Area 2: Communication and Literacy


The advent of information and communication technology in the 21st century has increased the complexity of the literate environment. Literacy, traditionally defined as the ability to read, write and use arithmetic, refers now to a wider range of abilities and competencies. According to the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), a literate person in the 21st century global society must be able to:

  • develop proficiency and fluency with the tools of technology;
  • build intentional cross-cultural connections and relationships with others so to pose and solve problems collaboratively and strengthen independent thought;
  • design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes;
  • manage, analyze, and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information;
  • create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multimedia texts;
  • attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments.[1]

In order to better equip our students as articulate and open-minded critical thinkers, we believe it is paramount to offer not just hands-on technical courses, but also courses on higher level of computer and multimedia literacy.

[1] From “The NCTE Definition of 21st Century Literacies” (February 15, 2008). Retrieved from


Area Intended Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of the courses in this area, students should be able to:

  • make informed value judgment by applying critical and analytical skills;
  • demonstrate their literacy in mass media;
  • examine and evaluate the significance of digital media in everyday life
  • critique cultural aspects of technology and science; and
  • generate ideas on how to apply ICT in areas such as learning, research and civic education.

Course Description

GEB 101 Digitalization of Communication and Technology in Daily Life (3 Credits)
Medium: English

Digitalization of communication and technological development has provoked so great impacts in society and everyday life. This course aims to stimulate and inspire students’ awareness on the influences of digitalization and technology on their daily encounters. By discussing on the issues arising from the digitalization and technological development at economic, social, cultural and political dimensions, students are expected to realize, and be critical to the impacts and implications of both trends to every walk of life.


GEB 102 Media and Society (3 Credits)         
Medium: English

This course selects several important topics relevant to the development of mass media to investigate their social, economic and political effects on the individual and society, together with the emergence of communication technologies. Emphasis is put on interactions between media, technology and society. Through discussions with local and international cases, it is expected that students’ media literacy, that is, ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and communicate phenomenon, can be enhanced.


GEB 103 Language of the Mass and Social Media (3 Credits)
Medium: English

This course aims to develop media literacy required for interacting effectively with society in this information age. It will introduce students to basic concepts related to media language and communication, and develop their abilities and competencies in reading, analysing and critiquing everyday media texts. Drawing on the examination of different spoken, written and visual texts from the mass media, Internet and social networking sites, the course aims to equip students to be critical thinkers who are sensitive to the social, cultural and ethical roles of the media in everyday communication.


GEB 104 Reasoning in the Cyber Age (3 Credits)
Medium: English

Sound information and communication depends on valid demonstration, logical reasoning and cogent argument from systematic thinking. In view of the cyber era, this course attempts to equip students with the philosophical wisdom for applying logical reasoning to assess the creditability of the digital information and communication surrounding their daily life. The specific subjects and areas for discussion cover daily dialogues, news discourses, commercial advertisements, online fora, and the popular discussions in such social media as Facebook and WhatsApp. The overall objective is to enhance students’ competence to become an articulate, open-minded thinker.