Call for Papers for Special Issue: Redefining the Learning Process Through Educational and Technological Innovations

Guest Editors : Simon K.S. Cheung, Fu Lee Wang, and Lam For Kwok


Over the past decade, enabled by educational and technological innovations, the teaching and learning process has been undergoing a lot of changes, not only on instructional design and delivery but also on student advising and assessment. Many promising approaches have evolved to integrate the traditional learning with innovative means in order to create a new learning environment to maximize learning flexibility, enhance learning effectiveness and enrich learning experience. Blended learning, open online learning and intelligent tutoring are exemplars of these integrations.

This year, since the outbreak of COVID-19, higher education institutions have been practicing blended learning, online learning and other modes of technology-mediated learning to the greatest extent to accommodate teaching and learning under the social distancing arrangement. Whereas lectures and tutorials have to be conducted via online conferencing platform as far as possible, some face-to-face sessions are still necessary, such as practicum sessions and laboratory classes. For those institutions without much experience of deploying such non-traditional modes of learning, the sudden conversion of the classroom-based sessions to online sessions pose a lot of challenges. At least, the teaching plan and curriculum as well as the instructional means and assessment methods need to be adjusted to accommodate a blended mode or a totally online mode of learning. Both teachers and students may not be readily adapted to and engaged in the new teaching and learning environment.

Inevitably, the whole learning process has undergone different levels of changes to cope with the present unusual circumstance which would even last longer. Although teaching and learning activities can be sustained in some ways, would the learning effectiveness and engagement be impacted by these unprecedented learning experience? On this very valid research question, it is time for educational researchers and practitioners to re-visit and re-think how educational and technological innovations can shape the whole learning process to accommodate the new teaching and learning environment. Any findings will surely help institutions better prepare for the challenges ahead.

Theme and Topics of Interest

Confining the scope to higher education, the theme of this Special Issue is Redefining the Learning Process Through Educational and Technological Innovations. We look for papers that report the latest research findings with promising results on how educational and technological innovations can bring in changes in the learning process to accommodate teaching and learning under social distancing. The findings would timely help many institutions meet the challenges of sustaining teaching and learning activities during this COVID-19 pandemic where face-to-face contacts are avoided as far as possible. These also contribute to derive a new mode of learning that can be readily deployed to cope with any similar circumstances in the future. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to :

Adaptive LearningAssessment for Blended LearningComputer Supported Collaborative LearningContent Development for Blended LearningEducational Big Data and Learning AnalyticsEnriching Learning Experience with Blended LearningImproved Flexibility of Learning ProcessesMobile Learning and Ubiquitous LearningOpen Education ResourcesOpen Online Learning and MOOCPedagogical and Psychological IssuesPersonalized LearningPodcasting and BroadcastingPractices in Borderless EducationSocial Media for Teaching and LearningVirtual Reality for Teaching and Learning

Sources of Papers

There are two sources of papers. One comes from open submission. The other comes from some invited papers of the 14th International Conference on Blended Learning (ICBL 2021) and the 6th International Symposium on Educational Technology (ISET 2021), to be held in Tokai, Nagoya, Japan, on 10 to 13 August 2021. Their themes (“Blended Learning : Re-thinking and Re-defining the Learning Process” for ICBL 2021, and “Technological Innovation : Re-thinking and Re-defining the Learning Process” for ISET 2021) exactly match the theme and topics of interests of this special issue.

ICBL 2021 and ISET 2021 are jointly organized by the City University of Hong Kong and Nihon Fukushi University, together with Japan Association for Educational Media Study, Japan Society for Educational Technology, and Hong Kong Society for Multimedia and Image Computing. ICBL 2021 is the 14th in the ICBL series, and ISET 2021 is the 6th in the ISET series. Each year, all paper submissions to ICBL and ISET are reviewed, and about 100 papers are finally accepted (about 40 ICBL papers and about 60 ISET papers). It is our plan to invite the authors of 10 accepted papers with the highest review scores and within the context of higher education, to submit the extended version (with at least 50% new contents) for consideration of publication in this Special Issue.

More information about ICBL 2021 and ISET 2021 can be found in the conference websites :

ICBL 2021 : 2021 :

The Submission and Selection Process

The timeline of the submission and selection of papers for this Special Issue is roughly as follows.

Open call for submission of papers : 1 April 2021Deadline for submission of papers : 30 November 2021Review of papers : 1 December 2021 to 31 March 2022Deadline for submission of final papers : 30 April 2022

Papers from open submission and invited papers from ICBL 2021 and ISET 2021 will undergo the same review process. Based on our previous experience (JCHE, Vol. 31, No. 2), it is planned that about 10 papers would be finally selected. The guest editors will be responsible for the review process and the final acceptance of all papers, except those authored or co-authored by any one of the guest editors to avoid potential conflicts of interest. Papers authored or co-authored by any one of the guest editors will be referred to the Editor-in-Chief for handling.

Submitted papers must be relevant to the theme and within the scope of higher education. Selection will be based on the following criteria :

significant and original contributionsolid theoretical foundationproven experimental or actual resultswell written with sufficient illustration

Guest Editors

Simon K.S. Cheung, Director of Information Technology, the Open University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, received his BSc and PhD in Computer Science from the City University of Hong Kong, and MPA from the University of Hong Kong. His research interests are in the areas of technology in teaching and learning, and software engineering. His publications include 1 research monograph, 27 edited books, 150+ journal articles, book chapters and conference papers. He is the recipient of Katie Shu Sui Pui Charitable Trust – Outstanding Research Publication Award, the Open University of Hong Kong in 2006. Further information is found at

Fu Lee Wang, Professor and Dean of the School of Science and Technology, The Open University of Hong Kong, received his PhD in Systems Engineering and Engineering Management from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.  His research interests include educational technology, computer graphics, and information retrieval. Professor Wang has over 200 publications and has received 20 grants with a total of more than HK$20 million dollars. Prof. Wang is a fellow of BCS and a Senior Member of ACM. He was the Chair of the IEEE Hong Kong Section Computer Chapter and ACM Hong Kong Chapter.

Lam For Kwok, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, and the Executive Director of CUBIC (CityU Business and Industrial Club), City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, received his PhD in Information Security from the Queensland University of Technology, Australia. His research interests include information security and management, intrusion detection systems, and computers in education. Dr Kwok has extensive teaching and academic planning experience. He actively serves the academic and professional communities and is the Conference Chair of ICBL 2021 and ISET 2021.

Simon K.S. Cheung (contact guest editor)

The Open University of Hong Kong

30 Good Shepherd Street, Homantin, Kowloon, Hong Kong


Phone. (852) 2768 6500

20 October 2020