Have you ever been to the central library at Gachon University? The atmosphere is very different from the midterm or final exam period to the regular days. Usually, it is a quiet space, but during the examination period, students are overflowing to secure seats in the library. This situation can be interpreted that many college students cram before exams. Cramming for tests is to study a lot at once, so even if you understand it roughly, you can easily miss some parts. For those students who had bad study habits, ‘The portfolio development supporting program’ is opened to help self-directed learning. It was launched in 2015 and is still ongoing every year.
‘The portfolio development supporting program’ is a program where you select one of the courses you're taking and write a portfolio of those courses every week. This program’s course is on a semester-term basis. It is managed by the Center for Teaching and Learning Development in Gachon University. More than 200 students participate each semester. So, how is it developing?
The program process
First of all, participants take a pre-learning examination at the beginning of the semester and through this self-diagnosis learn whether to work by themselves. Then, you can select which course to apply for and fill out the consent form for the activity. Starting from the first week of the semester, the participants get two weeks to submit a weekly class portfolio on Cyber Campus. For example, if you need to make a portfolio for the first week of September, you would need to submit it by the following Sunday. They conduct interim satisfaction surveys and peer-assessment are distributed to students during the semester. The peer assessment is, when participants put a copy of their portfolios on the peer-assessment board, other participants look around the posts and write a comment on the portfolios of their peers on the assessment board. It helps participants know about what needs to be supplemented. For the things they did well, they get good comments. After about 10 weeks, when the semester is over, they can check whether their self-directed learning skills have improved through post-learning inspection when compared to their skills before participating in the program. Finally, the college will select 160 top students and give 100,000 won for self-development. In addition, the college gives another scholarship for the students who are chosen the best portfolio (1 person × 200,000 won), the second-best (2 persons × 150,000 won), and the third (3 persons × 100,000 won).
How to write a portfolio
Following the form of the portfolio, you may fill out the form, scan, and submit it to Cyber Campus. There are 3 parts in the form: the first part is to write the subject name and learning goals, and then a summary of the class contents. At the end part, you need to write about the takeaways. The important thing when making portfolio is do not to write down everything from the class, but to write only the core content. It is also important to summarize the information in your own way. Every person has their own studying style. In writing, there is a standard method, but you can do it in different ways like expressing through just one picture or mind map. In addition, you can also summarize by making a scheme, or emphasizing the important points with different colored pens. These may allow you to study more efficiently.
To get more information, I communicated by e-mail with Lee Nara, a researcher at the Center for Teaching and Learning Development, in charge of the 'Learning Portfolio Development Support Program'. The tips that she gave me are as follows. First, you should figure out the characteristics of the course you applied for accurately. Depending on the course, it may be difficult to organize the portfolio even though you are good at taking notes. Second, it is better to set goals before writing. It is also a good idea to make expected questions by yourself. When you use it for a certificate examination, you have to focus on organizing it clearly and easily so that you can remember longer.
I participated in this program in the second semester of 2020 and as a participant, I actively recommend many students to participate. Why? Because it stopped me from cramming. In order to write portfolio every week, it is necessary to completely understand the contents of the class. Therefore, I made a habit of reviewing after class. The best way to remember for a long time without spending too much time is self-directed learning. Do you regret that you were cramming during the exam period? Don't worry. This program is open for every Gachon University student every year.
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