Teaching Innovation Under Pressure: Three Months, Two Universities, One Pandemic

Drs. Chris Woods and Gayani Tillekeratne discuss the trials and tribulations of teaching during a pandemic in an article titled “Teaching Innovation Under Pressure: Three Months, Two Universities, One Pandemic.”

By Noah Pickus and Ben Anderson

One Pandemic, Two Universities

The arrival of Duke Kunshan University’s first class of undergraduate students in Kunshan, China, in August 2018 was the culmination of nearly a decade of work to develop a new model for international undergraduate education. One of us led the creation of the curriculum for Duke Kunshan (DKU) and hired the faculty who would bring it to life. And one of us, a Duke post-doc in global health, was part of the first cohort of twenty faculty who had come from around the world to prepare students to navigate a future none of us can predict.

Little did we know just how turbulent the world would become, and how quickly. By the early winter of 2020, as the Coronavirus spread, first DKU, and then Duke, closed their campuses. The first order of business was to find out whether these two universities could successfully collaborate in a crisis. Could the networks between the two schools enable faculty and students to respond quickly to a world-wide pandemic?

Read Full Article