CUHK Professor Shekhar Madhukar Kumta Awarded 2012 UGC Award for Teaching Excellence
Prof. Shekhar Madhukar Kumta, Assistant Dean (Education), Faculty of Medicine, and Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), is presented with a 2012 UGC Award for Teaching Excellence by the University Grants Committee (UGC), in recognition of his outstanding teaching performance and achievements. It is the second time that a CUHK professor has received this honour since the award scheme commenced last year.
Prof. Joseph J.Y. Sung, Vice-Chancellor of CUHK, said, ‘I heartily congratulate Professor Kumta for garnering the “UGC Award for Teaching Excellence”. It is a manifestation of our teachers’ commitment to promoting quality teaching and learning by receiving the recognition two years in a row. Having joined CUHK for over a quarter of a century, Professor Kumta has been working very hard to develop and promote various innovative teaching and learning platforms and tools which are widely adopted both inside and outside Hong Kong, and in the process bringing significant improvement to teaching standards in the medical disciplines. His passion in teaching is exemplary for many teachers and has motivated many of his peers to continuous improvement as they seek to fulfil the University’s primary mission of instilling knowledge into young people of promise, and to nurture and equip them to become responsible citizens. ‘
Professor Kumta feels deeply honoured to receive this award, ‘My sincere thanks to my colleagues and mentors at CUHK for their years of trust and support. I consider it a privilege to be given the opportunity to teach, for teaching comes with responsibility. What we teach and the way we teach will touch the lives of countless others. I am deeply grateful to all my students for their patience and tolerance, their enthusiasm, their keen sense of enquiry, and, above all, for having placed their deep trust in me.’ Professor Kumta continues, ‘I intend to utilize the UGC’s award towards the cost-effective development and pedagogically sound application of mobile learning technology in the delivery of healthcare and health sciences education through a series of workshops open to all tertiary institutions. ‘
Effective e-learning platform to simulate complex cases
Professor Kumta has developed the innovative Formative Assessment Case Studies (FACS) e-learning platform, in which students make management and diagnostic decisions on simulated complex cases and receive formative feedback. The platform helps prepare students to work with real patients and has received enthusiastic reviews. Professor Kumta’s approach to medical education, which emphasizes the contextual relevance of patients’ problems to the underlying basic science through the structured exposure of students to clinical cases, has been widely praised, and has been included in the AMEE (Association of Medical Education inEurope) Guides to Clinical Teaching as a blueprint for other clinical teachers to follow.
Professor Kumta has identified several areas of the curriculum where students need greater guidance, and has exploited the resources of modern technology to help them. For example, he has designed learning packages to help students interpret ECGs and the results of bone-radiological investigations. He has also successfully introduced special effects and moulage techniques in medical examinations. Moulage is a form of special effect make-up involving silicone and artificial tissues to simulate wounds and burns, enabling students to be tested in conditions closely approximating reality.
Helping students develop empathy with patients
Professor Kumta engages not only the mind but also the soul of his students. Besides helping students to improve their technical competence, he also strives to instil in them a sense of empathy with distressed and dying patients. In one particularly impressive project, he allowed students and interns to interact, under close supervision, with patients suffering from terminal bone cancer.
Raising the quality of medical education
Professor Kumta has established the Teaching and Learning Resource Centre (TLRC) in the Faculty of Medicine to promote teaching and learning. The Centre is at the forefront of the exploration of teaching methods and technologies that are immediately relevant to the Faculty of Medicine. His innovative and effective e-learning tools have been adopted by teachers in several universities both in and outsideHong Kong. He has disseminated his innovative ideas to other practitioners at international conferences and workshops and various publications.
Profile of Professor Shekhar Madhukar Kumta
Professor Kumta joined CUHK in 1989 and is an accomplished teacher, whose courses range from bedside and OPD clinical attachments to small group tutorials and larger group lectures that range widely across the medical curriculum. His contributions both to medical research and to medical education are much valued by the international medical fraternity.
Professor Kumta is an enthusiastic teacher and advocate of effective and interactive teaching methods. He is highly regarded by both his students and his colleagues. His outstanding teaching has earned him a number of CUHK teaching awards, including the Best Teacher of the Year Award, the Faculty of Medicine Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, and the Vice-Chancellor’s Exemplary Teaching Award.