The Japan campus of Temple University (Setagaya, Tokyo / Dean Matthew Wilson) is offering a combination of in-person, hybrid, and online courses during the fall semester, which started on August 30, 2021. Nearly 60% of the students at Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ) are international. Due to Japan’s immigration restrictions related to the coronavirus, hundreds of TUJ students have commenced their studies online while anxiously awaiting permission to enter Japan.
As the COVID-19 crisis drags on, impacting both overseas and domestic students, TUJ has been working to enhance online learning tools and improve virtual learning environments for its students.
The rollout of new classroom approaches this semester is specifically designed to assist students and enhance their education. TUJ has equipped two state-of-the-art “HyFlex classrooms.” To allow students to learn both in person and online simultaneously without stress, these classrooms are equipped with several 65-inch displays, high-performance microphones, and the latest camera and computer models. Even if TUJ students are thousands of miles away or are participating in a class from across Tokyo, they can see what their instructors and classmates are doing in real time while proactively participating in the class.
TUJ has also equipped a new “collaboration classroom” at its Sangenjaya campus. This classroom is furnished with multiple conference tables and executive chairs with students facing each other instead of everyone only looking towards the front of the room. This classroom arrangement creates an environment that encourages students to discuss and interact with each other while maintaining social distancing. This layout is also consistent with the dynamic American-style education provided by TUJ.
One of the professors who has received specialized training on the HyFlex classroom equipment said, “We can use this technology to give students better learning opportunities. We have figured out new ways to teach for online and in-person hybrid classes, but I want to work with my students to create a new class style.” Shunya Fukuda, a junior majoring in international business, who observed the new classrooms emphasized that, “This feels like a cutting edge classroom. Here we can learn by connecting to the whole world online. Using these classrooms, I hope we’ll have more events with the main campus in Philadelphia.”
“The introduction of these new classrooms will help our students cultivate the skills they need in the 21st century,” says Dean Matt Wilson. “Through their HyFlex classroom studies, I hope that TUJ students will become more familiar with technology and learn to cooperate across international borders.” He adds that “we always put our students first at TUJ, and we intend to continue preparing learning environments like this according to the needs of our students and professors.”