On the afternoon of December 15, 2023, from 14:00 to 15:30 PM Milan time, the Sub-forum One of the 2023 Global MOOC and Online Education Conference, themed “Empowering STEM Education through Digital Technologies: Explore Winning Cases of the Global MOOC and Online Education Alliance Awards,” was successfully held at the China-Italy Design Innovation Hub in Milan. The forum was jointly organized by the Global MOOC and Online Education Alliance and the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education, and was co-hosted by Tsinghua University and Politecnico di Milano.

At the keynote speech session, Kris Ryan, Vice President of the University of Queensland, shared how the advanced learning analytics tool, RiPPLE, is leveraged to support STEM education. He emphasized RiPPLE’s significant role in increasing students’ learning interaction and engagement, underscoring the importance of the RiPPLE database during assessments. RiPPLE is transforming the learning experience at the University of Queensland. It provides personalized learning experiences by analyzing students’ learning behavior and habits. Moreover, the RiPPLE database provides valuable insights into students’ performance for teachers, optimizing the process of assessing students’ learning outcomes.

Professor Riccardo Mangiaracina of Politecnico di Milano introduced their course “Digital Innovation Waves”. It provides learners with a comprehensive understanding of how to effectively use and manage key digital technologies, such as Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Cloud Computing, the Internet of Things, and Industry 4.0. Throughout this course, students will learn how to assess the application of various technologies in different professional domains and come up with innovative solutions. Through a combination of online live sessions and guest lectures by experts in this field, the course covers strategic, entrepreneurial, operational, and organizational perspectives.

Kristina Wiebels, Professional Teaching Fellow from the School of Psychology at the University of Auckland, introduced the “Psychology for Society” course. The course is designed for master’s programs, primarily for working psychology professionals. With this online certificate course, adult learners can study completely remotely, gaining both relevant knowledge and methodological training in social psychology.

Chulalongkorn University assistant professor Natawut Nupairoj presented their winning course, “Data Science Essentials and Applications”, which brought together professors from science and social science disciplines. Innovative teaching methods are utilized in this course, attracting students with diverse backgrounds and facilitating knowledge exchange. Moreover, the university offers online courses covering a wide range of skills and subjects related to the principles and applications of data science. Furthermore, these courses are developed with English subtitles, facilitating widespread distribution.

Guo Yanjun, Director of the Experimental Teaching Center, Senior Engineer, and Master’s Supervisor at Peking University, introduced the course “Virtual Simulation Experimental Teaching Course of Crystal Morphology Analysis and Mineral Identification”. Utilizing Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technologies, the course makes crystal morphology analysis and mineral identification more practically feasible. With a broad audience, the course has attracted over 20,000 online learners and more than 9,000 participants in the experiments. Students have feedback that Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technologies make it easier to comprehend complex concepts. This course has played a guiding role in reforming experimental teaching in higher education and has received numerous honors and awards.

Wang Huiru, a professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Department of Physical Education, introduced the course “Improving Immunity Based on Traditional Eastern Exercises.” It leverages digital technology to popularize health-related content. Professor Wang illustrated vividly how Eastern exercises can alleviate the physical fatigue caused by daily work and study during the presentation.

Professor Shi Zhiguo from the College of Information Science and Electronic Engineering at Zhejiang University introduced the ‘DIY a Smart Home – Follow Me to Learn IoT ’ course, emphasizing its significance as a practical project for learning the Internet of Things. The course, covering topics such as Cloud technology, communication principles, edge computing, and terminal design, allows students to create a smart home environment hands-on. Additionally, he introduced a pioneering feature of the course – university-enterprise joint design. One of the world’s largest cloud computing companies, Alibaba Cloud collaborated with Zhejiang University throughout the design and teaching process. Therefore, students are cultivated by teaching teams and motivated by certificates from academia and industry. This unique collaborative model aims to provide students with a more comprehensive and practical learning experience.

Wen Qinxue, from the School of Environment at Harbin Institute of Technology, shared that the university had launched 283 online courses through the Chinese University MOOC Platform (iCourses). To provide high-quality online courses, the university develops its training system, conducts seminars, invites experts to guide teacher training, and provides technical assistance to teachers. Additionally, the university focuses on creating distinctive online course groups, paying attention to emerging engineering disciplines and regional specializations. They have also established various resource-sharing centers to support teaching activities such as SPOC courses and RainClassroom.

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