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2023 Annual Teaching Excellence Symposium

Humanized online class during the COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea

Junghoon Kim, Ph.D.
Visiting Professor, Cal Poly Humboldt
Associate Professor, Korea Maritime & Ocean University 

Where I was

When the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, universities in South Korea, like many other countries, transitioned to fully online teaching. We were not previously trained for online teaching, and both instructors and learners were uncertain. Some were even concerned that YouTube or online specialized institutions would replace traditional universities.

Many exercise science courses require hands-on instruction and practical experience, which can be challenging to replicate in an online format. Virtual labs or simulations may not fully substitute for in-person labs, limiting students' ability to gain practical skills and experience. Additionally, online classes have faced several challenges compared to traditional face-to-face classes, including lower student engagement, technical adaptation issues to online teaching, and social isolation of learners.


Korea Maritime & Ocean University is renowned for its comprehensive programs that train navigators and engineers, as well as conduct cutting-edge education and research in the marine sciences. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to the educational environment, particularly due to the hands-on nature of many of its curricula.

Where I am

When I was working at a university in South Korea, I participated in several teaching-related programs offered by the Teaching and Learning Center. However, my involvement was mostly formal, and the syllabi largely followed the formats I had already learned during my undergraduate and graduate education.

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced all of my classes to transition online, I took the opportunity to learn extensively about online teaching and made use of government and university-supported platforms for creating online course content and delivering lectures. 

I gained valuable insights from Dr. Kwon's class at Cal Poly Humboldt, particularly in how he adopts a humanized approach to online teaching that prioritizes student engagement and learning.

Where I am going

During this transition to online teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I plan to leverage the opportunity to create a community for our course on social media and other online platforms, allowing students, including myself, to interact with each other through video or audio.

Although the university has decided to resume face-to-face classes starting in 2023, I will continue to update the video lectures I created during the pandemic to ensure they are concise and effectively communicate the necessary course content, even during in-person classes. While it is recommended to conduct exercise science labs in-person whenever possible, I believe that virtual lab videos can provide a valuable learning opportunity for students who are unable to attend labs, as they can be accessed repeatedly.

I am committed to providing a seamless learning experience for all students, regardless of the mode of instruction, and I will strive to ensure that the course remains engaging and informative.


Marine Sports Lab.

VR 360° Video

I teach exercise prescription and marine sports lab courses in the Department of Marine Sports Science. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all of our lectures have moved online in South Korea, and we are now required to teach virtually (2020-2022). However, we have not received any training on creating online course content, and most of the courses in the kinesiology major rely heavily on instructor-learner interaction, which poses limitations to our online teaching.

As a result, I have created a VR video to introduce the university to new students, particularly those who have entered the school for the first time during the pandemic, and to allow them to experience the practical aspects of the courses online. I was hoping that the online pre-classes offered to students would generate eagerness in them to return to school as soon as possible.

Exercise Prescription

How to measure VO2 max during Exercise Graded Test (EGT)

An exercise prescription video is a visually-oriented video designed for educational purposes. My videos aim to help students learn about the theory and practice of kinesiology in a casual and engaging manner, with each video focusing on a specific topic and lasting for approximately 20-30 minutes. These videos are not only enjoyable for students, but they are also intended to facilitate their learning process.

Discussions and Collaborative Projects in Online Classes

To foster discussion and collaboration among peers, which can be challenging in online classes, we have implemented an LMS collaborative project assignment that requires teams to work together towards a common goal. 

  1. Students self-select a topic related to prescribing exercise based on medical conditions through online platforms.

  2. Students are then organized into teams and upload their opinions on the topic, which are open for discussion by other students.

  3. Over the course of five weeks, teams work collaboratively to complete the project's deliverables.

  4. At the end of the project, teams present their work for questions and further discussion.

Through this collaborative project, students not only learn from each other's perspectives but also develop teamwork and communication skills, which are essential in the field of exercise science.

Communication Essentials


To enhance communication, I have created a KakaoTalk open chat room where we can share class announcements, exchange information, and ask questions. Although participation in the open chat is not mandatory, it will ensure that you don't miss any important class updates and make it convenient for you to reach out to me. Additionally, all class announcements will also be posted on the bulletin board in the LMS.

New students who have entered college during the COVID-19 pandemic have never physically attended school before, so even the smallest things can be challenging for them. They are unfamiliar with their classmates or seniors, and may not know where to seek help. While there are several student support organizations available at the university, they may not be easily accessible for assistance when encountering difficulties. Therefore, I am looking forward to utilizing a popular platform to make it easier for these students to contact me. I believe that this approach will greatly assist them in adjusting to their new school life.

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