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. Successful projects will be reported to relevant Committee(s) for monitoring purposes.


Your Attendance RecordsRegister

Briefing and Webinar Registration

Briefing sessions will be arranged to provide colleagues with details in relation to the online initiatives with FutureLearn:

    1. Initial Induction Workshop – 2.5 hours (Thursday, 13 July 2017)
      Overview of the FutureLearn platform, guiding principles and ways of working.


    1. Course Content Creator – 2 hours (Tuesday, 18 July 2017)
      Practical workshop for participants to learn how to use FutureLearn’s content management system to build courses.


    1. Learning Design – 2 hours (Wednesday, 19 July 2017)
      Following the definition of high level learning objectives, this workshop will discuss ways to (1) create well-defined pen portraits of the target audience to inform user-centred design; (2) develop a storyboard for the online course and plot out learning activities; (3) decide upon appropriate assessment methods.


    1. Learning Experience Sharing – ~2 hours (Thursday, 20 July 2017)
      Consolidation of learning progress and experience from the previous FutureLearn workshops.


  1. Video Pre-production Planning – 2 hours (RESCHEDULED FOR AUG 2017)
    Possible video styles and best practice, with reference to published research and examples from other MOOCs on FutureLearn will be presented. Participants can then decide on the most appropriate video styles for the course activities. This workshop will also cover how videos should be branded using FutureLearn and HKBU logos/graphics, and the minimum standards for accessibility which must be met.

All the above sessions will start at 4:15 p.m., and be held in ACC209, 2/F, Jockey Club Academic Community Centre, Baptist University Road Campus



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?