Basic Required Courses: Are These Really Basic?
Basic Required Courses: Are These Really Basic?
  • Reporter Kim Chang-jun
  • 승인 2013.06.05 19:06
  • 댓글 0
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Reporter Column
Many freshmen may go through a hard time as soon as they enter POSTECH partly because of their heavy study load. There is a saying that the first year in POSTECH is same as the fourth year in high school, which means freshmen’s first year is as hard as their high school days. The difficulty of Basic Required Courses seems to be the main cause of freshmen’s heavy study load.
Basic Required Courses are basic courses to prepare for Major Courses. They aim to help students cover various fields of science. Calculus, Applied Linear Algebra, General Physics, General Chemistry, General Life Science, Programming & Problem Solving, and laboratory courses are the Basic Required Courses.
We can see many freshmen suffering mainly from some Basic Required Courses that are not related to their own major. For example, Programming & Problem Solving may be tough to a student who has never studied C language before. Also, General Chemistry would be somewhat difficult for a student who hasn’t learned ChemistryⅡ in high school.
Studying something new can surely be difficult, but the problem I think is that the depth or amount covered in “basic” courses is too exhaustive. In case of Programming & Problem Solving, I wonder if the notorious assignments are truly necessary for students who are barely following the basics of C language. Although General Chemistry course is just for understanding the theories of General Chemistry, covering the entire contents in a semester is rather tough. Some of my friends and Students Committee on Pedagogy and Education also said that they agree with the necessity of Basic Required Courses, but they feel these require too much.
Students Committee on Pedagogy and Education suggested a few solutions for this problem. Like the classes of General Physics, which are divided into introductory class, regular class, and honor class, opening leveled classes to make differentiated learning was suggested. Sincethe purpose is to help students learn the subjects basically, converting some courses from grading to S/U was also proposed. However, it is assumed that a noticeable change will not appear in the near future.
I have no doubt that Basic Required Courses are essential, but I think the fact that many students have dissatisfaction with the courses reveals a certain problem and cause. I wish students and the university would keep communicating and establish more satisfactory Basic Required Courses.