Kim Chung Jinyong / Cub Reporter
Even though our campus has improved and developed different kinds of helpful learning systems, not so many Sookmyungians are interested, as they do not have any ideas about them. Recently, the writings asking, “What on earth is PBL, UBL, and BL?” are posted everywhere on the Sookmyungians, Internet posting board on the SMU homepage. For Sookmyungians who still do not know much about them and are willing to know more about them, these are a variety of lectures SMU is offering to our students. SMT surveyed about 500 students to find out more specific current situation of these lectures in SMU.
PBL, UBL, and BL Introduction
Problem-based learning (PBL) is a studentcentered instructional strategy in which students collaboratively solve problems and reflect on their experiences. In PBL, students are encouraged to take responsibility for their group and organize and direct the learning process with support from a tutor or instructor. Advocates of PBL claim it can be used to enhance content knowledge and foster the development of communication, problem-solving, and self-directed learning skills. Choi, a freshman from the Division of Communication, stated, “The PBL lecture was very helpful to me since I could interact more with the professor during the lesson as there were fewer students ttending the PBL. The small number of students helped their concentration on the lecture in its efficiency. The curriculum of PBL lecture was all very useful, however many students faced difficulties as a huge amount of assignments were given in this lecture.” PBL is marked on the absolute scale. Professors who undertake PBL lectures should upload the plans for every single class. SMU’s Center for Teaching and Learning supports development and running of PBL courses. Every year, an average of over ten PBL lectures are created, with 23 created in 2005, 37 in 2006, 24 in 2007, and 11 in 2008. This semester, there are 14 PBL lectures. The Center for Teaching and Learning held a workshop and presentation of PBL cases for the better quality of lectures. There are lecture rooms only for PBL lectures. The lecture rooms for PBL lectures are equipped with an electronic board, notebook and recording system, so group and personal activities can both work smoothly.
PHOTO FROM PUBLIC RELATIONS
UBL stands for Ubiquitous Based Learning, and UBL lectures actively use Internet and mobile devices. The point of UBL lectures is helping students to study anywhere, at anytime they want, besides class hours. SMU has carried development of UBL lectures forward as a part of reinforcing capability of university education. Each semester, the Center for Teaching and Learning recruits a professor who wants UBL lectures, and this professor needs to open a website equipped with many functions that are different from a general e-class. From this website, students can encounter lectures with quality from MIT and Yale University. Also, SMU lend i-Pods to students who attended UBL teaching demonstrations so students could study ‘ubiquitously’ without limitations. SMU prepares about 100 i-Pods for students every semester, and SMU is planning to gradually broaden the numbers of students who can use the i-Pod. Kim from the Division of Economics said, “I was happy to receive the i-Pod from this UBL lecture but I don’t know if this is doing any help to my studies in this lecture. I’m using it very well but mostly it is for my personal entertainment. I have few friends who said they want to take UBL lectures only because they want to rent the i-Pod. The funny thing is they don’t even know what UBL stands for. I think i-Pod only serves to advertise the lecture to attract more students.” This semester, there are 47 UBL lectures and the grades are marked on the same bases as the other general lectures.
PHOTO BY JY
BL stands for Blended learning and this lecture is combined with the advantages of both cyber lecture and the general lecture. The good thing about cyber lecture is that students can take the lecture whenever they want, but there is also the disadvantage as there is no interacting with professors. BL lectures have the same merits of cyber lectures and still have the enforced mutual interaction with professors. In this semester, only one BL lecture was opened and BL lectures are marked on the curve if the number of students exceeds 20, like other general lectures.
PHOTO BY JY
English lectures are marked on the absolute scale. Also, there are advantages for students who attend English lectures. Students who want to apply to be exchange students have to take at least one English lecture during the semester or summer semester. But, applicants who apply for English-speaking universities have to take English lectures except English conversation lectures of liberal arts subjects. Also, the Office of International Affairs suggests several lectures for students who are afraid of attending English lecture. Kim, a junior from the College of Law said, “I think the English lectures are very useful. I have taken four different English Lectures so far and I was very impressed. I could improve my major studies and English at the same time. I thought students might have a big gap between their English ability but the lectures proceeded smoothly as the professor focused on the right level to the students.” On the other hand, the senior student Park from the Division of Economics stated, “I was a bit disappointed. I took the English lecture because I thought I could understand more and earn a better grade as I lived aboard in English-speaking countries before college for more than 10 years. But during the socalled English lecture, almost everything ran on with Korean. The assignments were in Korean and the lectures were also taught in Korean. I don’t understand why they named that lecture the ‘English Lecture.’
PHOTO BY IJ
For Smarter Sookmyungians
SMU has been putting forth great effort to offer better education to Sookmyungians through grafting this variety of lecture curricula. For the purpose of these lectures, before everything else, the most important part is how actively students are participating and involved in this program. However in reality, there are still too many Sookmyungians who do not even know that these kinds of lectures exist. Moreover, some of these specialized lectures are not showing any differences between other general lectures. If SMU focuses more on the actual progress method of each lecture and becomes concerned about student’s interest toward these opportunities before just increasing them in numbers, it would help to better achieve educational development.