HSE Online Learning Opportunities Presented at Coursera Partners Conference
On March 29-31 of this year, the online learning platform Coursera held its fifth annual Coursera Partners Conference called Innovation for Tomorrow’s Learners at the University of Colorado, and the conference saw the participation of our colleagues from the HSE eLearning Office.
At the conference, HSE eLearning Office Director Evgenia Kulik and Deputy Director Ksenia Kidimova discussed some of the first results that follow the university’s integration of online courses into the learning process. This year some 11,000 students have added more than 350 online courses into their individual academic plans, and this includes only 50 that are taught by HSE instructors. Certain faculties give students the opportunity to take online classes both remotely and in a blended learning environment, whereby online learning is mixed with traditional classroom learning. Evgenia and Ksenia also expanded upon the institutional research HSE plans to conduct on online and blended learning.
In addition, the Director of the HSE Centre for Psychometrics in eLearning, Dmitry Abbakumov, presented on some of the new approaches being taken in evaluating the results of online learning at the university. In particular, Dmitry has developed a service that evaluates the quality of tests completed upon finishing an online course. If, for example, both stronger and weaker students complete the same task with the same level of success, there is then no point in completing the task at all. Dmitry’s service identifies such tasks and advises instructors to make modifications to the task. There are also instances where strong students answer certain questions incorrectly, while weaker students answer correctly; this means that the teaching assistants may have mixed up the key when downloading the task on the platform, and this needs to be corrected.
The service will gain another option soon as well – the analysis of tasks where a student’s own evaluation is taken into account. If a student writes an essay or completes a design project for an online course, three other students are able to evaluate the student using instructions developed by the instructor. Dmitry Abbakumov suggests that the consistency of these students’ opinions then be assessed once they rate their fellow student. If their assessments are very similar, then they have correctly understood the instructions and their evaluations are objective. If there is high variance in their assessments, then either the rubric was not compiled correctly or some of the students were too strict, meaning that the instructor must intervene.
This service is already being used in the development of online courses at HSE, and now it will be available to all of Coursera’s university partners.
‘Contemporary education around the world has been using more and more online technologies. HSE is one of the first Russian universities to work with the international platform Coursera, and we are now one of the top ten universities in the world to use the platform in terms of the scale of our activities. This is an opportunity for universities to present their courses and professors to the global academic market, and contemporary online education technologies are also a powerful stimulus for research in the field of education, as well as for building new corporation models and partnerships, especially between universities and business. The university partner conferences that Coursera carries out are important to HSE not only in respect to familiarising ourselves with the experiences of some of the world’s top universities, but also in regards to positioning the university among foreign partners and presenting our research, developments, and experience in the field of online education,’ comments HSE Vice Rector Sergey Roshchin.
By early spring, HSE will have launched a range of new courses on Coursera in psychology, computer language analysis, economics, media and international relations.
‘Introduction to Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science’ and ‘Advanced Machine Learning’ are English-language specializations, both created with the support of the top Russian IT firm Yandex, while the specialization ‘Introduction to Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science’ was developed with the involvement of the University of California at San Diego.
A new English-taught course offered by the HSE Faculty of Computer Science kicks off on Coursera on July 17, 2017: Mobile Interaction Design: How to Design Usable Mobile Products and Services. Its author is Pavel Manakhov, Associate Professor at the HSE School of Software Engineering and Lead Interaction Designer at UsabilityLab.
The number of people subscribing to HSE’s online courses on Coursera, one of the world’s most popular online learning platforms, has reached 1 million. Users represent nearly the entire globe, with HSE courses being taken in nearly 200 countries.
A team of specialists from the educational platform Coursera visited the Higher School of Economics for the first time ever this April. The group was made up of Coursera’s Regional Manager Inessa Roman-Pogorzhelskaya, Content Partnerships Manager Nathan Hite, and Teaching & Learning Specialist Alexandra Urban, and during their time at the university they met with HSE Vice Rector Sergey Roshchin, Online Learning Director Evgeny Kulik, and staff from the eLearning Office. The two teams discussed Coursera’s development strategy, as well as HSE’s future cooperation with the online platform.
The aim of the course is to obtain the idea of the lexicon as a complex system and to get the methodology of the typological approach to the lexicon cross-linguistically, as well as to learn about the general mechanisms of semantic shift and their typological relevance.
As of today, HSE offers 46 courses on Coursera, an international online education platform, and one third of them are English-taught. This means that HSE is one of the Top 10 universities by the number of online courses offered on that platform.
On June 30, the world's largest online education platform Coursera is switching to a new website offering a reduced list of available courses. Only those courses that are outdated and which the platform’s partner universities have not decided to renew will be eliminated. Any users who have yet to complete these courses are advised to download the remaining lectures and to self-study.