Have you ever visited our school's Chinese website? Currently, no one is able to find our school's new department, the College of Global Studies (CGS), in the school website's Chinese homepage. So, who is this Chinese website for? And is it giving the right information? These questions brought The Dankook Herald (DKH) to investigate both the Chinese and English websites. Sadly, certain errors were found. These may be minor errors, but they still may confuse students who are studying abroad and who may want to get help from these foreign language websites.
Dankook University's (DKU) homepage was managed by the Center of Information and Communication (CIC)'s homepage management team. DKH found out that our school's website was renewed relatively recently in August 2011. Then, why were these errors not corrected? The management of the website and the contents of the website were managed separately. Managing was done by the CIC, while the contents were managed by each department. Foreign language websites are helped by an outsourced enterprise and inspectors (professors in DKU), after the Korean website editing was completed.
The school website is not only used by Dankookians, but also by other people like pre-university students, who want to find basic information. People learn what is taught in certain majors and then what to choose. Also, they are able to learn general information about school life and the school's facilities.
DKH interviewed the Global Service Team (GST) and found out how often foreign students use the foreign language websites in a day. GST said because foreign students, except for those who apply for the College of International Studies (CIS) and the CGS, need at least a 3rd level TOPIK score, there is no need to manage websites for students who are studying here from abroad. Also, GST stated that the foreign language websites are not for students who have already applied but for future students who are willing to apply for DKU. In fact, some of the Chinese students didn't know about the existence of the Chinese website, and the statistics of the people using the Chinese website was only 15 to 20 people per day. On the other hand, there were relatively more people using the English website, ranging from 300 to 350 people per day.
Even if they are good at Korean, they will still have difficulties understanding if it's not their native language. This in turn, can create misunderstandings for the school. As previously stated, students in CIS and CGS do not need to have a TOPIK score. There may only be a few students, still if any students have an inconvenience using the school website, proper management is essential. Although most international students do not need foreign language websites, the necessity of a proper foreign language website should not be forgotten. Since it is true that the foreign language websites are for future students who are not good in Korean, and even some might not know Korean at all. If and when their school life is different from what they have learned through wrong information online, they might feel dissonance between their university dreams and reality.
The page about facilities was filled with Jukjeon's facilities' pictures. International students at Cheonan Campus will never get to see the buildings in the picture. About this problem, the homepage manager of the CIC said that those pictures were just used as images only. And because many other countries like U.S.A. and China have poor Internet environments unlike Korea, when many images are used on a website, the speed will slow down. So the number of images had to be decreased. But using Jukjeon Campus's photos in Cheonan Campus's website is wrong and with this, CIC promised to modify.
Finding the English and Chinese application guidelines is hard on the admissions website. DKU's main website has a button to click for using different versions of the website, but it is another story for the admissions website. We had to look all over the admissions website to find foreign guidelines for applicants. These small dissatisfactions should be improved immediately.
Students had to wait until the entrance ceremony day to look in every version of the website with the newly created college, the CGS. Before entrance, students were able to learn that the CGS was going to be newly created by reading the guidelines on admissions website and in handbooks. However, no one was able to learn what they were going to teach in CGS. Even the students who were accepted through the early admissions could not get any information until the day of entrance. They were only able to learn about the department's instruction and curriculum through looking up the Jukjeon CIS. As a result, a great difference was found in the curriculum. It was not about how much easier or more difficult the major was but about the difference in courses.
Of course, it has confused international students, too.
"I read an explanation about CIS in Jukjeon on the English website to get information about CGS," said International Student K (freshman, Dept. of Global Business Administration). "I heard all subjects will be given in English through the call. However, some mandatory class lectures are given in Korean, which made me confused."
CIC admitted that it is true it takes longer to modify than the Korean website in descriptions of departments. It is because of official names which are made in three to four months. DKU is adjusting the school academic departments next year. Therefore, the website will need major modifications.
However, the website will be obsolete when the official names are made after the adjustment. All corrective actions should be taken from now on.
Both an English and Chinese website are available for international programs, such as Global Talent Network (GTN) and the Korean Language School (KLS). However, for the GTN page, there are only three sentences written on the English website with the X box where the photos should be. On the Chinese website, it still says 'under construction.' For KLS, we cannot get into the page from the Chinese website. If the pages for giving information about international programs and supporting pages are full of errors, it will only give embarrassing feelings for international students.
Finally, how are the DKU NEWS and DKU Notice's managed for foreign language websites. DKU NEWS articles are translated and updated when the articles have topical sources and when there is the need to show them to people outside of Korea as deemed by the Public Relations Team (PRT) and Office of International Affairs (OIA). However, since the latest update was made in Oct. 2011, we can learn that the website is not being managed at all.
Stating that updates are done in real time without managing the cycle, CIC seems to be managing the website quite well, but it is true that there's a lack of timeliness. Of course, since the contents are not managed in one place but each department, there can be some difficulties in managing it. Then, the school website that should add to the convenience of students will become another burden. If revisions to the above-mentioned errors are not made, Dankookians and international students will be eventually turned back, and we may be cutting ourselves off from the interest of people outside DKU.
Eun-Ji Park email@example.com