"Embrace It, Enjoy It, and Work Hard for It!”: A Qualitative Investigation into Instructors’ Reflections on Rapid Migration to Online Teaching


  • Yanyue Yuan NYU Shanghai
  • Jace Hargis Wenzhou-Kean University
  • Hui-Ching Lu NYU Shanghai
  • Jiani Lian NYU Shanghai
  • Xiaoyue Huang NYU Shanghai
  • Ying Song NYU Shanghai


syllabus, online course design, course migration, teaching methods, qualitative methods, Chinese language, interview protocol


Rapid or abrupt transition to online teaching can be extremely daunting to instructors, especially those with limited prior experiences teaching online. Our qualitative study focuses on four Chinese language instructors’ reflective journey on their experiences of migrating courses online in less than one month’s time. Following the three stages of individual reflection, pair reflection, and group discussion, we aim to reveal their perceptions of the specific challenges they have encountered; the changes they made to course design and their decision-making processes; how they felt about the experience; as well as their plans of taking the lessons learned forward in their future teaching. Our findings demonstrate that though all instructors had to tackle uncertainties and unexpected difficulties arising during their online teaching, they could still deliver high-quality instruction by actively seeking support from colleagues and the Center for Teaching & Learning, asking for and responding to students’ feedback, building a strong awareness and willingness to embrace new situations, and experimenting with alternative approaches and reflecting on their effectiveness.