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IT in the Curriculum and E-learning

Analyzing MOOCs to Design for Engaging and Effective E-learning Experiences


The recent rise of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) has reshaped the scope of education. The purpose of developing MOOCs is to provide free and open access to education via the web for learners from diverse background to explore new knowledge together. Therefore, new pedagogies have been proposed to actively engage learners and empower them to learn. In this study, we dissected course videos, forum discussions and courseware of MOOCs produced by HKU. Based on the analysis, we discuss how a course team might produce content for MOOCs, interactive online learning and blended learning.

Project objectives:

  • To measure the impact of HKU’s MOOCs in terms of reach (e.g., number of learners and their geographical distribution, age and education level) and results (e.g., number of registrants, course completers, and certificate earners)
  • To understand what motivated the learners to take the MOOCs
  • To draw patterns of students’ online learning behaviors when taking the MOOCs
  • To investigate the course instructors’ experiences in teaching MOOCs
  • To propose a design framework and pedagogy for MOOCs based on HKU’s MOOC experience
  • To propose a design framework and pedagogy for HKU flexible/online delivery based on HKU’s MOOC experience

Principal Investigator

Dr. L.C.U. Lei, Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative Contact

Project level

University-level project

Project Completion

September 2016


  1. Social media channels featuring HKU’s MOOCs, small private online courses (SPOCs) and e-learning development (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
  2. Professional development SPOCs on interactive online learning:
    • Scale out Teaching, Scale up Learning (Link) (Self-paced online version)
    • Interactive Online Learning (Link) (On-campus blended version)
  3. Research papers and presentations in academic conferences or meetings:
    • LEI, Chi-Un, et al. Advancing MOOC and SPOC development via a learner decision journey analytic framework. In: Teaching, Assessment, and Learning for Engineering (TALE), 2015 IEEE International Conference on. IEEE, 2015. p. 149-156. (Link; IEEE Xplore Digital Library can be accessed through HKUL Electronic Resources)
    • LEI, Chi-Un, et al. Scale Out Teaching, Scale Up Learning: Professional Development For E-Teaching/Learning. In: Teaching, Assessment, and Learning for Engineering (TALE), 2016 IEEE International Conference on. IEEE, 2016. Accepted.
    • LEI, Chi-Un, et al. Leveraging Videos and Forums for Small-class Learning Experience in a MOOC Environment. In: Teaching, Assessment, and Learning for Engineering (TALE), 2016 IEEE International Conference on. IEEE, 2016. Accepted.
    • LEE, Jane, et al. Leveraging MOOC Forums for Thorough and Engaging Discussions. In: HKU CITE Research Symposium, 2016. (Extended abstract; Slides; Video)
    • LEI, Chi-Un, Analyzing Instructional Videos to Design Engaging and Effective Learning Experience. In: HKU Science of Learning SRT SummerFest, 2016. (Abstract; Slides)
    • CHENG, Jingli. Effective use of peer assessment for learning in large-scale online courses: Empirical evidence and recommendations for design. In: AECT-LKAOE Summer International Research Symposium, 2015.
    • CHENG, Jingli. Peer assessment for developing higher order learning skills in MOOCs: Empirical evidence of effectiveness and recommendations for design. In: ICALHE, 2015.
  4. Case sketches on MOOC and SPOC development:
    • DIY Video Production for Flipped Classroom (Link, Video)
    • Tort Law Lecture ‘Flipped’ into an Engaging Discussion (Link, Video)
    • Blogging on edX – Experience of Integrating a MOOC into On-Campus Teaching (Link)
    • From campus to the world – Scale up and scale out (Link, Video 1, Video 2)
    • The best of both worlds? Integrating a MOOC into on-campus teaching (Link)
    • MOOCs, SPOCs and BOOCs: Improving the learner experience in and beyond campus (Link)
    • Thinking Big, Starting Small: Hands-on Workshop on Creating Your SPOC (Link, Video)
    • Flipping the classroom – a success story (Link)
    • Flipped Classroom: Overcoming the Challenges (Link)
    • Conquering the 4Cs: Creating Engaging In-class Activities (Link)
    • In the Making: Introduction to Dinosaur Ecosystems (Link)
    • The Making of HKU03x Humanity and Nature in Chinese Thought (Link, Video)
    • More than Just YouTube Plus a Quiz: HKU03x Humanity and Nature in Chinese Thought (Link)

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