Imagine how interesting it will be if your lectures were more interactive and fun like the live videos from Broadcasting Jockeys (BJ). Starting from this semester, Korea University (KU) will go through a beta-test stage for the Networked Modular (NeMo) class, which aims to provide students with a similar experience. The livestream lecture is expected to make it more convenient for students to take lectures and provide them with a more interactive class, signaling that KU has finally entered the Information Age.
▲ Introduction of NeMo Class
KU’s Office of Academic Affairs has announced that NeMo classes will be introduced in the near future. The success of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) has shown KU the limitless possibilities of online courses, which motivated them to expand their interactive courses and develop NeMo classes. This semester, there is a limit of 250 students for a stable network environment, but the Office of Academic Affairs said that they will gradually lift the limit. This new system is planned to be first introduced to elective general studies courses that are more suitable as large-scale lectures.
Many are expecting the NeMo class to function as a sort of response to the criticism that large-scale KU lectures have been receiving. Regarding the large lectures Choi Moon Young (’15, Political Science and Economics) said, “The classrooms are sometimes full of students, which makes it hard to concentrate on the lecture. Also, it feels awkward to ask a question in a big class.” However, with a live-streaming class, students will be freed from their spatial limits. They would be able to listen to their lectures wherever they want, with their laptops, tablets, and smartphones. No longer would they need to sit hunched in a crowded room.
Also, a Q&A system will be installed to facilitate interaction between students and lecturers. The system will help students solve questions with three features that are as follows: online chatting with the professor, various surveys, and video communication during the lectures for questions the professor considers important. Finally, being free of spatial limits and eliminating the size limit of classes, the NeMo classes will help students to manage their time more efficiently. They can organize their timetable as they wish without having to worry about running around the campus from class to class.
However, there are also some doubts about the effectiveness of the NeMo classes. “I am concerned about how the students will concentrate and behave if they meet the professor online rather than face to face,” said Chae Gwang Kuk (’16, Statistics). Also, some worry that the unstable network system might interfere with lectures. Regarding such skepticism, Kim Se Joong of the Office of Academic Affairs said, “to fully benefit from NeMo classes, it would be best for students to concentrate as they would in an offline course. With the network problems, we will do our best to provide a stable network.”
The people of KU voiced different expectations about the project. “I hope it frees me from stifling classrooms,” said Chae. However, he also expressed his concern that a rushed introduction would be rather unnecessary. “It would be great if it is introduced in high quality based on the feedback from the beta-test. The Office of Academic Affairs also hopes that it will be a new type of lecture that can satisfy both students and professors. They will carefully observe how the beta-test stage goes, since the full introduction of the NeMo classes depends on its result.