Teaching in Virtual Environments: Global Educational Development to Respond to Challenges and Opportunities of the COVID-19 Pandemic


  • Mellissa Withers University of Southern California
  • Mona Monfared University of California, Davis
  • Fun Man Fung National University of Singapore
  • Vivian WY Lee The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • César Alberto Lucio Ramírez Escuela de Medicina y Ciencias de la Salud TecSalud
  • Michael Antonio F. Mendoza University of the Philippines Manila
  • Catherine Zhou The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • Eleanor Vandegrift University of Oregon


educational development, training, online, assessment, experiential education, learning community


Instructors and students from around the globe faced numerous educational challenges during the pandemic, such as appropriate course design, effective assessment techniques, and how to incorporate and assess fieldwork and experiential educational opportunities. In this paper, we reflect on online teaching design and innovations on topics such as virtual student exchanges and development and assessment of virtual lab/fieldwork. This paper shares examples from a series of interactive online trainings we organised to build capacity among faculty to respond to the shift in education brought on by COVID-19. We build upon expertise and interests of members of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU). In the series, pedagogical experts from a range of disciplines and countries facilitated discussion and collaboration by sharing case study examples of how to create a sense of community in virtual classrooms across geographies and leverage technological tools to meet shared global health educational challenges. We also addressed strategies to address equity and meet the needs of students beyond the classroom. These strategies and lessons can be applied to the future to continue to improve the educational experience for students and educational development for faculty.






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