After a week off, HSE students returned to their online classes this week. HSE News spoke with instructors of the Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism about what kinds of new strategies and approaches they are using in their online instruction.
Schoolchildren in many countries, including Russia, are now studying remotely. Russia’s first social impact project in education, in which over 5,000 students and 700 teachers from 27 schools of the Khangalassky District of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) are participating, is also transitioning to an online format. The transition will be overseen by the project creators—Project Office staff members of HSE’s Institute of Education.
Elena Aisakova teaches Russian to students of International Preparatory Programmes. Her five groups have all transitioned to distance learning. HSE News Service has asked Elena and HSE's international students what it’s like to study Russian online as well as what tips they have to help others learn effectively while being on ‘opposite sides’ of the computer screen.
Starting April 7, 2020, as part of the distance education support programme in Russia, Mail.ru Group will provide HSE University free use of Mail.ru Cloud Solutions and other services. These services will ensure the reliable and uninterrupted operation of HSE’s online education platform, which university students and a number of regional universities use.
In the very first days of the transition to distance learning, many HSE departments had to quickly make the necessary arrangements to allow students and faculty to work remotely. The eLearning Office has been at the forefront of these efforts with staff working well into the night to keep the educational process running smoothly and on schedule. eLearning Office Head Engenia Kulik breaks down the main takeaways from these difficult weeks.
Conducting online lectures and research seminars on Zoom, providing assistance and useful instructions to the university community—all this is necessary for a smooth transition to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past two weeks, various HSE departments have done all of this in order to provide their students with online instruction. The IT Office particularly felt the weight of this large task. HSE News spoke with digital service staff about what they have managed to do in such a short time frame.
‘The Level of Collectivism and the Potential for Mutual Assistance in the University Community Are Very High’
HSE University has found it easier than other universities to adapt to the current situation under the pandemic and transition to online education. On March 25, at a press conference at TASS, Russia’s largest news agency, HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov spoke about the transition and shared his predictions about what the near future holds for education development.
On March 23, the working group of the Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education devoted to university education met again to discuss how education should be organized as Russia seeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In particular, the group discussed tactics involving volunteerism on university campuses, examples from universities abroad, and developing student questionnaires in order to pinpoint the issues that Russian universities have encountered in their transition to distance learning.
The HSE Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge (ISSEK) has presented data about the current conditions in which Russia’s schools and universities must now transition to online learning. According to their data, only 11.4% of university instructors with a PhD (or Doctor of Sciences degree) used online tools in their teaching in the last year.
The programme is aimed not only at students, but also city administration employees, IT specialists, and company managers. Course content allows students to learn about the latest successful developments in megacity digitalization in the context of Moscow. There is no other course like it offered in Russia or the world.