The outbreak of the coronavirus disease known as COVID-19 is a public health emergency that has economic and social impacts in China and around the world. While the market impacts are well known, education has also recently faced a significant disruption. Following the request of the Ministry of Education, universities in South Korea have postponed the start of the spring semester.
However, the as the KDI school has already started the spring semester, its academic calendar should march on. On Wednesday (March 4), KDI school has resumed classes via live streaming for two weeks, and further plans will be announced if any changes occur. Online courses have made a big difference not only for the school, but also for the students.
Jihye Kim (2020 MDP) said that online classes must have been the best decision the school could make considering the situation. Leaving classmates with a hasty goodbye in late February, Kim went home to Seoul and has kept in touch with her professors and friends through e-mail.
“The recent rapid spread of the coronavirus seems to be fueling anxiety among students. The school seems to be doing as much as possible (disinfections, online classes, etc.) for students in accordance with the ministry’s policy. One of these initiatives was starting online classes. I had my first online class yesterday. As a freshman, I took three core subjects, IDP, AMPP, and QM, and I was able to see a variety of episodes during online classes. These class were held differently than usual. I think the online class was more flexible than in the classroom, and the class ended well after going through lots of trial and error. I also checked the attendance in the middle of the class as a CA, and everyone seemed to be eager to learn. I hope the vaccine comes out as soon as possible, and ends these strenuous conditions. Take care, everyone. Let’s get through this together.”–Jihye Kim(2020 MDP)
Although school life was not what Sara Lim (2020 MDP) expected, she is also grateful for what the school has offered for its students. She was also concerned that online lectures might not be as lively as those taught in person.
“I like an in-class discussion where we can interact and communicate with others.” Then she said, “With regards to conducting online streaming class, I am highly appreciative of KDIS’ effort amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Quick updates and response from the school will always be a great help for all. I believe this helps students become distant from possible exposure to these threats. Hope to see everyone in good shape soon!”–Sara Lim(2020 MDP)
KDI school is now offering live stream lectures via Zoom (a real-time online conference solution). Students are not familiar with the Zoom program yet, so it takes some time to adjust microphones and video. Jimin Lee (2020 MDP) said, “I’ve never used the program called ZOOM, and I’m satisfied with its quality, chatting, screen shares, etc. There were around 70 classmates in the Quantitative Method class, and the class went smoothly without any delays”. She also said, “Personally when I make a comment during the online class, my face and my name appear on the screen. So, I am more hesitant than regular offline classes when I make presentations, comments, and answers. But I think it’s good motivation because it’s something that I have to work on.”
While Korean students left dormitories to stay at home, international students are still on campus and participating in online lectures from their dorms. B. Khosbayar (MPP 2019) from Mongolia said that life in the dorm and campus are pretty good even though there are tensions regarding COVID-19 among students. B.Khosbayar mentioned that he was glad and thankful that the school had taken fast and efficient measures against it. He also said, “It feels safe to live and study here on campus”.
Karimov Hojiakbar (2019 MDP) from Uzbekistan pointed out some concerns about online classes, but he believes that they will be more helpful once students are used to them.
“As a worker in the sphere of science and technology, I feel pleased with the KDI school. In the Fall semester, we experienced the Quantitative Methods course by using adaptive learning called Alex. It was very effective and useful to understand all of the topics which we have learned during the classes. Now in this semester, we are experiencing online classes. In current times it is the best solution for providing classes and keeping the health of students.”–Karimov Hojiakbar (2019 MDP)
There is no question about the importance of online learning in an increasingly uncertain world of global pandemics and other drastic disruptions. Will everything return to “usual” once this crisis ends? Or will there be a continued growth in the acceptance of remote classes? No one has the answer, and nothing will be a perfect answer. However, the KDI school will find the best suitable solution for their students. Definitely.