The education environment has dramatically changed since the COVID-19 crisis. To respond to the post-COVID-19 era, Sookmyung Women’s University is conducting multifaceted and assertive activities.
Part 1. Vitalization of online education caused by COVID-19
Educational circles claim that we must turn the COVID-19 situation into an opportunity to shape the foundation of future education. Experts believe that online classes will continue after COVID-19 and “blended learning,” a combination of online and offline education, will become more active. Sookmyung Women’s University fully implemented online classes during the past first semester to quickly respond to such changes, and in the coming second semester, the university plans to operate lectures in face-to-face, non-face-to-face, and combined configuration. Take a closer look at Sookmyung Women’s University’s responsive strategies and best practices of online lectures.
⬛ “Minimization” of confusion through support of remote lecture preparation for teaching staff
Sookmyung Women’s University is equipped with the Contents Maker (lecture development/creation tool and storage), a feature of the school LMS (Learning Management System) called Snowboard, which enables lecture contents recording, editing, etc. One of the advantages of the Contents Maker is that it allows professors to easily create online class videos. The Center for Teaching and Learning also opened the e-class and 1:1 individual consulting for the production and operation of online lectures, as well as making and distributing Snowboard manual and Contents Maker manual. In addition, the center was able to procure educational equipment, such as laptops, microphones, webcams, and tablet PCs, and began lending them to the teaching staff.
<Professors conducting lectures in their own studio or research labs>
At the same time, the school conducted lecture creation workshops, which included the utilization of external educational channels such as ZOOM and Google MEET, for teaching assistants. For the teaching staff, the school provided 1:1 class consulting (class analysis and consulting) and teaching method briefing. Professors who were quite taken aback by the change into full online classes were able to adapt quickly through such support.
⬛ Seamless adaptation by students through the online learning support program
▷ Special lecture on learning method for class of ‘20 freshmen
The confusion caused by COVID-19 was no different for the students. It was especially difficult for the new young students of the class of ‘20 to take college classes for the first time this year via online lectures without ever stepping on campus. Under the circumstances, Sookmyung Women’s University produced a series of new learning methods on the subject of self-directed learning strategies and how to write reports, and provided them online. Participating students expressed opinions such as “The personal experiences and tips from the seniors were very useful,” “It was regrettable that the admission ceremony and various programs were canceled because of COVID-19, but it was nice to be able to take lectures related to college life online.”
Part 2. Turn crisis into opportunity! Sookmyung Women's University's COVID-19 response status
⬛ Expansion of non-face-to-face lecture infrastructure
▷ Development of cloud-based LMS system
Last year, Sookmyung Women’s University developed a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) in cooperation with Amazon Web Services (AWS), the first in Korea. The reorganization of the former system enabled ▲ easier sharing of lecture contents and reduced lecture preparation time, ▲ activation of real-time communication between professors and students, ▲ acceleration of self-directed learning through diverse learning processes, ▲ provision of customized learning channels optimized to individual learning styles.
▷ System and infrastructure improvement for online education
In order to facilitate remote lectures, the school also actively tried to improve various systems and infrastructure. A cheating prevention tool was introduced to Snowboard, and an additional authoring tool for online lectures was introduced. In the second semester, a real-time video communication system, ZOOM, is to be installed on Snowboard.
⬛ Active support of thorough quarantine measures
the outbreak of COVID-19, Sookmyung Women’s University quickly formed the Infectious Disease Control
Committee, chaired by the president. The Infectious Disease Response Center
prepared a manual for coping with COVID-19, and prevented confusion among members by notifying responsive measures within the school via the website.
In addition, from last year to the first semester of this year, Sookmyung Women’s University invested about 158 million won in disinfection of the school purchasing quarantine products such as thermal cameras, masks, and disinfectants. Sookmyung Women’s University’s Facility Management Center carried out COVID-19 prevention, sterilization, disinfection, and prevention work on the average of twice a month from January to early July.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Sookmyung Women’s University's efforts for a high-quality educational environment such as thorough campus quarantine, non-face-to-face classes, online lectures, and the introduction of a new academic system to overcome COVID-19 are gradually shining. We believe we can overcome this crisis through the effort and unity of each and every member of the university.