A new era of education is beginning. For hundreds of years, universities have exchanged knowledge inside classrooms, where registered students had exclusive access to its courses. The true meaning of education, however, can only be realized when more people are enlightened by sharing knowledge rather than knowledge beyond the narrow confines of academia. With the acknowledgment of this ultimate objective of education, universities are now starting a new trend, opening their courses online to the public. Taking a leading role in bringing innovation to Korea’s education environment, Ewha is striving to create an education platform where knowledge is shared beyond the classroom walls. Open online courses earn nationwide recognition As the first Korean university to offer its courses through iTunes U in 2013, Ewha has continuously increased its number of open online courses. Currently, the school offers 477 lectures via iTunes, a software-based online digital media store operated by Apple Inc., alone. The school’s online courses have also expanded to other Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platforms, including Korea Open CourseWare (KOWC), YouTube and K-MOOC (Korean Massive Open Online Course), which was initiated by the Ministry of Education (MOE). Among Ewha’s open online lectures, four of them were chosen to be offered in the K-MOOC project from this September, and two of them are currently ranked among the top 10 most popular courses on iTunes U. The K-MOOC project was conceived by MOE in 2014 to promote educational equality in Korea, and a selected number of courses have been chosen to be shared with the public. Over the next three years, K-MOOC aims to upload over 500 university courses so that every student can have access to widely praised lectures. Based on a pass or fail grading system, K-MOOC will assign Ewha credits to Ewha students who have successfully completed a course. The Ewha Voice sat down with professors of notable open courses to discover the factors that make them popular and meaningful to many students.
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