Developing Online Courses/Blended Learning Initiatives with FutureLearn


Important Notes

You must submit your proposal to the Human (non-clinical) Research Ethics Panel to obtain ethics/safety clearance in parallel while the TDG Panel is reviewing your application. The TDG Secretariat will confirm that you have obtained clearance from the said Panel after the review, please note that TDG cannot support any project without ethical clearance.

Depending on when your proposal will be finally approved, the actual start and completion dates of your project may differ from your proposed ones.




Providing more cross-cultural learning opportunities to our students and promoting internationalisation are the priorities in the Institutional Strategic Plan 2018-2028. In this light, our University has been promoting blended learning and developing partnership with overseas universities.

Developing Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs) and other blended learning initiatives are good examples of such endeavours, through which our students can learn alongside their peers in other universities with different cultural backgrounds. Teachers can also co-teach with overseas partners, opening up more opportunities for joint programmes.


Seed Funding for Initial Establishment

To provide incentive and support in setting up a new SPOC, teachers can apply their innovative blended learning ideas and put together a proposal for a seed funding managed by the TDG Panel. Up to HKD100,000 can be allocated for each successful proposal. Proposals will be processed on a first come, first serve basis, until the fund is exhausted.


Application Form

Please complete an application form and submitted to Dr. Eva Wong (, Secretary to the TDG Panel.
FL-SPOC Application Form


Selection Criteria

At least one partner in a non-local university/organistation must be identified at the time of application. Each SPOC should have a minimum duration of 3 weeks. Teachers are however not expected to produce a 13-week SPOC like the regular lectures.

Each proposal will be evaluated by three reviewers based around the following criteria:

  • Ways to facilitate students to learn alongside their peers in other overseas institution(s)
  • Ways to facilitate co-teaching with overseas partner(s)
  • Intended outcomes of the proposed SPOC(s)/blended learning initiatives
  • Project design including the implementation details and timeline
  • Budget plan
  • Ways to evaluate effectiveness and collect evidence of success


FutureLearn as Platform

FutureLearn is chosen to be our SPOC platform as it has already established a number of courses with other universities. With such a well-established connection, it provides us with a good starting point to collaborate with the potential overseas partners. To explore the learning environment under this platform, please enrol in any free online courses through:

Examples include:


Showcase of HKBU Online Courses

Please visit:



For any enquiries, please feel free to contact Dr Eva Wong, Director of the CHTL (ext.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?
  • 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 centralised 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 eLearning platforms via posting hyperlinks into FutureLearn?