A. Abstract of the Proposal:

  In this project, I propose to collect internet links of web sites as well as to develop our own interactive (e.g., simulation games) and multimedia (e.g., animated slide shows) materials for teaching and learning of International Economics. These materials will be housed in a web server. The collection of internet links, after careful evaluation and classification, helps teachers and students quickly find the most updated materials they need for teaching and studying.

Because of there is a lack of instructional materials on International Economics with a regional focus in Hong Kong and Asia, we will develop them. These interactive and multimedia materials would supplements teaching and help to arouse students' interest in studying the subject, as well as raise students' consciousness about the economic relations between the region and the rest of the world.

We target the university students and teachers of International Economics in Hong Kong. However, the web-based nature of our project makes our project easily accessible by all teachers and students of universities in Hong Kong and abroad, as well as by the general public. The relevancy of the project is guaranteed through continuous adoption of the comments and suggestions from our target users (i.e., students and teachers of International Economics) collected through questionnaires and interviews.

   
B. Details of the Project Proposal:
 
1. The project objectives and significance
  For the subject of International Economics, providing instructional materials through the internet is appropriate because quality teaching and learning of the subject require up-to-date knowledge of ever-changing economic environment, such as the development of the Asian Financial Crisis. Reliance on published and printed information is ineffective and information may have already been outdated upon publication. Our project collects and develops web-based instructional and learning materials and thus fills this gap.

We emphasize "web-based" because this type of web-based project has the advantage of self-updating when it is linked to sites of up-to-date information. Our project will contain teaching tips or ideas to link current economic issues with Economics concepts (or teaching topics). This up-to-date or even on-line information helps teachers enrich their teaching with real life examples and data, as well as arouse students' interest in the subject and enhance their awareness of current affairs.

We also develop interactive and multimedia instructional materials with a regional focus in Hong Kong and Asia. Examples are a foreign exchange trading simulation game and slide shows about Hong Kong Monetary Authority and International Monetary Fund. An indigenous focus helps arouse students' interests in studying the subject, as well as raise students' consciousness about the economic relations between the region and the rest of the world. Unfortunately, these type of instructional materials are rarely available in the internet (or as hard copies in the market). Our development of these materials will fill this gap.

The project will also provide a forum for intellectual exchange among scholars - local and across the globe - industry professionals, and government representatives.

   
2. The impact of this project on the discipline, profession, and across institutions or any outcome/ output:
  The project targets at all university students and teachers of International Economics. International Economics is popular in Hong Kong universities and is often offered by the Department of Economics, Department of Finance, various departments in School of Business and in Social Sciences. For instance, in CUHK, there are at least several hundred to over a thousand students (mainly from Department of Economics and School of Business) who take courses related to International Economics each year. Thus, several thousands of students from Hong Kong universities each year are likely to benefit from the project.

In addition, because of the open nature of the technology (web-based), the general public - practically anyone who has access to internet - may also benefit. Once developed, the project will benefit all teachers and students of International Economics thereafter - not just those in the universities in Hong Kong, but also universities aboard and secondary schools.

Likely output includes:
i. A collection of links to sites relevant to the teaching and studying of International Economics.
ii. Interactive instructional and learning materials, such as interactive quiz, interactive plotting of economic variables on demand and a hypertext glossary of International Economics.
iii. Multimedia materials with an indigenous focus, such as animated slideshows about Hong Kong Monetary Authority and International Monetary Fund.
iv. An electronic discussion forum for teachers and students and an archive of these discussions.

For crude examples of these output, please visit the web site http://kafuwong.econ.cuhk.edu.hk/teaching/

   
3. How the success of the project will be evaluated:
 

Continuous evaluation throughout the project implementation is important for its development. The following evaluation schemes will help ensure our final product meet the needs of university teachers and students.

a. Interviews and questionnaires:
i. Questionnaires will be given to students taking International Economics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong to collect their feedback.
ii. A sample of CUHK students and teachers from different universities will be interviewed to collect feedback.
iii. Questionnaires will be sent to professors at other universities in Hong Kong to collect their feedback. The feedback from questionnaires and interviews will be analyzed and be incorporated in the project.
b. Because the project is web based, we can obtain simple measures of effectiveness    by monitoring.
i. The number of visitors to our web site through an electronic counter. The volume of e-mail flow of questions and answers.
ii. The volume of amyl flow of questions and answers.
iii. The electronic feedback (e.g., a web-based questionnaire) from visitors.
   
4. Follow-up action:
 

As our project develops, we will update our colleagues in all universities in Hong Kong about the new features recently developed, through electronic mail and hard copy posters. Interested teachers and students may access the materials immediately through internet.

We are willing to share our experience of developing the web-based project - as well as software program developed under the project - to all other colleagues who may want to develop similar projects in their teaching fields.

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