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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ: related to COVID-19/class suspension

Q: During class suspension, how can students learn more about some basics and general information about service-learning? Are there any online resources available?

A: CISL has established a new e-learning course on service-learning, CISL1001. You will find it particularly useful during the new normal of online teaching. Students can also complete a simple quiz after taking the course and earn CCL credit! Details of CISL1001 can be found here:

Q: COVID-19 is still around and my students and I would like to contribute to some community works via service-learning. Do you have any suggestions?

A: If your service-learning activity is related to COVID-19 and would like to be featured in the University’s community campaign “Beat the Virus, BU and I” (, please let us know and we will help coordinate with CPRO. If you and your students would like to create an impact or make some contribution to combat COVID-19, let us know too and we can brainstorm project ideas together.

Q: Is it possible to extend my project end date? I might need more time to wait for students’ responses and collect their information as I am not meeting them every week physically.

A: We understand that during class suspension, it might be more difficult for instructors to collect students’ forms, their signatures, etc. Please do not hesitate to let us know if you would like to extend the project end date for financial purposes. We would also like to remind you that students’ bank account info has to be identical to that of their buniport records.


FAQ: General

Q: How shall we document students’ service-learning works so that they can be made available online in the future?

A: CISL website has a section on digital artifacts. If your course/students will produce anything digitally achievable, please let us know. These are some of our online deliverables in previous courses, ranging from videos and publications to powerpoint presentations and campaign materials:

Q: I’d like to hold an exhibition to showcase the service-learning deliverables of my course, but the rental fees of venues outside campus are quite high. Do you have any recommendations?

A: If you would like to secure a venue for activities in relation to your service-learning project, TriAngle ( is a good choice for you! It is HKBU’s first co-working space for social innovation and entrepreneurship to materialise. Please let us know in advance if you want to book the place.

Q: I’ve identified a few students in my class who have been taking a few service-learning courses. They love community work. Has CISL got any plans to further develop these students’ interest and passion?

A: CISL will be actively seeking partnerships with students starting from AY2020-21 to further the student-as-partner approach in service-learning, and will be launching different schemes involving student instructors, trainers, ambassadors and helpers. Please help us identify potential students, especially those who non-final year and show particular interest engaging in service-learning and social innovation.

Q: Can I purchase cash coupons/food vouchers to compensate interviewees?

A: Yes. Please make sure each recipient sign off upon collecting the coupon/voucher by preparing a table for them to sign.
For example: 

  Name No. of Coupons Value of Coupon(s) Total Value Date Collected Signature


Q: How long does it usually take for the Finance Office to process the reimbursement claims?

A: It varies and depends on individual cases. In our experience, FO could take up to 2 months to process an application. Tips: for project expenses, you can claim the reimbursements anytime! You don’t have to wait until the end of semester.

Q: Do we need to keep receipts for expenses incurred during the service-learning activity?

A: Students can now receive their out-of-pocket expenses by filling in a simple form without providing receipts, but a better suggestion is to keep them – just in case. As for course instructors, yes, please properly keep the receipts for each reimbursement claim. We would like to remind instructors too that all the expenses have to be incurred during the project period.

Q: Do we need to acknowledge the funding source(s) in our service-learning deliverables?

A: Yes. Please acknowledge HKBU and CISL as well! There are respective logos to use and specific ways to arrange the logos. Please contact the CISL colleague who is in charge of your course for the details.

Q: Can instructors skip the pre/post-tests for students if they are too busy?

A: The tests are optional but highly recommended, as the University would like to measure the impact of service-learning on students’ learning. On top of having a CISL colleague to have a class visit, we also have two suggestions: 1) Instructors can encourage students to complete the test outside lecture hours. 2) CISL can also offer hardcopies of the tests for students to fill in. As a matter of fact, we actually recommend students to fill in the post-test right after the service. This is proven to be the most effective in our experience. By the way, we now provide incentives: students who have filled in both the pre- and post-tests will automatically enter a lucky draw for cash coupons.

Q: Are there any ways to recognise the participation, performance and achievement of students/service users in the service-learning projects?

A: Yes, CISL can help design and provide letters or certificates of recognition with the signature of our Director and HKBU logo upon request.

Q: What should I do if I cannot secure enough community partners for my service project(s)?

A: CISL has an exhaustive list of NGOs, social enterprises and community partners. We also hold match-meetings to couple up instructors with various organisations, and keep a database of our partners via Google Classroom. Please contact us if you are interested to join.

Q: Does CISL provide help and support like editing services (e.g. the service deliverable is a magazine) or website design?

A: No. We recommend the hiring of professional copyeditors or designers (via the service-learning mini-grant).