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Selected Development Project
Project Title Developing a Computer- based Theory of Mind (ToM) Instructional Program for the Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
Principal Investigator Dr. Ho Fuk Chuen
Area of Research Project
Learning and Assessment
Project Period
From 10/2012 To 3/2015

The aim of this project is to develop an interactive multimedia computer program for the students with ASD to enhance their generalisation skills. Baron Cohen, et al.’s (2003) computer program would be used as a reference. The specific objectives of the project are:

  • to compile the existing teaching materials for students with ASD into a multimedia computer program for interactive learning. The computer will consist of the recognition of emotions, appropriate responses to real life situations through quizzes and games; and
  • to conduct a study to validate the effectiveness of the computer program.
Methods Used
  • Five schools will be invited to take part in the project. The teaching materials of the previous ToM teaching packages will be compiled into interactive multimedia computer activities.
  • The developed interactive multimedia computer program will be used to teach the students emotions across different environments. The stories focus on the identification of the emotions of happy, unhappy, scared, and angry in the main characters as well as the side characters. More important, students will be taught to find a solution for the problems caused by the emotions.
Summary of Findings
It is expected that students with ASD would benefit from the computer program to improve their skills in responding to encountered emotions in different environments.
In general, there is a limited number of studies regarding the solution to the emotions encountered by students with ASD. This study should be the first one to focus on the treatment for emotional problems by using local real-life video materials.
Selected Publications Related to the Study
  1. An interactive multimedia computer program for students with ASD
  2. A research report on evaluating the effectiveness of using interactive multimedia computer activities to teach students with ASD
Biography of Principal Investigator
Dr. Ho is the programme co-ordinator of PDP (CDLN). He was formerly an inspector in the Special Education Inspectorate of the Hong Kong Education Bureau. Dr. Ho is now the project leader of 3 externally funded projects in the areas of dyslexia, Theory of Mind and collaborative mode of professional development for teachers in special schools.
Funding Source
Quality Education Fund