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Success: Practical Thinking Skills

This award-winning course aims to sharpen your competitive edge in work and life. It empowers you with positive values and practical problem-solving skills, including creative strategies for addressing challenges from COVID-19. Enriched with interesting animations, a new success story and breakthrough pedagogies, this updated version (2.5) effectively helps you master knowledge and skills requisite for a successful life.

This course is archived

Success: Practical Thinking Skills

This award-winning course aims to sharpen your competitive edge in work and life. It empowers you with positive values and practical problem-solving skills, including creative strategies for addressing challenges from COVID-19. Enriched with interesting animations, a new success story and breakthrough pedagogies, this updated version (2.5) effectively helps you master knowledge and skills requisite for a successful life.

4 weeks
4–6 hours per week
Progress at your own speed
Optional upgrade available
This course is archived

About this course

Skip About this course

An Award-Winning MOOC Expanded and Updated

Version 1.0 of this course received the prestigious prize as one of Top Ten Most Popular MOOCs in November 2017 awarded by Class Central, USA.

Version 2.1 scooped accolades as one of the Best Online Courses of all time and one of ten global finalists of EdX Prize , awarded by Class Central and edX respectively in 2020.

The current version (2.5) will continue to amaze you with further innovative pedagogies and updated course contents.

Positive Values and Powerful Skills for Your Success

This vibrant course consists of three parts and twelve units, with abundant case studies and examples. You will learn that the key to success of your work and personal life lies in the mastery of positive values and powerful problem-solving skills.

Positive Values from Three Great Masters

In Part A, you will be inspired by the insights of Aristotle, Kant and Mill. Their superb theories illustrate that a successful life consists in optimizing your potentials, acting on moral principles and contributing to social happiness respectively. As applications of their theories, two major case studies on job interviews and smart academic study are presented. In addition, interesting comic episodes are adopted to assist you to grasp these great masters’ otherwise abstract ideas.

Powerful Problem-Solving Skills

In Part B, you will study a bundle of effective problem-solving skills and decision-making strategies. They include five faces of creativity, ten methods of provocative operations and six thinking hats. To be successful in your work and life, these creative thinking skills are proven practically powerful and widely adopted by creative geniuses, innovative managers and corporate businesses around the world.

Success Stories and a Micro-Movie on Life and Death

In Part B, eye-opening success stories of Bruce Lee, Nick Vujicic, J. K. Rowling and Steve Jobs will heighten your personal motivation to strive for success. Their stories also show how positive values and practical thinking skills are applied. Furthermore, as a major case study, a micro-movie on life and death has been filmed specifically for this course, featuring local TV actors in Hong Kong. Guidance will be provided on how to apply problem-solving skills in such a testing situation.

Unique Creative Success

Part C is a brief conclusion. It points at the next step of upgrading your creative problem-solving skills in the light of your unique personal traits, potentials and talents.

A Timely Course in Thinking through the Challenge Posed by the Pandemic COVID-19

The wide applicability of the practical thinking skills of this course helps you creatively address different sorts of challenges, including the one brought on by the pandemic of COVID-19. Should doctors, for instance, provide medical treatment only to selected patients who are more likely to survive because of the shortage of resources? You will find reflections on the pros and cons of this sort of challenge in Part A. In addition, relevant problem-solving skills that bear on the challenge are also expounded in Part B.

Course Instructor

Currently Senior Teaching Fellow at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Jack Chun has been Interim Director of former General Education Centre in the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Subject Chief Examiner for HKEAA and Consultant on Thinking Skills for the HKSAR government, the commercial sectors such as SmarTone-Vodafone and professional groups, including medical doctors and C.E.O.'s. Dr Chun has also provided consultancy services to universities, including the Cornell-VinUniversity project in 2019. He has taught Creativity and Creative Thinking and Life and Death for over two decades. Apart from creating the current MOOC, he has also designed HKPolyU XSeries Program on Chinese Culture. International publishers of his writings include Oxford University Press, Routledge, McGraw-Hill, Springer and others.


edX Prize 2020 Finalist

At a glance

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English

What you'll learn

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  • Positive values that motivate you to succeed in work and life
  • Powerful problem-solving skills that sharpen your competitive edge
  • Success stories that empower you with visions for your own success in future
  • Frontiers of knowledge from this exciting, interdisciplinary domain

Part1: Positive Values for Success in Work and Life

  • Introduction
  • Aristotle – Optimizing Personal Happiness
  • Kant – Acting on Moral Principles
  • Mill – Contribution to Social Happiness
  • Case Study: Smart Study in Higher Education
  • Case Study: Success in a Job Interview

Part 2: Practical Thinking Skills

  • Introduction
  • Creative Problem-Solving Skills
    • Five Faces of Creativity
    • Ten Provocative Operations
    • Six Thinking Hats
  • Success Stories
    • Bruce Lee
    • Nick Vujicic
    • J. K. Rowling
    • Steve Jobs
  • Micro-Move
    • How to make a life-and-death decision

Part 3: Conclusion

  • What makes your life successful for you?

Learner testimonials

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Praises from Authentic Global Learners on Version 2.1 of this Course

  • I believe I will not be exaggerating when I say that this course quite literally changed my life.... I do not think that there are any words to even begin to describe the impact this course has had on me with its approach of using ideas from historical figures to create the basis for the course content. This course was PRECISELY what I needed. My only regret is that I didn't come across the course sooner. But I hope to, also by application of the things learned in the course, not despair and instead, find maybe, an "Alchemist's solution" to combining knowledge and skills from my Medical degree (after graduation) with what I actually want to do with my life.

  • It's a very interesting course with a right amount of theory and practical examples. Those looking for enriching your personal understanding can go for it without any doubt. I really enjoyed my time doing this course and I will ask you to try this one, you will not be demoralized. I guarantee!

  • First of all, thank you very much for the course. It has definitely changed my outlook towards various life events. I am a medical doctor and a divorcee and a lot of extended family issues... I am very grateful to have learnt additional ways at patient counselling. Overall, a very fruitful course and I will surely learn from it and incorporate it into my classes and counselling. Thank you and warm regards. (Dr. Gunjan Desai, India)

  • From the start till the end of this course it will surely give you the motivation to have a successful outlook in life. Each content of the course is very vital for the learning of the learners. I really love this course, actually this is the first online class that I have and finished as well. It is not a waste of time. It’s all worth it. Thank you!

  • I think the course is fantastic, really loved the mix of learning about the philosophers and their theories first. Then moving on to the creative thinking skills, was great to (using the face of the Seer) imagine how all these applications can be put into real life examples all around us in our everyday life. And finally the case studies were great to take it further afield and look at some real life examples of people, great overviews of their lives and applications to the course.

  • This course was undoubtedly an awakening of my conscience. Explicit, well structured, objective, challenging. It made me think, it made me look at myself and the world around me, it made me grow, I feel that it made me a better person and even more motivated to pursue a more successful and happy life. Thank you for the opportunity to take this course.

  • It helped me to gain a new point of view in my life. When I first joined it, I thought it would be some moral science lecture kind of a thing which I'll leave after a day or two but it turned out to be a lot more than that. It was so interactive. I absolutely loved the course and wished that this would never end. I would really recommend this course to anyone who want to learn something valuable and is uncertain of which course to take. During these difficult times this course will recharge your positivity and provide skills which will be beneficial in taking your career to next level.

  • I must say that I am in awe of Jack Chun personally responding to all the discussion posts. That is a very high level of service for a MOOC.

  • It also really motivated me that Prof. Chun reads the discussions posted and gives feedback - it encouraged me to think about the content and my interpretation of it, knowing I can expect valuable feedback. His enthusiasm for the content is highly motivating in itself - one feels interacted with and connected to the course, not just like another online learner.

About the instructors

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