[Financial News] Sungkyunkwan University sets the remote learning standard for higher education
Sungkyunkwan University sets the remote learning standard for higher education
Due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19, remote classes using online platforms are no longer an option but rather are a necessity. Unfortunately, the quality of remote classes in some schools has been questionable. However, the remote classes at Sungkyunkwan University showed that remote learning can also be effective and conducive to higher learning. For the past 10 years, there had been a large effort by Sungkyunkwan University in studying and preparing for online classes and this effort has benefited the university during the unexpected situation of COVID-19. Courses are offered in a hybrid system, functioning in both real-time online and offline classes. Immediate storage of the learning management system (LMS) has also been adopted. Furthermore, the establishment of a studio for professors to produce learning content has also been a driving force behind the success of Sungkyunkwan University's remote classes.
■I-campus: The driving force for high quality remote learning
The visit to the Sungkyunkwan University campus started off at an online production studio located on the third floor of the Hall of Economics. This is where professors are able to produce educational content for remote learning. Upon entering the studio, we encountered two professional producers who were in charge of editing the lecture videos made by the professors. Inside the production studio, there were two lecture classrooms, with each room equipped with cameras and large electronic blackboards. Professors are able to check the lecture screen while checking the prompt mounted on the camera. Electronic blackboards have the ability to create video content as well as show written notes by the professor, allowing for effective teaching. The next visit was to the self-studio on the third floor of the Central Library. The self-studio is smaller than the online production studio, but this is where professors produce lecture content in a smaller space. A recording room is also present on the fourth floor of the Business School. Sungkyunkwan University operates two online studios and two self-studios in both the Humanities and Social Sciences Campus, and the Natural Sciences Campus, respectively.
The Sungkyunkwan University classroom has real time recording and support for streaming (webex) and on-off mixing with classes. Inside the classroom, acrylic partitions are used for social distancing, and students who are taking the class online can be observed through a digital screen. Lecture materials and images are stored in the learning management system (LMS) called I-Campus. Students taking a course can re-watch a lecture using I-campus at any time. Sungkyunkwan University has 244 recorded courses currently for the second semester, for both the Humanities and Social Science Campus and the Natural Science Campus, and this number is the highest among four-year universities in Korea.
The first generation of Sungkyunkwan University’s I-campus began in 2002-2008, followed by the second generation in 2009-2019. The third generation (current) of I-campus has been in operation since March of 2020. Throughout the years, I-campus has not only been a platform for sharing class materials, but it has also been a base for interactive learning in the form of assignments, quizzes, discussions, saved lectures, and real-time lectures. This has been even more prominent in the third generation of I-campus, given the current COVID-19 situation.
"The fact that we have been studying and preparing for remote classes since more than a decade ago is the driving force behind dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic," said Kim Dong-wook, head of the university’s Academic Affairs Division. "We are operating in various committees (advisory, professional, copyright, and working-level committees) to support the operation of remote classes and to manage content quality, and we are also doing our best to improve the quality of the remote classes."
■Satisfaction level of students and professors is also high
To confirm the effectiveness of the hybrid class (simultaneous online and offline), we visited the International Hall of Sungkyunkwan University to observe an SKK Graduate School of Business (SKK GSB) class. Seven students were physically in the classroom, and seven others were taking the class online.
Raunaq Pungaliya, the Vice-Dean of GSB and the instructor of the lecture, conducted the class by asking questions from time to time not only to the students in the classroom but also to the students online. This helped push the students both online and offline to have class interaction and to maintain a high level of concentration, which allowed the students to really absorb the material of the lecture.
"Of course, it's good to have classes with everyone in the classroom, but I think we have found a solution to combine online and offline classes in a special situation called 'COVID-19,'" said Vice Dean Raunaq. "The satisfaction of the classes is also high in that students have high voluntary participation."
When asked about the hybrid system, Jung Young Deok (39), a student of SKK GSB, replied, “Foreign students who are taking the same classes with me could have difficulties such as having to self-quarantine when entering Korea, but we are able to solve these issues through online and offline hybrid classes. We are satisfied with the quality of the lectures as well as the flexible action of the school administration system.”
Original full article in Korean: https://www.fnnews.com/news/202010201438589475