Teaching and Learning at The University of Hong Kong HKU

e-learning Blog    > HKU Online Learning & MOOCs    > CETL    > UG Research Fellowship


Technology is spinning the world faster everyday in tandem with rising expectations for education quality. It is crucial for educators to keep pace with such evolutions in order to maximize the impact of our work. In his talk “Promoting and Enabling Technology-Enriched Learning: Challenges and Strategies” on May 30th, 2018, Professor Toru Iiyoshi shared his insights on harnessing technology to create a better future for education.

Professor Iiyoshi is the Deputy Vice President for Education, and Director and a professor at the Center for the Promotion of Excellence in Higher Education of Kyoto University. He also serves as Executive Director of KyotoUx.

Harnessing technology to improve
Continuously improving education is the key to overcome lethargy. Quoting Professor Iiyoshi, “If we learn today as we learned yesterday, we rob ourselves of tomorrow.” With more advanced and user-friendly technology at our disposal, obtaining data to quantify and objectively reflect on our work has become easier. The use of learning analytics to measure, examine and evaluate the effectiveness of teaching and learning can serve as important feedback mechanisms for teachers to review and improve their teaching. Also, institutions can make use of such information to design more effective curricula and manage resources more efficiently.

Educational tools, such as Mentimeter, Google Docs and Kahoot!, can also be employed to engage learners in class, such that they learn more actively and with greater effectiveness. Technology is the tool for educators to harness, enabling educators to create quality time in learners’ learning experience, improve the quality of teaching and learning, increase efficiency, and ultimately drive cultural changes. Higher education should become more timely, data-rich, personalized, expandable and extensive, and technological advancements are giving us the means to achieve it.

Open education – the door to sharing and collaboration
Thinking out of the box and attempting the unconventional is necessary in order to improve education beyond our current level. Professor Iiyoshi envisions Open Education to be the form of higher education by 2025 – instead of each tertiary institute being individually responsible for developing their own curricula, resources will be shared in creating courses, educational ideas will be proactively exchanged to facilitate collaboration, and even courses themselves will be shared. For example, by packing knowledge into short videos as online components, courses can become modular and stackable in form of micromasters and nanodegrees recognized by more universities, which when accumulated contribute to one’s academic credentials like virtual currencies.

Broadening the pool of knowledge and resources to create more knowledge at the global level is beneficial to all, as more resources allow higher ceilings. Furthermore, technology helps disseminate knowledge globally with current information and communications technology, and facilitates educators to share and build practical knowledge and know-hows of educational resource development.

Food for thought
Towards the end of the talk, Professor Iiyoshi outlines a few questions for further reflection:

  • How can Open Education play out in this rapidly changing higher education landscape?
  • What is a university? Is it defined by its physical space?
  • What are the roles of teachers and students in learning in traditional view? Have they changed?
  • How does technology impact the traditional view of “higher education = degrees”?

Do these questions intrigue you? Let us know what you think.

Dive deeper
Professor Iiyoshi had an interesting conversation with a computer equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) in his TED talk in 2015. In his talk, Professor Iiyoshi engaged in a discussion about lifelong learning with the said AI, demonstrating the capabilities of the AI, and inspiring us what possibilities can be achieved by utilizing artificial intelligence.

Resources introduced by Professor Iiyoshi

  1. Kyoto University OpenCourseWare, a free, open-source online repository of Kyoto University’s course materials.
  2. KyotoUx, a comprehensive list of MOOCs produced by Kyoto University.
  3. Mutual Online System for Teach and Learning (MOST): a platform where teachers host and share teaching improvement practices (in Japanese)
  4. CONNECT, a website introducing educational practices using information and communications technology used in Kyoto University.


Explore the “secrets” of dental materials and digital dentistry together in the Materials in Oral Health MOOC offered by the best dental school in the world.

Register now!

Click here if you cannot access Youtube.

We all need healthy teeth, don’t we? Have you ever wondered why titanium, ceramics and some synthetic polymeric materials are the “materials of choice” in oral health care? What are the “secrets” that make these materials so special for dental implants and other restorative procedures?


HKU Dentistry ranking No. 1 in the World has the vision to bring together the expertise and best practices in dental materials and biomaterials in the rerun of the MOOC Materials in Oral Health. The course is taught by a professional team of 30+ local, regional and international dentistry professionals and experts in dentistry and dental materials. What does this course cover? This 4-week Oral Biomaterials course unveils the exciting and unique properties and clinical implications of some state-of-the-art dental materials, including titanium, zirconia and modern synthetic polymer-based composites. We are also going to look at the crucial roles of CAD/CAM technology and 3D printing in dental application and digital orthodontics.


Oral biomaterials today is an exciting area encompassing contributions from professional dentistry to biology, chemistry, physics, material science, mathematics and engineering. Whether you are dental practitioners and dental technicians, non-dental practitioners, dental students, university students from various disciplines, or senior secondary school students – this course will open your eyes to the magic of dental materials science. If you are a prospective university student, this course can open up new and exciting opportunities possibly leading to new career paths.


Join us in the upcoming Materials in Oral Health MOOC on 23 June 2018 (HKT)!

Register now!

Follow our Facebook pages: HKU Online Learning and Dental Materials Science, Faculty of Dentistry, HKU!

Learners’ Stories

Who are the Teachers in the MOOC course?

Week 1
Prof. Jukka Pekka Matinlinna (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Titanium and Its Application – Introduction to Dental Materials: Metal
  • Ceramics – Introduction to Dental Materials: Ceramics, Zirconia and Alumina
  • Surface Treatment – An Introduction to Surface Treatment Methods; Surface Treatment Method: Acid Etching
Dr. Nikos Mattheos (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Titanium and Its Application – Introduction to Materials used in Implant Dentistry
  • Ceramics – Dental Material Choice: Zirconia vs. Titanium
Prof. Niklaus Peter Lang (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Titanium and Its Application – What does the Future Hold for Titanium and Its Alloys?
Dr. Justin Paul Curtin (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Titanium and Its Application – Titanium and Its Applications in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Dr. Edmond Ho Nang Pow (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Ceramics – Ceramic Materials Used in Restorative Dentistry, Introduction in Types and Indication
Prof. Timo Närhi (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Ceramics – The Development and Advantages of Glass Ceramics
Dr. Hamdi Hosni Hamama (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Surface Treatment – Acid Etching: Bonding to Enamel and Dentine
Week 2
Prof. Damien Walmsley (The University of Birmingham, UK)

  • Modern Composites – Choice of Dental Fillings: Silver or Composites
Prof. Pekka Vallittu (The University of Turku, Finland)

  • Modern Composites – An Overview of Fibre-Reinforced Composite (FRC) in
    Dentistry; Fibre-Reinforced Composite (FRC) : Chemistry, Properties, Fibre Types and Orientation; Applications of Fibre-Reinforced Composite (FRC) in Dentistry
Prof. Jukka Pekka Matinlinna (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Modern Cements – An Introduction to Dental Cements
Prof. Cynthia Kar Yung Yiu (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Modern Cements – Introduction to Glass Ionomer Cements (GIC) and Resin-modified Glass Ionomer Cements (RMGIC)
Prof. Josette Camilleri (The University of Malta)

  • Modern Cements – Tricalcium Silicate-based Endodontic Cements – Properties and Modifications; Tricalcium Silicate-based Endodontic Cements – Radiopacifier; Tricalcium Silicate-based Endodontic Cements – Modifications in Mixing Liquids and Additives; Tricalcium Silicate-based Endodontic Cements – Hydraulic Properties and Bioactivities
Dr. Manikandan Ekambaram (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Clinical Material of Choice – Classification and Composition of Resin Dental Adhesives; Resin Adhesion to Tooth Tissues; Indications of Resin Dental Adhesives
Week 3
Dr. James Kit Hon Tsoi (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Digital Imaging – Introduction to Digital Dentistry
Dr. Walter Yu Hang Lam (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Digital Imaging – 3D Digital Stereophotogrammetry; Intraoral Scanner
  • Other Digital Techniques – Shade Matching
Prof. Michael Bornstein (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Digital Imaging – Introduction to Oral Radiology; The Basic Principles of Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT)
Dr. Andy Wai Kan Yeung (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Digital Imaging – Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT)
Dr. Henry Wai Kuen Luk (The University of Hong Kong)

  • CAD/CAM and Digital Technology in Crown Fabrication, Digital Orthodontics and OMFS – CAD/CAM Technology in Crown Fabrication – An Introduction
Dr. John Yung Chuan Wu (The University of Hong Kong)

  • CAD/CAM and Digital Technology in Crown Fabrication, Digital Orthodontics and OMFS – Orthodontics – Diagnosis and Treatment Methods
Dr. Winnie Wing Shan Choi (The University of Hong Kong)

  • CAD/CAM and Digital Technology in Crown Fabrication, Digital Orthodontics and OMFS – Digital Dentistry in the Field of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Dr. Dominic King Lun Ho (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Other Digital Techniques – Digital Probing
Dr. Will Wei Qiao (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Other Digital Techniques – 3D Printing
Week 4
Dr. Tian Tian (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Adhesion Test and Bond Strength – Adhesion in Restorative Dentistry
Dr. Xiaozhuang Jin (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Adhesion Test and Bond Strength – A Finite Element Study on Dental Bond Strength Tests
Dr. Prasanna Neelakantan (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Adhesion Test and Bond Strength – Impact of Root Canal Irrigants on Root Filling Materials
Prof. Will Palin (The University of Birmingham)

  • Spectroscopy – Introduction to Spectroscopy
Prof. Edwin Kukk (The University of Turku, Finland)

  • Spectroscopy – Surface Analysis: What is a Surface?; Methods to Study the Surfaces: ESCA; ESCA Study of Titanium
Dr. Sari Granroth (The University of Turku, Finland)

  • Spectroscopy – ESCA Study of Titanium

Sneak Previews
Have a taster of what will be taught in this course!
(Sneak preview playlist here.)

The Application of Silicon and Silicon Compounds in Dentistry – Prof. Jukka Pekka Matinlinna
- “Silicones find a wide range of biomedical applications…”

Dental Material Choice: Zirconia vs Titanium – Prof. Niklaus P. Lang
- “Shortcomings with titanium are mostly aesthetic in nature…”

What is Digital Dentistry? – Dr. James Tsoi
- “Digital dentistry is one of the emerging fields in dentistry…”

Materials used in Implants – Dr. Nikos Mattheos
- “Osseointegration is a remarkable story of scientific discovery…”

More sneak previews here.

Assessment drives learning, and authentic assessment is key to producing better, deeper and more sustainable learning, said Professor Rick Glofcheski in the Authentic Assessment Symposium: The Transformation of Learning in Higher Education on May 3, 2018. In this Symposium, practitioners from various disciplines in HKU shared how they transform students’ learning experience with authentic assessments and technology.

Group photo of speakers, panel discussant and student representatives.
(From left to right) Back row: Professor Rick Glofcheski, Dr. Michael Botelho, Dr. Tim Wotherspoon, Mr. John Guest, Professor David Carless, Dr. Pamela Lee;
Middle row: Mr. David Lee, Ms. Alice Lee, Ms. Xiaotian Zhang, Ms. Tess Hogue, Ms. Vincci Mak, Ms. Tanya Kempston, Ms. Andrea Qi;
Front row: Ms. Sharon Kit-Yee Yuen, Mr. Santos Ting San Cheung, Mr. Anson Hui, Mr. Jun Seongjun Ko

What is Authentic Assessment?

An authentic assessment is one that requires real-world applications of learning. It often engages students in solving complex and ill-defined problems while taking into account the broad social context.

One of the fundamental goals of university education is to get students prepared for the challenges in the real world, and one way to facilitate their learning is to design authentic assessment tasks. As pointed out by Professor Glofcheski in his introduction, “students’ learning habits are to a large degree driven by how they will be assessed”, assessments are therefore vital in motivating students to make meaningful connections between doctrinal learning and the real world. This is where authenticity comes into play in assessment design.

Compared to conventional assessment, “[authentic assessment] produces better learning, deeper learning, and more sustainable learning”, said Professor Glofcheski.

The Use of Technology in Authentic Assessment Practices

Authentic assessment practices have been adopted across different disciplines in HKU, some of which are enabled by technology. Here are some examples:

Engaging Law Students with Reflective Media Diary

Professor Glofcheski engages his students with authentic news stories. In his tort law class, students are expected to identify and analyze news stories from a legal perspective, and create their own online news diary.

Unlike conventional examinations which often consists of hypothetical, artificial, and sometimes exaggerated problems, the reflective media diary engages students with real-world incidents. More importantly, it pushes them to exercise their own judgement in evaluating whether a news story is relevant to the subject matter. News writers normally do not use words such as “tort” or “negligence”, “this mimics how it will be in the real-world,” said Professor Glofcheski.

Facilitating Learning with Video Exemplars of Key Skills Performances in Dentistry

Dr. Michael Botelho from the Faculty of Dentistry facilitates learning and prepares students for assessment with videos. He video-recorded authentic, in-the-moment, evaluations of individual students’ performance and uploaded the videos to Moodle, an online learning management system (LMS), for all students to view. This gives students a clear idea about how they are going to be assessed and what clinical skills they are expected to develop, hence “opening the black box of stressful exams”. Since the videos are available online, students can review them multiple times before the actual assessment.

Assessing Medical Students Real-time with E-portfolio

Dr. Pamela Lee from the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine conducts real-time assessment of her students when they are practicing with real patients on-site. She observes students’ performance in the ward, an authentic workplace, and assess their practical competences on an e-portfolio system. This is an effective way to evaluate students’ competencies in practising in the real world.

(Left) Dr. Lee assessing students’ competence in examining real patients in the ward with an iPad.
(Right) The e-portfolio system for real-time assessment.

Facilitating Peer Assessment in Teaching Drama

“In authentic assessment, feedback is very important,” said Ms. Tanya Kempston, instructor of the Common Core Course CCHU9059 Making and Appreciating Drama. In her class, students perform drama in groups and assess their peers using an online tool called TEAMMATES.

In order to “make the assessment a more authentic experience for our students”, Ms. Kempston believes that assessment should not be unidirectional and carried out only by the course lecturer. Instead, students should be given the opportunity to provide formative qualitative feedback for their peers and grade them in terms of their contributions to the group.

Highlights of the Symposium

Check out the following recordings of the Symposium for more inspiring ideas in teaching and learning!

Authentic Assessment: Introduction and Example (Reflective Media Diary)

Professor Rick Glofcheski
Professor, Faculty of Law

Download the slides here.

Authentic Assessment in “Shaping the Landscape” at HKU

Ms. Vincci Mak
Senior Lecturer, Division of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Architecture

Slides unavailable for privacy concerns

Authentic Assessment of Multi-domain Competencies for Independent Professional Practice

Dr. Pamela Lee
Clinical Associate Professor, Education Coordinator, Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, LKS Faculty of Medicine

Download the slides here.

Authentic Assessment for Clinical Higher Order Thinking and Performance Skills

Dr. Michael Botelho
Clinical Associate Professor, Faculty of Dentistry

Download the slides here.

Authentic Assessment in Making and Appreciating Drama

Ms. Tanya Kempston
Lecturer, Faculty of Education

Download the slides here.

Authentic Assessment in Business Ethics

Mr. David Lee
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Business and Economics

Download the slides here.

Authentic Assessment in International Relations

Dr. Courtney Fung
Assistant Professor, Department of Politics and Public Administration, Faculty of Social Sciences

Download the slides here.

Authentic Assessment with Analysing Film Clips

Mr. John Guest
Assistant Lecturer, Department of Linguistics, Faculty of Arts

Download the slides here.

Photographic Portfolio in Simplifying Complexity

Dr. Tim Wotherspoon
Lecturer, Faculty of Science

Download the slides here.

Authentic Assessment with Narrative Journalism

Ms. Tess Hogue
Lecturer, Centre for Applied English Studies

Download the slides here.

A 3D approach to integrated learning and assessment

Ms. Alice Lee
Associate Dean (Academic Affairs), Associate Professor, Faculty of Law

Transforming Your own Teaching

Authentic assessments generate positive backwash effect on students’ learning experience. Contact us if you are interested in enhancing learning with authentic assessment and technology.

Promoting and Enabling Technology-Enriched Learning: Challenges and StrategiesOrganized by Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative (TELI)

Details of the event:

Date : 30 May, 2018 (Wednesday)
Time : 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Venue : CPD 2.42 CPD 2.37, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong
(Due to overwhelming response, the venue has been changed to CPD 2.42)
Speaker : Toru Iiyoshi, Ph.D. (Kyoto University)
Respondent : Professor Ricky Kwok (The University of Hong Kong)

Emerging educational innovations and methods, such as MOOCs, SPOCs, OERs, Flipped/Blended Learning, Gamification, AI, VR, AR, and Analytics, are radically transforming learning and teaching in higher education. This talk addresses how we can strategically promote and enable Technology-Enhanced Learning at institution, department, and individual levels. It also reviews and examines some exemplary efforts and practices that help guide us towards inventing the “next-generation” higher education. Finally, with the participants, the session explores how we can create an ecosystem that enables us to build necessary support capacity for more personalized, flexible, and on-demand lifelong learning.

About the Speaker
Toru Iiyoshi is Deputy Vice President for Education, and Director and a professor at the Center for the Promotion of Excellence in Higher Education of Kyoto University. He also serves as Executive Director of KyotoUx. Previously, he was a senior scholar and Director of the Knowledge Media Laboratory at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and Senior Strategist in the Office of Educational Innovation and Technology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Iiyoshi has served as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Technology and Education as well as a visiting professor of the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies at the University of Tokyo. He is a co-editor of the Carnegie Foundation book, Opening Up Education: The Collective Advancement of Education through Open Technology, Open Content, and Open Knowledge (MIT Press).


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

Thank you for joining us at the HKU EdTech Day on April 26, 2018! In this event, we showcased HKU’s pioneering efforts in developing e-learning and introduced the latest (and coolest!) technology to teachers, students and visitors. We were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of our guests!

Highlights of the day

AR Sky Lantern
Make a wish

Wish upon a lantern

AR Dinosaur
Free photo taking with our 3D Gigantoraptor

Filming Station Photo-taking
Free photo taking in our mini studio
A unique souvenir to bring home!

VR Tilt Brush

Unleash your creativity – 3D painting in the air!

VR Rock Climbing

Fire up your adventurous spirit!

Our Place in the Universe

Explore the wonders of the Universe with the Armillary Sphere app
* This app will be used in our upcoming Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Our Place in the Universe, which will be launched in June 2018. Learn more about the MOOC here. More details will be announced on Facebook.

HKU Online Learning - Courses and tools
A showcase of our online courses and the Video Vox Platform

EdTech Tools Showcase
Experience instant online polling with Mentimeter

Student Initiative

eLearning services provided by ITS

imseCAVE visit

Thank you once again for joining us in this joyous occasion. Check out our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more photos!

Contact us if you are interested in using edtech tools in your classroom!

We hope to see you all again in our upcoming events! The next one will be the Authentic Assessment Symposium on May 3!

This blog post is part of the ‘Flipped Classroom Professional Development Series’.

There are multiple ways to assess the effectiveness of your flipped class. While there is no single perfect way to measure teaching effectiveness, practitioners from HKU have come up with a few useful methods and tips for evaluation, which they shared in the Flipped Classroom Learning Symposium – Sharing of Pedagogies and Practices. In general, adopting a mixed approach allows you to evaluate your class more comprehensively.

How Researchers Measured Effectiveness in the Literature

  1. Criteria of evaluation
    Effectiveness of the flipped classroom has been measured by multiple ways in the literature, most palpably by examining the course’s direct and indirect educational outcomes. A scoping review conducted by O’Flaherty and Phillips (2015) summarized how educators evaluated the effectiveness of a flipped class by measuring various direct and indirect educational outcomes.

    While different researchers may have different definitions of “educational outcomes”, direct educational outcomes usually refer to (i) students’ scores and grades in traditional summative assessment and (ii) attendance. In particular, students’ performance in tests, exams, group work and group presentations are often used for evaluation in research (Cheng, Lee, Chang & Yang, 2017; Cotta, Shah, Almgren, Macías-Moriarity & Mody, 2016; Gilboy, Heinerichs & Pazzaglia, 2015). In contrast to direct outcomes, indirect educational outcomes include (i) students’ course experience; (ii) their attitudes, perceptions, and feelings towards the course; (iii) student engagement and learning behavior (measured by learning data); and (iv) student empowerment and development in the course, e.g., development of high order thinking skills, such as creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking skills, etc.

    According to O’Flaherty and Phillips (2015), limited research had been conducted on evaluating student learning outcomes in terms of their development of high order thinking skills; more researchers chose to evaluate (i) student satisfaction of the flipped class; (ii) student-teacher interactions; (iii) student engagement in using e-learning gadgets such as apps in mobile devices; and (iv) the opportunity for real-time and immediate feedback (Gilboy et al., 2015)

  2. Tools for data collection
    Apart from evaluating students’ performance in assignments and reports, various tools can be used to collect data. Examples include student evaluation surveys and interviews. Some researchers also supplement their findings with their own observations.

Strategies Used by Practitioners in HKU
In the Flipped Classroom Learning Symposium, practitioners from HKU shared with us how they evaluate the effectiveness of their flipped classes. In general, they tend to adopt a mixed approach in evaluating the effectiveness of flipped classes, i.e. analyzing both direct and indirect educational outcomes, instead of only using one instrument to evaluate a course. This allows them to evaluate their courses more comprehensively.

Criteria of evaluation
When evaluating the effectiveness of their courses, the practitioners usually collect the following types of information:

  1. Students’ grades: For example, Mr. Mathew Pryor, course instructor of CCHU9001 Designs on the Future, considered grades as strong evidence of students’ improvement.
  2. Students’ comments and perceptions on (i) quality of teaching (in terms of clarity of delivery, clarity of goals and standards, opportunities for skill development, etc.); and (ii) assessment design and workload.
  3. Students behaviour in face-to-face interactions and online

Methods of data collection
Students’ feedback can be obtained through formal and informal means.

  1. Formal feedback can be obtained through surveys and interviews.
    • In HKU, the Student Evaluation of Teaching and Learning (SETL) questionnaire is issued at the end of each course as an official way to evaluate course and instructor effectiveness. In Mr. Pryor’s case, SETL scores served as useful reference for his own performance. Both the quantitative scores (direct ratings by students) and the qualitative response (in the form of open-ended comments) provide vital information for him to improve his course. Using this questionnaire, he discovered that his student evaluations “go up by 10%” after flipping his class. The questionnaire provides concrete evidence that proves the effectiveness of the flipped class approach.
    • In 2014, Professor Rick Glofcheski collected students’ feedbacks on his Tort Law flipped class using a survey with TeLi’s support. The survey collected both quantitative and qualitative evidence of the effectiveness of his flipped classes. Below are some examples:
      Quantitative evidence:
      60% students found the classes “useful”, and 34% “very useful”.
      (Image credit: Professor Rick Glofcheski)

      Qualitative evidence (anonymous comments from students):

      • “It helps me better understand and remember the consideration factors of duty of care.”
      • “It also is an opportunity to discuss with other classmates and get ideas and inspirations from them.”
      • “The class also acts as a useful preparation for future legal practices as it encourages students to articulately express themselves in both oral and written forms.”
      • “Very useful, made me understand the problems better and engage in debate with other students.”
    • Dr. Ng Ming Yen from the Department of Diagnostic Radiology also collected feedback from students in his tutorials on chest pain imaging using a questionnaire. It was part of an experiment he conducted in 2016-2017 to examine the effectiveness of the flipped class approach. 60 students first attended lectures and completed a questionnaire. They then attended flipped classes 6 months later and filled in the questionnaires again. The result showed that the students generally appreciated the videos and over 75% of them thought that the flipped class was an improvement.
      Apart from quantitative data, Dr. Ng also collected qualitative comments from students. For example, some students asked for more cases and more time for discussion. These comments provide references for improvement in the next cohort.
  2. Informal feedback can be quickly obtained by teachers in class and online. For example, a quick show of hands gives teachers a rough impression of whether students enjoy an activity. Teachers can also invite students to give anonymous feedback using discussion forums or online polling tools, such as Mentimeter.

    In Mr. Pryor’s case, he highly valued and respected students’ feedback. To understand how students perceive his teaching, he collected informal feedback by asking simple, straight-forward questions such as “Which activity do you like or not like?” or even “Are you happy?” on discussion forums or with Mentimeter. These immediate feedback from students are pivotal in course planning and strategizing.

  3. Observation of students’ behaviour in face-to-face interactions: It is also important for teachers to observe students’ response and behaviour in class, as their body language honestly reflects their extent of engagement and satisfaction. They provide alternative evidence to support findings generated in formal surveys. For example, For example, Dr. Courtney Fung evaluated the effectiveness of her teaching by observing students’ behaviour and response. In class, students assume roles of different nations and simulate real-world political negotiations to resolve crises. Since this activity was student-led, Dr. Fung acted as a facilitator and an observer during the process of negotiation. She observed that not only students were engaged in class, they even self-initiated further discussions over lunch after class. The level of engagement was high, which in turn reflected the effectiveness of the class.

    Dr. Courtney Fung

To sum up, it is best to evaluate a course from multiple dimensions, as different scales of measurement shed light on different aspects of a course. Direct and indirect educational outcomes, as well as students’ feedback, engagement and learning behavior, all have different advantages in telling how effective a flipped class is based on the nature of the course. Aligning your expected students’ learning outcomes with appropriate ways of measurement is crucial for effective evaluation.

Building a flipped class is a long process of development. From preparing online and pre-class elements, encouraging student participation, designing in-class activities, to evaluating  effectiveness, a lot of support and resources may be needed. It is our mission to support teachers in developing e-learning materials and flipping their classes. Contact us if you need help!

Next step
If you are interested in further exploring teaching and learning with us, don’t miss the Authentic Assessment Symposium: The Transformation of Learning in Higher Education on May 3!

This blog post is part of the Flipped Classroom Professional Development Series. More articles from the series:

Cheng, X., Lee, K. H., Chang, E. Y., & Yang, X. (2017). The “flipped classroom” approach: Stimulating positive learning attitudes and improving mastery of histology among medical students. Anatomical Sciences Education, 10(4), 317-327. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.eproxy1.lib.hku.hk/docview/1969022918?accountid=14548

Cotta, K. I., Shah, S., Almgren, M. M., Macías-Moriarity, L. Z., & Mody, V. (2016). Effectiveness of flipped classroom instructional model in teaching pharmaceutical calculations. Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning,8(5), 646-653.

Gilboy, M. B., Heinerichs,S., & Pazzaglia, G. (2015). Enhancing student engagement using the flipped classroom. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior,47(1), 109-114.

O’Flaherty, J. & Phillips, C. (2015). The use of flipped classrooms in higher education: A scoping review. Internet and Higher Education, 25(8), 85-95. Doi: 10.1016/j.iheduc.2015.02.002.

The University of Hong Kong (2018). Educational aims and institutional learning outcomes. In Undergraduate Handbook. Retrieved from http://www.handbook.hku.hk/ug/full-time-2017-18/important-policies/educational-aims-and-institutional-learning-outcomes

Organised by Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative (TELI)

Authentic Assessment Symposium banner

Details of the event:

Date : 3 May, 2018 (Thursday)
Time : 9:30am – 1:00pm
Venue : CPD-LG.18, LG/F, Central Podium, Centennial Campus, HKU


In the higher education sector, assessment has been characterized as “driving student learning” – it determines students’ learning strategies and affects their learning outcomes. Authentic assessment strategies, which draw connections between the subject matter and real-world problems, have demonstrated high effectiveness and efficiency in clinical education. But is that the only context where authentic assessment could be applied? Can authentic assessment be adopted in day-to-day classroom teaching and learning across different subjects?

In this symposium, practitioners from law, medicine, dentistry, education, science, social sciences, architecture, arts and CAES will share their philosophy and practices in applying authentic assessment in their classroom. Student representatives will also be invited to share their learning experience and how authentic assessment has enabled deeper learning.


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



Imagine, experiment, partner with students, build capacity - These are some tips in implementing the blended learning approach shared by expert practitioners in a seminar on February, 26, 2018. Entitled “Blended Learning: Are we Blending and at the same time, Enhancing Student Learning?”, this seminar featured Professor Bob Fox, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Education Portfolio, the University of New South Wales (UNSW); Dr. NS Wong, Associate Professor in the School of Biological Sciences; and Dr. Allan Yuen, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, HKU. The three speakers shared exemplary cases from various disciplines and their lessons learnt from implementing blended learning.

What is Blended Learning?

“Blended learning is the thoughtful fusion of face-to-face and online learning experiences,” (Garrison & Vaughan, 2008, p.5). In addition to that, it is the fusion of formal and informal; as well as synchronous and asynchronous elements in the curriculum, as pointed out by Dr. Yuen. With more and more teachers shifting to this approach, “blended learning is now the norm,” said Professor Fox.

Elements of Blended Learning

Blending different modes of learning in a course is an effective way to enhance student learning. The following is a list of examples introduced by the speakers:

  1. Replace traditional lectures with tutorials and group activities:
    • In a Civil Engineering course in UNSW, traditional lectures were transformed into small group and individual tutorials, where students work through the content with a study guide. This mode of learning is problem-based, activity-led and self-paced. Weaker students can obtain extra tutorial support, while more advanced students are encouraged to support weaker one for badges.
    • In Dr. Wong’s course on metabolism, students are guided to form “communities of active inquiry” – together they explore concepts, re-synthesize information, propose new questions and complete in-class exercises. By blending “student-based research-style learning” into the course, “in-depth learning is positively promoted”, commented Dr. Wong.
  2. Use of ed-tech
    • Videos: In UNSW, videos developed for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are re-used in flipping on-campus courses. This is termed as the ‘BOOC Flip’ (Blended Open On-campus Course).Dr. Wong also developed videos for his course CCST9006 Scientific and Technological Literacy. Here is a glimpse of his course:
    • Learning Management Systems, such as Moodle, are widely used as a gateway for students to coordinate learning, including conveniently access course materials, submit assignments, receive feedback and discuss with their peers.
    • Adaptive learning platforms: In UNSW, the course team of MATH2018 Engineering Mathematics 2D used an adaptive learning platform called Smart Sparrow to develop self-paced adaptive online tutorials for students, replacing F2F tutorials.
    • The MATH2018 course course team also developed a Ninja game. This game consists of a series of exercises with progressive levels of difficulty. Students need to work their way up until they obtain the black belt. This creates incentives for students to learn better.
    • 3D and VR technology: In BLDG1021 Industrial & Infrastructure Construction, an undergraduate course offered by the Faculty of Built Environment, UNSW, students receive industry training through stepping into the AVIE mining space, an immersive 360-degree construction site environment. It is a virtual space and a safe environment to gain industry-relevant experience.
  3. Experiential learning and industry partnering
    • In BLDG1021, faculty partners with professional builders and create opportunities for students to get involved in real world construction projects off-campus.

Tips for Developing Effective Blended Learning Experiences
To maximize the impact of blended learning, the speakers offered the following tips in implementing the approach:

  1. Pilot and experiment
    While it is exciting to incorporate new modes of teaching into your course, it can also be worrying for some – What if it does not work? One way to minimize risk is to pilot test your new ideas and conduct controlled experiments, advised by Professor Fox.
  2. Partnership with students
    1. Work with students in developing course materials
      One effective way to develop materials that best suit students’ needs is to involve them in the development process. For example, UNSW pays students to develop resources for them and help faculty members innovate. In Dr. Wong’s case, he creates student internship and once invited a student to produce a short video for him to use in a practical session.
    2. Obtain student feedback
      Dr. Wong collects student feedback through administering questionnaires at the end of the course. The feedback is essential for making modifications to the course.
  3. Capability-building for staff
    As pointed out by Professor Fox, teachers need ongoing support in developing blended learning resources and materials. Learning from UNSW’s example, the following should be done on the institutional and administrative level to ensure effective implementation of blended learning strategies:

    1. Develop curriculum models, frameworks and strategies for all faculties to buy into
    2. Build partnership with faculties and students
    3. Offer ongoing support to faculties and staff in team-building and capacity-building
    4. Provide resources, technologies and/or funding
    5. Provide promotion and encouragement to staff to get involved in improving teaching and learning
      • In UNSW, the promotion and tenure system has been refined to ensure that teachers get rewarded and promoted for their efforts made in teaching and learning. 400 academic positions which are education-focused have been set up. Teachers who choose this academic track can focus on teaching and learning instead of research for 5 years. After the 5-year period, they can decide whether to switch back to research track.

Imagine new ways to teach
Learning is fundamentally about change,” said Dr. Yuen. “Students nowadays are very different from us when we were still students”. In order to enhance student learning, it is necessary for us to reconsider our pedagogy and imagine new ways to teach, using blended learning and other digital technologies. To Dr. Yuen, “blended learning / e-learning is not a simple technological adoption, but a call of teachers to carefully examine their pedagogical practices from a new perspective.” He believes that only by “allow[ing] our imaginations to be at work”, can we unleash the “enormous potential for growth and engagement” of higher education. He left us with two thought-provoking questions:

  1. How do we shape and reshape new learning environment for the New Generation Learners?
  2. What is your imagination in 5 years? How are you going to teach your subject in 5 years?

Dr. Wong believes that by shifting from traditional lectures to blended learning, we are setting students free from a rigid and often unengaging mode of learning. In order to maximize students’ freedom and effectiveness in learning, we need to set our imagination free in innovating our pedagogies.

What is your vision for your classroom in the future? Share your ideas with us.

Further reading

  1. Designing In-class Activities for Flipped Classroom: A Step-by-step Guide
  2. Getting Students Ready for Your Flipped Class
  3. Designing Your Own Flipped Classroom: Online and Pre-class Elements
  4. Flipped Classroom: A Grassroot Movement of T&L Change
  5. Garrison, D., & Vaughan, N. D. (2008). Blended learning in Higher Education: Framework, Principles and Guidelines. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


Week 1 Teaser
Week 1 Teaser
Week 2 Teaser
Week 2 Teaser
Week 3 Teaser
Week 3 Teaser
Week 4 Teaser
Week 4 Teaser
Week 5 Teaser
Week 5 Teaser
Week 6 Teaser
Week 6 Teaser

Register now! 課程登記指引

HKU Online LearningWhatever you know and wherever you are we invite you to join us on a journey to consider how the local and the global intersect to make Hong Kong cinema an integral part of popular culture around the world as well as a leading force in the development of world cinematic art.




Highlights of the course

  • Develop your critical and historical thinking skills through analyzing the interconnected relationship between the global scene and local lives in HK films;
  • Broaden your perspectives on identity issues through finding the familiar in the foreign in Hong Kong cinema;
  • Deepen your perspective on the impact of globalization on your own society through analyzing Hong Kong cinema.


  • 通過分析香港電影業的本地市場與國際舞臺之間的關係,培養您的批判和歷史思維能力;
  • 在香港電影中不熟識的場景尋找熟識的細節,從而拓展您對身份問題的了解;
  • 通過分析香港電影業,讓您更明白全球化對社會的影響。

The course was awarded the 2017 MOOCr Awards – Bronze Award (Course Management and Promotion) in the 4th Greater China MOOC Symposium.


Follow us on Facebook for more updates!


Further Reading

  1. Gina Marchetti, Aaron Han Joon Magnan-Park and Stacilee Ford (2017, March). Enter the Future: Behind the Scenes of a New MOOC, Viewfinder (No. 106), pp.8-9.
  2. Gina Marchetti, Aaron Han Joon Magnan-Park and Stacilee Ford (2018, January). MOOCs Turn Local into Global, AsiaGlobal Online. Retrieved from http://www.asiaglobalonline.hku.hk/moocs-turn-local-into-global/
  3. Film Matters Magazine (9 February 2017). New HKU MOOC: Hong Kong Cinema Through a Global Lens Premieres on 7 February 2017.
  4. 翟啟豪:港大免費網上課程 全球視野看港片影響力 [Translation: Free HKU online course - Hong Kong Cinema Through A Global Lens] (HK01, 9 February 2017)
  5. Amy Nip. Switch onto movie action with HKU online course. (The Standard, 7 February 2017)
  6. Enid Tsui. University of Hong Kong launches MOOC to teach film buffs how Hong Kong cinema conquered the world (South China Morning Post, 6 February 2017)
Related Items 


Fostering stronger inter-collegiate links and sharing of knowledge expertise have always been high priorities in the World’s No. 1 Dental Faculty in the World. From January 29 to February 2, 2018, Dental Materials Science of the Faculty of Dentistry collaborated with HKU TeLi to run a winter programme in Applied Oral Sciences (AOS) at Prince Philip Dental Hospital.

AOS is a 5-day blended learning programme which aims to share (i) innovative methods and best practices in dental materials science research and on-campus instructions, as well as, (ii) technology-enriched pedagogies in teaching and learning, in particularly, in MOOCs and MOOC-based teaching and learning design to dentistry and medical faculties in mainland China and Korea.

AOS participants included 80+ students and teachers from 22 dental and medical schools from Korea and China, The list of institutions of the participants are as follows: BengBu Medical University , China Medical University , Chonnam National University , Fujian Medical University , Guangxi Medical University , Harbin Medical University , Hunan University of Medicine , Huzhou University , Jinzhou Medical University , Jiujiang University , Kunming Health Vocational Institute , Nantong University , Pusan National University , Qinghai University , Shijiazhuang Medical College , Taishan Medical University , Tangshan Vocational and Technical College , Tianjin Medical University , Wenzhou Medical University , Wenzhou Medical University Renji College , Wuhan University , and Xingtai Medical College.

The programme was packed with intensive knowledge sessions of featured lectures, as well as, experiential learning and interactive workshops.

Professor Jukka Matinlinna introducing the newest endeavours of Dental Materials Science Faculty.

Dr. James Tsoi talked about teaching and learning in Dental Materials Science.

Deepening Knowledge in Dental Materials Science Research

Through featured lectures conducted by Dental Materials Science faculty, students gained insights in some popular Applied Oral Health research areas including Biomechanics in Orthodontics, Biomaterials for Our Life and Current Approaches and Future Challenges in Dental Pulp Regeneration. These face-to-face sessions also allowed participants to interact with leading academics and dental professionals, as well as, peers from different universities.

Experiencing E-learning and Innovative Pedagogy

All the participants were enrolled in a customized version of the MOOC course for AOS. This enabled the participants to experience the courseware, in particular, the learning activities and bite-sized pedagogy, as well as, the newest science in Dental Materials Science education through videos such as close range surgery demonstrations, stereo-photogrammetry and digital rendering of oral cavities in authentic clinical cases.

A sneak peek of the MOOC: Materials in Oral Health!

TeLi colleague’s sharing of MOOC development.

A platform to Scale MOOC Learning Initiatives beyond the Region

In addition to experiencing the educational methodologies in the MOOC course, educators and teachers from visiting institutions were engaged with a practical session – learning how to deliver content using MOOCs and integrating trending technology in teaching. TeLi shared experiences in MOOC development and production with the teachers, and guided them through the course framework and various key components of the course. Among the topics discussed were pragmatic skills in storyboarding and video production, managing schedules and resource requirements. Many teachers were eager to ask questions and some also shared their own experience and challenges encountered in blended learning and online courses.

The sharing with mainland educators and students enabled TeLi and the Dentistry faculty to transfer our experience to future e-learning creators in professional Dentistry, and empowered the participants to pass on their new experience to more people in the mainland.

It is our hope to inspire more inter-institutional and interdisciplinary collaboration in teaching oral health care, and possibly e-learning pedagogical design and research.

Contact us if you are interested in creating knowledge exchange opportunities with us!


Further reading

MOOC experience sharing with delegates of Anhui Medical University

Page 1 of 1412345...10...Last »

Copyright © 2018 The University of Hong Kong. All Rights Reserved Contact Us