Ewha Takes the Lead in Campus Normalization for the 2022 Fall Semester
Ewha is preparing all areas of school life including disinfection measures and academic management in a cautious and thorough manner to allow students to return to campus after a long absence to study for a new semester in a safe environment and actively enjoy college life.
Ewha Safe Campus draws attention for its leading disinfection control regime
Ahead of the opening of the 2022 spring semester, Ewha installed the “Ewha Safe Station,” an on-campus testing clinic for COVID-19, for Ewha members to undergo a pre-emptive and routine screening test as a way to maintain a healthy and safe campus. Among educational institutions, Ewha is the only one to prepare for the normalization of education by establishing its own disinfection control regime in cooperation with professional organizations.
Led by the “Preparatory Committee for the Return to Normality,” Ewha has thoroughly prepared face-to-face classes for the fall semester since May. According to the official announcement of the Ministry of Education (MOE) regarding guidelines for the normalization of schools in early August, Ewha decided to resume operating full offline classes and made an all-out effort to create a safe academic environment during the vacation.
Accordingly, the Ewha Safe Station, which was planned to operate until August, will remain open until December. Therefore, despite the reduction of temporary screening clinics, any Ewha member can take a screening test at no cost. They can also conduct a self-test using the Ewha Safe Station after making a reservation via the school COVID-19 management system that opened in June, which also allows students to submit health questionnaires and check test results at the same time.
As the Ewha Safe Station will facilitate screening tests for the fall semester as well, the four on-campus temperature check stations will only be operated for checking temperatures, while the bracelet for passing a temperature check will no longer be handed out. In addition, additional temperature check equipment was installed in six buildings for Ewha members to check their own temperature at a total of 22 locations. In addition, thorough disinfection is being performed to prevent the spread of infectious diseases: regular disinfection is carried out in public spaces and offline classrooms every Saturday; and desks and doorknobs in common areas including lecture rooms and reading rooms are cleaned and disinfected twice a day.
Alongside such efforts, the school will set September and October as an “intensive offline class monitoring period” to observe and monitor how safely academic affairs are taking place on campus. In particular, chapel services will be held online during the monitoring period. When confirmed cases are identified in school, information such as the confirmation dates, contact tracing, and contacts will be compiled and managed. If faculty members are infected, substitute classes will be arranged during their quarantine period. If students are infected, their class attendance will still be recognized upon the submission of proof such as a quarantine notice and they will be given class materials or recorded videos of offline classes via the cyber campus. In addition, Ewha aims to swiftly respond to emergency situations based on the Ewha COVID-19 Response Guidance by the Preparatory Committee for the Return to Normality, as part of its plans to create a safe and healthy campus for the fall semester.
Ewha-specific teaching and learning model “THE BEST” drives innovative education
To lead the innovation of edutech-based teaching and learning infrastructure, Ewha established THE BEST, a hybrid class model consisting of online and offline teaching and learning, and trialed around 250 courses in the 2022 spring semester. As a class model made up of offline, hybrid, and online classes to support students’ self-directed learning based on quality curriculum design and digital technology, THE BEST class is a major project of Ewha Vision 2030+, a development strategy to create an innovative education platform responding to digital transformation.
Regarding the change in the university environment from the unprecedented pandemic as an opportunity for innovating education, Ewha accelerated its establishment of edutech-based teaching and learning infrastructure. Launched amid a favorable response last semester, THE BEST class received encouraging reviews for the technology-based flexibility of schedule and venue, maximization of students’ self-directed learning, and reinforcement of communication with students. The number of THE BEST classes increased to a total of 286 (199 hybrid classes and 87 online classes) in the 2022 fall semester.
Alongside such efforts, Ewha is continuing to improve the educational environment by establishing active learning lecture rooms and student-centered flexible learning spaces to effectively support online/offline hybrid classes, and has made an effort to offer high-quality educational services even in the midst of the changing environment through the expansion of its cyber campus system. In addition, it is also driving the momentum for the development of an integrated support system for students based on artificial intelligence (AI) and big data to strengthen support for students’ future plans. The school plans to further develop Chat-E, a chatbot service based on AI technology that is receiving positive responses from students since its launch last semester, into a platform that can manage academic affairs and guide career paths.