Hybrid Courses at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center

Hybrid Courses at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center

In August 2022 supporting Chinese visa documentation was secured for all international Hopkins-Nanjing Center students. As the issuance of Chinese student visas becomes increasingly normalized, HNC students are starting to make their way back to the classroom in Nanjing. 

To provide in-person learning opportunities to students currently located in Nanjing, while continuing to help students located outside of Nanjing to attend classes virtually, the Hopkins-Nanjing Center has begun to experiment with hybrid classes. Through the use of educational technology, some classes have resumed in-person education, while live streaming the class to students who remain online. Teachers have been able to use Zoom to share digital media with students online, while using an LED smart blackboard to share the same media with students in Nanjing, creating an interactive classroom experience for all students involved.

Professor Zhao Shudong speaks to students in International Trade Theory & Policy 

In the first few experiments with hybrid classes, professors and students alike found themselves more focused and energetic in class. Some students, like Austin Bliss, MAIS '23, a student in Professor Hua Tao’s Social Problems of China’s Modernization, reported that the in-person component helped him pay better attention during class discussion. Others, like Wang Zikun, MAIS '24, a student in Professor Zhao Shudong’s International Trade Theory & Policy found that the offline format helped him connect better with the professor. “The hybrid courses helped me realize my professor’s teaching ability and gave me an opportunity to communicate with him about the course,” Zikun said.  

So far, hybrid classes are in the experimental stage. Teachers and students alike are learning best practices to maximize engagement with students both online and in-person. “It’s great to be back teaching in person and the students seem to appreciate it too,” said Dr. Paul Armstrong-Taylor, Resident Professor of International Economics at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, “I’ve only taught a week of hybrid classes, so there is still a lot to learn about best techniques, how to integrate the experience of online and in-person students, and how to use the equipment most effectively. But, at least, it is another step towards normality.”

Professor Paul Armstrong-Taylor teaching Comparative Economics in Nanjing

This semester, we've taken the first few steps towards offering courses in hybrid mode. In the coming months, the HNC hopes to expand hybrid classes based on the past few months’ experience, offering as many in-person and hybrid learning opportunities as possible on the ground in Nanjing. 

Written by Alec Nash, MAIS '24