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GBJ courses will begin the semester online; target start date is February 17

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

Rick Dunham and Chengzhang Li will try to keep you informed and resolve any questions you have. (USA Summer Journalism Training Program photo)

Schools across China remain closed because of the coronavirus epidemic. But Tsinghua University is making plans to begin classes, as scheduled, on February 17 via online education.

Tsinghua is beta testing systems to hold classes in real time, with PowerPoints and other class materials available to students.

Some courses may have to adjust their times based on the locations of students and professors. (Professor Rick Dunham's Advanced News Writing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday. That will be changed because he is 13 hours away in Washington, D.C., while students are spread out from South Africa to Japan.

Chengzhang Li is coordinating efforts to keep current Global Business Journalism students informed of the latest developments. Associate Dean Hang Min, a GBJ co-director, is involved in planning the new learning system. Professor Dunham said the goal of the system is to provide a live, classroom-style learning experience, with a back-up system of recordings for students unable to attend any of the online classes.

"The key is to make this learning experience useful, practical and technologically successful," Professor Dunham noted.

Chengzhang reported this on February 1: "The online teaching system was JUST released by the university THIS MORNING. The GBJ office needs time to work with all the teaching staff to figure it out...All your different situations and circumstances will be considered, and the GBJ office will find out the best way" to implement the system.

Global Business Journalism students will need to register for the semester online. "We will guide you step by step to use this online system," said Chengzhang.

The first test of the Tsinghua online learning system is scheduled for February 3, when the university president will deliver an online lecture in Chinese to discuss "measures to prevent the virus and the general schedule for the coming semester." The GBJ office will share highlights of the president's remarks, translated into English, after his lecture.

If you have any questions, please contact Chengzhang at You can reach the co-directors by email at

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