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Pro: An Improvement Over Its Predecessor
[Debate] Classes on 4-weekdays
[ Issue 135 Page 11 ] Monday, November 09, 2015, 04:23:15 Ji Yun Kim Staff Reporter jiyunk@kaist.ac.kr

Over the years, there have been many amendments made to the education system of our school. All of them are intended for an improvement of an existing situation, but have they really been good solutions? As a positive example, a particularly delightful four-day weekday system started this semester. Many of the existing problems with student’s schedule have taken a turn for the better with the implementation of this system.

Firstly, the major difference of the changed system is that the classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays have been extended to one and a half hours from the original five-day weekday system with three one hour classes spread out on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The extended hours of one class session due to the reduction of the number of days ensures that the class time is long enough to cover concepts thoroughly and short enough not to loose concentration. The actual lecture duration for a typical one-hour class is about 50mins – often too short a time to cover a complex concept. The same total duration of three hours divided into two instead of three discourages waste of lecture time and ensures efficiency.

Secondly, the four-day weekday system results in a longer weekend including the free Friday. This extended weekend allows one to get enough time to revise for the content covered during the week, as well as rest from the tiring week. The time that otherwise would have been distributed as shorter free periods during the weekday is now returned as a whole day that one can plan for freely. The three-day weekend has also proven to be a strategic resting period that lets one rest enough before preparing for the coming week. Another interesting view, especially practical, is that during the previous system, students could not easily find time to visit public services such as the town center or the bank for official matters. These locations are usually open only until around 5pm, and a normal 18-credit timetable would usually have classes until at least 4pm. In the new system, one would have the whole Friday to spend on visiting places at times you would not have been able to previously. The extended weekend provides enough time to distress and gathers smaller pieces of free time into one, proving to be a better system than before.

Lastly, the new system also offers a more balanced week. Most classes now equally last for 1.5hour and held twice a week regardless of the day it is held, in stark contrast to the previous system where classes had varying lengths because they were spread over a different number of days despite having the same number of credits. Thus, class times in a typical 18-credit timetable with six 3-credit classes would usually last for similar hours, encouraging students to have a regular lifestyle over the week and plan for activities over similar hours each day. Additionally, having all classes last for the same duration reduces the number of classes that overlap, especially by durations less than 1.5hours. This makes the timetable planning process much more convenient for the students while allowing them to have the widest choices of classes.

Opponents of the current system often claim that some practice classes are held on Fridays still and thus defeats the purpose of 4-day weekday rule. However, these classes are usually limited to the basic required and elective math courses and only last up to an hour, usually consisting of a quiz or a review session only. The different nature of the practice classes as well as its shorter duration than a normal class ensures that the students’ Fridays are still kept as free as possible, giving them the option to fill it up the way they want to. Additionally, the very practice classes held early on Friday used to be held on Mondays after 8pm, which had disrupted, if not restricted, student’s extracurricular activities. I believe that the current arrangement is a much more student-centered schedule than that before.

Overall, the effort to change the long-kept course schedule system seems to be a commendable one. The improved current system allows classes long enough not to disrupt the content’s flow and provides an extended weekend to rest, run errands impossible on other days and prepare for the coming week. Additionally, it allows for a balanced week with the minimum overlapping classes that is easier to plan for. These many advantages combine to provide a more convenient and conducive studying environment for us and I welcome future changes made with the benefit of students in mind.

Ji Yun Kim Staff Reporter Archives  
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