Faces of EVE University: YooJin Moon

The Faces of EVE University interview series brings you insight into some of the personalities that make up our staff – a group of dedicated Unistas who tirelessly work for the advancement of learning.

So who better to kick-off this series than our very own Director of Teaching – YooJin Moon. We asked him a few questions about his past, the current status of teaching EVE Uni and of course about his vision for the future of EVE and the Uni.

Hippla Tsero:
Q: Hello YooJin Moon, you have recently been appointed as the Director of Teaching of EVE University. Tell us a bit about your EVE history and how you got into the Uni. 

YooJin Moon:
I checked EVE out during the early Beta but didn’t stick around at the time.  It was pretty rough but CCP was also attempting to do something never done before so I’m glad they stuck with it.  I came back to it in 2011 and never truly left after that though I’ve had months here and there where I didn’t log in.  I run multiple Omega and Alpha accounts now but rarely multi-box except to have a +1 scout for strategic movements or to double up on a Lvl4/5 mission.  I am on my second run with EVE University.  I was a member in 2012 for about a year and learned alot from a great mentor.  I then left to try my hand at creating my own corp which resulted in a few years of care-bearing and  learning the ropes on industry end-to-end.  Time well spent, but not exactly exciting.  In spring of 2019 I stumbled upon the EVE University Incursion community which was open to alumni.  I ran incursions for a few months and made some great friends and connections which resulted in my rejoining EVE University.  I always wanted to learn PvP so I moved to our LowSec Campus and got busy with solo and small gang stuff.  PvP is still what I most want to improve at and the nuances to being good are vast.  Honestly, I just have a deep passion for this game all around.  It progressed into being a hobby for me a long time ago.  All of my current in-game focus is on EVE University and the Teaching Department.   

Hippla Tsero:
Q: You have quite a complex history with the game. After so many years, you are now the Director of Teaching. Why did you decide to become part of the EVE Uni Directorate?

YooJin Moon:
“Decide” to join the Directorate isn’t exactly how it happened; however, I am quite honored and happy to have been selected. Senior roles tend to be given to pilots who have already engaged elsewhere and have demonstrated trust and responsibility to the corporation and our philosophy.  It is kind of organic in that tasks are given and completed with increasing difficulty and those who continue to pursue more are given chances like this. Being offered a Director’s role for Teaching at EVE University was honestly a bit daunting to ponder.  It doesn’t matter if you like the Uni or no. The fact remains that it is the largest educational organisation in the game, touching almost every aspect of the EVE universe.  I did not take the role without considering that and how I might be responsible for shaping education within EVE for a very large number of players.  We are an organization that offers its classes to the open player base with few exceptions and our events and class schedules can be viewed at http://eveuniversity.org/event/ and https://twitter.com/EVEUniversity respectively.  We also have Public Discord channels where most of this can be seen and conversations with current members and alumni can take place as well as our in-game chat channels.

Hippla Tsero:
Q: With EVE being such an “old” game, how do you know what to focus on when it comes to education? I see a lot of returning players come back to EVE University as well.

YooJin Moon:
It is a constant struggle to evaluate the educational needs of such a large player base so we do tend to focus more on the newer players as a general rule.  To meet their needs we have our series of CORE classes that cover the basic skills needed to play the game effectively and we are right now in transition to incorporate more video, streaming, and other digital media in an effort to make learning more approachable by a wider audience.  We are going to be delivering more practicals (live in-space learning) and joining forces with others like Specter Fleet, Signal Cartel, Ashterothi, and Ashley Traynor to help expose players to the diversity that EVE Online has to offer.  The best thing we can do is to make EVE interesting to as many players as possible and then turn them loose to have their own impact on the game.  

Our membership does mature though at times and we end up with some of the best players in the game returning to us to help teach and make EVE a better place for all.  We also have great relationships with many other corporations and players outside of EVE University as indicated and we try to leverage their knowledge and experiences by bringing them in as Guest Lecturers or sending our members to them to participate in their activities.  In the end, it is the social and community aspect of EVE that keeps people playing and if we can make some of those connections for pilots we’re doing something worthwhile.

Hippla Tsero:
Q: Having a Teaching department seems quite unusual for an MMO. Why do you think EVE players need to be taught the game?

YooJin Moon:
Indeed, although I would say that almost all MMOs have a teaching aspect to them through Guild memberships and socialization.  Most games simply don’t formalize it as we do in EVE Online.  New Eden is vast. Joining a learning organization certainly isn’t a requirement to play and CCP have improved the new player experience dramatically the past couple of years; however, joining a learning corporation in-game like EVE University can make the experience a lot more fun and entertaining.  EVE University has campuses devoted to specific aspects of the game where players can go to play with like minded pilots to have fun and learn from more experienced players.  For example, if you are brand new and don’t know what you want to do our HighSec Campus (HSC) is the best starting campus.  It is also our largest and most active campus so making connections is super easy.  If you have specific interests you can go to the appropriate campus and focus on them (i.e. LowSec Campus (LSC); NullSec Campus (NSC); Wormhole Campus (WHC); Mining Campus (AMC); or several other locations.  Regardless of which campus you choose to participate from, all of our classes are always open to all members and most to the public at large as well.  Many other corporations in the game were started by Unistas heading out into New Eden to leave their marks and that was only possible because of the experiences they had with us.

Hippla Tsero:
Q: Tell us a bit about your department. What it is exactly that teachers do and how do you organise yourself?

YooJin Moon:
Historically the Teaching Department within EVE University is the heart of the corporation.  It is why the University exists.  We provide classes, lectures, practicals, fleets, events, and other avenues to convey information about the game to those who are interested.  The content is good but the organization and administration that supports it has become an inhibitor.  The department has grown to an unwieldy size requiring effort to manage that simply doesn’t add anything to the educational experience of the wider player base…so I’m nuking it and starting over.  

The Teaching Department will adopt a structure similar to our campuses which allows us to leverage other University systems without having to create or manage unique processes from an administrative perspective.  This will make us more efficient and the task of Teaching more accessible to a wider base of knowledgeable players from every corner of New Eden.  No longer will you need to be a member of EVE University to teach here.  We want everyone with knowledge and skills who are willing to follow our policies on family friendliness to share their EVE experience through us.  I am creating a small but dedicated group of Educational Officers who will work with me to create all of the tools and processes that will make teaching with EVE University an easy and hopefully enjoyable experience.  We are testing many of these features currently and they should be announced and available very soon(™). Many of those who were previously on the Teaching staff have chosen not to become officers but remain engaged to assist us with refreshing class content and continuing to provide classes and practicals under the new model.  I can’t quite state this as fact but I am also working on a method to reward all of our go forward teachers with ribbons and medals for reaching specific milestones whether they be a Unista or not.  More to come on that one, but if anyone reading this is interested in sharing their knowledge and skills with other players of EVE Online I ask that you reach out to me directly via in-game email.  I’d love to have you working with us for a single class, a series, an event, fleet practical, story telling, or any other worthwhile subject others might benefit from!  I’ll promise a red tape free experience.

Hippla Tsero:
Q: What do you require of new teachers and how does one join the teaching department?

YooJin Moon:
Anyone teaching for EVE University must be willing to follow our corporate policies for Communications and Voice Communications but these are pretty straight forward items that simply help us to keep our environment family friendly and open to the widest possible audience.  Aside from that, all you need is passion and a demonstrated working knowledge of the subject you would like to teach and we’ll make it happen together.  We can provide voice comms on our Public Mumble; we can do audio recordings, Twitch streams, provide slide templates, create calendar invites, create public awareness, and assist during the class as needed.  Eventually I will have a process (Google Form) to sign up for teaching classes that I can use to track things and automate our ability to provide feedback and potentially rewards.  I’ll also have a video in short order that covers this process so interested parties can check that out without having to engage anyone before deciding to commit.  There will be some change over the next couple of months here so keep your eyes open and be a little flexible as we transition to this new model.  If ever in doubt, just shoot me an in-game email and we’ll go from there.

Hippla Tsero:
Q: Last but not least, is there any tip you would like to give to new EVE players?

YooJin Moon:
The most important tip is to find a group of people in the game that you like socializing with.  Nothing will enhance your EVE Online experience as much as playing it with friends and being on live comms while doing it.  EVE University is a great way to get to know a lot of people in a short period of time and our policies for fair play and treating everyone with respect makes us approachable for the widest audience.  Even if you don’t find something to stay for, I guarantee you’ll make a connection or be pointed in the right direction to find what you want.

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