The year 2020 was full of many changes that had never been imagined before due to COVID-19. Among these many changes, the way we learn has been greatly affected by the virus. Most of the face-to-face classes were inevitably changed into non-face-to-face classes because of the drastic spread of COVID-19. In 2021, face-to-face classes were temporarily implemented as the COVID-19 situation of Korea had seemed to calm down. However, owing to the outbreak of COVID-19 confirmed cases in KU, KU converted face-to-face classes to non-face-to-face classes. Unlike 2020, there were no big major problems in class management because professors could change some face-to-face classes into non-face-to-face classes at their discretion. There are pros and cons of non-face-to-face classes. For example , students can take classes at any time and in any place they want. However, it seems that students have been losing interest in the classes they are taking. But a new solution has emerged: Blended Learning, which is the combination of face-toface and non-face-to-face classes. By taking the class, students could make up for the shortcomings of each class. Nevertheless, there were still problems with this approach. Some students had a face-to-face class right after a non-face-to-face class. In this case, there were not enough places to take a real-time online class in school. In response, KU repaired and renovated existing school facilities to help students take classes more efficiently. I would like to introduce three of the most appropriate places for online classes in KU to you.
Before the outbreak of COVID-19, there were lots of places to study in the library. Especially, reading room 1 and reading room 4 were the most popular places. Many KU students flocked to the library during the exam period; however, with the outbreak of COVID-19, KU no longer operates reading room 3 and reading room 5 for the prevention of the virus. Instead, Hugh Cafe is running, so students can relax in open spaces and study freely. Recently, a comic cartoon section has been added in Hugh Cafe which allows students to relax while watching cartoons. In addition, with the most recent renewal of the reading room 2, also called the Smart Learning Zone, an open four-person table, a six-person partition table, a round table, and a one-person rest sofa were installed instead of the existing tables and chairs. Acrylic partitions were installed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. KU has been supporting students to study in a safe environment by operating social distance seating and checking students’ compliance with the seating rule periodically.
2. Chang-jo Gwan
Since the KU library is located on a high hill, Chang-jo Gwan could be a nice option for those who hesitate to walk up to the library. There are good places to study all over the first floor of the place. First, next to the school cafe, Coffee Bike, there are high tables, so it gives students the feeling of studying in a cafe. Also, there are several sofas next to the tables, so it is a good place to sit and relax when you are tired. The second is an open table in front of the Office of the International Services. Partitions are already installed and each desk has the advantage of being able to charge electronic devices. Though many students feel uncomfortable at first because many students pass by, it soon becomes a white noise and helps them concentrate on their studies. The third is a Start-Up Cafe. It is run by the Office of Human Resources Development, and it has many books related to employment and start-ups, and it is also good to focus on your study due to the quiet atmosphere. The last one is the place with many study rooms. It is located on the corner of the first floor of the building and there are four rooms. It is the best place for group studies. In order to use the place, reservations are mandatory. Reservations can be made through the Office of Human Resources Development.
3. Engineering Building V
If the places mentioned above are full, why don't you use a slightly different place this time? This is Problem-based Learning Room in Engineering Building V, a place like a hidden gem that is relatively less known among students. In particular, the colleges of Engineering and Education are located very close to the place, so it is good for students whose major is engineering and education to use. It is similar to the Hugh Cafe in the library because it has wide tables, cozy sofas and a number of two-person study sections. The advantage of this place is that every seat has a plug, making it the best place to take online classes. However, the disadvantage is that if you are easily distracted by your surroundings, it is hard to concentrate on studying. Since few people study there during the day, whether you study there or not is solely up to you. Until now, I have looked around good places to study at KU. KU has invested a lot of budget into a better learning environment for students. However, there are other opinions that the Wi-Fi signal was rather weak although the infrastructure was well prepared. If this problem is solved perfectly, students will be able to take online classes and learn in a better environment.