Problems with Course Registration System

최윤서, 박근후, 전소영l승인2020.04.04l수정2020.04.04 17:44l378호 1면

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  Have you ever experienced any inconveniences when signing up for school? Before the new semester begins, students are required to register for their classes. Most are easy to get into, but sometimes you come across a class that has more people wanting in, than the course will allow. If you were one of the unlucky ones that couldn't get into a course you wanted, you have another chance during the class correction period.  However, even this has its challenges. Buying and selling lectures, a process called ‘lecture transactions’, are common among students keen to get into popular lectures or classes they need or where they can get better grades. It’s a practice so common, that most Dankookians (Students of DKU) are aware of the process. But what are the risks of encouraging this process? The Dankook Herald (the DKH) surveyed 55 Dankookians about the course registration system and the alternative course entry route through lecture transactions.

  According to our survey, about 58% of students said they have first-hand knowledge of lecture transactions. These figures surpassed our expectations. So, how are lecture transactions executed? Sellers post messages on anonymous bulletin boards like ‘Everytime’, detailing the course spot they have on offer. Once a buyer transfers the payment, the seller drops the lecture and the buyer takes their spot in the class. . Prices vary, although generally they are highest for subjects that help you get a job or are essential for graduation. However, the more popular classes, for instance, classes graded by 'absolute evaluation' or cyber lectures, through which students have a chance to get better grades, tend to also be expensive. The process is pretty lucrative, thereby encouraging students to deliberately register for popular subjects with the express goal of selling it back to unlucky students. However, it is important to note that these transactions are not always guaranteed. In some cases, students took money and failed to deliver the promised lecture. In these instances, it is impossible for the victim to be compensated because lecture transactions are illegal.

  In the long term, lecture transactions cause serious problems for students who really need these classes. It may even cost them their chance to graduate. To address this matter, students need to understand the purpose of the course drop/add period. While changing lectures allow every student the freedom to choose a class that best suits them, an intentional application for the purposes of cancelling later on, only allows students whose lectures were cancelled, due to a lack of enrollment, to apply for the class. This is intended to guarantee students apply for their required lectures. However, when the need arises, and students can’t get into the class they want, they intentionally apply for classes they predict will end up closed, so they can jump the queue during the course drop add period and get into the class they really want. Although students know this chain of action is not ideal, they nevertheless rely on this tactic if they need the credits to graduate or to get into the class they prefer.

  Overall students are unsatisfied with the system loopholes and want to see them closed. More specifically, the DKH found responses from Dankookians on this process were mostly divided into two groups. The first group focused solely on fixing the flaws of course registration system. They claimed the capacity of lectures should be increased and if the system won’t allow the class to do this, DKU should identify the most popular classes and get the permission to expand their limit. For returning students, they can't afford to fight for spots in their required lectures. And since the size of lecture rooms can also be a factor, lecture rooms should be enlarged. The second group focused on punishment, asserting that people who abused the drop/add course process should be disciplined. For example, penalize them somehow for the next application period, or hand down a compulsory suspension for people involved in course trading. In order to force the culprits out of hiding, they claimed that ‘Everytime’ users should be forced to comply with a real-name system because this is where most of the shady transactions take place. Interestingly, there was a small group of respondents who understood the purpose of lecture transactions. From their point of view, the students saw this as a positive way to solve an irrational problem created by the school application system. Others believed that it should be left to a student's personal conscience.

  If a student reports a lecture transaction during the class registration process, legal punishment is possible against the participants for obstructing the proper functioning of the university. Nevertheless, it is difficult to catch the sellers and buyers since lecture transactions continue to take place under the guise of anonymity in the ‘Everytime’ app. It is not only difficult to track the internet protocol address, but it is also hard to capture details of the private transaction between traders. Thus, other universities have introduced various systems to prevent such class transactions. First, Sungkyunkwan University and Kyunghee University launched an anti-trade system that only reveals newly opened seats in popular classes after a brief delay. Gachon University also started waiting list for classes with no remaining seats.  Open spots are filled by the person at the top of the list. Although some say that the effects of class transactions during the course application period are minimal, as these measures are only applicable during the course correction period, it is expected that attempts such as these, by other universities, will gradually become acceptable measures to deal with their use.

  Overall, students attending a university undertake a contract with the school, to pay tuition in exchange for listening to lectures. However, not everyone has the chance to take the lectures they want. Even during the application period, due to the limited number of spaces available and the class popularity, it is impossible to ensure everyone will have access to their desired lectures. These loopholes show that schools are not doing enough to protect their rights to access lectures. As a result, the university should be prepared for more cases of illegal transactions occurring during the course application period. It is also important for students to let their conscience guide them during class enrollment.

▲ Class transactions are frequently conducted on anonymous online communication platform such as Everytime. (Photo from Everytime)

최윤서, 박근후, 전소영  dankookherald@gmail.com
<저작권자 © The Dankook Herald, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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