Support During Remote Learning

USF has averaged over 400 students studying from outside of the US since the pandemic began. These students are located across 15 different time zones and many are 10+ hours ahead of San Francisco. 

Students Share - What helped them During Remote instruction:

  • Anna Koulaki, Greece, Entrepreneurship & Innovation major: My professor “recorded the lectures for the students who were not able to attend due to the time difference.”
  • Nathania Irawan, Indonesia, Architecture: “All my architecture professors wanted to help students to graduate on time. They spent a lot of time communicating with me. My professor really understands his students and most importantly, he believed in us.”
  • Bhumika Sirinivas, India, Data Science: “It has been a roller-coaster ride ever since classes shifted online, especially for international students. However, my faculty made scans of the textbooks available and provided varying exam times. They have been understanding in every possible way to make this transition easier for me.”

Faculty Share - Their tips and tricks:

Professor Shan Wang, Data Science: Talk with your colleagues and exchange tips. I’m thankful for the advice I received from Professor Diane Woodbridge.

  • Survey the number, location, and time zone of the students abroad.
  • Arrange separate office hours, as well as exam times based on their time zones.
  • Combine more asynchronous classes with practice questions for students to complete.
  • Use a third-party platform, such as Piazza, with anonymous posts for international students who might be self-conscious about their English or come from a culture that does not encourage questions to their teachers.
  • Host a morning and evening international “happy hour” to answer questions for different time zones in Asia and Europe.

Professor Susan Wolsborn, Fine Arts:

  • Increased use of visual examples through PowerPoint to show each concept down to a granular level and as seen in different contexts and techniques.
  • Short, targeted lectures. By separating the concepts into tight lectures it is easier for a student to scan through the course content for exactly the subject they need to review.
  • Include text annotation on the pages that host any video tutorials. This way a student can copy the text into a translator if they need help with a word or phrase.

Professor Seth Wachtel, Architecture:

  • Take advantage of being remote and connect to different geographical locations and add international content to the curriculum. The Architecture students come from many different countries and all are thrilled to be working on real-world projects for communities both within and outside the U.S. Students in the class develop a deep camaraderie with one another as they work together in active design collaboration toward final presentations that assist underserved communities worldwide.

Additional Resources from Education Technology Services (ETS):

Education Technologies Services’ has more information about teaching to students located outside of the US. This page includes information about communicating with students abroad, technologies that may not be accessible in some countries, and synchronous class alternatives. ETS also offers workshops and consultations on several remote learning topics.