Vertical and Horizontal Integrated Education
Vertical and Horizontal Integrated Education
  • Reporter Park Seo-kyung
  • 승인 2012.11.21 23:09
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As effective methods of education have been emerging, integrated education across areas of study, called horizontal integrated education (HIE), is becoming a common concept to people. HIE may be familiar to POSTECH students, since POSTECH encourages students to learn humanities, arts and other subjects besides one’s major, to help students develop broad knowledge. However nowadays, along with HIE, a new concept called vertical integrated education (VIE) is being raised.
Though concept of VIE is unfamiliar to Koreans, it is a well-known method in many western countries. As HIE is defined as integration between disciplines, the basic meaning of VIE is integration between grades and degree levels. VIE came from and has been most widely adopted in medical education fields, but it is also spreading out to engineering and science education fields. According to the General Practice Education and Training (GPET), the Commonwealth body funded to administer vocational general practice training in Austria, vertical integrated  medical education was defined as, “the coordinated, purposeful, planned system of linkages, and activities in the delivery of education and training throughout the continuum of the learner’s stages of medical education.”
VIE takes shape commonly in a team class, which includes undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and, sometimes, even faculty. This team is given some subject or situation that actually occurs outside the classroom and cooperates with teammates to solve the problem. For example, the Department of Chemical Engineering of University of Akron implemented a vertically integrated team design in 2002. Teams, consisting of freshmen through seniors, worked together with a faculty mentor. The problem statement was about management decision and refurbishing production facility of methyl methacrylate market. According to University’s paper after this class, “all freshmen learn what chemical engineering is about, sophomores enhance their learning process, juniors and seniors improve their proficiency with process simulation, and seniors make major improvements in their ability to lead or guide other people.” Not only this case of University of Akron, but also the department of computer science of Brunel University in England, the department of mechanical engineering of A&T State University and the “Vertical Integration of Research and Education in mathematical Science” implemented by The National Science Foundation have had successful results using VIE.
Combining HIE and VIE is also becoming popular. In Michigan Technology University, the multi-dimensional inte-gration is implemented. About 25 students from sophomore to senior of five departments establish enterprises and design, develop, manufacture, and sell the products as well as get fund from the industry. Through VIE, students make a broad spectrum of knowledge and get real motivation to learn.
 The department of CITE of POSTECH has a similar curriculum, in which students make a team, develop their own product, and obtain funding from the industry. Students learn what they need without separation between disciplines. However, not only CITE, but also most departments of POSTECH needs this new paradigm of education. Breaking the limit of classroom lectures, education should give real research experience. That will result in deeper learning.