Five professors from Xi’an Jiaotong University are the first to participate in and complete an American Exchange Center residence at UNL.
The group spent two months embedded in UNL’s chemistry and physics departments, taking intensive English instruction, attending pedagogy seminars, observing classes, visiting with campus professors and touring labs.
“These five professors — two from XJTU’s physics department and three from chemistry — were here as part of an XJTU/UNL initiative to improve undergraduate instruction in China,” said Ian Newman, director of UNL’s American Exchange Center at XJTU in Xi’an, China. “This exchange is designed to help XJTU increase the number of science courses taught in English. We also matched them with our faculty so they could observe American-style teaching and develop research contacts.”
The exchange grew from a January visit to UNL by XJTU administrators. Newman said the administrators were impressed by UNL and asked to create the residency.
During the residency, which ended Dec. 13, the XJTU professors worked with more than a dozen UNL faculty, including nine who presented in pedagogy sessions focused on ways to improve classroom instruction. Faculty who led the pedagogy sessions included Leilani Arthurs, David Brooks, Joe Dauer, Gina Kunz, Richard Lombardo, Kevin Lee, Jon Pedersen, Marilyne Stains and Duane Shell.
Overall, members of the XJTU delegation said the residency was useful.
“We have learned some new teaching models that I can use to enhance the quality of my class,” said Yong Mei Chen, professor of chemistry at XJTU. “We are grateful to the professors who worked with us and presented to us. I think this was very valuable and will suggest to our university that this collaboration continues.”