Teaching and Learning at The University of Hong Kong HKU

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Everyday Computing aims to teach you how to make informed decisions in this information age. It is expected that everyone needs to have an efficient way to sift through and evaluate the myriads of information that is available through the Internet. The ultimate objective of this course is to help students develop a “computational” state of mind for everyday events. Specifically, the course will enable students to answer the following questions:

  • What daily problems need to be solved by a computational method?
  • Are such problems solvable?
  • By what means can such problems be solved?
  • Is it worthwhile to compute such problems?

We will also discuss intensively the societal impacts of computing technologies on our daily life.

Online lectures would be available for the whole course, making room for more in-depth learning in lecture sessions. Specifically, a face-to-face session will be conducted in collaborative workshop formats, whereby students need to work in teams to complete hands-on tasks corresponding to the topics covered in the course.

Our Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs) are here to give you a real taste of university courses. HKU is now providing two SPOCs taught by our very own Professors – Journey into Madness and Everyday Computing.


Assessment criteria for certificates

A Certificate of Completion will be issued upon completing the first 5 basic badges. Each badge can be earned upon fulfilling these two criteria:

  1. Watch all video lectures and read through all topic materials
  2. Getting a 50% mark in each topic challenge questions

A Certificate of Excellence will be awarded to learners

  1. Collected all 7 badges
  2. Attended the Face-to-Face session

FAQs about HSST9003

Is it open to everyone?
Yes and no. Yes, it is open to public but limited to secondary school students in Hong Kong.

Is this course free?
Yes, It is absolutely free. And the best part is that there is another course “Journey into Madness” that is as good as HSST 9003 and it is also absolutely free.

Can I get a certificate out of it?
Yes, it offers two levels of certificate. Certificate of Completion and Certificate of Excellence.

How do I register for this amazing course?
You can click here to sign up and we will email you your free learning.hku.hk account.

I already signed up but I didn’t get any email, what should I do?
Usually, it takes few hours for us to send a reply. But not to worry. You can also check your SPAM mail just in case.

I’ve waited for hours, check my SPAM, but I still cannot find the email. What should I do?
You can email the course team directly through it CCST9003@teli.hku.hk

What is it like in the original Hong Kong class?

The course begins on 8 March, 2017. Registration is open until 22 March, 2017.

Eligibility: Enrollment is open only for Secondary School Students.

Like our Facebook page to receive more information on The University of Hong Kong Online Learning: https://www.facebook.com/hkuonlinelearning/


Are you a prospective university student? Have you thought of what major you want to study in the future? What do HKU students learn in class?

Our Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs) are here to give you a real taste of university courses. HKU is now providing two SPOCs taught by our very own Professors – Journey into Madness and Everyday Computing.

Journey Into Madness: A Free Online Course on Mental Health


About the course
When you hear the word ‘mental illness’, what kind of image comes to mind? Do you think of a homeless person babbling to a tree or wonder about that emo kid sitting in a dark room?

Mental health is fundamental to our overall well-being and influences us far more than we’d like to admit. Because mental illness is often portrayed as a threat, we immediately fear those who are associated with it. This course will help you unlearn those misconceptions about mental illness by examining the definitions of abnormality and challenging the stigma attached to mental disorders. Together, we will delve deeper into the following topics:

  • Madness: What is considered abnormal?
  • Diagnosis: How is one diagnosed with a mental disorder?
  • Depression: What impact does this growing illness have on youth suicide?
  • Stigmatization: What measures can you take to reduce stigma associated with mental health problems?

Through online lectures, discussion forums and a peer-review assignment, you will have a better understanding of what constitutes an individual’s mental health status.

Assessment criteria for certificates

A Certificate of Completion will be issued upon completing the following tasks:

  1. Attempt all quizzes in the course, and get above 60% correct.


A Certificate of Excellence will be awarded to learners

  1. Attempt all quizzes in the course, and get above 60% correct.
  2. Submit an Anti-Stigma Campaign proposal to raise awareness of mental illness among Secondary School students (no more than 300 words)
  3. Perform two peer reviews by marking your classmates’ work


Registration: http://bit.ly/hku_spoc
The course begins on 1 March, 2017. Registration is open until 15 March, 2017.

Eligibility: Enrollment is only open for Secondary School Students.

Like our Facebook page to receive more information on The University of Hong Kong Online Learning: https://www.facebook.com/hkuonlinelearning/


Course trailer also available on Uvision

Featured video: Have you ever eaten Dinosaurs?

What is this course about?

Week 1 Teaser
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What was it like being a dinosaur? Where did they live? Who did they live with? Were things anything like they are today? How do we even know all this?

HKU Online LearningFind out the answers to these questions and more in our upcoming Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Dinosaur Ecosystems! Starting from February 8th 2017, Dr. Michael Pittman of the University of Hong Kong’s Department of Earth Sciences, together with Professor Xu Xing of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (Chinese Academy of Sciences), will lead you on an expedition to the Gobi desert to unveil a famous ancient ecosystem!

In this course, we will take you to Erlian, Inner Mongolia, and leading museums and institutions to explore:

  • dinosaur biology
  • how palaeontologists reconstruct ancient ecosystems using fossil and modern evidence
  • the traits and significance of a Late Cretaceous dinosaur ecosystem.



Our milestones
Dinosaur Ecosystems is the first MOOC on dinosaur in Asia; also the first MOOC offered by our Faculty of Science. It is the first time that we send crew members to the desert and world-renowned museums to film. Our course was also featured on the edX homepage, edx newsletter and various media reports (for the list of media reports, please refer to the “Further reading” section below).

Our course featured on the edX homepage!

Dinosaur Ecosystems @ Hong Kong Science Museum
We have also set up, for the first time, a booth in the T. rex exhibition in Hong Kong Science Museum to introduce the course.

“T-Rex Revealed – The Augmented + Virtual Reality Experience” is an ongoing exhibition in the Science Museum where you can interact with dinosaurs with Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies. Our course instructor, Dr. Michael Pittman, is the advisor of the exhibition.

A Roaring Start
With the collaborative efforts from multiple parties, our course has a roaring start. The enrollment number jumped from 2,000 to 3,000 two days before launch, and even doubled on the next day. Currently we have 8,500+ learners from over 100 countries!


Sharing Knowledge, Sharing Joy
To celebrate the joyful success of our course, Dr. Pittman hosted a party on February 8th, 2017 with almost 50 HKU colleagues and members of the general public at Stephen Hui Geological Museum.

A fun drawing competition titled “The Year of the Dinosaur” was also organized to engage dinosaur lovers in the community. The following is a selection of fun dinosaur-themed Chinese New Year scenes designed by creative young minds:

Further reading

  1. From Dinosaur Heat to Palaeontology
  2. The Art of Making MOOCs
  3. HKU Convocation Newsletter Summer 2016 (Pg 15)
  4. Interview by Noreen Mir on RTHK Radio 3: Dr Michael Pittman – Dinosaur Ecosystems
  5. 港大首辦免費「恐龍證書課程」 網上教學無限年齡 [Translation: HKU’s free online course on dinosaurs open to all] (Sing Tao Daily 星島日報, February 6th, 2017)
  6. 免費讀港大網上課程:恐龍生態系統 [Translation: HKU’s free online course: Dinosaur Ecosystems] (Mingpao OL 明報OL, February 7th, 2017)
  7. Switch onto movie action with HKU online course (The Standard, February 7th, 2017)
  8. Tracking the last days of the DINOSAUR (China Daily Hong Kong, February 8th, 2017)

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest updates!


“In this case, it’s not just Hong Kong films, but I’m hoping that people will have a better appreciation of processes of globalization and all of the ways in which globalization changes our lives in a dramatic way, and Hong Kong film is one example of that.” – Profession Gina Marchetti at a public talk.

Hong Kong Cinema Through a Global Lens
, as the title suggests, is about cinema. To answer the call, the teaching team, Professor Gina Marchetti, Dr. Aaron Magnan-Park and Dr. Stacilee Ford, moved our classroom to the Broadway Cinematheque in Yau Me Tei on February 4, 2017 to reach cinema goers, because movie “is a very important part of the cultural life of Hong Kong,” Gina remarked.

Given the wide variety of audience involved in a MOOC, it’s never easy to decide on what to include and what not. So the course team asked themselves two questions: What are people genuinely interested in around the world? And what is extremely significant but people may not be so interested in? The answers helped them to construct a learning environment that allows people to reflect on what they already know as well as expand their horizons.

Among our audience were many International Baccalaureate (IB) students who are particularly interested in Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love. In the Q&A section, one student asked, “What do you think was the director’s intent when filming the film?” While Gina explained that she cannot get into any director’s head, she was pretty sure that “Wong Kar Wai had Cannes on his mind.” But more importantly, Aaron reminded students who are studying films that “your interpretation based on your insights on the film is in some ways more important that what the director intended to do.”

We were joined by an audience of over 40.

Given that MOOCs are open to all and free of charge, one of the audience members wondered where the funding comes from. It was a wonderful occasion to let the public know that MOOCs are now an important initiative for all universities. Many of them, including this course, are funded by the university because, as Gina put it, “it’s part of our educational mission to do researches that are significant to the public, and to make it available to the public.”

So what does the course team want to tell everybody via this MOOC? In short……

Week 1: Jackie Chan
“Pushing the boundaries of what was going on in world cinema at that time, pushing the boundary of what people were conceiving in terms of action in the Hollywood.”
Week 2: Bruce Lee and the Global Kung Fu Craze
“Shattering the image of China as the sick man of Asia” and “creating an image of a successful and popular Chinese masculinity that broke away from Confucian tradition of just being the brainy smart guy.”
Week 3: Melodramas of Migrations: Mabel Cheung Yuen Ting’s An Autumn’s Tale
Busts all the Hollywood stereotypes that still exist today – “the ways in which often times Chinese men are ignored, or feminized, or seen as only about Kung Fu; The ways in which women are seen as exotic, or available, or passive, or dragon ladies.”
Week 4: John Woo’s Heroic Bloodshed Films: Hong Kong vs. Hollywood
The Killer as a contract to John Woo’s Hollywood movies reflects that Confucian Brotherhood as a core concept is replaced with American selfhood when John Woo moves on to the Hollywood.
Week 5: Hong Kong on Postmodern Screens: Infernal Affairs
The movie relates to “certain aspects of global society in terms of consumerism, technology, different aspects of identity, split identities, changes in Hong Kong, allegorical changes relating to politics.”
Week 6: Hong Kong Cinema as World Cinema / In the Mood for Love
Its strong emphasis on Room 2046 expresses the fear of returning to China in the 1997 handover. Yet, the movie is a lot more than just about the handover. “If Wong Kar Wai made films only about 1997 in Hong Kong, he wouldn’t be at Cannes.”

Missed the seminar? No worries. Sign up for the course here to learn more or have a look at the event photos here.

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The world-class quality Implant Dentistry MOOC will be launching its re-run on 28 February 2017! During its first run in October 2016, over 7000 learners from 50+ countries enrolled. Launched by the HKU Faculty of Dentistry, ranked No.1 in the world in 2016, this MOOC is the 1st of the world in Implant Dentistry, offering an important supplement for dental professionals, practitioners and students.

Why study an Implant Dentistry MOOC?
According to the chief course instructor, Dr Niko Mattheos,
“Implant Dentistry is one of the most dynamic and rapidly developing areas within oral health care, but is still a rather new discipline in dental education and is not quite often taught in undergraduate dentistry curricula.”

This MOOC, led by Dr. Mattheos, is taught by a stellar dream-team of almost 20 international experts in dental implants and reconstructions. Each week offers specialized knowledge and evidence-based practices for learners to engage with.

What are the contents covered in the course?
The MOOC includes 5 modules and runs over a period of 5 weeks. We will begin the journey of Implant Dentistry by exploring how discoveries in biology and technological developments lead to the current practice of dental implants. Then, we will examine clinical cases, diagnose our patients’ needs and expectations and learn the principles of treatment planning. We will learn step-by-step surgical procedures for placing implants and various restorative techniques, directed by current evidence and best practices. Finally, we will investigate major threats and complications of implant procedures and ways to ensure successful treatments and long serving implants.


International Impact
The first run created ripples of impacts to international communities, at not only universities and dental schools, but professional communities alike. Passionate learners in the Arabic community even formed a Facebook group, with over 900 members, where members shared notes with peers and translated the materials to Arabic. We also had a large proportion of Chinese learners, as professional organizations in mainland China spread our MOOC.

This impact continues even after the end of the first run – where there are currently three volunteer groups translating the entire course into Chinese (supplementary materials), Russian and Arabic.

Seminars and Events
Colgate seminar on peri-implant tissues in health and disease (October 2016)

Community event in Bangkok (November 2016), conducted by two of the instructors, Dr. Chatchai Kunavisarut, Mahidol University, and Dr. Nikos Mattheos
The event was broadcast through Facebook live: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Learner Feedback
Here are some testimonies from the learners:

Listen to our students and find out how they like our course!


Sneak Previews
Below are some teasers of what you may expect in the course:

More sneak previews here.

Sneak Preview 1
How to become an Implant dentist


Sneak Preview 2
Minimally Invasive Surgery


Sneak Preview 3
Micro Surgery Instruments


Sneak Preview 4
The 3 main pathways


Sneak Preview 5
Suture Techniques


Sneak Preview 6
Implant Supported Provisional Restorations


Register today to experience world-class Implant Dentistry education! Re-run begins on 28 February 2017.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest updates!


Among your five senses, what triggers your learning the most?

You and I will probably agree that visuals would be a popular answer.

Artwork, or visual aids, are most definitely a key component of learning. When creating online content that reaches learners of different cultures, visuals speak a thousand words and can boost the learning experience. Good visuals make learning simple and direct.

Let’s take making a MOOC as an example. From small course logos to big posters, short trailers to illustrations in videos, we strive to take care of every artistic detail to create the most enjoyable learning experience. Our in-house artist, Ray, is here to share with you the artistic journey of crafting MOOCs.

The first rule of drawing for MOOCs is to ensure the accuracy of the illustrations, says Ray. “Always remember that you are drawing for an academic purpose, which is different from leisure drawing.” Academic drawings are more than just decorations. Students learn from these visual aids consciously or subconsciously.

For instance, take a look at this course logo designed by Ray for our Dinosaur Ecosystems MOOC.

It may appear as an easily drawn dinosaur, yet in fact, the design went through several rounds of modifications as the dinosaur neck in the original design did not align with archaeological findings. Sometimes the artist may have to negotiate with the course instructor so as to strike the right balance between visual appeal and accuracy.

As MOOCs serve a global audience, artists may sometimes need to use examples and visual elements that speak a common message to learners of different cultures as much as they can.

For example, take a look at the illustrations below, can you tell what it is portraying and which MOOC it was used in? What would be your choice:

  1. The Search for Vernacular Architecture of Asia, Part 1
  2. Humanity and Nature in Chinese Thought
  3. Hong Kong Cinema through a Global Lens
  4. or

  5. Making Sense of News?


The correct answer is Humanity and Nature in Chinese Thought! Ray and the course team chose Star Wars, a worldwide known movie, as an example to illustrate abstract Chinese philosophical concepts to the audience. Did you guess the correct answer?

Our students commented positively on Ray’s animations.

These are just some examples to illustrate the flexibility and creativity of visual aids that can enhance learners’ participation. Thanks to Ray, our elearning journey has been made more colourful!

A glimpse into our artist’s working process:
Ray working on the banner of our new MOOC Hong Kong Cinema through a Global Lens.

You can now purchase Ray’s design at HKU Visitor Centre.

The Year of the Dinosaur?


Upcoming MOOC courses
Hong Kong Cinema through a Global LensDinosaur Ecosystems
Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative TELI
Teaching and Learning
The University of Hong Kong

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Organised by Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative (TELI)

Date : February 4, 2017 (Saturday)
Time : 3:30pm
Venue : 1/F, Broadway Cinematheque, 3 Public Square St, Yau Ma Tei
Speakers :
- Gina Marchetti, Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature, HKU
- Aaron Magnan-Park, Assistant Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature, HKU
- Stacilee Ford, Honorary Associate Professor in the Department of History, HKU

Facebook Live

The talk will be conducted in English.

About the seminar:

Understanding the role Hong Kong plays on world screens animates the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) devoted to Hong Kong films. Together, let’s examine how the local and the global intersect to make Hong Kong cinema an integral part of popular culture around the world as well as a leading force in the development of world cinematic art.

This presentation introduces you to the key films, stars, directors, and genres that represent Hong Kong on global screens. We will chat about how flows of capital, people, technologies, ideas and creativity circulate and shape the cultural industry of filmmaking globally, resulting in transnational co-productions and cross-cultural co-operations.

Join us to learn more about Hong Kong cinema as an expressive art and a creative industry.


The Karate Kid (dir. Harald Zwart, 2010)
Fist of Fury / The Chinese Connection 精武門 (dir. Lo Wei 羅維, 1972)
Enter the Dragon 龍爭虎鬥 (dir. Robert Clouse, 1973)
An Autumn’s Tale 秋天的童話 (dir. Mabel Cheung 張婉婷, 1987)
The Killer 喋血雙雄(dir. John Woo 吳宇森, 1989)
Infernal Affairs 無間道 (dir. Andrew Lau and Alan Mak 劉偉強和麥兆輝, 2002)
In the Mood for Love 花樣年華 (dir. Wong Kar Wai 王家衛, 2000)

HKU free online course: Hong Kong Cinema through a Global Lens

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Rhythm is the heartbeat of music. “Alive by CPR” is an upbeat pop-song capturing the heartbeat of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), a lifesaving technique for heart attack victims. Similar to Bee Gee’s song “Stayin’ Alive”, the TELI team recomposed the lyrics of “Alive”, a song by a local band called RubberBand, with a rhythm of 120 beats per minute (bpm), matching with the recommended CPR rate of 100 to 120 chest compressions per minute.

When TELI Meets Music: The First CPR Song in Hong Kong
Heart attack is a scary thing to imagine. The collapse of a heart attack victim right in front of you is even more terrifying – Don’t panic. You might just be one step away from saving his life. If we perform CPR on the collapsed victim within 5 minutes, the survival rate can be increased by as much as 50 percent.

There are nearly 3000 people suffering from Sudden Cardiac Death every year in Hong Kong, yet there is no mandatory first-aid training in local schools. To raise public awareness of CPR, the Emergency Medicine Unit (EMU) of the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine initiated a series of campaigns in hope of increasing bystander response rates in cardiac emergencies.

One initiative to educate the general public is through music. The TELI team together with RubberBand and the EMU produced a music video on CPR, with correct procedures demonstrated. TELI is proud to act as the bridge between medical professionals and entertainers.

Only a Heartbeat Away: AED Locator App
In companion with the CPR song, HKUEMU AED, an AED locator app, has been developed by TELI in collaboration with EMU.


AED stands for automated external defibrillator, a device that can dramatically increase a victim’s chance of survival by applying shock to his heart. However, inaccessibility is always an issue, especially during emergency. With this app and a GPS locator, you can locate the nearest AED in the area. This app also offers instructions on how to perform CPR on heart attack victims. You can also contribute to the map by adding unidentified AED locations!


(From left to right)

  • Information provided by the app
  • Map showing the locations of AED nearby
  • In case of emergency, you can call 999 through the app
  • You can submit information of new AED locations


“It’s never too late to learn CPR. I cannot see a reason of not acquiring this skill if it can save a person’s life,” said 泥鯭, the drummer of RubberBand. You can be a rescuer at any point of your life. Stay upbeat. Stay alive.

Further reading

  1. Behind the scenes – Filming of the MV
  2. Press release: 港大倡加強急救技能培訓 冀提升院外突發性心臟驟停患者存活率
  3. Press release: HKU Advocates Extensive CPR and AED Training to Enhance Out-of-hospital Cardiac Arrest Survival Rate


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Register now! 課程登記指引

HKU Online LearningWhatever you know and wherever you are we invite you to join us on a journey to consider how the local and the global intersect to make Hong Kong cinema an integral part of popular culture around the world as well as a leading force in the development of world cinematic art.




Highlights of the course

  • Develop your critical and historical thinking skills through analyzing the interconnected relationship between the global scene and local lives in HK films;
  • Broaden your perspectives on identity issues through finding the familiar in the foreign in Hong Kong cinema;
  • Deepen your perspective on the impact of globalization on your own society through analyzing Hong Kong cinema.


  • 通過分析香港電影業的本地市場與國際舞臺之間的關係,培養您的批判和歷史思維能力;
  • 在香港電影中不熟識的場景尋找熟識的細節,從而拓展您對身份問題的了解;
  • 通過分析香港電影業,讓您更明白全球化對社會的影響。
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