Teaching Development Grants
Completed TDG Projects

IT in the Curriculum & e-Learning

An E-learning System for a Science Foundation Course: Enhancing Teaching and Learning for a Large Class with Students of Diverse Mathematics Background


A major challenge in teaching a quantitative Science Foundation course for a large class is the disparity of the level of mathematics preparation among the students. In particular, it is estimated that about 20% of Science students have not learned any calculus while the remaining students learned different amount of calculus from very basic rules to a comprehensive collection of advanced techniques. In this project, we developed an E-learning system for students to learn calculus online through multimedia instructions with videos and slides. Students can practice on exercises and do quizzes online. Automatic feedbacks can be sent to individual student based on his/her performance and progress which can be recorded by the system. From there students can all progress forward to the ultimate goal of the course to build a common, strong foundation in science and reasoning. The system promotes active learning that students can learn anytime and anywhere at their own pace with the system as long as they have internet access. A significant improvement in the performance of the students was detected, which is a strong indication of the effectiveness of the E-learning platform. It enhances students’ learning attitude that students with weaker training in mathematics during their secondary school can perform as well as those with a much stronger background.

Principal Investigator

Dr. K.F. Lam, Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, Faculty of Science Contact

Project level

Programme-level project

Project Completion

May 2015


    1. Media-rich instructional material including:
      • Videos with graphics, and animation
      • Slide shows with audio
    2. A comprehensive set of worked-examples, and a large problem bank of about 800 problems from which exercise sets and tests can be generated.
    3. A tracking programme which can record individual students’ activities of using the system. These data will be stored and analyzed regularly to monitor the performance and progress of individual students, give feedback to students on their performance and progress, and give advice and suggestions to students on how to learn better.
    4. The tracking programme can also give teachers a summary of students’ performance and progress individually and collectively, so that teachers can use the information to adjust their teaching in lectures and tutorials, or to give follow-up academic advice to individual students.
    5. User interfaces of the system:
      • A user-friendly interface of the overall E-learning system, with which students can navigate efficiently to perform various learning tasks such as viewing video or slide shows, working on exercises, asking for advice, etc.
      • A user-friendly interface of the system for teachers, which allows teachers to obtain reports of performance of individual students or the whole class to allow more detailed analysis based on the data collected from time to time.