SIGS Semester Online | Teaching Epidemiology from Yichang, Hubei

On the evening of February 21, Wang Li, External Lecturer at the Tsinghua Institute of Hospital Management (IHM) sat down to give her first online lecture  in Yichang, Hubei. 

“Hospital logistics management is especially important during this time,” said IHM students who are working at frontline hospitals in Wuhan. “Epidemiology”, taught by Wang, is a professional elective course especially relevant at this time of the COVID-19 outbreak. 




Starting class as scheduled 

Despite being in Hubei province with limited teaching resources, Wang insisted that the class start as scheduled. She believed that the topic of epidemiology is of great interest and is an opportunity for students to combine theories with practice.

Wang started preparing for the class two weeks in advance, but technical problems caused her much inconvenience. With residential areas closed off, broadband technicians could only operate remotely. Luckily, they were able to reconnect the router and share 5G network nearby to support Wang’s teaching needs. Wang also tested the class rundown repeatedly with IT staff, and even recorded her slides as a contingency plan.


Tailoring the class to students' needs 

Knowing that most of her students were not medical majors, Wang contacted each of them to learn more about their backgrounds, expectations and adjusted class content accordingly. The class with originally 9 students ended up being 25 on the first day of class. "I was worried about attendance, but was moved to see everyone once I logged in,” said Wang.

Nurturing future researchers and management staff 

In her teaching, Wang integrates theory with epidemic news and case studies, and raises questions for discussion. By guiding students through research literature, she hopes to strengthen logical thinking and questioning skills to nurture researchers and management staff who understand health and disease on a wider scale.


Students were greatly encouraged by Wang’s optimism and her engaging class content. Wang said, "I was very anxious before class, but I have to thank my TAs, as well as all teaching and the IT support staff for a successful first class."


Even in the center of the epidemic, our students and faculty members are sharing knowledge and expertise in hopes that the country can soon overcome the situation. Let us continue to cheer for those currently in Hubei province, or in the frontlines and have joined the fight against the epidemic!


Edited by Karen Lee

Photo provided by interviewee