SIGS Semester Online: Creating an engaging classroom atmosphere

Unable to see students face-to-face, one of the biggest challenges in online teaching lies in classroom interaction. 

Some professors at Tsinghua SIGS are using a combination of different tools to overcome these limitations. By incorporating diverse activities and various modes of assessment, students are kept focused and engaged. 


Assistant Professor Zhang Chengping in class 

Below are professors from the courses “Business Communication in English” and “Digital Image Processing”, who share how they use different methods to liven up the classroom atmosphere and encourage interaction. 

"My 3-hour Business Communication course for Finance Masters was divided into 11 sessions with lectures, group discussions, four-person role-plays and other activities. By combining different tools and functions in the Rain Classroom, Tencent Meeting and WeChat, students and I were able to fully interact. Online teaching has opened up new possibilites. Even for the same course, teaching methods will change and adapt according to the class size, content and teaching goals of the day. In the future, I will continue to try out different online tools and combinations to achieve the best classroom results."

 Li Xiangming, Associate Professor, Course Instructor of “Business Communication in English "

"By answering questions and giving comments, there was active interaction with Prof. Li, and we made full use of WeChat for group discussions."

— Wangyan Moxue, Student, “Business Communication in English"



Associate Professor Li plans diverse activities for her class 

"It almost felt like I was a news anchor. I used a combination of Rain Classroom and Zoom for my lessons. To make it more interesting, I changed the mouse cursor into a laser pointer and interacted with students by answering questions that came along the way.  I felt relieved that students were very enthusiastic in giving comments and they exchanged lively discussions in Zoom. I hope that students will continue to maintain a positive and optimistic learning attitude, and gradually adapt to this new mode of learning."

— Yang Wenming, Associate Professor, Course Instructor of “Digital Image Processing”

"The live commenting function on Rain Classroom is very useful for those who are more shy and hesitant to speak in class. We are able to ask questions or express views anonymously, and Prof. Yang would respond to these comments. This really adds a lot of fun to the course, and I am starting to enjoy this new way of learning."

— Student, "Digital Image Processing"

Edited by Karen Lee 

Photos by Ding Chao, Li Xiangming