Hong Kong’s tertiary education environment has changed dramatically in recent years with universities now facing specific educational challenges in the areas of critical thinking, ‘life-long learning ’ and English language. The question exists as to what pedagogic developments will best allow the universities to address these challenges. In this paper, the appropriateness of online pedagogy as one response to these challenges is assessed through use of illustrative case-examples and post-course surveys. The potential of The University of Hong Kong (HKU) to implement this pedagogy is examined through a systematic consideration of the requirements for embedding online learning, specifically student and institutional knowledge, culture, and resources. The case examples provide empirical evidence to suggest that online environments are useful in addressing these challenges, largely as a consequence of afforded flexibility in teaching and learning, support of more student-centered learning approaches, and a high degree of student engagement. Opportunity for international collaborative teaching, with associated benefits in curriculum extension, cost-spreading and benchmarking, is also demonstrated. Within HKU, student factors appear to pose no major constraint to such development, but there exist significant inconsistencies in terms of institutional culture, pedagogic knowledge and non-hardware resources. The author concludes that small-scale online developments are viable and the cost of establishing and maintaining these need not be prohibitive. While online learning holds promise for HKU, the University will require internal institutional change to fully realize this potential
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