For students concerned about coronavirus and teaching
The coronavirus pandemic has made many aspects of life uncertain, and many of our potential students are worried about its effect on education. As many of you are doctors, nurses or other healthcare professionals, you may not be able to join in-person lectures even where there is no state of emergency, and many of you are now even busier than you were before due to the pandemic. Our school has also been conducting classes online for safety reasons, and you may be worried about how the quality of teaching has been affected. In this message, we will explain how we are responding to the coronavirus pandemic and what you can expect.
St. Luke’s Graduate School of Public Health (SLGSPH) was established to teach working professionals, and from the beginning of its program in 2017 SLGSPH taught all its core classes in a mixture of online and in-person classes, which students could choose between depending on their work and personal situation. In February 2020, when the coronavirus epidemic had not yet reached Japan in force, we made a decision to teach all courses in first semester online, as our contribution to public health and in recognition of the extra risk health care workers in our student body face. Since we already had years of experience in online teaching, we achieved this smoothly and our students were in general satisfied with the results: our mid-semester and end-of-semester evaluations from students have been excellent, and student performance in tests and assignments has been no different to when we held a mixture of in-person and online classes. Because we already have experience, course materials and a well-developed online learning system (manaba) we have managed the shift to online teaching easily. We have also been able to teach three international students who were not able to enter Japan, and existing second year students have been supervised online effectively. Even practicum classes like Biostatistics Practicum 1 have been taught effectively online, and you can learn more about how this class is being taught this year here.
It is likely that we will be required to teach most or all of our second semester classes online, as the pandemic grows in Japan and the transmission risk of in-person classes grows with it. However, we now have significant experience across the faculty, and are confident that there will be no loss of quality in teaching through online classes. Although in 2021 we hope to be able to return to a mixture of online and in-person classes, even if the pandemic prevents this in 2021 you can be confident that the quality of teaching will not suffer. At SLGSPH we have the tools, the experience and the energy to ensure that your online teaching experience will be equal or superior to in-person teaching, if it should prove necessary to maintain coronavirus counter-measures next year.
We hope that you will therefore take this opportunity to participate in our program, and gain access to all that our course has to offer without leaving your prefecture or your important work in your local community.