their final-year projects at the conference held at the Central Plaza at the Tai Po campus. Four students won the HPE Best Poster Award, introduced this year, in recognition of the high quality and innovative ideas of their research and presentation work.

“During the last two years, the HPE Student Conference took place online due to the pandemic. As COVID-19 has subsided, we have decided to resume the in-person poster presentation format for this year’s conference. The presentation was conducted in an exhibition-like environment, where students presented findings of their final-year research projects at their booths at the Central Plaza on 13 April. They also took questions from teacher assessors, interested staff members, and other EdUHK undergraduate and postgraduate students,” said Dr Gary Chow Chi-ching, Assistant Professor of HPE and one of the two conveners for Honours Projects and Capstone Projects at HPE.

To brush up their research and presentation skills, every final-year student of the BEd(PE) programme must complete either a Honours Project or a Capstone Project. Ten students who opted for academics-focused Honours Projects needed to investigate classical physical education topics such as kinematics, injury studies, performance and recovery analysis, biomechanics, sports psychology and the like for their projects. For the 12 students who chose more practical-oriented Capstone Projects, they needed to use different sports science theories to design an innovative solution to a real-life problem related to physical and health education. “Through these research and presentation activities, students learnt about how knowledge is produced from experiences, and how to exchange knowledge and ideas with others,” Dr Chow said.

“The signature event served as an excellent opportunity for students to exchange ideas among themselves, and with staff members from HPE and other departments and units. It was a platform where our final-year students carried out independent research work, as well as practised making public presentations, speaking before a public audience and answering questions from them. The conference sharpened students’ presentation and communication skills and made them more capable of handling future challenges they will face in the workplace after graduation,” said Dr Eric Poon Tsz-chun, Assistant Professor from HPE and the other convener of HPE Honours and Capstone Projects.

This year, four HPE Best Poster Awards – two for Honours Projects and two for Capstone Projects – were given to students to recognise the originality, methodological rigour, and significance of their projects. Based on the total marks given by a pool of HPE teacher assessors, Ms Kwan Wing-lam and Ms Jasmine Yung Ka-yan won the Honours Project awards while Ms Helen Bau Hiu-lam and Ms Leung Yin-ki won the Capstone Project awards.

The BEd(PE) programme is designed to equip graduates with the academic and professional competency to teach physical education in both primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong. The conference was rated highly by participating BEd(PE) students. They found it a high-quality learning activity where they could gain a deeper understanding about a variety of topics in the fields of physical education and sports science. The conference also allowed them to exchange ideas with other participants about professional development in these fields.