According to the university’s current curriculum, the compulsory liberal arts courses for CAU students include Accounting for Entrepreneurship (not compulsory for students majoring in Business), Creativity and Communication, Communication in English, Korean history, and ACT. For most of these courses, the curriculum, lecture contents and purpose are clear to students. Even if students personally dislike one of the compulsory liberal arts courses, they at least accept the reasoning for why the course is compulsory. In the case of ACT, however, since the course is literally an acting class, many students do not understand why they should take this class. According to the syllabus of ACT, the course aims to foster talent for Da Vinci-type creativity and communication skills. Despite the aims stated on the syllabus, are many students sympathetic to these explanations? Judging by frequency of students’ complaints about ACT, no. It is also clear this question has not disappeared. Therefore, it seems necessary to improve this.
Group Project Determines ACT’s Grade
This is the main reason why many students are raising questions about ACT. Like other subjects, ACT would probably not have been a big problem if it allowed students to earn credits based on their abilities. However, in the case of ACT, since all classes are mostly done in groups, and the main evaluation factor is the capacity of the team, not the individual's capabilities, there is a situation in which an individual cannot earn a good grade even if he or she tries hard. Professors' syllabus states that students’ final grade will consist of 10% for attendance, 25% for a personal assignment, 10%-15% for participation, 30%-35% for a final project and 20% for a weekly team project. There are some criteria that students can achieve individually, such as the individual assignments, attendance and attitude, but 50 to 55%, or more than half, are determined through the team projects. Although students say that such an unfair situation exists every semester, the school still designates ACT as a required liberal art.
ACT Is Not Helpful in the Future
As mentioned above, the use of other compulsory liberal arts courses is clear from the name of the subject, and it is understandable why they have been designated as compulsory liberal arts. Even if you do not like the subject, you can accept it. However, because ACT is a subject that teaches and practices acting, it is not directly helpful for the majority of students, and it is hard to understand why the course is compulsory. Students also find it harder than other courses because what they can learn is limited to acting. The goal of the school's ACT course is clear. It aims to foster students’ cultural imagination, self-producibility and expressive skills. It seems necessary, however, to explain this rationale to students so that they can accept the course’s goal.
How Can Students Take ACT Positively?
The reason students complain about ACT is that it is difficult to get a good grade even if they try to do something different from other subjects. A speciality, such as grades, has become more important to students due to the recent job shortage and the frozen job market. Despite this reality, ACT seems like sufferance for students without reflecting this reality. Therefore, the ratio of group assignments should be lowered so that students can meet the needs of their subjects while maintaining their goals. In addition, schools should explicitly inform students of ACT's learning goals. These days, of course, students expect to understand a course’s learning goals and why they are learning a subject. However, not many students read the course syllabus in detail, so the current situation has come about. If ACT's learning objectives are inserted in the common cultural section of the graduation requirements, students will be able to understand it much more easily.
CAU also understood the hardships of these students and recently decided to change the rate of ACT's performance rating. In the past, just like other classes that are conducted in Korean, the grading system allowed for a maximum of 35% A's, 70% B's and 5% D+'s. However, starting from the first semester of 2019, the ratio of grades to type B will be applied, with 50% A's and 90% B's. The change is expected to relieve some of students' burden from ACT. However, the ratio of group tasks is equal to 50-55%, so improvement is still needed.
As mentioned above, most students have a negative perception of the subject of ACT and do not understand why it is a required liberal arts subject. Of course, this ACT class will help foster converged thinking and to some extent train problem-solving skills and communication skills during team projects. However, CAU does not properly inform their students of this. If students properly recognize the reasons and benefits of taking ACT, their criticism will not be as high as it is now. Therefore, CAU should give appropriate answers to students’ criticism, or else abolish ACT from compulsory liberal arts courses. Since CAU, after all, cannot exist without students, it is necessary to revise the subject for students.< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >