Journal of Computers in Education

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 435–461 | Cite as

Interest-driven creator theory: towards a theory of learning design for Asia in the twenty-first century

  • Tak-Wai Chan
  • Chee-Kit Looi
  • Wenli Chen
  • Lung-Hsiang Wong
  • Ben ChangEmail author
  • Calvin C. Y. Liao
  • Hercy Cheng
  • Zhi-Hong Chen
  • Chen-Chung Liu
  • Siu-Cheung Kong
  • Heisawn Jeong
  • Jon Mason
  • Hyo-Jeong So
  • Sahana Murthy
  • Fu-Yun Yu
  • Su Luan Wong
  • Ronnel B. King
  • Xiaoqing Gu
  • Minhong Wang
  • Longkai Wu
  • Ronghuai Huang
  • Rachel Lam
  • Hiroaki Ogata


Asian education is known for its examination-driven orientation, with the downsides of distorting the processes of learning and teaching, diminishing students’ interest in learning, and failing to nurture twenty-first century competencies among students. As a group of Asian researchers, we have been developing Interest-Driven Creator (IDC) Theory, a design theory based on three anchored concepts, namely interest, creation, and habit. Each of these anchored concepts is represented by a loop composed of three components. In the interest loop, the three components are triggering, immersing, and extending. The components of the creation loop are imitating, combining, and staging. The habit loop consists of cuing environment, routine, and harmony. These three loops are interconnected in various ways, with their characteristics revealed by the design process. We hypothesize that technology-supported learning activities that are designed with reference to IDC Theory will enable students to develop interest in learning, be immersed in the creation process, and, by repeating this process in their daily routines, strengthen habits of creation. Furthermore, students will excel in learning performance, develop twenty-first century competencies, and become lifelong interest-driven creators. To sharpen our understanding and further the development of the theory, we need more discussion and collaborative efforts in the community. Hypotheses arising from this theory can be tested, revised, or refined by setting up and investigating IDC Theory-based experimental sites. By disseminating the framework, foundations, and practices to the various countries and regions of Asia, we hope that it will bring about compelling examples and hence a form of quality education for the twenty-first century, which is an alternative to the examination-driven education system. In this paper, we present an overall introduction to IDC Theory and its history, and discuss some of the steps for advancing it in the future.


Interest-driven learning Creator-based learning Creation Learning design theory Twenty-first century competencies Inquiry-based learning Design thinking Game-based learning Seamless learning Challenge 



We have discussed IDC Theory with many researchers on numerous occasions for about five years. We especially thank Maiga Chang, Gautam Biswas, Chih-Yueh Chou, Tzu-Chao Chien, Robin Chiu-Pin Lin, Hwa-Wei Ko, Ulrich Hoppe, Gerry Stahl, Song Yanjie, Ping Li, Okhwa Lee, Yanyan Li, Masanori Sugimoto, and Jun Oshima for their support and exchanges with us during this time.


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Copyright information

© Beijing Normal University 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tak-Wai Chan
    • 1
  • Chee-Kit Looi
    • 2
  • Wenli Chen
    • 2
  • Lung-Hsiang Wong
    • 2
  • Ben Chang
    • 3
    Email author
  • Calvin C. Y. Liao
    • 4
  • Hercy Cheng
    • 5
  • Zhi-Hong Chen
    • 6
  • Chen-Chung Liu
    • 1
  • Siu-Cheung Kong
    • 7
  • Heisawn Jeong
    • 8
  • Jon Mason
    • 9
  • Hyo-Jeong So
    • 10
  • Sahana Murthy
    • 11
  • Fu-Yun Yu
    • 12
  • Su Luan Wong
    • 13
  • Ronnel B. King
    • 14
  • Xiaoqing Gu
    • 15
  • Minhong Wang
    • 16
  • Longkai Wu
    • 2
  • Ronghuai Huang
    • 17
  • Rachel Lam
    • 18
  • Hiroaki Ogata
    • 19
  1. 1.Graduate Institute of Network Learning TechnologyNational Central UniversityTaoyuanTaiwan
  2. 2.National Institute of EducationNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Graduate Institute of Learning and InstructionNational Central UniversityTaoyuanTaiwan
  4. 4.College of NursingNational Taipei University of Nursing and Health SciencesTaipeiTaiwan
  5. 5.National Engineering Research Center for E-LearningCentral China Normal UniversityWuhanChina
  6. 6.Graduate Institute of Information and Computer EducationNational Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  7. 7.Department of Mathematics and Information Technology cum Director of Centre for Learning, Teaching and TechnologyThe Education University of Hong KongNew TerritoriesHong Kong
  8. 8.Department of PsychologyHallym UniversityChuncheonRepublic of Korea
  9. 9.College of EducationCharles Darwin UniversityDarwinAustralia
  10. 10.Department of Educational TechnologyEwha Womans UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  11. 11.Educational Technology Inter-Disciplinary ProgramIndian Institute of TechnologyBombayIndia
  12. 12.Institute of EducationNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan
  13. 13.Faculty of Educational StudiesUniversiti Putra MalaysiaSerdangMalaysia
  14. 14.Department of Curriculum and InstructionThe Education University of Hong KongNew TerritoriesHong Kong
  15. 15.Department of Educational Information TechnologyEast China Normal UniversityShanghaiChina
  16. 16.Faculty of EducationThe University of Hong KongKennedy TownHong Kong
  17. 17.Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal UniversityBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  18. 18.Learning Sciences and Higher Education, ETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  19. 19.Academic Center for Computing and Media StudiesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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