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Distance learning of students in the modern world

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Abstract

The article examines the problem of organizing distance learning in the conditions of uncertainty and the forced transition of teachers and students to online interaction. The situation that has arisen is viewed as a natural experiment the education system finds itself in requiring an understanding of its results at a certain stage. A theoretical analysis of the most popular distance learning organization technology implemented in Russian universities under current conditions (the coronavirus pandemic) is conducted and a critical evaluation of the obtained initial results of the readiness of higher education system to transition into the new digital education reality is provided. The discovered problems of distance learning include: the insufficient level of teachers’ digital tolerance and the lack of necessary competencies in them; the psycho-emotional instability of the online interaction participants; low learning motivation and the level of students’ practical skills; the lack of a universal digital platform for the organization of activity of all participants of the learning process. The perspectives for solving the aforementioned problems and priority directions in the improvement of this form of education are established, specifically: the technological direction (the formation of teachers’ ability to create online courses and effectively combine the functions of different digital platforms); the methodical direction (the formation of a set of professional and personal qualities necessary to effectively address professional tasks and expansion of the set of methods and means of organizing students’ activity considering the conditions of online interaction); the psychological dimension (teachers’ awareness of the need for self-improvement in the sphere of digital technologies and the formation of interest in learning and satisfaction with the process and results of distance learning in students). The identified areas are considered as risks the consideration of which in educational activities will make the distance learning process flexible and manageable.
Distance learning of students in the modern
world
Nataliya Murtazina1*, Svetlana Shukshina1, Assel Akpayeva2, and Nina Khodakova1
1Moscow City University, Department of Teaching Methods, Moscow, Russia
2Abai Kazakh National Pedagogical University, Department of Pedagogy and Methodology of
Primary Education, Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan
Abstract. The article examines the problem of organizing distance
learning in the conditions of uncertainty and the forced transition of
teachers and students to online interaction. The situation that has arisen is
viewed as a natural experiment the education system finds itself in
requiring an understanding of its results at a certain stage. A theoretical
analysis of the most popular distance learning organization technology
implemented in Russian universities under current conditions (the
coronavirus pandemic) is conducted and a critical evaluation of the
obtained initial results of the readiness of higher education system to
transition into the new digital education reality is provided. The discovered
problems of distance learning include: the insufficient level of teachers’
digital tolerance and the lack of necessary competencies in them; the
psycho-emotional instability of the online interaction participants; low
learning motivation and the level of students’ practical skills; the lack of a
universal digital platform for the organization of activity of all participants
of the learning process. The perspectives for solving the aforementioned
problems and priority directions in the improvement of this form of
education are established, specifically: the technological direction (the
formation of teachers’ ability to create online courses and effectively
combine the functions of different digital platforms); the methodical
direction (the formation of a set of professional and personal qualities
necessary to effectively address professional tasks and expansion of the set
of methods and means of organizing students’ activity considering the
conditions of online interaction); the psychological dimension (teachers’
awareness of the need for self-improvement in the sphere of digital
technologies and the formation of interest in learning and satisfaction with
the process and results of distance learning in students). The identified
areas are considered as risks the consideration of which in educational
activities will make the distance learning process flexible and manageable.
Keywords: digital didactics, conditions of uncertainty, readiness, distance
learning technologies.
* Corresponding author: murtazinana@mgpu.ru
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons
Attribution License 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
SHS Web of Conferences 98, 05012 (2021) https://doi.org/10.1051/shsconf/20219805012
Education and City 2020
1 Introduction
Preserving its main principles but transforming them following the development of science
and society, traditional didactics is being gradually replaced by digital didactics. This
transition is determined by:
- the development of digital technologies forming the modern educational environment;
- the specifics of the modern generation of students;
- the demands of the post-industrial society for the personal and professional
competencies of its citizens;
- the increased number of risks of unforeseen situations calling for emergency decision-
making.
Digital didactics involves a complete transformation of the elements of the educational
process [1-12], one of the forms of education in it being distance learning realized through
the specific means of internet technologies. This form of learning has become a part of the
educational practice due to the coronavirus pandemic [13-21].
The situation that has arisen can be viewed as a natural experiment the education system
finds itself in and we are attempting to comprehend the accumulated experience of
organizing distance learning of students in this period.
Theoretical analysis of scientific works examining the identified problem and evaluating
the initial results of the total transition to distance learning [16-24] allows determining the
problem field of the study aiming to identify the risks, opportunities, and priority areas for
improving distance learning.
A critical evaluation of the experience of organizing distance learning makes it possible
to structure this process, neutralize the negative aspects, and, as a result, enhance the
quality of education and the level of satisfaction of all educational process subjects with its
results.
The study objectives include:
- evaluating the opportunities of distance learning in replacing traditional learning;
- determining the risks presented by the established practice of distance learning.
2 Methods
Analysis of scientific literature presenting the methodology and technology of organizing
remote work of universities including the conditions of a pandemic; the first results of
studies of the readiness of the education system and its subjects for the transition to distance
learning; analysis and generalization of the experience of distance learning at a university in
the conditions of unforeseen circumstances and the results of surveys of students and
teachers.
3 Results and discussion
Analysis of the problem of distance learning and the specifics of its organization [1, 3-10,
16, 18-21, 25-30] allows us to conclude on the lack of a uniform view of its content and
structure. As a result of the study of the theory and practice of distance learning [10, 11, 15-
21, 25-27, 31] the following directions calling for attention are identified:
1. The formation of higher education teachers’ readiness for distance learning
a. digital tolerance [31] manifests in a teacher’s positive perception of the
specifics of Generation Z; in the acceptance of digital technologies as an inherent reality of
the modern world; in improving one’s digital skills as a need one has come to be aware of.
Reliance on the Digital Blooms [3, 4] allows one to operate digital instruments the choice
2
SHS Web of Conferences 98, 05012 (2021) https://doi.org/10.1051/shsconf/20219805012
Education and City 2020
1 Introduction
Preserving its main principles but transforming them following the development of science
and society, traditional didactics is being gradually replaced by digital didactics. This
transition is determined by:
- the development of digital technologies forming the modern educational environment;
- the specifics of the modern generation of students;
- the demands of the post-industrial society for the personal and professional
competencies of its citizens;
- the increased number of risks of unforeseen situations calling for emergency decision-
making.
Digital didactics involves a complete transformation of the elements of the educational
process [1-12], one of the forms of education in it being distance learning realized through
the specific means of internet technologies. This form of learning has become a part of the
educational practice due to the coronavirus pandemic [13-21].
The situation that has arisen can be viewed as a natural experiment the education system
finds itself in and we are attempting to comprehend the accumulated experience of
organizing distance learning of students in this period.
Theoretical analysis of scientific works examining the identified problem and evaluating
the initial results of the total transition to distance learning [16-24] allows determining the
problem field of the study aiming to identify the risks, opportunities, and priority areas for
improving distance learning.
A critical evaluation of the experience of organizing distance learning makes it possible
to structure this process, neutralize the negative aspects, and, as a result, enhance the
quality of education and the level of satisfaction of all educational process subjects with its
results.
The study objectives include:
- evaluating the opportunities of distance learning in replacing traditional learning;
- determining the risks presented by the established practice of distance learning.
2 Methods
Analysis of scientific literature presenting the methodology and technology of organizing
remote work of universities including the conditions of a pandemic; the first results of
studies of the readiness of the education system and its subjects for the transition to distance
learning; analysis and generalization of the experience of distance learning at a university in
the conditions of unforeseen circumstances and the results of surveys of students and
teachers.
3 Results and discussion
Analysis of the problem of distance learning and the specifics of its organization [1, 3-10,
16, 18-21, 25-30] allows us to conclude on the lack of a uniform view of its content and
structure. As a result of the study of the theory and practice of distance learning [10, 11, 15-
21, 25-27, 31] the following directions calling for attention are identified:
1. The formation of higher education teachers’ readiness for distance learning
a. digital tolerance [31] manifests in a teacher’s positive perception of the
specifics of Generation Z; in the acceptance of digital technologies as an inherent reality of
the modern world; in improving one’s digital skills as a need one has come to be aware of.
Reliance on the Digital Blooms [3, 4] allows one to operate digital instruments the choice
of which directly depends on the complexity of the tasks being solved and the competencies
being formed.
Successful activity in the conditions of the transition to digital didactics requires a
teacher to possess the following personal and professional qualities [10, 11, 19, 27, 29, 31]:
- the ability to be available 24 hours per day,
- concentration on the student’s educational needs, tutoring their individual trajectory of
learning and development,
- acceptance of the need for self-development in digital literacy,
- the ability to integrate pedagogical and digital competencies,
- the ability to promptly solve professional problems at a high level of complexity ,
- ability to critically comprehend information and carry out analysis based on relevant
data [31-32].
b. technological literacy: ability to create online courses; work using different
educational platforms.
A study among university professors with a scientific degree showed a low level of
proficiency in distance technologies (3.2 points out of 5). Every fourth respondent had
never used remote video communication services in the past three years [23].
The experience in using educational content to organize online classes with students
was lacking in 65% of teachers. By the end of the first month of the forced transition to
distance learning, 95% of teachers were already quite successful in using Microsoft Teams
and Zoom applications in their professional activity [20].
However, this success is quite conditional since in most cases, teachers’ work was
formalized and depended on their technological literacy. The use of presentations
accompanied by teachers’ commentary became the most common form of teaching.
Teachers did not possess the competencies of creating the pedagogical design of an online
course, its methodological justification, and filling its educational content.
The evaluation of teachers’ activity in the context of the SAMR model [6, 33]
demonstrated that among the identified levels, substitution and accumulation were the
ones used most commonly while the modification and transformation levels were either
not used or used partially.
2. Organization of high-quality interaction of the educational process participants
based on the opportunities of digital platforms
A specific feature of distance work has come to be the use of various platforms [13, 15,
17, 20-22] mastered in different periods.
The experience of working with the Moodle platform allowed teachers to upload the
necessary working materials, organize an interactive area, and check the results of students’
independent work.
Familiarization with the Teams platform took place on a tight schedule and its
functions, such as conducting video conferences, giving lectures and showing presentations
online, organizing group work, using a whiteboard, demonstrating video content, testing,
communicating, etc., were discovered gradually.
The Zoom platform also performed well in the organization of work with students.
However, it was used by teachers to organize short-term meetings with students on their
own initiative.
The opportunity to conduct full-fledged webinars, join in collaborative work, and
discuss problems of a large number of listeners was provided by the Webinar.ru platform.
Combining the opportunities of different platforms in distance work showed itself the
most effective. Such integration was a necessity due to the different levels of user readiness
to work with all available functions and tools. It is important that in such situations, the
processes of the human psyche activate, and the rate of learning and its qualitative content
increase.
3
SHS Web of Conferences 98, 05012 (2021) https://doi.org/10.1051/shsconf/20219805012
Education and City 2020
The experience of using various platforms led us to conclude on the need to develop a
universal platform that would meet the needs and demands of all participants of the
educational process (the technological aspect).
Moreover, in organizing the educational activity, it is crucial to consider the key ideas
of modern pedagogical approaches and practices (Connectivism, Design Thinking, and
Peeragogy) [7-9, 12, 28-30, 34] focused on effective mutual learning through digital
mediums and online learning environments and developing collaboration and creativity
where a person’s personality is at the center of every process (the methodological aspect).
3. The formation of emotional stability in students and teachers under the conditions
of distance learning
The proportion of students’ independent work has increased, which has made the lives
of both students and teachers more difficult. The auditory and visual analyzers are
stimulated for at least 6 hours a day which leads to chronic fatigue and feelings of
insecurity and emotional instability in the educational process participants [35, 36].
As a result of distance learning, 87% of teachers expressed an opinion that it is better to
conduct lessons in person and 67% of teachers perceived the possible need to work
remotely in the 2020-2021 academic year negatively [23].
Most students demonstrate medium to low subjective well-being and medium to low
integral characteristics of satisfaction with distance work [35]. This finding is determined
by the socio-psychological factors characterizing subjective well-being: interest in distance
learning, satisfaction with the conditions of distance work, relationships with classmates,
interaction with teachers, valuing high marks over the performed work, satisfaction with
working conditions, and the level of teachers’ professional responsibility [35, 37].
On the one hand, the opportunities of distance learning allow for quick feedback. On the
other hand, students are reluctant to be active; it is impossible to understand how the
audience perceives the teacher and the presented educational information and which
participants are involved in the activity and which ones joined the group formally. This
leads to difficulties in organizing discussions.
The monotonous background, the rather meager methods of distance learning, and its
lack of emotionality cause rejection among extroverts, people with intuitive thinking,
creative and active individuals. The subject-activity component disappears from the
learning process. The “club” nature of training is being lost [21].
According to the study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania (2013), only 2 to
14% (depending on the type and complexity of the programs) of all users registered on
Coursera completed more than half of the course or the entire course [2]. This fact indicates
how difficult it is for students to maintain high educational motivation themselves when left
without external stimulation [37].
Teachers note that highly motivated students showed the greatest degree of activity in
the online learning environment. An undoubted advantage was the increase in the
attendance of online classes associated with the opportunity to join the educational process
in a distance format from any device that has access to the Internet from anywhere.
4 Conclusion
Traditional education no longer fully meets the realities and challenges of the modern
world. Digital technologies are viewed as resources for improving the quality of education.
Distance learning forms a range of essential competencies in all its participants: the analysis
of opportunities and the selection of the most suitable forms and methods of interaction;
solving problematic tasks; emotional stability as a result of working with constantly
changing information in a situation of uncertainty.
4
SHS Web of Conferences 98, 05012 (2021) https://doi.org/10.1051/shsconf/20219805012
Education and City 2020
The experience of using various platforms led us to conclude on the need to develop a
universal platform that would meet the needs and demands of all participants of the
educational process (the technological aspect).
Moreover, in organizing the educational activity, it is crucial to consider the key ideas
of modern pedagogical approaches and practices (Connectivism, Design Thinking, and
Peeragogy) [7-9, 12, 28-30, 34] focused on effective mutual learning through digital
mediums and online learning environments and developing collaboration and creativity
where a person’s personality is at the center of every process (the methodological aspect).
3. The formation of emotional stability in students and teachers under the conditions
of distance learning
The proportion of students’ independent work has increased, which has made the lives
of both students and teachers more difficult. The auditory and visual analyzers are
stimulated for at least 6 hours a day which leads to chronic fatigue and feelings of
insecurity and emotional instability in the educational process participants [35, 36].
As a result of distance learning, 87% of teachers expressed an opinion that it is better to
conduct lessons in person and 67% of teachers perceived the possible need to work
remotely in the 2020-2021 academic year negatively [23].
Most students demonstrate medium to low subjective well-being and medium to low
integral characteristics of satisfaction with distance work [35]. This finding is determined
by the socio-psychological factors characterizing subjective well-being: interest in distance
learning, satisfaction with the conditions of distance work, relationships with classmates,
interaction with teachers, valuing high marks over the performed work, satisfaction with
working conditions, and the level of teachers’ professional responsibility [35, 37].
On the one hand, the opportunities of distance learning allow for quick feedback. On the
other hand, students are reluctant to be active; it is impossible to understand how the
audience perceives the teacher and the presented educational information and which
participants are involved in the activity and which ones joined the group formally. This
leads to difficulties in organizing discussions.
The monotonous background, the rather meager methods of distance learning, and its
lack of emotionality cause rejection among extroverts, people with intuitive thinking,
creative and active individuals. The subject-activity component disappears from the
learning process. The “club” nature of training is being lost [21].
According to the study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania (2013), only 2 to
14% (depending on the type and complexity of the programs) of all users registered on
Coursera completed more than half of the course or the entire course [2]. This fact indicates
how difficult it is for students to maintain high educational motivation themselves when left
without external stimulation [37].
Teachers note that highly motivated students showed the greatest degree of activity in
the online learning environment. An undoubted advantage was the increase in the
attendance of online classes associated with the opportunity to join the educational process
in a distance format from any device that has access to the Internet from anywhere.
4 Conclusion
Traditional education no longer fully meets the realities and challenges of the modern
world. Digital technologies are viewed as resources for improving the quality of education.
Distance learning forms a range of essential competencies in all its participants: the analysis
of opportunities and the selection of the most suitable forms and methods of interaction;
solving problematic tasks; emotional stability as a result of working with constantly
changing information in a situation of uncertainty.
The main risks of the established practice of distance learning in universities include:
digital tolerance and technological and methodological literacy of teachers; the degree of
acceptance of the learning conditions and satisfaction with the quality of the educational
process in the distance form; the psycho-emotional stability of online interaction
participants; maintaining high cognitive motivation; the formation of practical skills in
students.
What we view as a prospect for further research is working with the identified risks and
studying the problem of the readiness (psychological, methodological, and technological)
of all educational project subjects to transition to the format of distance learning; the
development of educational content for full-fledged online interaction with students; the
improvement of digital platforms in terms of increasing their universality for distance
learning participants.
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Education and City 2020
12. C. Wrigley, K. Straker, Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 54(4),
374385 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1080/14703297.2015.1108214
13. OECD, Learning remotely when schools close: How well are students and schools
prepared? Insights from PISA (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development, Paris, 2020). Accessed on: December 16, 2020. [Online]. Available:
https://www.oecd.org/coronavirus/policy-responses/learning-remotely-when-schools-
close-how-well-are-students-and-schools-prepared-insights-from-pisa-3bfda1f7/
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[Online]. Available: https://en.unesco.org/COVID19/educationresponse
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the extreme conditions] (2020). Accessed on: December 16, 2020. [Online]. Available:
https://academia.interfax.ru/ru/analytics/research/4491
16. B. Grant, W.H. Dutton, J. Lefkowitz, SSRN Electronic Journal (2020). Accessed on:
December 16, 2020. [Online]. Available: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3522083
17. V.I. Blinov, I.S. Sergeev, E.I. Esenina, Professionalnoe obrazovanie i rynok truda, 2,
633 (2020)
18. A.G. Kislov, Professionalnoe obrazovanie i rynok truda, 2, 4243 (2020)
19. S. Oranburg, Distance Education in the Time of Coronavirus: Quick and Easy
Strategies for Professors. Duquesne University School of Law, Research Paper No.
2020-02 (2020). http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3553911
20. G.A. Shabanov, Vysshee obrazovanie segodnia, 7, 1117 (2020)
21. L.B. Shneider, Vysshee obrazovanie segodnia, 7, 1823 (2020)
22. J. Vandivier, New Digital Education as the Market Solution to the Student Debt Crisis
(2020). http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3530647
23. S. Kravcov, The first results of the pandemic: challenges and new opportunities for the
global education system, in International online conference on education in the context
of the coronavirus pandemic, Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation, 8 July
2020, Moscow, Russia (2020)
24. A.B. Rakhmonov, Voprosy pedagogiki, 8(2), 79 (2020)
25. A.V. Romanova, M.V. Polevaia, R.S. Khammatova, I.E. Sokolovskaia, E.V.
Platonova, V.V. Kolosova, Opcion, 36(S27), 10641080 (2020)
26. L.V. Sidorova, I.V. Krupskaia, Professionalnoe obrazovanie i rynok truda, 2, 8788
(2020)
27. I.E. Sokolovskaya, Chelovecheskii capital, S12-2 (132), 540544 (2019)
28. Z. Yalmeh, H. Zainalipour, E. Zarei, Iranian Evolutionary and Educational Psychology
Journal, 2, 112 (2020). https://doi.org/10.29252/ieepj.2.1.1
29. M. Amadó, Design thinking, in B-SMART: Connecting University & Business, 1534
(OmniaScience, Barselona, 2020). https://doi.org/10.3926/oms.402-2
30. C.L. Lim, H. Ab Jalil, A.M. Ma'rof, W.Z. Saad, Assisting Peer Learning Performance
Using Online Collaborative Tools in Virtual Learning Environments, in Preparing 21st
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SHS Web of Conferences 98, 05012 (2021) https://doi.org/10.1051/shsconf/20219805012
Education and City 2020
Article
Full-text available
The eruption of the COVID-19 pandemic has become a major challenge for educators around the world, forcing educational organizations to look for alternative teaching methods, namely distance learning. It forced the managers of educational organizations to carry out management activities in the conditions of remote work. The article is devoted to the analysis of changes in the content of educational managers’ administrative activities under conditions of transition from traditional (full-time) learning to distance one. The article analyzes the challenges of organizing the educational process in a new context. Authors generalize advantages and disadvantages of blended learning based on the results of a sociological survey of heads of educational institutions in Ukraine. The level of readiness of educational managers to carry out educational activities in a distance format and factors of that are determined. It is emphasized that in managers' activity of distance learning, managers interact with various participants of the educational process. This interaction acquires new forms and new purposes in terms of distance education. It can be productive if the support of the educational environment and the managers' readiness to work in the new realities are determined as a systematic process.
Conference Paper
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Science education has an important role in assisting environmental awareness for students. However, limited class time and massive class size problems have restricted student participation and attempted thinking. Consequently, the class debate findings tend to end up being superficial, having little effect on the environenmental awareness of the students. This study seeks to explore the environmental awareness of students through the Instagram-mediated SAMR model in studying environmental pollution. Students engaged in this study were advised to follow an Instagram account by learning the subject, interacting with each other and the teacher, and submitting their vlog projects. An online questionnaire adapted from Hiramatsu consisting 5 factors of environmental awareness was used to collect information on the environmental awareness of the students. The finding on student environmental awareness demonstrates that students care about environmental problems. It is suggested that learning environmental pollution topic using Instagram-mediated SAMR model can facilitate student environmental awareness.
Article
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As you know, digitalization of many aspects of modern society became relevant in the XX1 century for most developed countries. This process is also typical for the Russian Federation, and it has received a special acceleration during the current period of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Rapid development of digitalization is now taking place in the field of education, where distance learning is becoming one of the Central forms. This impetuosity has created a number of problems, both organizational and psychological, since the real reality has not yet been fully prepared for radical changes in both the teaching methodology and the methods of obtaining knowledge by the student audience. Accordingly, this transformation of such an important social sphere as education requires the efforts of representatives of many scientific disciplines, including philosophers, sociologists, cultural scientists, and psychologists. The latter, in addition to theoretical justifications, conduct a number of empirical studies on the psychological adaptability of young people studying to new conditions. One of them is the proposed study, which is based on the assumption that the level of satisfaction with work in the distance format of students during the period of self-isolation depends a lot on the degree of their subjective well-being. The socio-psychological factors that characterize the subjective well-being of students in this situation include: skills for distance learning, satisfaction with the results of this form of education, maintaining relationship with classmates, and the effectiveness of remote interaction with teachers. The empirical part of the study involved 100 students of student age. It has been revealed that the educational environment with a low level of quality (lack of electronic equipment on self-isolation, necessary for providing distance learning) and uncoordinated contacts with teachers and classmates, can negatively affect some components of satisfaction with distance education of students.
Presentation
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This is an adapted depiction of the New Blooms Taxonomy (Anderson, Krathwohl & Blooms, 2001). This presentation is created by authors to simplify comprehension and usability to those involved in teaching and learning. The model has further been adapted to seamlessly integrate with pedagogies such as the NFT ( 10.31730/osf.io/xnbe2 ).
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Continuously innovating their portfolio is a key challenge for practically all companies. Regardless of size, companies today rely on the ability to innovate to maintain their competitiveness. Their performance depends on efficiency when mobilizing internal knowledge and fostering collective intelligence. In that sense, design thinking, with its mix of analytics and intuition, provides valuable support to product management and is a necessary step to improve user experience.
Chapter
Connectivism is a new paradigm of learning adapted to the networked world we live in. In this chapter we explore this paradigm as developed by Siemens and Downes and critically discuss its essence of knowledge and learning.