Dankook University is stepping up its efforts for ‘untact’ (no contact) education innovation and is setting up a cloud-based LMS. It has set out on a journey to implement a new education infrastructure for effective online learning that has been expedited due to COVID-19.
Leading the ‘future-like’ untact education innovation for universities
Building 30 recording classrooms for efficient online classes in the fall semester
Learning lessons that solely offering face-to-face classes is no longer viable in university education, Dankook University is renewing our campus with digital-based automatic recording classrooms and Active Learning Classrooms (ALC). Automatic recording classrooms are equipped with video recording and editing facilities so professors can convert their lectures directly into online contents. Around 30 classrooms were built during the summer, with a second phase of expansion plans coming up.
Active Learning Classrooms look like something you would find in a university from the future and have been in the Korean media spotlight as a leading step in pursuing educational innovation. The person behind this accomplishment is none other than Dr. Jung-chul Park of Dankook’s School of Dentistry who is well known as Korea’s first Google Innovator. Last January, Park attracted attention when he streamed a periodontal surgery live on YouTube for second-year medical school students to observe. Park, who has challenged the perception of conventional medical education based on apprenticeships, serves as an innovator in education, breaking down long-standing barriers in college education by designing creative learning environments.
“The ALC classrooms have 80 Chromebooks installed with trapezoid shaped desks, fitting for teamwork assignments and offering a creative learning environment,” explains Park who added that “using a smartphone camera to show students actual surgical procedures is much more effective than learning how to stitch through textbooks or apprenticeships.” Dankook University is spearheading efforts to develop various forms of learning and to build a college model based on smart learning in order to nurture the next-generation talent needed by the fourth industrial revolution.
1.15 billion KRW invested in implementing cloud-based LMS…40TB cloud server put in place
Dankook University offers over five thousand courses each year. Last year, less than 2% of these courses were held online. However, now efforts to expand online courses and build the necessary infrastructure are actively being carried out, not only to respond to COVID-19 but also to prepare for the post-pandemic era.
Accordingly, DKU’s Innovation Institute for Future Education is in its final stages of implementing a ‘cloud-based learning management system (LMS),’ a project for which 1.15 billion KRW was assigned this year. While it was overwhelming to open even 100 online courses just 6 months ago, now we have put in place a system that can provide all DKU courses online. Twelve web servers and a 40-terabyte cloud server have been secured to set up the cloud system needed for LMS operations.
Key features include: △services for various OS systems and multiple devices (mobile, tablet, etc.), △attendance system for online learning, △alignment with plagiarism prevention system, △compatibility with Google Classroom, △exclusive mobile app and alert features, △team project support, and △free discussions and real-time chats. The cloud-based LMS is scheduled to open on August 24th at http://nlms.dankook.ac.kr .
Four levels of combined online and offline classes to be offered in the fall semester,
“Be sure to check class formats for each course using the Schedule Assistant prior to registering”
Dankook University announced its plans for the fall 2020 semester based on outlines that include both online and offline classes. Classes will be carried out in four levels: △ Online classes 1 (all online), △Online classes 2 (combination of prerecorded videos and real-time remote lectures), △Blended classes (biweekly rotation of online and offline classes), and △In-person classes (all offline).
Course formats were determined based on lecture size and characteristics and were announced through the Schedule Assistant ahead of course registrations. This allows professors and students to prepare for the upcoming semester according to their course formats. Lab, practice, studio, and design courses with fewer than 40 students enrolled will be conducted face-to-face while practicing safety procedures thoroughly. However, when the government raises social distancing measures due to further spread of COVID-19, blended classes and in-person classes will also switch to online mode.
Taking into account the unique circumstances triggered by COVID-19, midterms, finals, and other student evaluations will be conducted in phases depending on the severity and degree of prevention and control measures (social distancing levels 1~3). Tests will be carried out as follows: △Level 1 (both offline/online tests), △Level 2 (courses with more than 30 enrolled students - all online tests), and △Level 3 (all online tests). Other evaluations will be differentiated as △Level 1~2 (relative grading with increased A grade section) and △Level 3 (absolute grading).
From mobile student ID cards to unlimited mail (Gmail) and Google Drive services, DKU goes digital
Dankook’s IT Planning (IT4U) Center will start offering Google mail (Gmail) services including access to Google Classroom, unlimited email accounts, and Google Drive to all Dankook members starting August 18. This will give professors and students alike a flexible online learning environment for blending online and offline classes. This service is being provided as part of the Smart Campus program that kicked off earlier in April. The Smart Campus program aims at building a smart internet learning environment focused on students to foster talent needed for the fourth industrial revolution.
Specific services include: △mobile student ID cards (NFC mobile student ID, QR Code-based mobile student ID), △library entry/exit control system (seat assignment system, book borrowing/return system, etc.), △dormitory entry/exit control system, △integrated security system for on-campus buildings, △electronic attendance system, △tuition payment system using virtual accounts, △Google mail services, and △mobile app renewal and system alignment. In addition, the center is also expanding areas with Wi-Fi connection to allow lectures to be accessed from anywhere on campus as long as you have a tablet PC or mobile device.