Global leaders of research universities and industries discuss the need for universities to change their educational mindset by applying "mass customization" to achieve student-centric learning by utilizing information technology.
Daejeon, Republic of Korea, October 11th, 2012— Universities are faced with challenges as societal and educational trends continues to change. The landscape of higher education will change, and views on the future of university education will shape the way professors teach and students learn. Thus, to cope with this changing context, KAIST proposes a shift from a teacher-centric to a student-centric learning environment utilizing online resources. Such a shift will provide opportunities for students and accommodate their cultures, individualities, and learning styles. Moreover, it will contribute to borderless education across the world, especially in developing countries where education is restricted to few due to poverty.
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) will host the 5th International Presidential Forum on Research Universities (IPFGRU) on Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 at the Westin Chosun Hotel in Seoul, Republic of Korea, where 83 presidents and vice presidents of 60 research universities in 27 nations will attend for a presentation and panel discussion on the topic of "Effective Education and Innovative Learning." Some 50 government officials as well as business and industry representatives from organizations, such as the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Korea, Cisco, Elsevier, Korea Telecom, and Samsung Heavy Industries, will also join the forum.
The keynote speakers, Gene Block, Chancellor of University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA); Bertil Andersson, President of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore; Don Nutbeam, Vice Chancellor of the University of Southampton in the UK; Anders Bjarklev, President of Technical University of Denmark; and Nam Pyo Suh, President of KAIST will deliver the underlying message of the forum, which is the importance of universities to shift their education concepts for globalization, innovation, and knowledge-based economy via technology.
Capitalizing on information technology, many leading universities, including MIT, Harvard, and Stanford, have already taken steps to accommodate demands for changes in higher education: they have announced plans to make their educational materials available to anyone in the world by putting their lectures and other information on the Internet.
In early 2012, KAIST implemented a next-generation educational program called "Education 3.0" that was structured on two core concepts: education by digitized discrete knowledge acquisition (EDDKA) and I-Four (internationalized, IT-based, individualized, and integrated) education.
Under Education 3.0, students in a course are divided into groups of six. Each week, the professor in charge assigns topics or tasks to be learned or performed by students. Students take initiative in learning, control their own schedule, and acquire the necessary knowledge by listening to pre-recorded lectures and accessing other reference materials on the Internet. Students carry out assignments in cooperation with other students in a group and submit homework jointly, but take the final examination individually. Once a week, the professor meets with students in a recitation format to review their performance and to provide guidance for problem solving.
At KAIST, 145 freshmen took three courses (calculus, chemistry, and a freshmen design course) provided by Education 3.0 in the Spring 2012 semester, and their end-of-term survey revealed positive results, with students learning more from group collaborations and discussions than from lectures. For the Fall 2012 semester, the available courses have been increased to ten subjects, including bioinformatics, ocean systems design, and financial economics.
Nam Pyo Suh, President of KAIST explained, "With our Education 3.0 initiative, we demonstrated how the educational infrastructure of modern universities can be improved by increasing the efficacy of the pedagogical process while at the same time containing costs and enabling our professors to spend more time on research and close supervision of students."
Extending the initiative further, President Suh will give a presentation on the "KAIST SYL International Education Initiative" at the 2012 International Presidential Forum on Global Research Universities (IPFGRU), which offers I-Four education to advance higher education worldwide. The KAIST SYL International Education Initiative was named after S. Y. Lee, Chairwoman of Gwang Won Industries who made a financial donation of $7 million USD for innovative education at KAIST. KAIST and the Technical University of Denmark will sign memorandum of understandings (MoUs) during the IPFGRU that will enable the two universities to establish a cyber dual degree program in the fields of Digital Media Engineering and Web Science & Technology, and to develop cyber education programs in order to accelerate the dual programs in mathematics.
The Forum is open to the press, and no prior registration is required.
Notes to Editors:
1. Education 3.0: An initiative by KAIST to develop and implement a new education plan designed to improve the overall quality and efficacy of the current general and science and engineering education through the transformation of "analog education" (lecture-based learning) to "education by digitized discrete knowledge acquisition" (EDDKA).
2. Education by Digitized Discrete Knowledge Acquisition (EDDKA): The purpose of EDDKA is to create an individualized instructional method that utilizes technologies to overcome the shortcomings of traditional teaching in the lecture format. EDDKA may be explained using a V-Model for teaching and learning. The "teaching" leg represents the process of decomposition, breaking down the knowledge to be taught into lower-level concepts that can be understood by a student. The database stored in the computer can aid in the decomposition process. The "learning" leg represents the reintegration of building blocks to recreate the highest-level knowledge, a process that may be assisted by software. (KAIST Education Plan: The I-Four and EDDKA Education, Nam Pyo Suh, July 2011)
3. I-Four Education: The four I's stand for education that is internationalized, IT-based, individualized, and integrated. The I-Four Education transforms a learning environment from teacher-centered to student-centered. It uses Internet-based educational materials, creates individualized learning environments for small groups of students, utilizes recorded lectures delivered by some of the most eminent lecturers in the world, and encourages a cooperative and collaborative learning process among students under the supervision and guidance of a professor in charge of the course. There are no formal lectures delivered by a professor to students. (KAIST Education Plan: The I-Four and EDDKA Education, Nam Pyo Suh, July 2011)
4. About KAIST: Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) was established in 1971 as Korea's first research-oriented university in science, engineering, and technology. In 1986, the university began admitting undergraduate students. As of today, KAIST has 6,000 graduate and 4,000 undergraduate students. Mainly funded by the South Korean government, KAIST has played an integral role in the nation's state-of-the-art research and technology development and has nurtured highly skilled scientists and engineers who have become outstanding leaders in academia, industry, and business throughout the world.
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