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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 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.


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?

Taught by

Dr. Jack Chun


4.8 rating, based on 61 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Success: Practical Thinking Skills

  • Anonymous
    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 genera…
  • Anonymous
    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 creati…
  • Profile image for Gunjan Desai
    Gunjan Desai
    "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 towa…
  • Nadia
    I am very grateful to Professor Jack Chun and his team for creating such an amazing course. It was very attractive and easy to understand but also very enlightening. I learnt about the philosophical principles of Aristotle, Kant and Mill. I was inspired by the lessons of contemporary famous people such as Steve Jobs, Bruce Lee, Nick Vujicic and Jack Ma. The course provided very useful working methodologies and practical skills. I learnt to see life from a different perspective and changed my way of thinking. I really enjoyed every minute of the lessons and videos. Wonderful course.
  • Anonymous
    It was an excellent course that helps a lot a beginner to find his way... I liked the combination between philosophers views and real life successful people, it was like a confirmation... Comic clips, cartoon and live videos was entertaining, we don't feel that we want to skip anything (like in some online courses where attention can be lost...).

    Thank you for all the efforts, It helps a lot
  • I enjoyed this course very much and have learned a lot of things which I can most likely apply in my line of work particularly De Bono's Lateral Thinking Strategies and his 6 Thinking Hats. It is also interesting to learn so much from inspiring people like Jack Ma and Bruce Lee who are big names in Asia and the rest of the world.
    Kudos to Professor Jack Chun and his team.
  • Anonymous
    I have never learned any philosophy theories before, so this course was somehow exciting and new to me. I love how the course illustrated the theories with a cartoon; it was unexpected but still a fun way to learn by watching it, then followed by true success stories. For a person who doesn't read books regularly, I can easily understand the big picture of the theories.
  • Anonymous
    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. Its all worth it. Thank you!
  • Anonymous
    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.
  • Anonymous
    This course turned out to be very interesting, despite having started it with some perplexity: it is a course that can change your point of view on life in general and on yours in particular by giving you an incredible positive outlook. It is a course that manages to make you see the light at the end of the tunnel.
    Great course.
  • Anonymous
    This course is really useful no matter your age, profession, interests or talents. It will help you find new ways of thinking while also keeping values and morals in consideration. It gives different perspectives from well-known philosophers and examples of recognized successful people.

    It is structured and presented in a very easy way to learn and understand.
  • Anonymous
    It is looking interesting and I hope I'll get lots of knowledge by this course. I have just started so I don't have much idea about it but as soon as I complete it then I'll be able to provide review. In the beginning I'm struggling that how to start this course, please make it little easy because this process is bit confusing.
  • Anonymous
    I learned lot of thinking way by learning this course!
    My English is not good, but the explanation was enough to understand.
    Because of learningt this course, I knew others thinking way. So I learned to understand other people's thingkings, and tryed to understand.
    I thought human relations are hard, but now I have thingking and talking skill!
  • Anonymous
    A fascinating course presenting a variety of viewpoints on the timing of the beginning and end of life, and life's meanings. The discussion forums provided an opportunity to examine your own beliefs, and to understand the beliefs of others.
  • Anonymous
    A truly amazing course that dived into my philosophical world. I had never thought about life and death this way, and thanks to this course for changing my perception.

    It was wonderful knowing the popular people on not only on what they contributed to the world, but also what their core principles actually were.

    Thanks a lot!
  • Anonymous
    This course has different modules. Each module has it's own importance.
    Every person have different thinking nature . This course will shape your thinking in a great manner.
    For me it increased my self respect and changed my perspective on life. You may gain some more from this course.
    Try this course if you need some change in life .
  • Anonymous
    This isbthe first online course after graduation 20 years ago. I did not know what to expect but definitely this overcome any doubts. The videos and explanations are clear also so connect with the real world. I totally enjoyed and recommended this course.
    Excellent standard in education.
  • Anonymous
    It's a very interesting course with right amount of theory and practical examples. Those looking for enriching your personal understandings can go for it without any doubt. I really enjoyed my time doing this course and will ask you to try this one, you will not be demoralized I guarantee!
  • Profile image for Adelina Margret Indira Abdallah
    Adelina Margret Indira Abdallah
    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
    It was a very interesting course and the underlying values and teachings of the course are practical and can be easily implemented in ones life. It's not complicated, however it is ultimately up to the individual to live a positive life, which is abundant in opportunity.

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