Despite the rapid changes in current society, university education has not changed at all. Recognizing the situation, Gachon University conducted a two-day marathon creative camp, NTree Camp for freshmen, whose aim is to make new changes to Gachon’s educational system. The camp is a program to replace 8 weeks out of 16 weeks of the freshmen's liberal arts course, "Creative and Personality." Since it was first introduced this year, many students might feel embarrassed or have many questions since they don’t have enough prior information about the NTree camp.
This program is quite different from the usual courses in a class where professors give lectures and students take notes. It is a program designed to improve students' ability to solve problems by communicating with others. Another similar example is the "Hackathon," where people organize groups and make software programs for a week. However, NTree Camp differentiates itself from Hackathon by adding design thinking and some other interesting factors. Here, Design Thinking refers to the process of finding solutions through brainstorming in a group when problems in everyday life are given as a theme.
The activities of NTree camp can be divided into the following tracks: The camp for the humanities, social and artistic tracks is conducted in the first semester. With the topic presented, participants plan and create an app in groups, and then each group introduces the app and explains why it wants to make it and how to use it through YouTube live streaming. After the live streaming, there is a time to get feedback from professors and think about what is lacking in the planning stage. The camp for the science and engineering tracks is conducted in the second semester because they must have a basic knowledge of the activities in NTree camp. Unlike the tracks in the first-semester camp, which develops apps, the science and engineering tracks must produce objects which can move by using actual working circuits through C language and Arduino. In conclusion, all participants in any track gather in groups, produce videos, and make presentations in front of professors and other groups. After the presentation, the program ends with professors giving scholarships to the best team.
Some students may not know the MIT AppInventor program or basic circuitry required for these activities, but there is no need to worry. Before production, there is a session that teaches students basic manufacturing methods and if they are in trouble, they can get help from professors and teaching assistants. In the course of developing an app or a circuit, a group game such as room escaping is prepared for simple recreation and building solidarity. NTree camp offers another fun of forming group ties while competing in good faith.
NTree camp is not a professor-centered class; it is rather a student-centered voluntary and creative class. The professors only play the role of turning on the switch so that students can fully imagine what they want, while the rest is up to each student. For this reason, the active participation of students is required and if group competency is managed efficiently over a given period, students can experience and achieve surprising effects over a short period of time. NTree camp is the cornerstone of the innovation of college education and is expected to be one of the many new methods of teaching in the future.< Copyright © The Gachon Herald All rights reserved >