Developing the Leader in You
(MGMT 1120)

Offered by the Department of Management
Instructional Team:
Prof Roger Levermore and Dr Cubie Lau

Learning that leadership is not a matter of one size fits all and each of us has the capacity to lead in accordance with our own unique strengths are just two of the life-changing perspectives that students take away from the Department of Management’s Common Core course, “Developing the Leader in You”.

In a course that empowers as well as informs, instructors Prof Roger Levermore and Dr Cubie Lau motivate fresh undergraduates to see and develop themselves as future leaders through an inspiring combination of knowledge-sharing and self-discovery.

Sparing no effort to engage and enthuse, the course initiators have sought and received the assistance of over 60 local leaders in industries ranging from finance and engineering to IT and retail. The result is a rich bank of real-world course content and guest lectures, encompassing business scenarios and ethical issues to boost students’ understanding and practical exercises to build confidence in capabilities.

Self-reflection through after-class postings and logs effectively consolidates learning, connecting theory with application, personal character and experiences to help determine individual leadership strengths. Meanwhile, teamwork that requires students from different fields and backgrounds to carry out tasks together teaches accommodation and respect for alternative views. Interactive classes with timely, professional feedback from instructors motivate students to attempt unfamiliar topics.

Insightful and well-planned, such content and pedagogy give students a wonderful foundation in their university life. By uncovering the qualities within themselves to evolve into effective leaders, extending their knowledge of leadership concepts and philosophy, and gaining active experience of cooperation and team management, participants can move forward with greater assurance, enabling them to truly optimize their time – and that of others – at HKUST.

As such, the course provides an outstanding model for attaining Common Core aspirations: to broaden students’ outlook, to inspire their curiosity and passion for learning, and to empower their development as compassionate, responsible and ethical citizens.

Environmental Quality Control and Improvement (CIVL 1140)
Offered by the Civil and Environmental Engineering
Instructor: Prof Chii Shang

In a bold move in Fall 2015, Prof Chii Shang transformed the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering’s Common Core course “Environmental Quality Control and Improvement” from a large, conventional, lecture-based class into a small, flipped-classroom experience that engages students in an inquiry-driven, problem-based experiential journey.

This blended learning pedagogy has clearly had a resounding effect on students. One participant described how “we can self-learn, discuss and share with classmates” and even go on to “discover more knowledge than we need for the course”. Another noted: “Self-learning motivates us to explore more than reading… [it] helps me think more about the importance of environmental protection… [and] definitely raises my awareness of environmental issues.”

Teamwork involves working with peers from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, opening up social science, economics, science and engineering angles on issues.

In addition, a Guangxi village study trip proved a deeply significant experience. The visit showed at first-hand the hardships facing villagers due to poor quality drinking water. Students realized just how privileged they were to live in a developed city. It also spurred them to help, attempting tirelessly to apply what they had learnt to devise a simple engineering solution.

While participants may be unfamiliar with the environmental field at the start of this course, they gain a passion for such studies by the end. Along the way, they acquire knowledge and insights, enhance leadership and teamwork capabilities and enrich their overall understanding of sustainability.

“This is the type of common core course that I was expecting as an undergraduate,” one postgraduate teaching assistant said. Why? It broadens horizons in a way that truly impacts students’ thinking and how they choose to live their lives. A great commendation that the Selection Committee is very happy to recognize further and a Common Core course spirit for us all to consider as a goal.

Common Core Course Excellence Award Recipients

2015 Award Recipients

The Common Core Course Excellence Award

Developing the Leader in You (MGMT 1120)      Citation
Offered by the Department of Management


The Honorary Mention

Environmental Quality Control and Improvement (CIVL 1140)      Citation
Offered by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

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Award Recipients of the Common Core Teaching Excellence Award

2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016

Award Recipients of the Common Core Course Excellence Award

2014 | 2013 | 2012

More About the Award