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Wednesday 17 July 2024
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CETL Tips of the Week – COFFEES

Contributed by Dr. Christophe Coupé, Faculty of Arts, HKU

Devoting time to activities is all the more impactful if these activities are carefully designed in terms of intended learning outcomes and teaching philosophy. As an answer to the question ‘why are my students falling asleep?’ that was raised during a seminar I attended, I aim to offer COFFEES: activities which are, with respect to Engeström’s system of activity…

  1. Collaborative
    Emphasize the role of interactions and division of labor, and promote an effective trade-off between autonomy and collaboration.
  2. Original
    Put students in novel and thought- provoking situations, and push them out of their comfort zone to widen their perspectives and maximize their receptivity.
  3. Flexible
    Let students question the rules that structure any task.
  4. Feedback
    Help students understand how to achieve the intended outcome, and offer constructive comments on what they did.
  5. Empowering
    Develop students’ skills and appetite for being capable individuals.
  6. Engaging
    Motivate students to participate and do their best.
  7. Situated
    Craft the real-life context of an activity, and make it clear to students to facilitate their learning.


  • Engeström, Y. (1987). Learning by Expanding. An Activity-Theoretical Approach to Developmental Research. Cambridge University Press.