Sharon Lee

  • @tlsharon
  • Linguist, Educator, Designer
  • she/they
  • Hong Kong
Hi there! I'm a linguist and teacher-turned-researcher in higher education at the University of Hong...  
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Sep 15, 2021
Sep 15, 2021
Gave a guest lecture
Contributed instructional design
Facilitated ideation exercises
+ 1
Soft skills guest lecture for engineering students βœ…

We're back to school! Our team has wrapped up two guest lectures/workshops on creativity, problem solving, teamwork, and, in general, the importance of soft skills and good communication in the engineering profession. Hopefully these aspiring entrepreneurs and change-bringers found it helpful!

With a mask mandate and lowered room capacity (it's at 75% right now), we all felt safe in a room with 100+ 😷 Let's all stay safe!
Senior Research Assistant, The University of Hong Kong
Sep 07, 2021
Sep 07, 2021
Designed UI/UX
First UI/UX design project done! ✍🏼

I've sure had a lot of firsts these few months.

This time, it's a user interface and user experience design 🎨 task for an admin dashboard for a custom learning management system, integrated with course and user set-up workflow, analytics, and more.

I designed everything on Figma (it's such an amazing tool) after really reflecting on the existing system and doing research on other learning management systems.

Here are two main issues I encountered:

  1. Preventing information overload: Being a hybrid system that collects a lot of data for educational research on top of being a learning management system, I thought about what data should be displayed, where and how. I ended up keeping only information that is useful for management on the interface, and moved personal and other data to an output system (only for users on the researcher rank) that generates .csv files for any selected students, and have another copy accessible from individual student profiles for occasional need for quick access. It was essential to categorise data to ensure minimal distractions during the user experience and protect privacy. We need less information than we often think!
  2. Creating a workflow: The old system did not consider task orders or the different steps of learning management as a teacher or administrator, and I really enjoyed anticipating the needs of these users. Instead of making everybody navigating to the respective pages for a single function, I have created a network of links and mini pop-up widgets, and also redesigned the (sub-)menus, to ensure all relevant functions are always within reach. I've also included useful but simple analytics and a more flexible filter and search system to allow for more fuzzy and forgiving lookup of information.

This was one of the most fulfilling projects I've done, and it's a wonderful experience to apply my ideas to a real-life project and use case. And the great response from everybody involved really boosted my confidence as a(n aspiring) designer!
Senior Research Assistant, The University of Hong Kong
Aug 27, 2021
Aug 27, 2021
Contributed instructional design
designed a workshop
We developed a guest workshop for HKU Engineering! βš™οΈ

It's for an entrepreneurial course teaching engineering students about creativity, problem solving, and teamwork.

Can't wait to deliver it face-to-face in a lecture theatre (with social distancing of course), especially after teaching online for so long!
Senior Research Assistant, The University of Hong Kong
Aug 23, 2021
Aug 23, 2021
Freelanced with Appen
Designed a language test
I got my first linguistics freelance gig! ⌨️⌨️

After moving to a line of work that doesn't tap enough into my linguistic knowledge, I've been clinging onto side projects πŸ’»

While working on (personal and collaborative) linguistics research projects has been great fun, I cannot always spare the brain power after work to do hardcore experimental design and data analysis after a whole day of exactly that 🧠πŸ˜₯ Doing that made me feel a little more more burned out that excited, especially when I've moved back to face-to-face office hours in my day job.

Which made me so happy when I did my first freelance project with Appen as a linguist and test creator! I've always been interested in the field of language testing, and it was enjoyable working on one for my mother tongue β€” Cantonese.

This makes me feel like I'm not straying too far from the path leading towards my goal, and reignites my passion to work on my research πŸ₯°
Freelance Linguist, Appen
Aug 04, 2021
Aug 04, 2021
Co-founded a community
Joined as alumni mentor
I'm a co-founder now!

I'm finally taking my first dip into community building and management by co-founding Pokfulam Cantonese Linguistics Society πŸŽ‰

Linguistics πŸ”  has always been a huge part of my life, and I enjoyed every bit of my BA and MA career studying and researching the science. Not only did it open up my mind, but it also kickstarted my career in language and learning.

However, one regret that I had was that there wasn't a strong research πŸ”¬ and peer collaboration atmosphere πŸ‘­πŸ»πŸ‘¬πŸ» in my alma mater, the University of Hong Kong, compared to other institutions. This is especially weak in the area of Cantonese linguistics πŸ‡­πŸ‡°, which is Hong Kong people's mother tongue, a language under political threat.

This is why I co-founded the Pokfulam Cantonese Linguistics Society β›°, or Po:Calis, as the vice-president hoping to establish strong research, academic, and career support and interest amongst undergraduate through mobilising alumni and scholars from our department (Pokfulam is the hilltop neighbourhood where HKU proudly sits).

Along with 6 other founding members, we hope to achieve this through a few initiatives, with more coming:

  • Mentorship 🍎 focusing on the academic/research/career aspects in linguistics and other language-related disciplines
  • Research teams πŸ”¬ consisting of alumni scholars and committed undergraduates doing, presenting, and publishing work in Cantonese linguistics
  • Periodic publication ✍🏼 opportunities for student coursework and working papers

Now working on establishing the infrastructure and platforms, including constitution and membership structures, collaborative platforms, repositories, and social media presence!
Co-Founder, Vice-President, Pokfulam Cantonese Linguistics Society (Po:Calis)
May 21, 2021
May 21, 2021
Spoke at a conference
Presented a research project
Wrapped up my work at the Centre for Applied English Studies nicely with a well-received conference presentation at the 3rd International English Across the Curriculum Conference πŸ₯³

Together with my co-author, we shared the results of our study πŸ“Š on how university writing centre ✍🏼 tutors and tutees perceive online language support πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’» over class suspension in Hong Kong due to social unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic. We also explored the feasibility of a 100% online writing centre down the road.

Turns out it's a bad πŸ™…πŸ»β€β™€οΈ idea to send written feedback to students without engaging them in a dialogue, and social aspects of tutoring (e.g. understanding tutees' needs, establish rapport, encourage longterm language support relationship) are weakened with Zoom consultations, regardless of the quality and professionalism of our tutors.

Feedback should be dialogic πŸ’¬ in nature for it to be effective and targeted!

Working at the Centre for Applied English Studies has given me invaluable opportunities to discover who I am and what I can achieve, and I will remember these days fondlyπŸ’•

Let me know if you'd like to know more about our findings!
Communication Advisor, The University of Hong Kong
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