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[Teaching@KDIS] Professor Siwook Lee

25 Feb, 2019 KDIS News Center 1,179

The course ‘Theory and Policy of International Trade’ is primarily lecture-based, utilizing the traditional method of teaching. Nowadays, there are a lot of new teaching methods available, but that doesn’t mean that older ways are always inferior.

The word ‘lecture’ has gotten a bad reputation over the years when compared to other teaching methods. However, lecture itself is not a problem, rather problems may occur in the process of application.

The lecture method still remains one of the most effective and natural ways in delivering information. When it comes to lecture-based teaching, it is important to organize a lecture in such way to bridge from what is known to the new content. In this context, Professor Siwook Lee’s lecture is an excellent representation of how to effectively apply lecture-based teaching in class.


Tailor the course specifically to potential students

When developing a new course, it is important to consider the design of the course from the very beginning, during the planning stage. Additionally, developing a course requires strategic planning, such as targeting and positioning.

In my opinion, for a professor, the most important factor to consider in designing a course is students’ needs. In addition, before designing a course, I carefully analyze and compare my course’s content with other similar courses within the KDI School in order to make the course stand out across course spectrum and meet the students’ needs.

For example, in the case of ‘Analysis of Market and Public Policy’, I compared the content with other similar courses. After analyzing similar courses, I concluded that it would be necessary to develop a foundation-based course for students who lack basic mathematical knowledge. As a result, this course was developed targeting those students.


Establishing a flow makes lecture-based teaching powerful

This course is based on a multitude of theories regarding international trade for a large-sized class. For these reasons, lecture-based teaching was the most appropriate method.

In order to adapt it effectively, it’s important to organize the flow of the class which includes: summarize what we learned in the previous class and connect the points with today’s lecture; present objectives of a day’s study in a whole learning process based on an acceptable amount of information; use practical examples on recent issues which are connected to the theory to be taught in order to motivate students; and finally, check for understanding through iterative learning.

These specific instructional application methods can help overcome challenges in a lecture model in class such as boredom and non-participation, or lack of individual student interaction.

Let students discover their own learning interests in class

My class is oriented to set more process-based goals instead of outcome-based goals. It means that I encourage students to foster their own learning interests for future research, rather than teach them how to achieve goals like getting an A+ for this class at the end of the semester. I want them to find their own interests while in the process of studying this course and to focus more deeply on what they found.

For this reason, I don’t require students to read suggested learning materials, which can be an additional burden. Instead of reading the materials in advance, I recommend students to use materials for self-directed learning while exploring their own interests, which can be identified while studying the course.

These thoughts are based on my reflection of my school-life and my thoughts on how to learn more effectively. Through this approach, even though it may be burdensome to me as it requires more preparation for the class, I think it makes it easier for  students to study the course.


Make students feel at home in the classroom

This course began in the Fall semester in 2017. Ruminating on how best to operate the class, I tried to make students feel comfortable during class. If the lecture symbolizes home, when the students come home they can feel comfortable, just like being at home. Even though the lecture itself can be stressful, I believe it’s the professor’s responsibility to lessen their stress.

In this regard, when discussing the feedback of students’ lecture evaluation, many of them mentioned the ‘10-minute break rule’ referring to 10 minutes of break time after every hour of studying. This is directly connected to my pedagogical philosophy I mentioned above. Thus I can assume that this rule allows the students to anticipate the flow of the class, and it can help the students feel comfortable.