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e-learning News – June 2014 June 5, 2014 Posted in: Blog, e-learning, EPSU, HKUx, LMS, MOOC, Moodle, Panopto


EPSU Seminar on University MOOCs Well Attended

EPSU hosted a seminar to update the HKU community on progress with the development of the University’s four Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Over 70 colleagues from the various Schools, Departments, and University Offices attended the session.

The EPSU will continue to organize discussions on the many aspects of MOOCs and how teaching and learning at the University will benefit from this new area of development. Those who have missed the first seminar can watch the session recording here.

What topics would you like to see in future EPSU seminar? Let us know.

Architecture and Philosophy MOOCs Open for Registration

Two more HKU Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), The Search for Vernacular Architecture of Asia, Part 1, and Humanity and Nature in Chinese Thought, are open for registration. In the comprehensive, dialogue-based Architecture course, Professor David Lung (Faculty of Architecture), joined by renowned experts from both HKU and abroad, lead participants in an in-depth exploration of the vernacular concept and its application to the culture and built environments of the past, present, and future. The Philosophy course offered by Professor Chad Hansen (Faculty of Arts) provides an introduction to traditional Chinese ethical thought and focuses on the pervasive contrast in the way Chinese and Westerners think about ethical guidance or guidance concerning what is right and what is wrong, good or bad.

Learn more about HKU MOOCs at

EPSU Director Interviewed by South China Morning Post

Dr. Iain Doherty, Director of the EPSU, was recently interviewed by the South China Morning Post for his views on the latest developments and future directions of Massive Open Online Courses. Click here to read the full interview.

EPSU Team at CITE Research Symposium

The EPSU team, including Mr. Steven Roberts, Mr. Darren Harbutt, and Mr. Nicky NG will be presenting their paper “Learning in MOOCs” at this year’s Center for Information Technology in Education (CITE) Research Symposium. Join them on 13 June at 4 pm, in Runme Shaw Building, Room 204.

The Moodle LMS Upgrade

ITS is planning the upgrade of Moodle LMS to version 2.6.3 during the summer 2014. Released on May 12, 2014, Moodle version 2.6.3 brings a number of bug fixes, security improvements, functional changes and feature enhancements. Details can be found here. The e-learning Enhancement Task Force (EETF) is helping the testing and evaluations of the new version on a Moodle testing platform.

Panopto and Moodle Hands-On Training Courses

The ITS Panopto and Moodle hands-on training courses in June are now open for registration. Details can be found here.

e-learning News – May 2014 May 2, 2014 Posted in: Blog, e-learning, EPSU, HKUx, MOOC, Moodle


EPSU Directorship

The EPSU Director, Dr. Iain Doherty, has resigned his position and will be leaving the University on 23rd May. The search for a new Director has already begun and we are hopeful that someone will be in place by September. Until that time Professor Graham Bilbow will be acting Director of the EPSU. All work will continue as normal and you can get in touch with the EPSU team directly with e-learning queries.

First MOOC Registration Page Launched

The first MOOC registration page – Epidemics – was launched in May. You can visit the page at here. Pages for HKU’s next two MOOCs will be launched in the very near future.

MOOC Seminar

EPSU will be giving a seminar on 16th May to update colleagues about MOOC development work at HKU. Speakers will include Professor David Lung from Architecture, Darcy Christ from the Journalism and Media Studies Center, Iain Doherty and EPSU staff. To register go to

New Video Tutorial on Moodle Attendance Plugin

ITS has produced a short video tutorial on the newly installed Moodle Attendance plugin. You may watch it here. The complete collection of short Moodle tutorial videos on our support website can be found here.

Panopto and Moodle Hands-On Training Courses

The ITS Panopto and Moodle hands-on training courses in May are now open for registration. Details can be found  here.

Registration Opens for HKU’s First Free MOOCs “HKUx” on edX April 28, 2014 Posted in: Blog, edX, HKUx, MOOC

The University of Hong Kong (HKU) has been working on a series of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) named “HKUx” since joining edX, the non-profit online education platform founded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University. Among the first courses to run on the HKUx platform will be “Epidemics”, which is now open for registration. Enrollment for the other courses, entitled “The Search for Vernacular Architecture of Asia” and “Humanity and Nature in Chinese Thought”, for example, will also begin in the near future.

These interactive MOOCs, designed and taught by world-renowned professors at the University, are built around self-paced video lectures, online discussion groups and assessment exercises. Registration is open to all, with no prerequisites.

Re-inventing the learning experience, enabling a worldwide audience to learn together

HKU Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost Professor Roland T Chin said, “MOOCs are our new endeavour. We want to make many of our courses accessible to the global audience as well as the local public, including our alumni, students and the community at large. Our best professors have put together some very interesting topics using innovative approaches both in terms of content and pedagogy in order to make materials accessible, relevant and interesting to a global audience. They offer the flexibility of video lectures anytime, anywhere, on any device. Students will actively participate in online forums, critically reflect on discussions, and learn through various assessment exercises.” These courses are intended to be challenging, and Professor Chin invites the general public to take these HKUx courses to experience this new way of learning.

Inaugural HKUx courses highlight the University’s core strengths

The University has carefully selected the following courses as starters. They represent the core strengths of HKU in teaching and learning as well as research:

  • “Epidemics” is a course led by Professor Gabriel M Leung, Dean of the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, HKU, and eight world-renowned experts on infectious diseases and public health, including Professor Yuen Kwok-yung, Henry Fok Professor in Infectious Diseases, Chair Professor of the Department of Microbiology; Professor Malik Peiris, Tam Wah-Ching Professorship in Medical Science, Chair Professor and Director of the School of Public Health; and Professor Guan Yi, Daniel CK Yu Professorship in Virology and Co-Director of the State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases. The course will be co-taught by Professor Marc Lipsitch, Professor of Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health and Dr Mark Jit from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

    This course explores the origins of novel pathogens, the spread of infectious diseases as well as the preventive and control measures to contain outbreaks. It also presents risk communication strategies that contribute to public health preparedness and features panel discussions on ethics and crisis management with leading public health experts. The first-hand experiences that the team has earned from combating SARS and other emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza (A) H7N9 virus will enable students from around the world to better understand the threat of epidemics.

  • “The Search for Vernacular Architecture in Asia” is a comprehensive, dialogue-based course that provides a thorough understanding of the concept of vernacular architecture and its applications to the culture and built environments of the past, present and future. Designed to promote discussion and encourage dialogue, this course will challenge the perception of tradition with examples from across Asia and stimulate a deeper analysis of participants’ local environment.

    This course is led by Professor David Lung Ping-yee, Lady Edith Kotewall Professor in the Built Environment, who is internationally recognized for his scholarship and work in the field of heritage conservation and World Heritage properties.

  • “Humanity and Nature in Chinese Thought” provides an introduction to traditional Chinese ethical thought and a tour of the pervasive contrast in the way Chinese and Westerners think about ethical guidance or guidance concerning what is right and what is wrong, good or bad, with Western ethics focusing on a “law” metaphor – where moral law is “supernatural” command, while Chinese ethics focuses on a “path” metaphor where the paths are “written” in nature prior to human practices.

    The instructor of this course is Chad Hansen, Emeritus Chair Professor of Chinese Philosophy, and also a prolific author on Daoism, theory of language and logic, and classical Chinese ethics.

  • About edX and Enrollment procedures for HKUx

    EdX is a not-for-profit enterprise of its founding partners Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology focused on transforming online and on-campus learning through groundbreaking methodologies, game-like experiences and cutting-edge research. It uses its open source technology to transcend physical and social borders.

    EdX brings together world’s top universities to provide inspirational and transformative knowledge to students of all ages, social status, and income who form worldwide communities of learners. In addition to Harvard and MIT, the edX consortium previously included the California Institute of Technology, University of California Berkeley, Australian National University, Delft University of Technology, University of Toronto and Kyoto University.

    More information on HKUx is available at . Registration is open and free.

    For general questions and answers about edX courses, please visit:

    For media enquiries, please contact Communications and Public Affairs Office:
    Ms Rhea Leung, tel: 2857 8555 / 9022 7446 email:

    Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs): What’s Happening at HKU? April 9, 2014 Posted in: e-learning, edX, EPSU, MOOC

    Organized by Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL)


    Presentation Speaker
    Opening Dr. Iain Doherty, e-learning Pedagogical Support Unit
    Development of a Massive Open Online Course: The Search for Vernacular Architecture in Asia Professor David Lung, Faculty of Architecture
    Designing a MOOC to Innovate Teaching & Learning Mr. Darcy Christ, Journalism and Media Studies Centre
    HKU01x: Epidemics Mr. Steve Roberts, e-learning Pedagogical Support Unit
    HKU03x: Humanity and Nature in Chinese Thought Mr. Darren Harbutt, e-learning Pedagogical Support Unit
    MOOC Course Structure Mr. Nicky Ng, e-learning Pedagogical Support Unit
    Date: 16th May, 2014 (Friday)
    Time: 12:45 pm -2 pm
    Venue: Room 321, Run Run Shaw Building, HKU


    The University of Hong Kong will be delivering four Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) through edX ( Work on these MOOCs has been progressing steadily and this seminar will update colleagues on what has been happening with the development work. Participants will learn about the content and pedagogical underpinnings of four courses from Architecture, Medicine, Philosophy and Journalism & Media Studies. Participants will also be shown examples of course pages from the MOOCs that are being developed. There will be a question and answer session so come along and find out everything you always wanted to know about MOOCs.

    For information on registration, please contact:
    Ms Ivy Lai , CETL
    Phone: 3917 8996; Email:

    Wen Wei Po article on HKU’s MOOCs March 4, 2014 Posted in: edX, MOOC

    Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 4.22.09 pm
    Wen Wei Po interviewed Professor Amy B.M. Tsui, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching & Learning), on HKU’s approach to massive open online courses (MOOCs) and our contribution to the edX platform. Read the article to find out more about how MOOCs bring a shift to the teaching and learning landscape of higher education, and change the way we envision alternatives to pedagogies. In the article, Professor David P.Y. Lung, Professor of Architecture, also shared about the challenges and excitement of preparing his edX course on vernacular heritage in Asia.