University Changes Brought About by COVID-191)
On March 2, Minister of Education Yoo Eun-hye recommended universities start distance learning through online classes and homework to prevent students from contacting others until the COVID-19 situation stabilizes in a briefing titled, "How to Operate and Support academic affairs for the New Semester of the 2020". Therefore, universities have been conducting online classes in parallel with real-time lectures using platforms such as You tube, Zoom, and Skype, or else uploading pre-recorded lectures. As a result, grading methods and testing have also changed. In the case of Sookmyung Women's University, offline midterm exams were all banned, resulting in online testing or midterms being canceled altogether depending on the class. In addition, the ratio of students who can receive an A was increased to 50 percent. Some subjects that cannot be assessed have been changed to P/F after receiving student consent. Overall, distance learning classes implemented during the COVID-19 have brought about changes to the academic schedule and evaluation methods.
According to the National University Student Council Network on April 11 said, 65.5% of 14,785 respondents to their survey said they suffered as a result of academic scheduling changes due to COVID-19. Cases of suffering from COVID-19 also include lack of alternatives to online classes that cannot be replaced such as laboratory experiments, poor level of teaching compared to traditional classes, and loss of money due to the prohibition of students from entering the dormitory until the end of the outbreak. At Sookmyung Women's University, classes in which practical experiments and face-to-face classes are the only way to teach and learn have been operating on campus with strict quarantine measures and personal hygiene guidelines. Distance learning, however, has had a lot of problems. Professors and students are suffering from the burden of internet speeds required for online classes to be successful. In addition, some students and professors are inconvenienced by server problems due to heavy traffic load on the servers. Schools and the government need better IT infrastructures, and telecommunications companies need to improve their network support. With the number of changes at universities due to COVID-19 Pandemic, the faster traditional classes restart, the better for all. In the future, however, universities may need to look at providing a blended type of lecturing, one that mixes both traditional and distance learning.
1) Oh Eunseon, “Closed School Gates… An Online Lecture Not Working Properly… The First Day Of School Is No Longer Romantic.”, Financialnews March 16, 2020