On April 29, the Provost and Executive Vice President of KAIST, Kwang Hyung Lee, announced the updated guidelines on the simultaneous operation of online and offline classes for the courses that require face-to-face interactions. The new policy will come into effect from May 11 for graduate courses and from May 18 for undergraduate courses.
KAIST was one of the first higher-education institutes in Korea to implement online classes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, as the new cases of COVID-19 have fallen to under 15 per day for ten consecutive days across Korea, KAIST has announced a new guideline of in-person classes for some courses. This will be in effect from May 11 for graduate courses and from May 18 for undergraduate courses.
The email outlined three course types that will be subject to the changes.
- Experiment or practical-based undergraduate and graduate courses, which have stronger needs for face-to-face interaction
- Graduate courses with 600+ course code
- Graduate courses offered at Seoul Campus
Courses that do not meet the requirements above will remain online. Experiment or lab-based courses that will offer both online and offline courses will be finalized and notified by each department/school until next week. However, it seems unlikely that General Chemistry Lab I (CH102) and General Physics Lab I (PH151) will offer offline lectures.
If a course is to offer in-person lectures, there are three safety measures that must be followed.
- Students will be able to choose between online and offline lectures. This means that the course must offer both online and offline lectures simultaneously. Online lectures will continue as usual even if a course offers offline alternatives.
- For in-person lectures, students must be able to sit two meters apart from each other. If this is not possible by limitations of room sizes or the number of enrolling students, there may be restrictions on the number of students who can participate in in-person lectures.
- Strong precautionary measures will continue, including constant use of masks, hand sanitizer, taking attendance of in-person participants, and opening windows for air circulation.
The Provost strongly emphasized that the school can roll back to fully online lectures if the number of COVID-19 cases in Korea rises again or if someone on campus gets infected. Furthermore, undergraduate students enrolled in classes that will offer offline lectures, experiment-based individual research, and URP can apply to move into school dormitories. The specifics of the application process will be announced next week.