Education

The Russian move to online education during the pandemic

Readers mail…
Merve Keser….
Akdeniz Karpaz University ….

I am writing to share the article written by one of the Akdeniz Karpaz University’s academicians, Prof. Dimitri Petrovski. 

Online education in the Russian Federation in the context of the pandemic and forecasts of the use of online education in the future

Russians Experts on educational policy believe that after the end of the pandemic, educational institutions will not want to completely return to the usual format of education. Russia is waiting for the heyday of online education. However, many problems are also expected.

On March 25, Minister of Science and Higher Education Valery Falkov told a press conference at the Government House of the Russian Federation that the Ministry is considering the possibility of transferring part of the final certification in universities to online for the prevention of COVID-19. He also stressed that all universities subordinated to the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation have switched to online education. In total, 80% of universities in Russia have made this decision.

On March 16, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education issued a recommendation to universities to transfer students to online education due to the threat of coronavirus infection, and offered to use e-learning and distance education technologies. In December last year, the state Duma of the Russian Federation proposed to consider the possibility of introducing the concept of “Internet education” into Federal legislation, making it a licensed type of activity.

According to Valery Falkov, 80% of higher education institutions operate normally, 27% experience periodic failures. At 10% of higher education institutions, their infrastructure does not provide connectivity for all students, and 4% can’t do it in principle. There is a lack of readiness of their infrastructure and channel capacity for a significantly increased load. Together with telecommunications companies, “channel expansion models are being worked out”.

How will the online education affect the University system in the future?  

No less serious is the problem of behaviour of teachers and managers of educational programs in the transition to distance learning. By the way, the topic of online teaching readiness is critical not only in the Russian Federation. For example, according to the research company Bay View Analytics, there are 1.5 million teachers in the United States and 70% of them have never conducted classes in the virtual space.

About how a teacher can quickly switch to the online format, is reported in the memos of the national research University “Higher school of Economics”. The methodological materials contain, in particular, recommendations on the choice of a platform for interaction with students, on the use of control elements, on the organization of the procedure for creating lectures (online or recorded), and on the possibilities of posting lectures on YouTube. It is recommended to create additional educational materials, because online disciplines are not just video lectures, but also an assessment system, methodological support, a set of memos, instructions that accompany the remote activity of a student who should not feel abandoned. Teachers can quickly use the power of social networks where 90% of the country’s students are registered: place files there, make ads, arrange broadcasts. But it is not just the teachers themselves who are responsible for translating educational programs online. The decision to transfer certain courses to distance learning should be made not so much by the teachers themselves, as it is done locally today, but by those who manage the educational process.

Will we be able to go back to the old system after the outbreak has subsided? 

In General, judging by all the work that has begun, online education has every chance to make a big leap. How will this affect the University system in the future? What will happen after the epidemic subsides? Clearly, many universities will not fully return to offline education. Every year, universities will reduce the offline part of the learning process. It is now that universities have a great testing ground for the use of new technologies in education.

However, online education will never replace traditional education. Online education, having surged ahead, will create competition with traditional education, and no one is ready for this yet. Including morally.

Source: Akdeniz Karpaz University

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Who is Prof. Dr. Dmitrii Piotrovskii?

Professor PIOTROVSKII is a Professor at Akdeniz Karpaz University (AKUN).  He has an MA degree in the field of automation of industrial processes from Kuban State Technological University (Russian Federation). He completed his PhD degree at Kuban State Technological University (Russian Federation). He lectures on subjects of aviation at the University. He works on engineering problems in modern society.