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HYU Teaching Reflections

Putting Theory to Practice at HYU

from traditional objectivist lectures to socio-cultural constructivist knowledge building

Reflections on My Multimedia Writing Course Design:

In the last half of 2012, I began developing a blended university course in multimedia writing. Designed primarily for EFL learners in Korea, this course involves its students in socio-cultural constructivist pedagogy–an approach that most of them have never previously experienced. It seems that, as their very positive course evaluations confirm, students enjoy working together to build knowledge – and the don’t miss the endless hours of lecturing that are normally involved with a more traditional university class.

In January of 2013, I began my journey in the Master of Educational Technology (MET) program at The University of British Columbia and was extremely fortunate to be enrolled in two courses (ETEC532 and ETEC510) that directly related to my multimedia course. Because the Spring semester at HYU doesn’t begin until March, I was able to apply much of my newly acquired MET program knowledge and re-design many aspects of the original multimedia course. This made for a vastly superior multimedia writing course that would not have otherwise been possible. Conversely, my initial research and design of that course was the primary influence in my original proposal for the ETEC510 Group Design Project.

In its current form, the multimedia writing class makes use of three key web spaces, as shown below:


This is the “parent” site for all the students’ blogs. It also provides basic tutorials on how to set up a WordPress site and get started with the Canvas Learning Management System that I use in most of my courses.


I use the site “Blogging Basics” mainly for demonstrating how to set up a basic blog, choose and customize a good theme, and organize menus, posts, and categories, etc


This is the “super blog” that I demonstrate on the front page under “Educational Auto-blog.” Students use it to get ideas and resources for their projects. Some also use it to learn about western culture.

Samples of Students’ Short Films

Some all-time favorite student videos:

  • smile_grace
  • theaccomplices
  • kakaotalk_oksana500x280
  • 5friends500x280
  • bad

Samples of Student Blogs


 Rina’s Blog

Rina is one of those rare, wonderful students who participates to the fullest because she knows exactly what she wants to accomplish and how to go about accomplishing it.


 JinHyeong’s Blog

JinHyeong is another great student who obviously loves building knowledge by building a great blog with lots of interesting images, text, and video.

Reflection on Online Peer Assessments

engages students in presentation and rubric analysis

Video Explanation

The above video is a brief explanation of how I leverage both the anonymity and collaborative nature of such free sites as and Google Forms fo facilitate student peer-assessments of real presentations. The presentations used for this activity are selected from our department’s annual Professional Academic English (PAE) Presentation Contest and most of them are exemplary of the very best ever given by EFL students. To see a live demo of the Google Forms version of this activity, please click the large blue button:

Live Demo

Reflections on Some Successful Video Tutorials

using learning styles and interactivity to engage students

Basic Academic Writing – MLA Format

The Rationale for this Video Tutorial's Success
Since making the MLA Style tutorial (above), I have never had a problem with getting at least 99% of my students’ writing assignments done in the proper format. One of the reasons for this is because it includes sub-titles. Students have told me that the sub-titles are very helpful.

This tutorial is successful because it includes carefully considered kinesthetic, auditory, and visual components that are much stronger, clearer, and effective than usual. Based on my experience in Special Education, I speculated that a video that included emphasis on all three of these learning styles might be more useful for language learners than the usual stuff that is commonly posted online. To address the kinesthetic learning style, students were instructed to have their word processors open while watching the tutorial and use the video playback pause button while following the step by step instructions on their keyboards. This learning style has always worked for me, so I assumed that it may work for others. To support the auditory style, I used clearly articulated and slightly slower speech, with no background noises or audio distractions. To enhance the visual component, I used colourful animated callouts, zoom-n-pan, and English subtitles that were easily generated with a high quality super-cardioid condenser microphone and standard speech recognition software. In the first semester this tutorial was used, forty “beginner” level students worked through it and achieved a 100% success rate, with all writing assignments being formatted according to MLA standards. 

Video Feedback for Individual Writing Assignments

The following video shows me giving  student feedback on a preliminary (Pass/Fail) writing assignment that requires students to write one paragraph using the Basic Academic Writing and MLA video (shown above).  Because the assignment is only concerned with learning the basics of MLA, students are not marked on their grammar.

Interactive Video Tutorial

Back in 2012, I began experimenting with Camtasia’s embedded quiz feature and ended up making this video about Google Hangouts and all the wonderful things that it enables students and teachers to do. 

Reflecting on Professional Development & Extracurricular Leadership

sharing knowledge with colleagues and students - beyond staff meetings and classrooms

HYU Professional Development Leadership

In April 2012, I conducted a technology workshop for my department and, as a post-workshop resource, I developed the website below (lower right). The really awesome thing about this is the fact that all three software applications are still currently available, free or really cheap, and extremely useful. Because of that, my vintage 2012 website (built with FrontPage) is still up, which is also pretty cool.

What is not so cool–and, yes, it is now full disclosure time–is the fact that, although many of my colleagues were full of praise and appreciation for the workshop and website, very few of them have actually tried out any of the applications and the vast majority of teachers in our department continue to use only email and Dropbox for teacher to teacher sharing and the occasional YouTube video or PowerPoint presentation to deliver content to their students. 

Extracurricular Support

To support extracurricular events for my department and Hanyang University students, I build and maintain websites that provide inspiration and information for event participants. In the slider on the right, the first thumbnail (#1) takes you to the Hanyang English Film Festival (HEFF) site.

In 2014, I designed a system that allowed students to register for the contest, check out the rules, and then easily upload their film entries for screening by our judges.  

I also made it possible for our departmental judges to screen the films and submit their votes for the various awards from any location. This enabled more faculty members to participate in the judging and more students to have a fair shot at winning. (In previous years, a small departmental clique would gather in someone’s office, order pizza, watch the films together, and vote collaboratively – not exactly the best way to guarantee judging objectivity.)

The #2 thumbnail is linked to the HYU Professional Academic English Presentation Contest site, which hosts videos of all the winning presentations from the past three years.  

It also allows teachers to use the presentations as teaching tools – especially if they provide students with rubrics to engage in a little peer assessment!

Artifacts of E-Learning 2.0

Web 2.0 technology provides limitless possibilities for interacting, collaborating, and constructing knowledge together as communities of learners . Here are some examples of a few of those technologies, which are also used on the 'super blog' featured on the front page.

Twitter Lists and YouTube Channels

These are an excellent way to introduce students to the true power of micro-blogging and digital literacy. The following Twitter feeds are all about educational technology. The YouTube channel is TEDTalks

Twitter List

TEDTalks YouTube Channel Feed

Real Life Examples of Linking Theory to Practice:

The following blurbs will connect you to current examples of linking theory to practice.

More About Gary

additional information about Gary’s background & current practice

Reflections on HYU Practice

ongoing initiatives to support learners and faculty at Hanyang University

Overview of Current Sites

e-learning spaces that Gary currently uses in professional practice

Links to Old Spaces

discontinued spaces that trace Gary’s online footprint back to 2001

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