Last updated: 15.08.12

E-learning 'continues growth in Korea'

South Korea is continuing to innovate and expand in online learning, providing free classes for students to participate in.

The Korea Herald reports that Seoul National University (SNU) has created a virtual learning environment so students can participate in economics professor Lee Jun-Koo's Human Life and Economy series.

This examines asymmetric information and the principals of supply and demand, as well as the relationship between the state and the market.

It will form part of the Seouldae Open Course Ware platform, which started on June 28th at SNU and contains e-learning courses in 33 popular subjects, including management, law, liberal arts and science.

SNU Center for Teaching and Learning official Park Joon-lee told the publication that the university plans to create even more free online learning courses, arguing that it is thought both SNU and its students will benefit from this.

Some of the benefits of online learning highlighted by the publication were that it can make education more accessible, while saving time and money for participants.

Furthermore, distance learning online allows people to take part in education from anywhere in the world.

The innovation is "bringing a substantial change to the education scene", the news source declared, arguing the most prestigious learning institution in Korea is "jumping on the bandwagon".

As well as SNU, other top universities are pushing e-learning forwards and putting popular courses online.

For example, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was a pioneer in this sector, creating the MITx online learning initiative and collaborating with Harvard to create the edX virtual learning environment.

The University of California, Berkley recently announced that it will take part in edX, with chancellor of the institution Robert Birgeneau claiming the development could assist in the "dual goals" of improving the quality of education on-campus while broadening the distribution of higher education.

"Korean schools should also work together to develop a new online learning platform," Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology official Beum Soo-gyun told the publication.