Developing Online Courses/Blended Learning Initiatives with FutureLearn



In line with the global trend and our strategic focus to foster internationalisation, our University has been promoting blended learning to enrich student learning experience and build ties with overseas universities. With SPOCs and other blended learning initiatives, our students would be able to learn alongside their peers in other universities with different cultures, whilst teachers can co-teach with partners in overseas universities, opening up opportunities for joint programmes.

In this light, Teaching and Learning Policy Committee, has recently resolved that the University will use FutureLearn as our initial SPOCs platform. It also wishes to encourage and enable adoption of SPOCs and blended learning activities through the provision of seed funding. Colleagues are invited to turn their ideas into proposals which will be implemented in AY2017/18.


Why FutureLearn?

Among the popular SPOCs and online learning platform providers, FutureLearn is identified to be more suitable for HKBU based on our needs and strategic foci. FutureLearn has already established a number of courses with other universities. It will provide us with a good starting point to collaborate with those potential overseas partners once we become a partner of FutureLearn. To explore the learning environment under this platform, please enrol in any free online courses through:

Examples include:


Seed Funding for Initial Establishment

Financial support will be provided to individual course instructors, through submission of proposals, who are interested to develop a joint SPOC or other blended learning initiatives in FutureLearn with a recognized partner institution using existing or new courses in our curriculum.Up to HKD100,000 can be allocated per proposal to support the initial establishment. Proposals will be accepted until the fund is exhausted.
The first batch of SPOCs in FutureLearn is expected to launch in AY2017/18.

Application Procedure

While there is no strict restriction as to its format, the proposal should cover the following areas (page limit: 2 pages):

  • Intended outcomes of the proposed SPOC(s)/blended learning initiatives
  • Implementation details and timeline (e.g. course(s) involved, subject area(s), class size, local and overseas partners)
  • Budget
  • Mechanism for evaluating effectiveness and success

Proposals (in softcopy format) should be addressed to Dr. Eva Wong, Secretary to the TLPC (tel: 3411 7242, email: Submission will be reviewed by the Vice-President (Teaching and Learning) and two professional colleagues who have extensive experience in promoting blended learning, with the final endorsement by the e-Learning Committee.


Briefing and Webinar Registration

Briefing sessions will be arranged to provide colleagues with details in relation to the online initiatives with FutureLearn. To facilitate our scheduling, please indicate your interest in the briefing through

We will contact with you shortly regarding the dates of the briefing sessions.



Dr. Eva Wong, Secretary to the TLPC (tel: 3411 7242, email:



Funding Application
  • Is there a deadline for applying this seed funding?
  • Do I need to partner with another non-local university to be eligible for this funding?
  • How long should a SPOC last?
  • Do I have to launch my SPOC in the first semester of AY2017/18?
  • Can this seed funding support partner universities for purchasing any SPOCs equipment?
Copyright Issues
  • Can the university provide central support to handle copyright issues?
  • Can I upload students’ works such as videos onto FutureLearn?
  • Can I share my self-produced teaching materials in other platforms as well as the SPOC in FutureLearn?
  • Will there be any centralized facilities in HKBU for my SPOC production?
  • What features and functions in FutureLearn can I adopt in my SPOC?
  • Can my students submit their assignments onto other developed e-learning platforms via posting hyperlinks into FutureLearn?