Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

J-YAP Inter-University Support Project

J-YAP Inter-University Support Project

School:  Literatures, Languages and Cultures

Team Members:  Fumiko Narumi-Munro, Sakie Chiba-Mooney, Akihiko Shimizu, Atsuko Moriyama,Helen Parker

Abstract

The current coronavirus pandemic has caused dramatic changes across the higher education institutions and we inevitably have to adapt to a new mode of teaching within a very small timescale. It also affects the students’ mobility, particularly the compulsory year abroad for language degrees. Some had to quit it in the middle of the third year due to their home university’s recall, cancellation of their host institution’s programme, or because they felt it wouldn’t be safe to stay in their host countries.

The university made a commitment that returnees will be offered alternative arrangements by us, but no specific guidance, support or time for preparation has been given to the teaching staff. Since the Japanese universities’ spring semester runs from April to August, those who returned in March have lost half of the year abroad, and they expect to be given alternative tuition online so they are not academically disadvantaged compared to those remaining in Japan.

Instead of developing the large amount of online teaching materials individually at each university, collaborating with other UK institutions with Japanese degree programmes to set up a common teaching space will help to reduce the workload of teaching staff and also to enrich the variety of lessons and teaching activities by offering material from different teaching staff and institutions.

This project seeks to enhance the Edinburgh students’ learning as a replacement of the Japanese year abroad experience through the inter-university initiative and to evaluate the impact of totally online teaching on the language students.