Economics professor takes to Twitch to lecture 54 students, gains an audience of 17,000

As teachers from elementary school up turned to online media platforms to reach their students after classes were suspended this week, a professor of economics chose to deliver a lecture for his 54 students yesterday, May 19, and inadvertently managed to gain an audience of 17,000.

The sudden announcement of school closures, and a switch to online classes starting with the Greater Taipei Region, Monday, and extended nationwide, Tuesday, left many teachers a little confused as to what platform to use to reach their students.

Some teachers chose to use the popular social media app, Line, while others recoursed to Google Meet, and some used Zoom.

Associate Professor Yang from the Department of International Trade and Economics at Chung Yuan Christian University in Taoyuan City chose to deliver his lecture on Twitch. Twitch is usually touted as a live streaming service focused on video games and esports, but yesterday, professor Yang demonstrated that it could also draw an audience with an interest in higher education.

Broadcast in the early afternoon, Professor Yang’s lecture, delivered from an empty classroom, to a targeted audience of 54 registered students, drew an audience of more than 10,000 people by 2:45 pm, constituting the most popular Chinese language broadcast on the platform at the time.

The lecture gained a total of 17,000 views, making it the 7th most watched live broadcast on Twitch yesterday, according to United Daily News.

During the lecture, Professor Yang was slightly bemused at the number of students crashing his course, and had to steer his “official” students to their regular communication channel to allow them to ask questions, as the Twitch comment box was flooded with comments and questions, including people wanting advice on stock market movements, and cryptocurrencies.

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