The Two Sides of a Great Lecture
The Two Sides of a Great Lecture
  • Yoo Chan-jong
  • 승인 2019.11.26 18:24
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Students are paying attention to the class.(Photo by reporter Yoo Chan-jong)
Students are paying attention to the class.(Photo by reporter Yoo Chan-jong)


 As society has grown, our education has also grown a lot. For example, the different types of classes have allowed teachers and students to be able to communicate more freely like discussion or presentation classes. These participatory classes are actively conducted at Yeungnam University, one of which is the liberal arts course ‘Great Book Great Idea.’

 This liberal arts course has several elements that distinguish it from other classes at YU. First of all, this liberal arts subject is graded in an absolute method, rather than a curve. Since absolute evaluation is a system in which students can get their target grades if they exceed a certain standard, it seems to be aimed at easing the burden on students who have mastered the subject. Next, each professor has a different book and proceeds with reading, discussion, and writing. The professor selects one of four books that the students must read, discuss, and write about their ideas, which have been nurtured through class discussion. Out of the everyday teaching methods like project presentation classes usually conducted in the university education, students discuss issues with each other, share their thoughts, and write by referring to shared ideas, which leads to logical and critical thinking. Finally, this course is taught in a small class of about 20 students, where each professor can communicate more actively with each student and immediately help students when they see a need.

 This class can ease the burden of students through a differentiated form of the classes and effectively fosters students’ logical and critical thinking skills. However, these classes are not just classes that the school itself has been planning. This lecture was one of the university’s innovation support programs. From 7 June, 2019 to 19 July, 2019, the YU Education Team presented a proposal to all YU students to make suggestions for the liberal arts section of their educational requirements, and they designed the current lecture from the suggestions proposed by the students. Things that were unimaginable in the Korean college education system until a few years ago have developed into this form in recent years. This is not only proof that the nation’s education is becoming more advanced, but it is also an issue that will mark the history of our university education system.

 However, there is also a need to know how much cost and sacrifice come from these lectures and student-oriented classes. As the school fired many part-time lecturers, professors who weren’t previously in charge of the lectures have now taken charge of the lectures. In a way, it is the student-oriented education system, which relieves students of the burden because it is a good class and the class is conducted with an absolute evaluation. But, from a professor’s perspective, it can be physically and mentally burdensome as he or she has one more lecture to teach and take on more students. It is regrettable that part-time instructors were not kept on the faculty to help mitigate this issue.

 While there is a positive aspect of the student-centered lecture system, just as all issues, there are two sides to the same coin. The school’s policy is lacking in consideration and understanding of the reality of the situation for professors. But from a student’s point of view, it’s a pretty good lecture. This is because lectures where students can read and discuss books, and write and communicate closely with professors are rare. As society develops and speeds up, it is difficult and more likely that students will have this time to read and think about books. YU students should not hesitate when given this advanced education and the opportunity to communicate directly with professors. I hope that if such educational opportunities occur in the future, students will voluntarily come forward to recognize their benefits and actively participate in them. Then, our education will make a lot of progress.



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