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Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Success: Practical Thinking Skills

Hong Kong Polytechnic University via edX


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 Associate 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.


Part1: Positive Values for Success in Work and Life

  • Introduction
  • Aristotle – Optimizing Potentials and Talents
  • 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?

Taught by

Dr. Jack Chun, Dr. John Yuen, Dr. Kam-por Yu, Dr. David Wan, Prof. Adrian Bejan, Prof. Ole Döring , Rev. Thomas Kwan, Ven. Dr. Sik Fa Ren and Mr. Kasim Ma


4.8 rating, based on 54 reviews

Start your review of Success: Practical Thinking Skills

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I believe I will not be exaggerating when I say that this course quite literally changed my life. Before now, and one of the reasons I was on the lookout for a course such as this one, I have been battling with feelings of guilt, failure and general...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I would like to address first the team who made the course possible with big-Thank you! Incredibly creative,deep,thought provoking and life-changing. You have just re-shaped my own vision of a successful life with powerful positive values and creative...
  • Profile image for Gunjan Desai
    Gunjan Desai

    Gunjan Desai completed this course.

    "First of all, thank you very much for the course. It has definitely changed my outlook towards various life events. 1. I am A doctor and A divorcee and a lot of extended family issues. However, the only thing that keeps me going is my passion towards...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    It was a great opportunity to more in contact with philosophy as well as practical ideas to be implemented in my daily life.
    I look forward in getting engaged in a new course.
    Thank you so much for the opportunity.
  • Profile image for Adelina Margret Indira Abdallah
    Adelina Margret Indira Abdallah

    Adelina Margret Indira Abdallah completed this course.

    I believe this course should be given in an ethics class in high school. This kind of mentality is needed in our global societies. This course is more than advisable for kids and older. It's also explained in a very comprehensive manner.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This course allow us to know more about what should be the right thing to do in different times. i would recommend this course to my friends no matter what kind of job they are doing or which course they are under taking
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    The content is very me think well and know the types of people and how to interact with them..and also get to know the opinion of philosophers like Aristotle and others about lying and some other moral values
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Amazing course! Thank you very much. All the learning here can be applied in countless ways in a learner's life - they are reflective yet practical, and grounded yet philosophical.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    The bad: The big let down was that many of the videos were voiced by a robot.

    The good: Very fun and interesting to learn about the philosophies of Mill, Kant and Aristotle using a comic.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This course was amazing. I really enjoyed. Good videos and explanation.Thanks. Many things learned newly . Examples were good. Eacj section was inyeresting and s9me new knowledge gained.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    it has been a wonderful lecture and has helped me in thinking and going well about lifes decision only that i will not obtain a certificate due to Financial constriction
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This course make me awareness to people's thinking skill. And our thoughts and action could be similar according to our actions. Then, our action could be
    affected to others.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    a wonderful course. it shows me that there are different ways to view life. it also taught me that that one must cultivate one's talents for the greater good
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Good introduction to some life philosophies and critical thinking skills to be paired with them. Lots of engaging videos to illustrate concepts
  • Anonymous
    Thank you for what I consider to be one of the most important courses out there. Not only is the information and knowledge shared brilliant, but the way it has been presented has made all the difference. Ideas, thoughts and information have been shared in an easy-to grasp and understand manner, making the learning experience all the more enjoyable.

    Moreover, even though this course is great for any time, I think it is especially timely now with the repercussions of Covid 19 on all fronts all over the world.

    It is also great because it shines the light to some who keep being pulled into darkness. I believe with the knowledge imparted here, you have saved lives.

    Thank you.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Overall a great course. It manages to mix in a smart way the philosophical views on a happy and succesful life of Aristoteles-Kant-Mill, with the real life success stories of Jack Ma, Bruce Lee, Steve Jobs and Nick Vujicic. All this is linked together...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    It helped me to gain 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...
  • Thank you for the most impressive course ı've ever enrolled. I have been learnt a lot from the course. There are numerous intriguing point ı want to share with my peers. Firstly, being success is an approach towards life and the philosophy is the driver...
  • Anonymous
    Very inspirational and practical course.

    It explains and discusses the fundamentals of living a successful life in an open-minded way and everyone will benefit with such knowledge and skills.

    Well made, I enjoyed every part of it.

    Thank you Jack Chun, the team and all the students who engaged in the discussions!
  • Anonymous
    Thank You so much Dr. Jack Chun .

    Being from the science background. I never realized that this course would be so much fun and great. Also Modules were beautifully structured and the flow of the course was perfect . Couldn't have asked for anything more.

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