Teaching and Learning at The University of Hong Kong HKU

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Thinking of incorporating technology in teaching but not sure where to start? We are here to help!

The TELI team, together with Information Technology Services (ITS), Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL) and HKU Libraries (HKUL) endeavour to provide diverse and extensive e-learning support services to teachers.

Our team specializes on providing

You may also reach out to:

  • CETL for face-to-face professional development training;
  • ITS for Moodle-related enquiries, classroom lecture capture services and any technical enquiries in general; and
  • the Libraries for Turnitin- and Endnote-related enquiries.

Empower yourself. Empower HKU. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you are looking for ways to innovate your teaching!

E-Learning Support in HKU
Contact List

We are here to help!
Strategic development and content creation
University’s e-learning strategy and associated policies Prof. Ricky Kwok Ricky.Kwok@hku.hk
Development of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs)
Development of flipped classroom and classwork activities Dr. Leon Lei culei@hku.hk
Production of instructional videos
Application of e-learning technologies
(including apps, AR, VR, 360-degree photography)
Application of e-portfolio and mobile learning
Professional development
Face-to-face training Dr. Leon Lei / Dr. Luke Fryer culei@hku.hk / fryer@hku.hk
Online training Dr. Leon Lei culei@hku.hk
Coaching for DIY e-learning development
General enquiries
Google Drive service in Moodle
Face-to-face training Ms. Ada Yau adayau@hku.hk
Adoption of Moodle in a new pedagogical setting Dr. Leon Lei / Dr. Luke Fryer culei@hku.hk / fryer@hku.hk
General enquiries (Turnitin.com) turnitin@hku.hk
General enquiries (Moodle) eLearningTeam@hku.hk
Cloud-based essay marking (GradeMark / Feedback Studio) Dr. Leon Lei culei@hku.hk
Classroom lecture capturing via Panopto eLearningTeam@hku.hk
Data analysis and data mining for teaching and learning Dr. Leon Lei culei@hku.hk
Adoption of Google tools in a new pedagogical setting
General enquiries
Pedagogical enquiries enquiry@teli.hku.hk
Technical enquiries eLearningTeam@hku.hk

You may also download the PDF version here.


How do you measure success? Many researchers, when evaluating Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), tend to measure the success of a course with a single metric, i.e. the completion rate. However, MOOCs generally have a large audience, and given the diverse background of MOOC learners, every learner differs in goals and level of engagement with the course materials. It may not be comprehensive enough to evaluate learner success by simple looking at whether he/she has finished the course; and the overall course completion rate alone may not suffice in evaluating the success of a MOOC.

This is what we learnt from a seminar entitled “Demystifying Learner Success: Before, During, and After a Massive Open Online Course”, delivered by Dr Elle Yuan Wang, a Research Scientist at EdPlus Action Lab, Arizona State University on August 1, 2017. Organized by the Faculty of Education, this seminar offered us a different perspective on how to measure success of a MOOC, an ongoing debate among researchers.

Learner Success in terms of Post-Course Career Development
Dr Wang believes that learner success can take many different forms – traditional assessment scores, or in other forms of post-course development, such as career development. In her 2014 study, she measured the post-course development of a group of MOOC learners two years after the end of the course using two metrics: whether learners (i) joined a relevant professional society; and/or (ii) submitted a paper in a relevant conference. By comparing learners’ post-course career development and in-course performance, she set out to investigate the relation between the two. The ultimate goal is to find out how career advancers differ from other learners in terms of their in-course performance.

The research targeted learners of the first iteration of The Big Data in Education MOOC, a postgraduate-level 8-week course offered on Coursera in 2013. Dr Wang was one of the teaching assistants of the course. (The subsequent iterations of the course have been offered on edX.)

The study revealed that:

  • Career advancers who joined a professional society or submitted a paper earned better scores and were more likely to complete the course than non-advancers.
  • Career advancers also demonstrated more frequent engagement with course components including course pages, lecture videos, assignment submissions, and discussion forums. For example, the page viewing activities of people who joined a professional society were much higher than non-members.
  • However, even though career advancers tended to have more post-reading actions, they were not significantly more likely to post, comment, or vote than their peers.

Significance of the Research
This study enriched our understanding of how MOOCs potentially impact learners’ career development and the possible association between student behaviors and positive developments. All these findings are crucial for educators in developing and improving their MOOCs in the future.

A Special Note of Thanks
Hereby we would like to thank Dr Wang for not only sharing with us her research endeavours and findings, but also inspiring our work in learning analytics in HKU. Our colleague, Dr Leon Lei, completed The Big Data in Education MOOC on Coursera in 2013 and is now applying principles learnt from the course in developing our own MOOCs in HKU. Thank you, Dr Wang, for inspiring us. We look forward to more opportunities to further explore learning analytics and educational data mining with fellow researchers in the future.

*Note: Dr Wang’s research was conducted in collaboration with Ryan Baker, University Pennsylvania, and Luc Paquette, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For further details, please refer to the original research paper: Wang, Y., Paquette, L., Baker, R. (2014). A longitudinal study on learner career advancement in MOOCs. Journal of Learning Analytics, 1(3), 203-206. [PDF]


We are happy to share our recent projects in the latest issue of the Convocation Newsletter! Our work would not have been possible without the support of the university, our colleagues and students. Thank you for your support all along!

Both PDF and e-book versions are now available.

In this issue, we showcase our efforts and successes in developing

Two Years in a Row
We also made an appearance in the Convocation Newsletter Summer 2016. For the second year in a row, we proudly present the results of our endeavours in e-learning in this publication. We explored the incorporation of pioneering learning strategies, such as blended learning, flipped classrooms and gamification, as well as the positive impacts they bring to the classroom.
We experiment, innovate and inspire. We aspire to continue our catalytic role in enhancing the quality of learning and making teaching at HKU more potent.

Want to catch up on the latest e-learning trends? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you are eager to enrich learning with technology!


It is always a pleasure to meet new friends. On November 13, 2017, we were happy to welcome delegates from Philippine Normal University (PNU), an institution specializing on teacher education. Our guests expressed strong interest in HKU’s e-learning landscape and our team’s ongoing effects in enriching teaching and learning with technology.

PNU_LR(Third from left) Professor Ricky Kwok; (Fifth from left) Dr. Marilyn Balagtas, Dean, PNU College of Flexible Learning and ePNU; (Sixth from left) Prof. Jason Orozco, Deputy Dean, PNU College of Flexible Learning and ePNU; (Fifth from right) Ms. Lovely Airein M. de Guzman, Faculty, PNU College of Flexible Learning and ePNU; (Fourth from right) Prof. Niño Naldoza, Head, School of Information and Knowledge Management.

Introducing TELI and HKU’s E-learning Landscape
Our meeting began with Professor Ricky Kwok’s introduction of TELI’s missions:

  1. Content production
  2. Research on students’ online learning behaviour: By analyzing the data, we aim to
    • facilitate our teachers to improve their teaching; and
    • benefit other institutions through publishing our research.
  3. System and application development:
    • We are constantly improving our Learning Management Systems, namely Moodle and open edX, and experimenting with different pedagogical ideas on these platforms.
    • Various apps have also been developed, including Newssary and the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (P-SHOC) app, to enrich students’ learning experience.
  4. Collaboration and outreach: To maximize our impact on teaching and learning, our team also regularly collaborate with other institutions in organizing events and conferences. One major initiative is Asian e-Table.

Following Professor Kwok’s introduction, representatives from our team showcased our projects, including the production of Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs), Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), flipped classrooms and data analytics.

PNU_LR-3Roundtable discussion on the e-learning landscape of HKU and PNU; and challenges in developing online learning materials.

EdTech Demo: Introducing Useful E-learning Tools to Our Fellow Educators
Since our guests are teacher educators, we introduced several e-learning tools suitable for training teachers, including Google Slides, Kahoot! and Mentimeter. All these tools are free and can be used in any educational context.

PNU_LR-2“We want to make sure every student is covered with the e-learning tools we are using. No one is left behind,” said Mr. Donn Gonda, our assistant instructional designer.

We also showcased our equipment and productions in our multimedia office.
PNU_LR-4Showing our guests around our multimedia office.

It is our team’s mission to connect with the international academic community and promote knowledge exchange. It is also our pleasure to meet with fellow educators enthusiastic about e-learning. We look forward to more opportunities to connect with institutions worldwide!

Organised by Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative (TELI)

Flipped Classroom Learning Symposium banner

Details of the event:

Date : Dec. 6, 2017 (Wednesday)
Time : 9:30am – 1:00pm
Venue : CPD 3.28, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong


Have you ever imagined a class, where students are actively engaged in exploring new ideas, investigating complicated cases, solving real-life problems, and creating new knowledge to challenge conventional thinking? We invite you to witness this vision become a reality by flipping the classroom.

In this half-day symposium, practitioners will share with you the rational, pedagogical strategies, challenges and solutions in adopting the flipped class approach. Together with award-winning teachers, innovative educators, and students who have experienced flipped classrooms, we explore the paths towards effective teaching and learning.


Enquiries should be directed to enquiry@teli.hku.hk.


Are you a prospective university student? Have you thought of what major you want to study in the future? Interest and ability are two key factors to consider in choosing your university major. Yet, how can you really visualize how classes in universities are like just by reading a bunch of colourful prospectus, giving only factual and static information of the courses?

Worry not! Our Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs) are here to give you a real taste of university courses which will help you make a better informed choice.

HKU is now providing three SPOCs taught by our very own Professors and lecturers:

Now on Offer: Critical Readings of Popular Culture

Register for this course by sending an email to liuyiqi@hku.hk telling us your English full name, school name, and school level and get a taste of your university life to-be!
The course begins in November. Registration is open until 15 November, 2017.

About the course
This four-module online course is designed to help you take a fresh, critical look at what seems familiar and ordinary. By drawing on various theories and analytical tools, you will become a sharp decoder of hidden messages in entertainment media.

Throughout this course, we will examine the following genres and topics:

  • Commercials: How do producers use film to convey the meaning they want to make?
  • Movies: What is the secret to Hollywood success?
  • TV dramas: Why are Korean TV Dramas so popular?
  • Print advertisements: Did you ever buy something because of an attractive advertisement? Why did you do that?

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 at least 60% correct.
  2. Participate in discussion forum by posting at least 1 meaningful post.
  3. Submit the final assignment.

A Certificate of Excellence will be awarded to learners who get higher than 80% correct of the quizzes, and receive a Grade A for the final assignment. More details about the final assignment will be introduced during the course.



Stay tuned for these upcoming SPOCs:

Everyday Computing

Are computers outsmarting human beings? This course will help you to develop a “computational” mindset to analyze and formulate solutions for problems encountered in everyday life. We will investigate into how these problems are related to the Internet and the impact of computing technologies to humankind.

Journey into Mental Ill-Health

Mental illness is often portrayed by mass media as a threat. This is hardly the complete story. With the use of experiential exercises, case studies, and film viewing, this course will guide you to understand more about mental health issues through reflecting on your daily life and learn to co-inhabit with people with mental illness.

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

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Organised by Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative (TELI)

Details of the event:

Date : Nov. 7, 2017 (Tuesday)
Time : 3:00pm – 4:45pm
Venue : Room 321, Run Run Shaw Building
Speaker : Mr. Chia-Wei Wu, Director of Learning Sciences and Technologies, School of Dental Medicine (PDM), University of Pennsylvania


Designing a successful and innovative initiative in the field of Learning and Development (L&D) is one of the most important projects for schools and organizations in the era of digital learning. It is imperative to create well-designed course materials and plan an engaging infrastructure to ensure an effective and evaluable learning experience. In this session, Mr. Chia-Wei Wu, the Director of Learning Sciences and Technologies at Penn Dental Medicine (PDM) will showcase PDM’s Online Learning Initiative and present how PDM’s Learning Technology Team (LTT) successfully developed and implemented blended learning solutions by utilizing cutting-edge learning technology tools. Moreover, you will learn how PDM LTT has harnesses the power of gamification, mobile learning and social learning to “flip” the classroom at the oldest IVY League dental school since 2013. Lastly, through an efficacy study, Mr. Wu will introduce the online learning methodologies both in synchronous and asynchronous learning scenarios with PDM’s current projects. Cecilia Tsang, the Education Development Manager from Apple, will introduce the current technology development in medical science and its influences. Different examples will be shared. This session will be of excellent value to instructional designer, online curriculum planner, or any e-learning developers whose professional focus is on finding the best use case for tomorrow’s learner.

About the Speaker

ChiaMr. Chia-Wei Wu
Director of Learning Sciences and Technologies
School of Dental Medicine (PDM),
University of Pennsylvania


Enquiries should be directed to enquiry@teli.hku.hk.


Professor Sun Kwok, a world-renowned astronomer, devotes his waking hours to exploring the wonders of the Universe. Why did he choose this path, and how did it work out for him? On 27th September, we visited Professor Kwok at the Laboratory for Space Research in Cyberport. In an interview with him, we got to know Professor Kwok as a scientist, an insightful educator, and an astronomy enthusiast brimming with passion.


When did it all begin?
It was not Professor Kwok’s childhood dream to become an astronomer. Instead, when he was studying engineering at university in Canada, one day, as he read Frontiers of Astronomy by Fred Hoyle, he found out that astronomy has much to do with physics, chemistry and biology. He realized that science are tools enabling him to understand the patterns and motions of stars, and the fascinating unknown of their composition, structure and evolution. The idea of investigating the Universe with physics was exciting, and he was inspired to pursue astronomy, eventually making important discoveries and leaving a legacy.


Curiosity and hard work paid off
For Professor Kwok, the Universe is still full of mysteries awaiting him to unveil. Despite hurdles, his curiosity and desire to solve mysteries drive him forward and help him overcome difficulties. Professor Kwok also adds it is all down to diligent preparation and effort, as one would never know when that eureka moment happens. His formula to reaching his goals is constant work, determination and hard work; not so much about natural talent or luck.

His efforts paid off. After countless ventures into deep space through telescopes, Professor Kwok is now the proud discoverer of many nebulae and stars. When asked how does he name his discoveries, Professor Kwok said, “it’s usually because of what they look like. In the case of cotton candy (nebula), it’s because of its shape!”

Places for stargazing
Professor Kwok has made a lot of professional observations on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea. The telescopes on its summit stand 4200 metres above sea level, where the skies are clear and the clouds are well below the observer. It is the location that Professor Kwok considers his favourite to observe celestial wonders.

But is Hawaii the only good place to go stargazing? Many often complain that it is difficult to see stars in Hong Kong due to severe light pollution. Professor Kwok remarks that even in Hong Kong it is not impossible to see, but people just turn a blind eye to them. In fact, Professor Kwok adds, it is extremely easy to see a planet even in Hong Kong, and people are always bewildered when he points to Venus at twilight. Professor Kwok suggests us all to go to the countryside, far away from the city lights, and marvel at the gifts of nature to rekindle our interest for our environment, because “it is all what our ancestors did. Everyone should see the Milky Way once in their lifetime.”


The next adventure
An inquisitive mind enabled ancient people to develop science and make technological advancements. Where is Professor Kwok’s curiosity leading him next? Currently, Professor Kwok works on astrobiology and is studying organic matter in space. He also believes that the integration of different fields of knowledge, such as chemistry, biology and geology, will create a multi-disciplinary perspective and be the future of astronomy.

Professor Kwok always encourages young people to pursue their dreams. “Because at the end, it is your life, and you have to have a career that is fulfilling”.


Professor Kwok was featured in the 5th episode of RTHK’s series Our Scientists. It explores Professor Kwok’s journey in becoming an astronomer, his visions in education, as well as his recent research in organic matter in space.

Follow Our Place in the Universe’s Facebook page for video clips of our interview with Professor Kwok and other astronomical facts and interesting articles!


We are surrounded by promises about a technology-enriched learning environment – for example, how online education will supplement face-to-face lectures, how artificial intelligence will provide round-the-clock assistance to students who always work until the small hours. These promises are motivating some of our teachers to bring more innovations to their classrooms. Dr. Rachel Lui, who gave a sharing session last week, is one of them.

Thanks to the Teaching Exchange Fellowship Scheme (TEFS), Rachel was able to visit the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the summer of 2017 to investigate a new “medium of instruction” – the “Learning Glass”. The tool is a video recording system with a transparent glass board in front of the camera. This allows teachers to maintain natural eye contact with the viewers while presenting the content. The purpose is to engage students in a constructivist process of learning. Rachel’s sharing covered the following topics:

  • what “Learning Glass” is, and how to set it up;
  • why natural eye contact is important;
  • showing the thinking process in science education;
  • how “Learning Glass” is different from PowerPoint; and
  • whether we should invest in tools like the “Learning Glass”.

As a result of her trip, Rachel produced 47 videos for SCNC1111 which are in use from this semester. Here are two samples (click on the image to access the original video):

The informal conversations after the sharing were equally fruitful. “It was really encouraging to see that many teachers care about their courses, and are actively updating their pedagogies,” Rachel said in delight. “Some of them would like to know more about the software that I used, and some were hoping to get to know more about what can be done in the face-to-face classes after lectures are moved online.”

Rachel’s work is one example of what is possible in video lectures. As a next step, she will investigate further how to transform the entire course experience.

TEFS aims to enhance the scholarship of teaching and learning at the university through sharing of excellent pedagogical practices between HKU and other prestigious higher education institutions. Full details of TEFS can be found at http://intraweb.hku.hk/reserved_2/cdqa/doc/TEFS/TEFS_2017-18.pdf.


Click here if you cannot access Youtube.


Introduction to the course (Course outline)
University Teaching is an introductory MOOC on teaching and learning in tertiary education, designed by staff at CETL and offered through Coursera. Whether you have just started your first university teaching post, you are thinking about becoming a university teacher, or you just have an interest in understanding the essentials of university teaching, this course is definitely for you.

University Teaching will help you to address the following questions:

  • What is it like teaching in higher education?
  • What does research evidence tell us about effective teaching in higher education?
  • How can we ensure that our instructional design helps our students achieve their intended learning outcomes?
  • What pedagogic options do we have to make our teaching successful?
  • What assessment and feedback practices can help our students learn effectively?

With input from instructors, guest speakers and interviewees, including teaching award winners, students and experts in the fields, you will be exposed to research evidence in relation to effective university teaching and instructional design. Throughout the course, you will learn from teachers whose teaching has been judged to be excellent, and you will see many examples of their teaching in practice.

After completing the learning tasks in this course, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the teaching and learning context in higher education and reflect on the challenges and opportunities you might encounter as a university teacher.
  • Explain key teaching and learning concepts and relevant evidence in relation to effective university teaching.
  • Analyse the relationships between various aspects of teaching and student learning.
  • Identify a range of instructional strategies to support effective student learning.
  • Apply key concepts to the structuring of course outlines and lesson plans in order to support successful student learning.

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