AEBS ‘cloud classroom’ connects students from 22 countries


Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the Asia Europe Business School (AEBS) has put 15 courses online, involving 13 teachers and 157 students from 22 countries.

Microeconomics, a course given by Zhang Luyao, a teacher from the Faculty of Economics and Management, is attended by students from 18 countries and regions that span nine time zones.

To prepare both students and herself for the lectures, Zhang has helped the students familiarize themselves with the use of the Slack app and conducted an email survey to better understand their language skills, knowledge of linear algebra, calculus and economics, learning habits, personalities and future career plans.

The students from different cultural backgrounds have formed groups of their own will and each group has a leader. Zhang emails the teaching video and courseware to the students for preview before class and live streams the class through Zoom every Thursday to answer students’ questions. Besides making a video of every class, she requires the team leaders to chair a weekly group meeting, at which the students have online discussions and submit their group assignments. This has proved to be effective in bringing into full play the students’ proactivity, team spirit and leadership.

To address different time zone challenges, Zhang Juewen, an instructor of the Chinese language course, has inquired each of her 30-plus foreign students about their geographic locations and scheduled the class at night to for their convenience.

In order to interact with students timely, Cui Shunling, who teaches Management Conference, often answers questions from foreign students late at night.

Most of the students are well adapted to online learning, previewing study materials before class, actively engaging in group discussions and submitting homework in time. The students are enthusiastic about discussions, often raising thought-provoking questions and making penetrating comments. Some students agree that compared with offline teaching, online education involves more active teacher-student interaction and shortens the distance between teachers and students. They also think online homework can help them better understand the knowledge and mobilize their enthusiasm for learning. Students are more keenly aware of the importance of before-class preview than when they were in classrooms and the teaching video is more helpful for after-class review.


“I am honored to join the innovative remote higher education program at the AEBS during this special period of time.. Given my research and consulting experience in AI for Business Strategy, I am aware that we are in an era of digital transformation. I have envisioned the future of remote higher education at global scales, but it’s just so amazing that we are practicing it right here and at this moment.”

—— Zhang Luyao

A teacher from the Faculty of Economics and Management

It has been more than a week since ECNU started the E-learning system to keep this spring semester running. So far, I have attended 8 sessions and watched several recordings. The overall experience is good as all the teachers are well-experienced and competent. Although the pandemic now makes face-to-face discussion with teachers and classmates impossible, online teaching turns out to be an ideal alternative that keeps stay-at-home students busy and full.

—— Cheong Eu Jin

An undergraduate student from Malaysia

Online learning is a new experience for me. I appreciate our professors who are willing to sacrifice their own spare time in order to find a suitable time for as many international students as possible. The professors pay attention to students’ needs and show much patience when answering our questions. What really touches me is the quality of teaching is just as good as regular classes. Thank you,all the professors, teaching assistants, and everyone who have made this online learning possible.

—— Zhang Katherine

An undergraduate student from America

Jointly created by EMLYON Business Schooland ECNU, the AEBS is committed to cultivating business elites with a profound cultural background, a strong sense of social responsibility and a fine blending of Western and Oriental wisdom, who are able to serve as ambassadors for China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Author: Li Jing, Xu Xincheng

Copy editor: Joshua Mayfield

Source: Asia Europe Business School 

Editor: Yu Wenxi


East China Normal University