An online class system makes Korea more global

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An online class system makes Korea more global

Battushig Myanganbayar was just 17 years old when he was accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) last year.

But his age was not the only astonishing fact about the Mongolian boy’s accomplishment.

Myanganbayar impressed school officials with a perfect score in an online course the university provides that’s known as a MOOC, or a massive open online course.

With the click of a mouse, he was able to transcend borders and prove his talents.

MOOC refers to an online college course that is filmed and broadcast free or nearly free to anyone with an Internet connection that enables unlimited participation and open access to various classes. The program emerged two years ago and currently provides services to millions of people all over the world through websites such as Coursera, edX and Udacity.

In Korea, schools like Seoul National University, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Kaist) in Daejeon and the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (Unist) in South Gyeongsang have joined on.

Unist has gone so far as to make 10 percent of its courses partially MOOCs.

On Oct. 24 at the Asian University Presidents Forum in Bangkok, 51 universities in Asia agreed to establish a shared online community by fall 2015, in which schools could upload at least one of their lectures and approve academic credits for users.

Of the approximately 80 forum representatives this year, 51 universities agreed last week on the transnational network, and that number will likely grow as more schools join the movement to share courses.

Dongseo University in Busan will take the lead role in developing the online system, Global Access Asia (GGA).

Chang Je-kuk, the school’s president, vowed during the forum that the university would provide necessary systems for the services, such as a server.

The new launch, Chang said, will “pave the way for Asian universities to depart from their current [roles]” in the MOOC industry, which is smaller compared to their American counterparts, by reaching out to more users with more of their own “high-quality educational content.”

The GGA will initially be accessible only to students whose universities have signed up for the program. Open access for everyone will be reviewed later.


BY LEE SUNG-EUN, CHUN IN-SUNG [selee@joongang.co.kr]


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