Self-Learning Toolkit for Undergraduate Students to Facilitate Their Understanding of the Latest Scientific Discoveries in Research Publications
Principal Supervisors

Professor Jiang Liwen
(School of Life Sciences)


2 years and 6 months

Approved Budget

HK $336,000

  • Abstract
  • Brief write-up
  • Video Report


Scientific literacy relies on effective dissemination of research knowledge. However, traditional undergraduate study in Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) largely relies on absorbing well-established knowledge from secondary sources such as textbooks. There is an urgent need for students to acquire the most up-to-date knowledge from primary research papers. Nevertheless, many students find it difficult to read through a scientific paper because in order to understand its content, it is common to study more than 10 supplementary papers so as to acquire sufficient background knowledge. Thus, there is an enormous barrier to understanding scientific research that needs to be lowered in undergraduate CMB courses.

This project aims to promote the latest scientific breakthroughs generated from the School of Life Sciences (SLS)/CUHK-led RGC-funded AoE/CRF projects by developing a self-learning toolkit that enhance students’ understanding of the current research discoveries. Specific objectives include:

  1. To generate movie series introducing the scientific discovery process and research publications related to CMB.
  2. To promote effective dissemination of advanced research knowledge to the public by hosting the movies on a publicly accessible website.
In line with the CUHK 2016-2020 Strategic Plan “To adopt innovative pedagogies for continuous teaching enhancement”, our ultimate goal is to extend this innovative endeavor to other life science disciplines and beyond, thereby translating advanced research into up-to-date teaching practices.

Brief write-up

Project objectives

This project aims to promote the latest scientific breakthroughs and new findings generated from research projects by developing a self-learning toolkit that enhances students’ understanding of the current research discoveries.

Activities, process and outcomes

With the research movies produced in this project, we have established flipped classrooms comprising the movies and related online quizzes on the Knowledge and Education Exchange Platform (KEEP) and CNMOOC platform as the eLearning component of a variety of courses.

Deliverables and evaluation

We have produced 26 research movies in total, in which 18 of them are related to the research publications in a concise manner, so as to elevate students’ interest and facilitate their understanding on the research articles. 8 of the movies focus in depth on the experimental and analytical methods that have been used to result in the scientific research discoveries described above targeted for undergraduate audience in upper-level science courses.

Dissemination, diffusion, impact and sharing of good practices

The teaching movies have been widely used in teaching undergraduate courses. They have been uploaded to the KEEP Platform which can be accessed by CUHK students taking these courses. We have also established a publicly accessible website as an online platform, which provides free access to the research movies in our project. As a way of dissemination, the movies produced in this project have been showcased during several symposiums and workshops we organized, with invited international speakers in order to promote this innovative teaching practice internationally and across the sector.

Video Report

Please click the following link for viewing the report.