HKUX 01 epidemics

Panel discussion on Ebola

The second week of December saw the official conclusion of the University of Hong Kong’s first massive open online course (MOOC) HKU01x: Epidemics. Led by Professor Gabriel M Leung, Dean of the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, and infectious disease and public health experts from both the University of Hong Kong and international institutions such as the Harvard School of Public Health and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the course reached learners from 173 countries with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. In the end, more than 12 percent of the 10,290 enrolled learners earned a certificate of completion. This is a rather high rate as compared to the typical MOOC completion rate of around 5%, and goes to show the timeliness and quality of the course.

Prof David P. Y. Lung filming our next MOOC - The Search for Vernacular Architecture of Asia

Prof David P. Y. Lung filming our next MOOC – The Search for Vernacular Architecture of Asia

As to the reasons that the learners complete the course to earn a certificate, adding to the resume, boosting job performance, supporting employment and school applications were often cited. In addition, personal satisfaction through a sense of achievement is also cited as a motivator for completing the course. For example, one learner reported that s/he finished the course “For my personal satisfaction that I can do it at age 77”.

In the beginning months of the new year, the HKU MOOC Working Group, in association with the HKU01x: Epidemics course team and the e-learning Pedagogical Support Unit (EPSU), will review the experience of our first MOOC and dive into the collected data for more insights that will help inform teaching and learning in both online and face-to-face settings here at HKU. Please watch out for information on salon and seminar sessions in the coming few months and make sure to join us for more in-depth discussions.

Prof Chad Hansen filming in the Common Core Lounge for Humanity and Nature in Chinese Thought

Prof Chad Hansen filming in the Common Core Lounge for Humanity and Nature in Chinese Thought

While HKU01x: Epidemics is a undoubtedly a successful inaugural MOOC at this University measured by reach and impact, guided by the HKU MOOC Working Group, the EPSU instructional designers are working very closely with the course and video teams to ramp up work on three other courses, HKU02.1x: The Search for Vernacular Architecture of Asia, Part 1; HKUx03x: Humanity and Nature in Chinese Thought; and HKU04x: Making Sense of News, which are all scheduled to launch in the first half of 2015. More and updated information of these courses can be found at the HKU’s edX page at https://www.edx.org/school/hkux and this blog.