The Futuristic Education Spaces in which Learner-led Classes are Held
Director Jung is standing in the midst of change. Since he was appointed Director of the Institute on March 15, 2019, the organization has expanded, and SK Future Hall is at the center of that change. Just as new wine is in fact poured into a new wineskin, new forms of education should take place in a new type of place. As the person in charge of KU's new thrust in the field of education, there is great responsibility on Jung's shoulders.
“In this era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, there is a growing need for convergence education. The significance of the science and technology that will bring about global advances, and the importance of the humanities that will help lead these developments in the right direction, are emerging at the same time. In order to kill both birds with one stone, Korea University expanded and reorganized the Institute of General Education on July 1st, 2019. General education courses used to be managed separately in each field of learning, but the newly organized Institute will be the overseeing entity of all general education courses, operating as a platform for general education at various levels. We will strive to cultivate intellectuals with a rich cultural background and good character who can take the lead in the development of the intelligent information society.”
To this end, the Institute of General Education plans to continuously develop general education courses that can encompass the needs of a wide range of students both on the humanities and social science track and on the science and engineering track, as well as foreign undergraduates. The Institute plans to provide students with opportunities to lay the groundwork for a convergence education, by acquiring knowledge in their majors while flexibly assimilating knowledge from other majors. The goal of the Institute also includes creating a site which facilitates learning in ways that are not restricted by time and place, through large-scale online lectures, hands-on learning and other initiatives, and SK Future Hall is the place where such goals can be achieved. Currently, Korea University is changing the paradigm of university education by offering forms of courses which employ online content, such as NeMo Classes, MOOCs, and Flipped Classes. The six PBL classrooms in SK Future Hall which are designated to host discussions will speed up the move toward debate-based creative education. There are also various smaller discussion rooms available for small group sessions, which can be used at any time upon application.
“The Liberty Justice Truth course, which is one of the required general education courses for all KU freshmen, will maximize the effect of such classes. In this course, students share ideas within small groups using a common monitor and laptop at a group table, and the professor remotely oversees each group table while sharing students’ discussion materials and providing feedback. The days when professors used to unilaterally convey knowledge are gone. Student-led classes will take place in this space, where students will raise issues of interest to them, engage in intense discussions, and work together to draw conclusions and present them to the class. Flexible and productive classes of a type that has never been attempted before will blossom in SK Future Hall.”
Technology that Embraces People, Education that is Comprised of People
SK Future Hall also currently has 15 discussion-based classrooms called LABs. There are two rooms for PBL2) classes and two rooms for NeMo3) classes, which are managed by CTL1), six rooms which will be changed into PBL classrooms and three lecture rooms. The other two rooms are for events or group study. These rooms are convergence spaces for future education which serve as classrooms for ordinary courses as well as “problem solving” courses. Moreover, SK Future Hall abuts Hana Plaza, which connects it with the Auditorium. The purpose of this space has not yet been finalized, but it is certain that it will be a place of conviviality and comfort.
“SK Future Hall is a place that demonstrates KU’s pledge to contribute to the happiness of humanity as well as the advancement of Korea as an influential nation in the field of education which fosters talented individuals and encourages the development of cutting edge technology. Unlike the last century when technological progress objectively changed the world, the future requires technology that embraces people. Therefore, education should also be transformed to ensure that it is centered around the specific needs of people, and the previous supplier-centered educational paradigm must evolve into a consumer-centered paradigm. SK Future Hall is the most suitable place for bottom-up, self-directed education to be experienced through debate and discussion, instead of a top-down, cramming form of education. It is a place which demonstrates that people are the most important element of the educational calculus. I dare say that it will constitute the foundation for the next leap forward in education.”
Director Jung wants students to be “real young people” who explore their identity and their relationship with the world, rather than people who merely study to earn credits or are preoccupied with finding a job. He is certain that no matter which job students find in the future, what they experience now will be a strong basis for the direction they take in life. He believes that in SK Future Hall, the hopes and desires of students will flourish. Perhaps because the place radiates hope, Director Jung, who has been serious throughout the interview, gives a bright smile for the first time.
1) CTL : Center for Teaching & Learning
2) PBL : Problem-based Learning
3) NeMo : Networked Modul