Join Hands to Prevent Covid-19 and Gather in Cloud Classroom
—Confucius Institute at Georgia State University Offers Full-Scale Online Teaching

[Source]    Confucius Institute at Georgia State University in the US [Time]    2020-04-13 14:24:30 

Influenced by Covid-19, Georgia State University in the US closed on March 16th and moved courses in the spring semester from offline to online, carrying out full-scale online teaching. In order to ensure the safety of students and teachers, the Confucius Institute at Georgia State University implemented strictly the requirements of the university and responded quickly to move all courses from face-to-face to online teaching and meet students in “cloud class”.

Pool Collective Wisdom and Prepare for Challenges

The Confucius Institute formulated teaching plans for an unusual time to carry out and implement online teaching well. The staff at the Confucius Institute held two video conferences via Wechat to discuss matters related to online teaching under the leadership of Kimberly Henshaw, Managing Director of the Confucius Institute and Zhu Shu, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute.

The Confucius Institute at Georgia State University holding video conference for all teachers

At the conference, the staff at the Confucius Institute discussed and exchanged views on the selection of network platforms such as Webex, Skype, and Zoom, and finally determined the form and content of all courses.

Credit courses will carry on the previous teaching content in the form of live-streaming interaction and PowerPoint recordings. Noncredit courses provide diverse content of humorous Chinese language and culture by recording video lessons and uploading them to the Choice Chinese channel on YouTube; the “Chinese Café” randomly selects a topic and teaches it through a real-time interactive Zoom platform.

Overcome Difficulties and Make Joint Contributions

Online teaching turns teachers into teaching anchors. At the Confucius Institute, teachers without live-streaming experience carefully prepare the teaching content, familiarize themselves with the operation of software, and learn the methods and skills of video shooting and editing. They try to make all the courses including credit, noncredit and “Chinese Café” as exciting and engaging as possible.

To ensure the efficient and quality completion of the teaching plan of credit courses, five teachers in charge of credit courses carefully recorded the lessons and uploaded them to icollege, an online teaching system of the university, while live-streaming courses were carried out in the form of real-time interactions with students.

Diao Jiangzhi, a teacher at the Confucius Institute, is in charge of the online teaching of Business Chinese, which mainly covers Chinese knowledge and culture related to business Chinese. Her professional and practical teaching has received positive recognition and feedback from students. Zhang Jiehua, another teacher at the Confucius Institute, is responsible for the online teaching of Advanced Chinese 3001 and Advanced Chinese 3002, respectively in the form of PowerPoint recording and live-streaming interaction. The videotaped class is of great quality and efficiency while the live-broadcasting lesson is lively and interesting, both of which students express that they have benefited from.

Teachers at the Confucius Institute at Georgia State University carrying out online teaching

Noncredit courses mainly include “Sherry Presents: Cooking Chinese Cuisine”, “Learning Chinese through Video Clips”, “Jessica Presents: Bedtime Story”, and “Lessons in Chinese Culture”, which are recently and will continue to be updated on YouTube’s Choice Chinese channel. This teaching approach transcends the limit of time and space and covers more students, further strengthening the influence of the Confucius Institute.

The Confucius Institute teacher Wang Zhihui teaching “Lessons in Chinese Culture online”

Teachers prepared in advance the topics and materials for the “Chinese Café”, made the PowerPoint, and made use of Zoom’s functions such as “live chat” and “screen sharing”, so as to provide students with a real communicative environment to improve their Chinese oral communicative skills. This teaching method allows students to communicate in the cloud platform while at home.

Online “Chinese Café” of the Confucius Institute at Georgia State University

Wang Zhihui hosted the first “Online Café” on Zoom featuring discussions on issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Students actively participated in the discussion and spoke out their minds freely. Zhang Duiyang hosted the second “Online Café” for students to communicate and express in Chinese through classic games. Students engaged with enthusiasm in interesting games such as “You Draw, I Guess”, “You Describe, I Guess” and “Who Is Undercover” to fight a battle of wits and courage.

Redouble Efforts and Learn from Each Other

On April 6 and 10, Confucius Institute workers conducted two regular video conferences under the leadership of Wolfgang Schlöer, the associate provost of Georgia State University, Kimberly Henshaw, and Zhu Shu.

The Confucius Institute at Georgia State University convening video conference for all teachers

The staff at the Confucius Institute reported on their work, shared their successful experience in online teaching, and summarized the teaching problems. They drew on ideas from each other and worked out better solutions to problems of the cloud class.

All the staff of the Confucius Institute is working together to face the unprecedented challenges brought by the pandemic. The Confucius Institute will continue to try and innovate to offer more professional and quality “cloud” courses to convey warmth and strength to everyone through Chinese teaching.


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