Distance learning in action: Clarifications by the Director of the Department of Education of ETU "LETI"
Sergei Galunin, Director of the Department of Education, tells about the specifics of the transition to a distance learning at ETU "LETI."
From March 16, 2020, ETU "LETI" moved classes to online learning for students of all levels and forms of education. Sergei Galunin, Director of the Department of Education, told about the results of the first week of distance learning and the nearest plans.
– How do students switch to distance learning in practice?
– The Department of Education has prepared recommendations and guidelines on how to organize the distance education. To date, all lecturers must have sent students their first assignments, lecture notes, and other educational materials on their subjects. Students have started to study these materials on their own. If a student has received nothing - and this may be for various reasons - then he should contact the deputy deans for academic work and resolve the problem. It may be that the lecturer does not have the student's current e-mail address, or it may be that the student has a problem logging into a student account - in any case, the problem should be solved with the help of the Deputy Dean.
I would like to take this opportunity to ask all students to provide their current e-mail addresses to deaneries through the group leader.
– How are online resources used in the new environment?
– Now, there is a list of online courses recommended by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education on the national platform of open education and other educational platforms. Faculty members will select these courses for their discipline and recommend to students which course they should take. These courses are not likely to cover the courses studied at ETU "LETI" entirely. Firstly, students studied part of the material since the beginning of the semester, and lecturers have part of their own material. In any case, it may be either partial or full use of online courses, but not necessarily in all disciplines - it is for a lecturer to decide. On the other hand, students themselves can choose some additional courses, sign up for them, and take them for the in-depth study of the material.
– Can students independently enroll in selected online courses?
– The national open education platform accepts only centralized applications from universities, so students need to apply to the academic department through their lecturer. On other platforms, a student can enroll independently, but if a student has problems with enrollment, we are ready to solve them.
The lecturer should choose required courses because only a lecturer can professionally compare them with a program and content of his discipline and, if a course is suitable, recommend it to students. A lecturer names a course and study groups he wants to invite to take the course, and we send a centralized application from the university. We need current email addresses to make this application. In this case, we do not pay anything, all universities use each other's resources free of charge.
– Will there be any changes in the study schedule for 4th-year students?
– On April 16, the 4th-year undergraduate students end the semester, and the intermediate testing begins. We plan to use remote technologies to test students' knowledge. In particular, it is the Moodle distance-learning platform. The system is now receiving lecturer data, courses, student names, and e-mail addresses. After everything is submitted, students and lecturers will receive passwords for logging in. Lecturers will then be able to use the system for remote testing, surveys, and other monitoring activities. The technology for remote student assessment will be practiced with 4th-year students, and later it will be used to test other students.
Lecturers will also use the Moodle platform for distance learning of students.
At present, the educational departments of the university are working out the organization of practices for students, first of all, pre-graduate practice at the graduation courses, and defending theses in a remote form.