Almost one-fourth of classes in TU Japan are still in-person, but many Tokyo Owls are taking charge of the switch online.
TU Japan looks quite different from Temple’s main campus, even more so than normal. All visitors must be temperature checked upon entry. Once inside, the building is lively, with many people safely hanging out in the student center, classrooms and study lounges.
Every week, around 60 classes, or about 22 percent of classes, take place in-person, but not all students are attending in-person classes though.
Reimi Matsuzaki, a senior in communications major, shares similar concerns to students studying remotely in the United States.
“It’s hard to use both zoom and editing software simultaneously, and sometimes my wifi just went off, which is very frustrating,” Matsuzaki said.
Silver Lining of Online Classes
TU Japan was mainly a lecture-based school before the pandemic. The switch to online has inspired the university to reimagine their methods of instruction and faculty and students agree that some classes just work better online.
Senior Savon Crisp is a fan of online learning and particularly liked it for his contemporary Japanese art and culture class.
“I feel like there are many classes that are better off remote,” Crisp said. “I was able to appreciate the content of the class way more once we went remote and my professor would even agree with that.”
Unlike main campus, TU Japan ran straight through the summer as usual, reaching its highest enrollment ever through online classes. Now, many professors are able to strengthen and build upon multiple semesters of asynchronous and online instruction experience.
TU Japan Associate Dean for Academic Affairs George Miller has seen this type of teaching is great for introductory and foundational courses.
“Some disciplines, some subjects, the online learning really works, and so, there’s no reason not to continue doing it that way,” Miller said.
Miller also shared how online instruction could help the university increase its capacity.
“If we take 10 or 15 percent of our classes and put them online, we can actually have more students that our building would allow,” Miller said. “So, it allows us to grow and have a greater impact.”
TU Japan plans to continue its hybrid model next semester, hopefully even bringing back some overseas students as the low COVID case count continues to be promising.
This article was co-written by Alexandra Lopez-Carrion.