Hanyang's New K-MOOC Series I
Reassessment of Korean Independence Movement History and Chemistry for Everyday Life
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MOOC refers to Massive Open Online Course. As its name suggests, it is a platform that offers free online lectures for everyone. Compared to conventional online lectures which only allowed students to passively watch the given lectures through the monitor, MOOC differentiates itself with a new open educational environment. MOOC emphasizes its counter-interactive features which allow both professors and students to discuss about the lectures they took. The fact that the students are from different backgrounds helps one another to widen their perspective while sharing their thoughts.
K-MOOC officially opened its online homepage in October 2015 and there are about 20 Korean universities participating in uploading lectures. This week, News H introduces two of the newly opened lectures from Hanyang University (HYU): Reassessment of Korean Independence Movement History and Chemistry for Everyday Life, which was opened on October 17th 2015, and will continue until the end of this month.
No future for those who forget history
Reassessment of Korean Independence Movement History is a course prepared and taught by Professor Park Chan-seung (Department of History). The online lectures share the common contents from the Park’s offline lecture at HYU, which is called History of Korean Independence Movement. To attract more students, the lecture was re-made with an easier content. “Majority of the students who took the course were second and third year high-school students,” said Park.
The course covers the history from the years 1910 to 1945, which encompasses the history of Japan’s colonization of Korea to Korea’s independence. Through explaining different ways and forms of independence movements, Park aims to promote deeper understanding of Korean’s independence movements and the meaning of it. "The fact that Korea achieved independence from Japan is meaningful in a lot of ways, one of the most significant one is that the event led to more independence of countries around the world, by Korea on its lead," said Park.
“Until the 1990s, there were less studies and researches done on Korean Independence Movement. Thus, college students and high school students did not have a chance to study with more updated version of Korean history textbooks. That is why I opened the course, to deliver the newest researches to students,” explained Park. There are a total of 14 weeks of courses, each divided into two lectures. While learning the history can be felt boring to a lot of students, Park tried to make it more interesting by focusing on storytelling specific episodes and showing a lot of pictures to make it more realistic. The book used for the course is ‘The History of Korean Independence’ written by the professor himself.
“It was a challenge for me to film an online lecture. I realized how arduous process it could be, from filming, writing a script, to editing. I wish we had more abundant time to prepare it ahead,” said Park. “Still I loved interacting with students online and the course will be opened at the next session as well.” For international students who would like to take the course, they can change the subtitles into English through the settings.
Little science knowledge makes life better
Chemistry for Everyday Life is a course also planned and taught by Professor Kim Min-kyung (Department of Chemistry) and Center for Integrated General Education. It is also the course taught in HYU as well since 2012. As the name of the lecture tells itself, it aims to help students understand chemical phenomenon that is easily seen in everyday life. “While chemistry seen and used in everyday life, there are a lot of people who can’t understand why and how it happens. So, I wanted this lecture to start from explaining very basic and fundamental knowledge of chemistry. As it was designed for students who majored Humanities rather than Natural Science, it is more accessible and easily understandable,” said Kim.
The course is divided into 6 weeks, with 3 lectures each. “Based on my teaching experience, I added the parts which I thought was essential to understand the basics of chemistry and focused on chemical materials that are easily seen and accessible in everyday life,” said Kim. “There are experiments students can do by themselves, and there will be offline extra classes for the experiments specifically, I hope that can be added early this month or next semester,” said Kim.
As the lectures are opened to unknown mass online, Kim had to be careful not to mention names of certain corporates and products. Moreover, to reduce the concerns of misunderstanding, several parts of the lectures had to be edited. “I tried my best not to put my personal thoughts or experience in my lecture, which was the hardest part. Also, I felt really shy to see myself in the online lecture that will be seen by a lot of people,” said Kim.
While Kim was shy to film herself for the lecture, she is one of the most popular professor among the students of HYU. From 2009 to 2016 straight, Kim was honored to win the “Best Teacher Award”, which was given to professors who received positive feedbacks from lecture evaluations. “I feel thankful to students who gave positive feedbacks to my lecture. I think they allowed me to have a chance to participate in K-MOOC as well. I hope in the next semester, I could open ‘Chemistry for Everday Life II’ as an intermediate chemistry course.”
Yun Ji-hyun firstname.lastname@example.org
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