The visuals and acoustics were excellent, thanks to four large video screens stitched together and microphones installed at strategic points around the room. It felt like the URBANST 102 students in Beijing were sitting in the same room as our class at Stanford!
Photo: Students at Stanford University's home campus (left) discuss urban and social development directly with a group in Beijing (center) made up of Stanford students in the Bing Overseas Studies Program and Peking University students.
As a warmup activity, students were asked to describe Beijing in three words. The word art here showcases their responses, with more common words appearing larger in the diagram.
We then discussed the first assignment of the quarter, Urban Lab #1, where students documented their hometowns. These ranged from small towns in Nebraska and Massachusetts, to a village in Corsica, France, to dense urban centers such as Beijing and Bangkok.
Word art created from student descriptions of Beijing.
One of the Stanford students based in Bejing later posted this note about his experience in the combined classroom:
- Double-check the script/discussion outline with fellow instructors before starting the session. It's worth taking the time so the rest of the session flows smoothly.
- For long sessions, take a break in the middle! Students also appreciate snacks.