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Professors go the extra mile to support students 8,000 miles away in China

The partnership between Brenau University and Anhui Normal University in China continues to thrive as about 75 Chinese students are taking Brenau classes from their homes nearly 8,000 miles away from the Gainesville campus.

With students logging on for class late at night because of the 12-hour time difference, professors have adapted and used a variety of resources to ensure the students are understanding the material. Rebekah Taylor-Wiseman, assistant professor of English, found that creating recap videos instead of recording the Zoom sessions works better for her students.

“I don’t have that ability to see them in person to make sure through their facial expressions that they’re ‘getting it,’” Taylor-Wiseman says. “It’s about giving them as many chances as possible to get the information. I try to say it in as many different ways as possible so there’s really no way they can fall through the cracks.”

Accommodations have also been made to ensure students who are out of the country don’t miss out on certain opportunities before they are able to return to campus in the future. Wenwen Guo, assistant professor of English, has enlisted speakers from America and China to talk to her classes. Her students are also able to earn internship hours by working with students in the Hall County School District’s Ivester Early College program, which allows students to earn college credit and certificates while completing a high school diploma. Several of Taylor-Wiseman’s students are presenting at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association’s annual conference, and organizers made sure to take the time difference into consideration for the Chinese students.

Education major Siyan “Sienna” Wang praised her professors for how
helpful they have been during the fall semester.

“The professors ask us to boldly express our opinions,” Wang says.
“Every time I ask a question, the professor always encourages me, which
makes us students feel so motivated

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