Development of online self-learning systems with multimedia-enriched pre-laboratory talks and pre-class tests for biology laboratory courses

Principal Supervisor

Dr. Lawrence Chiu, Biology Programme, School of Life Sciences


3 years

Approved Budget

HK 250,000

  • Project Objectives
  • Description of process, outcomes or deliverable
  • Evaluation
  • Dissemination, diffusion and impact

Project Objectives

The traditional teaching mode of the laboratory classes resulted in spoon-fed teaching and learning pattern. Class time was inefficiently spent as the tutors endeavored to instruct the students stepwise.

The aim of the project is to elevate the teaching and learning quality and efficiency of the laboratory classes by designing and implementing strategies to motivate students to acquire knowledge actively.

Description of process, outcomes or deliverable

Online Self-learning System (OSS), which was composed of three components: echo360 lectures, Online Quizzes and Demonstration Videos, had been developed for 6 targeted Biology laboratory courses. Before each laboratory class, students had to complete an online lecture and the complementary quiz by themselves. Demonstration videos hosted on ihome were developed to display essential experimental techniques and investigation skills to complement with the learning package. The grade-bearing online quizzes motivated students to actively participate in self-learning, the assessment results also assisted the Instructors to identify students’ weakness and make adjustment on approaches to guide students in class.


Survey results collected from 500 students indicated the effectiveness of this project. Overall the students were satisfied with OSS, more than 70% students surveyed agreed OSS was useful and could provide background knowledge for laboratory classes. The flexibility of learning without constraints on time and place using echo360 was a welcomed feature among students; the fact that they were able to repeat the lectures for more than just once compared to traditional teaching mode also deemed to be a valuable attribute for self-learning and revision purposes.

Dissemination, diffusion and impact

The project had been actively participated in various dissemination platforms, including presentations and workshops at Faculty and University level. A Poster Commendation was received for the poster presentation at the 2011 CUHK ExPo. Brief leaflet was also prepared for distribution to allow the exchange of ideas about the project.