Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Service Learning Projects

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



All authors contributed equally to this project. The authorship sequence is listed alphabetically based on each other's last name.


This service learning project reports on an intervention designed and conducted by the Pink Team of the Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. This intervention was conducted at the Positive Psychology Research Center (PPRC) at Tsinghua University in Mainland, China. The project aimed to improve the learning quality of Global Massive Open Online Course (GMOOC) program by transforming it from a teacher-centered, one-way xMOOC model to a more interactive and relational cMOOC model through enhancing connections and relationships among the participants. This project comprises three phases. In part one, we performed a thorough situation analysis, profiling our partner (Tsinghua University PPRC) and the industry sector they are operating. We detailed the PPRC’s positive psychology GMOOC, analyzed its strengths and weaknesses, and identified areas for improvement, which was to enhance relationships and connections. In part two Literature Review, we reviewed theoretical frameworks relevant to relationships. We identified three key concepts to guide our design: i) high-quality connections (HQCs), ii) mattering, and iii) mutual value theory. In part three, we generated an application plan which outlines six evidence-informed activities with the purpose of enhancing online relationships and community-building. Finally, a detailed step-by-step handbook on how to implement these activities is also provided at the end.


MOOC, xMOOC, cMOOC, high-quality connections, mattering, mutual value, relationships



Date Posted: 05 May 2023