Teaching Development Grants
Completed TDG Projects

IT in the Curriculum & e-Learning

Support Self-Directed Learning in Interdisciplinary Studies by Developing a Knowledge Visualization and Navigation System


With the emergence of massive and flexible information resources in learning settings, students have to cope with complex arrays of knowledge and information. This is particularly true with the exploration of multimedia and digital information resources on the Internet. In addition to class exposition, students learn from their own interactions with a wide range of learning resources. In this context, students need to develop capacities to structure and organize their knowledge and learning resources. This is especially important in interdisciplinary studies, where knowledge from different subjects and domains is interrelated and ill-structured in a complex way. This project addressed the challenge by developing a Web-based knowledge visualization and navigation learning system. Knowledge visualization is used as the key approach to help both learners and instructors to engage in an active learning and instruction processes by constructing spatial-semantic displays of knowledge and by providing navigation guidance to learners. The developed system was used and evaluated by students at several undergraduate courses at HKU. We explore the impact of such knowledge visualization-based learning system in providing students with meaningful and self-directed learning experience.

Principal Investigator

Dr. M. Wang, Faculty of EducationContact

Project level

University-level project

Project Completion

June 2012


  • The findings of the project have been presented in the following public events:
    • The fourth workshop of knowledge management and e-learning at HKU, May 15, 2012
    • Invited speech “Visualizing Knowledge for Learning and Performance” at National Central University of Taiwan, Graduate Institute of Network Learning Technology, Oct 20, 2011
    • A public seminar “Knowledge Visualization for Self-Directed Learning in Online Environments”, at University of Cambridge, Faculty of Education and Hughes Hall College, Apr 4, 2012
  • Publication:
    Wang, M. et al., “Knowledge Visualization for Self-Regulated Learning”, Educational Technology & Society, Vol.14, No.3, 2011, pp.28-42.
  • A web-based knowledge visualization and navigation system was developed but has now been closed due to the lack of further funding to support its maintenance.