Need for More Variety in Availabe Study Spaces
Need for More Variety in Availabe Study Spaces
  • Reporter Jung Han-kyu
  • 승인 2012.04.11 19:36
  • 댓글 0
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The sound of pencils scratching and a quiet stream of music leaking from earphones are the only sounds that break the silence in the studying hall of grey desks and cubicles just high enough to hide the faces of other people. The heavy, serious atmosphere of the studying hall sometimes overwhelms students seated in the Chungam Digital Library. Despite their resolute determination to study, many head back to their rooms after dozing for a few hours. Any Postechian has probably had a similar experience at least once.
There is a lack of diversity for study spaces on campus. Some might say that if you are really determined, you can study anywhere. The writer of this article thinks otherwise, however. Nobody is the same; therefore, not everyone can concentrate in the same place.

<Editor? Comment>

Current Status

Currently, the places where students can study are the following: dorm rooms, the library study hall, group study room, empty classrooms, and scattered tables in the engineering buildings and Hogil Kim Memorial Building.
First of all, dorm rooms are almost always avoided by the students because they never know when their mischievous neighbors might barge in and break their concentration. The library study hall is a great place to stay focused, but it is just too desolate for some people. Classrooms are now locked up automatically when the classes are finished, and they cannot be accessed without making a reservation, to which only the faculties have the access. These are all possible places to study, indeed. The problem, however, is that there is not enough alternative to a reading-room-like library study hall.
Indeed, GSR and other buildings are great alternatives, but there are only a few seats available not to mention that the former is notorious for terrible ventilation and soundproofing.

Necessity and Ideal Plan

As many studies have shown, there are several ways students can learn the best. One of them is through discussion with peers. Current study spaces on campus reflect that the school does not endorse collective learning, yet it asks for creativity. Creativity can spring from sharing ideas with one another, which often requires an open space without noise restrictions.
GSR is a great place where students can discuss topics and learn both visually and verbally. The problem is that the study spaces are concentrated in one location: the library. Rather, the studying spaces should be located everywhere on campus so students can engage in learning wherever they go.

Cases Overseas

At National University of Singapore (NUS) and Georgia Institute of Technology, there are learning commons in the dormitory area as well. There are computer stations, multimedia presentation rooms, and group study rooms with white boards and projectors. NUS and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology both have outdoor studying areas with a white board and shade.

Efforts by POSTECH

The departments of Physics, Computer Science and Engineering, and Mathematics have done a fabulous job in renovating empty spaces into study halls characteristic for their students.
For example, there are whiteboards on the walls of Engineering building 3, so that Physics majors can freely write out long, complicated expressions and discuss with peers. The new group study room and the software practice lab in the Engineering building 2 are often occupied with students working on their assignments and studying after the classes are over. In the mathematical science building, there is a room called the Hilbert Space where teaching assistants are assigned at all time to help any students with questions. These venues are especially great because the students could even go directly to professors upstairs to ask questions.
The above cases are great examples of POSTECH utilizing its advantages. As it is the duty of the university to provide quality education, it is just as critical to foster a good learning environment.