Advancing Online Learning: Aligning Pedagogy, Course Design and ICT with Open-source Delivery 2011-2013

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Principal Investigator
Professor Allan Walker
Director of APCLC, The Education University of Hong Kong
Team Members
Dr. Darren Bryant
Dr. Qian Haiyan 
Professor Philip Hallinger 
Miss Tam Hoi-ling Helen
Ms Song Xinzhu Barbara 
Dr. Lo Yuen-yi (till August 2012)
Funding Source
University Level Teaching Development Grants 2011/12


Despite the promise of web-based instruction, universities in Hong Kong have been slow to utilize available technology to produce quality courses (Lee & Chan, 2008), meet the changing learning needs of students, successfully engage a large number of teachers in innovative new web learning technologies, tap emerging and non-traditional local and regional student markets, and increase their visibility in the Region. This presents a gap in the instructional landscape, one brimming with potential for institutions wanting to break with a continued reliance on past learning paradigms, and establish a presence through high quality online courses (Rovai & Downey, 2010). 

This project focuses on the development and dissemination of cutting-edge closed and open source web-based, student-centered learning materials accessible from a range of static and portable devices. These modes of delivery and learning, such as podcasts and wikis, are relatively nascent and in need of further research into how they can be leveraged in the interest of student learning (Heilesen, 2010; Hulsmann, 2009; Kear et al., 2010). Building on knowledge collected during the development of an initial set of web-based courses for the IEMA program, this project aims to extend HKIEd’s foray into online learning through the design of innovative online instructional resources using a range of pedagogies carefully integrated with social networking tools (c.f. Ally, 2009; Amhag & Jakobsson, 2009; Benson & Samarawickrema, 2009; Lonn & Teasley, 2009; Sayed, 2010).

The deliverables include:
  • a comprehensive, user-friendly template for designing web-based courses (available across the Institute).
  • an organized collection of functioning open source courses using the IEMA program courses as a set of demonstration courses which illustrate and elaborate on the practical options and potential for making HKIEd’s knowledge resources more broadly accessible.
  • completion of the Institutes first fully web-based program (IEMA).
Beyond these deliverables, the project will have at least three other outcomes:
  • increased capacity among instructional staff to integrate new technology into their teaching,
  • a group of HKIEd faculty who can serve as ‘early adopters’ and coaches for other staff and programs that wish to move in this direction,
  • cross departmental cooperation between the LTTC, IT and APCLC/EPL depts. which will leverage existing but largely untapped investments made by HKIEd in learning technologies.

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