Global Health Working Group Webinar Series: Innovative Assessment Strategies for the Classroom

We often use high-stakes assessments in our classrooms. But have you heard of innovative approaches like public exams or student-inclusive assessment techniques? Increasing use of teaching technology has opened the door for creative assessments but also has the potential to fray the social links between instructors and students, leading to negative outcomes.

In this webinar, we will discuss barriers to student success in online exams and experts from the APRU network will present examples of innovative assessment techniques that you may want to try in your own classrooms.

The session with international pedagogical experts, instructors will learn about innovative examples of how to use better assessment strategies in the classroom, including public exams, group performance and more.

Date & Time

October 18 from 6-7:30 pm (Pacific time)/ October 19 from 9-10:30 am (Hong Kong time)

  • Ben Wiggins, University of Washington
  • Athel Hu, Nanyang Technological University
  • Lilian Chye Min Yen, Nanyang Technological University
  • María Sol Garcés, Universidad San Francisco de Quito
  • Lillian Luk, University College London


  • Mellissa Withers, University of Southern California
  • Catherine Zhou, The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology
Ben Wiggins
University of Washington

Topic: Are You a Robot or a Teacher? Including Students in the Process of Assessment.


Ben Wiggins (MS Molecular Biology, PhD Education) has taught and supported biology and education at the University of Washington for 15 years. He teaches courses as small as a handful of graduate trainees in teaching methods and as large as an 800-person Introductory Biology course. His NSF-funded research focuses on active learning, assessment strategies that align well with active teaching, and training instructors to take those techniques into their own (often very large) classrooms.

Athel Hu
Education (ICC) Specialist/ Lecturer under the Institute for Pedagogical Innovation, Research & Excellence, Nanyang Technological University

TopicPeerceptiv Tool – Student’s “Peer”aption and Evaluation Tool for Group Project Performance


Athel Hu currently holds the appointment as an Education (ICC) Specialist / Lecturer with the Interdisciplinary Collaborative Core Office, under the Institute for Pedagogical Innovation, Research & Excellence (InsPIRE) at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) where she is involved as a teaching team member of the institution-wide module on Healthy Living and Wellbeing. Athel has been a strategic member involved in exploring and utilizing education technology to enhance group-work and peer evaluation amongst students. Prior to her NTU appointment, Athel has founded a social enterprise for mental health education, was an instructor with the National University of Singapore, a lecturer with the Temasek Polytechnic and has held joint research appointments with the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School and the National University of Singapore. Besides research methods, her main teaching areas are in mental health and health areas, including ageing and health. Athel holds a B.Soc.Sci in Sociology, and a Master’s degree in Counselling and is a qualified counsellor. Her main area of research interest is in mental health, specifically in understanding the origins of stigma, how it gets perpetuated and how it can be mitigated. She believes in the beauty of taking interdisciplinary perspectives on mental health and health issues.
Lilian Chye Min Yen
Lecturer at the Interdisciplinary Collaborative Core Office, Nanyang Technological University

Topic: Peerceptiv Tool – Student’s “Peer”aption and Evaluation Tool for Group Project Performance


Lilian Chye Min Yen is a Lecturer with the Interdisciplinary Collaborative Core (ICC) Office under the Institute for Pedagogical Innovation, Research & Excellence (InsPIRE), at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). She is a teaching member of the ICC module – Healthy Living and Wellbeing. Lilian received her PhD in Exercise Science from The University of Queensland. Her early research career focus mainly on better understanding how the brain adapts and functions during unilateral exercises in the upper and lower limbs. She then joined the Geriatric Education and Research Institute as a Research Fellow where she worked with stake holders and collaborators on community-based strength training program for the elderly and other frailty-related projects. Lilian later joined a start-up company that provides medical fitness solution for chronic stroke survivors incorporating state-of-art technology to facilitate fitness training. Lilian is a believer in approaching health in a holistic manner and constantly exploring different modalities to develop her health holistically. She is certified in Pilates Matwork, Reiki and Health Coaching. Prior to joining NTU, Lilian is an Associate Lecturer at Republic Polytechnic where she shared her knowledge and experiences in Exercise Science related, Frailty and Active Ageing modules.
María Sol Garcés
Professor and Researcher in the Psychology Department, Universidad San Francisco de Quito
Topic: Teaching Essential Skills through Student-to-Student Workshops
María Sol Garcés holds a B.A. in psychology, an MSc. in neuroscience and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in neuroscience. She is Professor and Researcher in the Psychology Department at Universidad San Francisco de Quito. She is also Academic Coordinator of SHIFT Academy (a faculty professional development unit) and the Institute of Neurosciences. Research interests include educational methodology and innovation, well-being, mental health, and neuropsychiatry.
Lillian Luk
Research Fellow at the Centre for Engineering Education, University College London

Topic: Opportunities for Transformation in Assessment Practice during the Pandemic – But are We Ready to be Innovative?


Lillian Luk is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Engineering Education in University College London. Before joining the centre, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL) in The University of Hong Kong (HKU). With a PhD in Education from HKU, a Masters in Linguistics from Monash University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the National University of Singapore, Dr. Luk has a multidisciplinary background. She has been working closely with academics on professional development and has 12 years of research experience in higher education. Her research interests lie in the area of 21st century skills development and assessment, experiential learning and engineering education.

Mellissa Withers (Moderator)
Associate Professor at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California
Mellissa Withers, PhD, MHSis Associate Professor at the Keck School of Medicine in the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences. She is based at the University of Southern California Institute on Inequalities in Global Health. She is director of the Online MPH Program. Dr Withers is also Director of the Global Health Program of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, a non-profit network of 55 universities. She received a PhD from the Department of Community Health Sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health with a minor in cultural anthropology. She also holds a Master’s in International Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a BA in international development from UC Berkeley. Her research interests lie in community participatory research, mental health, gender-based violence, immigrant health, and global sexual and reproductive health. Dr Withers is the editor of two books: Global Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health Across the Lifecourse, and Global Health Leadership: Case Studies from the Asia-Pacific (in press).
Catherine Zhou (Moderator)
Teaching Associate at the Office of the Dean of Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Catherine Zhou, PhD is a Teaching Associate at the Office of the Dean of Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). Prior to this she worked at the Centre for Learning Enhancement And Research at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She has a PhD degree in computer science and engineering and currently focuses on research postgraduate student education. Her teaching and research interests include research integrity, emotional resilience and intelligence, and mentorship. She is in charge of the research postgraduate student professional development program within the School of Engineering. Catherine is interested in student-centered teaching and learning strategies, such as e-learning, blended learning, flipped classroom, and experiential learning.

Dr. Mellissa Withers at [email protected].