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My UX Teaching

How I implemented Chinese teaching with UX practices

 
 

After leaving school, language teaching was the first job for me to bring my “design” to the world. The design work spreading within my 3-year teaching experience, was not a piece of painting or a fascinating website, but the curriculum I created for my students to help them better engage in a language learning environment.

In my “UX teaching project”d=, I was the researcher, the designer, and the presenter. As I looked back, I see the experience as a process of problem solving. My goal was to accurately define the learning problems of my students and created solutions for them. That is to say, how well the students would be receiving the knowledge and delivering what they have learned into a real language, were largely depended on the quality of my design works, namely, my teaching slides, assignments, quizzes and exams, and my performances in class. From my teaching experience, I learned to build my problem-solving and communication skills. What's more, making visually appealing classroom materials was also a good opportunity for me to enhance my design skills.

 
 

Understanding Students

 
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Being one of the most diverse cities in the world, students in New York come from a variety of backgrounds. They come to the Chinese class with specific learning goals and different knowledge levels. Some learning goals are similar and the frustrations happened during the learning process are the same. Therefore, I tried to understand my students by doing surveys, in-person talks, and observations from time to time.

 
 
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Vocabulary

 

Problem:
Difficulty to remember vocabularies for a long time

Solutions:
- Design daily quizzes to reinforce vocabulary learning
- Use engaging teaching tools and activities to stimulate students' interests
- Practice vocabulary repeatedly in drill sessions

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Language Environment

 

Problem:
Lack of authentic language environment

Solutions:
- Set up one-on-one language partners with Chinese students
- Encourage students to join Chinese student events

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Culture Difference

 

Problem:
Language barriers due to culture difference


Solutions:

- Introduce cultural contexts behind the language
- Address various social issues caused by cultural difference
- Play clips of Chinese movies/TV shows
- Select teaching materials with cultural insights

 
 

Sample Teaching Slides

Teaching slide is a great tool to structure and organize the content to be delivered in class. By incorporating various visual assets in my slides, I aimed to bringing my students an engaging learning experience. Most learning frustrations I identified could be helped with appropriate teaching methods and tools.

 
 
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Selected Pages of Student Album (2014 Sumer Study Abroad Program)

In summer 2014, I worked as a program coordinator for the Columbia in Shanghai summer study abroad program. I was in charge of supervising students’ work and study life, managing teaching schedules, communicating with internship companies, organizing and coordinating events, creating marketing materials, etc. I also made a memorable photo album at the end of the program. Studying abroad is a great experience for students to immerse themselves in the real culture and language environment. I believe designing a photo album will be a perfect way to help them memorize their life in China.

 
 
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It's all about EMPATHY.
 

Design, to me, is essentially a process of problem solving. When I looked back at my teaching experience, I realized it was the same process. What I did was to identify the problems happened to my students when they were learning, and figure out better solutions for them. Compared to the real UX/product design, I used different tools and methods to examine students' needs and to develop a teaching plan. However, empathy is always what I value the most, no matter who I am serving. I believe that only by being deeply empathetic with our users and understanding their needs and goals, can we create the most appropriate designs for them.

 

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