Ewha leads new open courseware trend in Korea 2
Ewha leads new open courseware trend in Korea 2
  • Huh Ryun-jung
  • 승인 2015.05.11 09:50
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Photo by Ewha Voice.


Teaching “Understanding Psychology” at Ewha, professor Yang Yoon hopes that people can learn psychology in their daily lives. Photo by Ewha Voice.


Professor Kim Chan-ju of Modern Physics and the Revolution of Human Thought Taught by professor Kim Chan-ju, the course has attracted more than 300 Ewha students per semester since its introduction in 2005. Although the course is about modern physics, many liberal arts and social science students have taken the course. The course is unique in that it explores the influence of modern physics on philosophy, ideology and society. It also employs concepts such as entropy and chaos theory to explain everyday phenomena that people are interested in. After being selected among the 100 most distinguished lectures by the Seoul Broadcasting System in 2012, Ewha created an online version of the lecture and started offering it to the public through Share Campus, iTunes U and YouTube the following year. The course is currently the sixth-most-popular course on iTunes U and will participate in the K-MOOC project starting September 2015. Asked about the popularity of his lecture, the professor remarked that quite a number of people are interested in physics. “As can be seen from the popularity of the movie Interstellar, there are people interested in areas of physics, including relativity theory, quantum mechanics, and cosmology,” Kim said. In fact, adults and even middle and high school students have e-mailed him after watching his online lectures. Because the online lectures are simple recordings of the offline version, Kim adds that there has not been much interaction between the students and the professor. However, such interaction will increase in the K-MOOC project. For the K-MOOC courses, the school plans to create online tutorials each of which consisting of about 200 students and a teaching assistant. Students will be able to ask questions through the online board, and offline lectures will be held intermittently. Also, the Institute for Teaching & Learning plans to incorporate quizzes, reports and debates in the K-MOOC version to minimize the weaknesses of online lectures. Professor Yang Yoon of Understanding Psychology An introductory level psychology course taught by professor Yang Yoon since 1995, the course aims to help students deal with societal problems with various psychological approaches. When it first appeared on Korea Open CourseWare (KOCW) and iTunes U in 2012 and 2015 respectively, Yang simply hoped to raise awareness of psychology as a study. However, beyond his expectation, “Understanding Psychology” is currently the most popular university course on iTunes U and has reached more than 160,000 views on KOCW. “I think Understanding Psychology is popular because psychology is a well-liked area of study,” professor Yang said. “Also, since I pursue student-directed learning, I try to communicate with the students by using easy, everyday examples.” Although his online lectures lacked interaction between the professor and the students due to the limited online setting, Yang was able to communicate with the students through emails and comments on open lecture websites. In fact, he has received questions about the course content as well as positive feedback from students. “Some students have told me that they were motivated to further their studies in psychology. One student had even decided to pursue a master’s degree in psychology after taking my online course.” Yang explains that his psychology course is practical, enabling students to use information acquired in class in everyday life. “I hope that my students would apply information they learned to real life situations,” he said. “My goal is to provide them with an opportunity to contemplate the nature of human beings.”

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