Shocking! What I teach actually works!

Received a feedback from a student who took my Introduce to IS course in Spring 2018:

Given that this course is offered to pre-major freshmen/sophomores, I seldom get to hear from them after the course. But it always feels great when students come back to tell you that they could apply what they learnt in their work subsequently. For me, this course outcome is more meaningful than students’ grades or satisfaction. Yet, as I told the student above, it is more than just my teaching or the course content. You need students with the right attitude and who want to be inspired. We don’t often get such students, but when we have them in our classroom, it makes a world of difference to our teaching and the learning environment.

Nonetheless, I still take whatever credit that is given to me for the student’s outstanding performance at the bank ūüôā

Lovely start to 2018

Received a new year greeting from a former student today:

Happy new year to you! Long time have not contacted you but I really want to thank you again at this time for the IS intro courses you brought to me! I am now doing a tech-startup intern which is platform-oriented, and I found the concept I learnt from the course really helps me understand the work and think about the business logically. I am now doing the major of dual degree in CS and business and want to explore the tech industry more. Hope I have the chance in the future to hear great insights from you like I did in the 2010 courses! Thank you so much! Wish you a happy and enriching 2018!

It is always nice to hear from students that what they learnt in my courses actually help them in their work and cause them to explore more. Coincidentally, I was in the middle of preparing and revising the syllabus for the said Intro. to IS course for the coming semester when I received the email. For the last few years, my colleagues and I have been teaching this course in a “reformed” way: instead of simply teaching off an introductory textbook, we try to make the course more relevant and applicable by covering certain key IS topics and ideas in today’s economy (e.g., platform economics, social media strategy, big data analytics, etc.) as well as traditional core IS concepts. However, some students feel that the way ¬†this course has been taught does not help them in the other IS courses that they take subsequently. A senior colleague heard such feedback and suggested that we should perhaps teach the Intro. to IS course in a more “traditional” manner — just like how introductory courses for marketing and accounting are being structured, where the focus is on the fundamentals, basic principles, etc. in the respective disciplines. Over the past few weeks, I have been trying to decide whether/how to revert the course to the way it was taught in the old days and which topics to drop. Well, the student’s greeting just made the decisions clearer.



It is not all rosy

A few weeks ago, I noticed that the feedback that I shared on this website about¬†my undergraduate course¬†Introduction to Information Systems¬†(ISOM2010)¬†is¬†mainly positive. I feel I should also show other types of¬†feedback that I have¬†received so as to give a more accurate picture. However, students only email or tell me about their course experience when they have nice things to say (understandably so). Although students had¬†given some not-too-positive¬†feedback in the course evaluation previously, those¬†comments were¬†usually¬†not very¬†“juicy” in the sense they were¬†mainly¬†about the heavy workload,¬†etc.,¬†which I actually show to current students in class so as to help them manage their expectation. So I thought I should¬†wait for the latest¬†evaluations to come in and see if I can put together more¬†“dark side” of my teaching¬†before making a post. Right from the first lecture in¬†this¬†semester, I could sense that the vibe among certain¬†students in one¬†of the sections (L2)¬†wasn’t too positive.

Well, I received the¬†evaluation¬†reports this morning¬†and I must say that this year’s students, especially those from L2, did not disappoint. A few students wrote passionately about their horrible experience with my teaching. In fact, I was so bad that I achieved a personal career¬†low instructor rating. A¬†pretty humbling experience, I must say. Below, I provide this semester’s¬†evaluation reports in their entirety. This information will¬†help future students¬†who are enrolled in my ISOM2010 course (or thinking to do so) to know what to¬†expect and perhaps¬†run away (i.e., ditch¬†the course) while they can.¬†For good measure, I’m including the evaluation report for the MBA course on digital marketing (ISOM5390) that I taught in this semester too.

[Quick tip for navigating the reports: Q11 is the instructor rating score; Q14 is about the weak points of the course/instructor.]

ISOM2010 L1:

Download (PDF, Unknown)

ISOM2010 L2:

Download (PDF, Unknown)

ISOM2010 L3:

Download (PDF, Unknown)


Download (PDF, Unknown)

Early feedback for ISOM2010

Although there are two more lectures to¬†go for¬†the undergraduate course¬†Introduction to Information Systems ¬†(ISOM2010), I have received¬†a student’s feedback about the course.

It is my pleasure to be in isom 2010 course this semester which refresh my mind a lot about the newest trend in IS as well as the details and situations behind them. Before taking this course, I know little about the topics like big data and analytics, however, this course gives me more insights and understanding about them and motivates me to self-learn and read more readings related to machine learning and related stuff. The presentation has also reinforced my understanding about IS concepts as well. The whole course is well-designed, I really love this course a lot and it also triggers me to take ISOM as my major in the future!

The pleasure is all mine. It is a bit early to receive course feedback,¬†but I’m not complaining, especially when the feedback is positive ūüôā It’s always nice to know¬†the planned course¬†activities/readings/topics¬†have some intended effects on some students.

My teaching changes lives…

A student who attended my very first “Introduction to Information Systems” course in HKUST (Spring 2013) just sent me an email:

I am happy to share with you a piece of good news – I got a graduate offer from PwC Consulting. Actually I want to thank you for your support and teaching where you created a platform to us to learn proactively and freely. It was also the business-related technology information you taught that led to my interest in “IT in business” and then I kept learning more about this. Since IT actually has over-whelming power in business now, I got well prepared for the interview, where I shared the related ideas in the business case study. It’s definitely a pleasure to be your student and learn IT from a business perspective. Thanks again!

Simply wonderful! Such news make all the efforts that I put in preparing and delivering the course worthwhile.

P.S. Sorry for the dramatic post title ūüôā