Formative evaluation of Hong Kong’s first open textbooks

K S Yuen and K C Li
The Open University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong SAR, China

In 2012, the Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK) obtained funding from a charity through the support of the Hong Kong government for a project to develop an open textbook system for Hong Kong. The project started in January 2013, and it is planned to complete its 12 open textbooks by mid-2015. The drafts of some units of the textbooks were tried out in the 2014–15 school year. Feedback from teachers and students was gathered for improving the books before their submission to the Education Bureau, upon whose approval the books can be placed on the Bureau’s Recommended Textbooks List.

This paper reports on the formative feedback from trial users, i.e. teachers and students who tried out some units of the draft versions of the primary and secondary textbooks developed for the project. A total of 176 teachers (81 primary and 95 secondary) and 5,120 students (1,530 primary and 3,590 secondary) from 43 schools (19 primary and 24 secondary) joined the trial of the textbooks in the 2014–15 school year. A questionnaire was devised to gather teachers’ feedback, and another was separately designed for students who had used the books. Focus group discussions were also held with selected groups of teachers to collect in-depth views.

The data were analysed, and the impact of the textbooks on the teaching and learning of Hong Kong schools was examined. The implications for other parts of the world, particularly Asian countries, are also discussed towards the end of this paper.