About the Symposium

The Symposium on Open and Innovative Education aims to bring together scholars in relevant fields around the globe for addressing prominent issues, exchanging research ideas, and exploring collaboration. The Symposium features keynotes delivered by renowned scholars to present the latest developments of open education, technology-enhanced learning and learning analytics. Relevant researchers also share their research findings and innovative practices. A discussion forum is held to exchange views on opportunities and challenges in the field.

Registration for participation is free and open to all, and registration will be on a first come first served basis subject to seat availability. Please click here to proceed to the registration page.

Keynote Speakers

Professor Alan Tait

Emeritus Professor
Distance Education and Development
Open University (UK)

Professor Chin-Chung Tsai

Chair Professor, Program of Learning Sciences
College of Education
National Taiwan Normal University

Professor Kinshuk

College of Information
University of North Texas


Programme in PDF format



Welcoming Remarks

Professor Yuk-Shan Wong
President, Open University of Hong Kong


Keynote Session I: Contemporary Challenges for Open Universities: Report from Recent Research


Professor Alan Tait
Emeritus Professor, Distance Education and Development, Open University (UK)
Distinguished Professor, Institute for Research in Open and Innovative Education (IROPINE), Open University of Hong Kong

Prof, Alan Tait is Emeritus Professor of Distance Education and Development at the Open University, UK, and has a long record of practice, publication and the support of professional development in distance and e-learning. He was Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic) at the Open University UK from 2007 to 2012, and was formerly Dean of the Faculty of Education and Language Studies. He was Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Distance and E Learning (EURODL) from 2005 to 2013, was from 1989 to 1998 Editor of Open Learning, was President of the European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN) from 2007 to 2010, and Co-Director of the Cambridge International Conference on Open and Distance Learning. Prof. Tait is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Learning for Development, produced from the Commonwealth of Learning for the first time at the end of 2013. He is Visiting Professor at Aarhus University, Denmark, a senior member of St Edmunds College, University of Cambridge, and a Visiting Fellow of the Centre for Distance Education at the University of London. In 2012 Prof. Tait was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Moscow State University for Economics, Statistics and Informatics.

Prof. Tait has worked widely in developing countries, and for international organisations such as UNESCO, the European Commission, the Commonwealth of Learning, and the International Extension College.

In this address Prof. Tait will propose an analysis of contemporary challenges for the strategic place of Open Universities around the world. Drawing on research funded by Contact North, Ontario, Canada, he will assess the relative strengths and weaknesses in different countries of open universities as they manage the digital revolution together with competition from other Higher Education institutions.


Presentation on Research Trends of Distance Higher Education in Mainland China


Ms Liu Shu
Associate Professor, Institute of Educational Research, Open University of China


Presentation on Learning Analytics in Action: Practical Experience in Low Cost Intervention of At-Risk Students


Dr Samuel Choi (IROPINE Member)
Assistant Professor, Lee Shau Kee School of Business and Administration, Open University of Hong Kong

Networking and refreshments break

Keynote Session II: The Role of Conceptions of Learning in Technology-enhanced Learning Environments


Professor Chin-Chung Tsai
Chair Professor, Program of Learning Sciences, College of Education, National Taiwan Normal University

Prof. Chin-Chung Tsai holds a B.Sc. in Physics from National Taiwan Normal University. He received a Master of Education degree from Harvard University and completed his doctoral study at Teachers College, Columbia University in 1996. From 1996 to 2006, he joined the faculty of Center for Teacher Education and Institute of Education, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan. He is currently a Chair Professor at the Program of Learning Sciences, College of Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan.

Since July 2009, he has been appointed as the Co-Editor of Computers & Education. He is also appointed as the Editor of International Journal of Science Education. His research interests deal largely with constructivism, epistemological beliefs, and Internet-based instruction related to science education. His research work has been published in Learning and Instruction, Science Education, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, International Journal of Science Education, Instructional Science, Teaching & Teacher Education, Computers & Education, British Journal of Educational Technology, Educational Technology & Society, Interactive Learning Environments, Journal of Engineering Education and other educational journals.

How students conceptualise learning plays an important role in their learning processes and outcomes. Previous research has indicated that the students’ conceptions of learning guide their learning in traditional schooling context. It is generally recognised that if the students have more sophisticated conceptions of learning, they are likely to have more meaningful approaches to learning as well as favorable learning outcomes. In recent years, various applications of technologies have been widely utilised in educational settings and students are more likely to engage in some learning opportunities enhanced by technology (such as Internet, mobile computing technologies, augmented reality, and video). This talk will first review a series of studies from my research team regarding students’ conceptions of learning for different subject matters and various types of technology-enhanced instructional activities. It is found that the students possess quite different conceptions of learning by technology-enhanced learning environments than those in traditional school settings. The interplay among conceptions of learning, approaches to learning and learning outcomes for certain technology-supported environments will be discussed. How the technology may play a role in fostering students’ conceptualisation of learning will also be addressed.


Presentation on An Interactive Learning System for Improving Students’ Learning Experience in Mass Lectures


Dr Simon Lam (IROPINE Member)
Associate Professor, School of Science and Technology, Open University of Hong Kong


Presentation on Innovative Research Model in OUC Based on eResearch Theory


Mr Chen Shougang
Assistant Professor and Vice Dean of Institute of Educational Research, Open University of China


Keynote Session III: Improving Learning through Smart Learning Analytics


Professor Kinshuk
Dean, College of Information, University of North Texas

Prof. Kinshuk is the Dean of the College of Information at the University of North Texas. Prior to that, he held the NSERC/CNRL/Xerox/McGraw Hill Research Chair for Adaptivity and Personalization in Informatics, funded by the Federal government of Canada, Provincial government of Alberta, and by national and international industries. He was also Full Professor in the School of Computing and Information Systems and Associate Dean of Faculty of Science and Technology, at Athabasca University, Canada. His work has been dedicated to advancing research on the innovative paradigms, architectures and implementations of online and distance learning systems for individualised and adaptive learning in increasingly global environments. Areas of his research interests include adaptive and personalised learning; learning analytics; learning technologies; mobile, ubiquitous and location aware learning systems; cognitive profiling; and, interactive technologies.

With more than 500 research publications in refereed journals, international refereed conferences and book chapters, Prof. Kinshuk is frequently invited as keynote or principal speaker in international conferences (36 in past five years) and visiting professor around the world (11 in the past five years in Chile, China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan). He has been twice awarded the prestigious fellowship of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (2008 and 2013). He has also been invited as guest editor by several international journals, and continues to serve on a large number of editorial boards of prestigious journals and program committees of international conferences. He has also served on review panels for grants for the governmental funding agencies of various countries, including the European Commission, Austria, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Qatar, Taiwan and the United States. He also has a successful record of procuring external funding over 13 million Canadian dollars as principal and co-principal investigator.

In his on-going sustained professional activities, Prof. Kinshuk has initiated professional movements at international and national levels. At the international level, he is Founding Chair of IEEE Technical Committee on Learning Technologies, Founding Editor of the Educational Technology & Society Journal, and Founding Editor of Springer's Smart Learning Environments journal. At the national level, he is Founding Chair of the New Zealand Chapter of ACM SIG on Computer-Human Interaction, and Past President of the Distance Education Association of New Zealand.

Student learning is complex. All phases of student experiences produce data – in the classrooms, in the labs, on the net, within social networks, when with friends and when interacting with loved ones. With access to these big, continuous, and disparate data-sets, learning experiences can be characterised based on quality of the content, personalised assessments, learners' comprehension, topic associations made by learners, learners' feelings/emotive states, learners' insights, learners' assumptions in discussions, effectiveness of peer networks, instructional capacity, learner challenges, learners' confidence, learners' recognition of new skills, and learners' refinement of gained competencies. Such characterisations not only enable the capture of information on where, why, how, and when learning happens, but also empower refinement of instructional measures employed by the institution in a continuous manner. This talk will focus on making learning smart by using analytics approaches to discover, analyse and make sense of these characteristics and adapt instruction accordingly.


Presentation on Learning on the Go: OUHK i-Bookcase


Dr Eva Tsang (IROPINE Member)
Director, Educational Technology and Publishing Unit, Open University of Hong Kong


Presentation on Theoretical Foundation of Microlectures and their Application in OUC


Dr Li Shuguang
Assistant Professor, Institute of Educational Research, Open University of China

Networking and refreshments break

Presentation on Research on Dropouts: Conclusions and Reflections


Professor Li Ying
Professor, Institute of Educational Research, Open University of China


Presentation on Success Factors Contributing to Retention of Distance Learning Students


Dr Oliver Au (IROPINE Member)
Assistant Professor, School of Science and Technology, Open University of Hong Kong


Forum on Future of Open and Innovative Education


Professor Reggie Kwan (IROPINE Director)
Vice President (Academic), Open University of Hong Kong

The information given above is subject to change without prior notice.

Online Registration


Council Chamber, 12/F, Block A
Open University of Hong Kong
30 Good Shepherd Street, Ho Man Tin, Kowloon, Hong Kong


Dr Manfred WU

2768 6786

Mr Michael Yu

2768 5797



Institute of Educational Research
The Open University of China

This event is substantially supported by a grant from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (UGC/IDS16/15).