Remote Teaching and Learning to Begin February 17

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Feb 6 2020

As part of the ongoing management of the 2019-nCoV epidemic, NYU Shanghai will not resume on-campus classroom teaching in Shanghai during the month of February. Instead, beginning February 17, classes will be taught using state-of-the art digital technologies exclusively, Chancellor Yu Lizhong, Vice Chancellor Jeff Lehman, and Provost Joanna Waley-Cohen wrote to the university community Feb 3.

University officials hope that in-person instruction can begin in early March, but cannot confirm a start date until they are assured that it is safe and practicable to do so. Even after in-classroom instruction begins, the university will proceed in a “Mixed-Mode” phase, where courses will be offered both digitally and in person. “Because we do not expect all students and professors will be able to return immediately, digitally mediated instruction will continue in all classes where it is needed,” the Chancellors said.

Currently, faculty members are at work preparing courses using digital tools such as Zoom, VoiceThread, NYU Stream, and NYU Classes. “Our professors have shown extraordinary creativity and commitment as they redesign their classes, using an extensive package of synchronous and asynchronous digital tools, so that each student will be a fully engaged member of the class and in close touch with the professor, the instructional staff, and their classmates, even if they are not sitting with them in a physical classroom,” the Chancellors said.

Staff members have also worked through the Chinese New Year holiday to make the remote teaching and learning possible.  “The Research and Instructional Technology Services group has shown truly extraordinary dedication in developing toolkits and offering webinars to support faculty use of digital technology to deliver their classes,” Waley-Cohen.

NYU Shanghai’s technology team has acquired the bandwidth and associated infrastructure to successfully minimize technical bottlenecks on the Shanghai end. Community members who believe technology or bandwidth may be inadequate for their needs should reach out to  The Academic Resources Center will also be providing its standard support for students who are participating in classes remotely. 

Even beyond the classroom, the Student Life team is working closely with the student government in generating innovative plans for using technology to keep various student-led organizations active this Spring. 

To date, NYU Shanghai has flown some 49 students from Shanghai back to their families and home countries. In addition to enabling distance-learning, the university was able to place more than 300 NYU Shanghai students who preferred to study away this semester in various sites of the NYU Global Network.

“This is an exceptionally challenging endeavor for our university, with all members of the community demonstrating their commitment in incredibly innovative ways. Our faculty members, academic advisors, instructional technology team, student life team, and countless others whom you might not engage with directly have been introducing dramatic new innovations to our university at superhuman speed. In doing so, they have expanded our capabilities in ways that will provide lasting benefits even after things return to normal this fall,” the Chancellors wrote.

To find the latest information available to NYU Shanghai about the Novel Coronavirus Epidemic, useful links, and FAQs, the university has created a central information page at Community members who log in with NetIDs will also be able to see an archive of memos and announcements issued regarding the university's response to the virus.