A new global conference and awards for the best innovative pedagogical approaches and ideas in higher education ‘Wharton – QS Awards 2017 – Reimagine Education’ was announced by the British company Quacquarelli Symonds which annually compile the QS World University Rankings, and Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania.
The short-listed project is an online course designed by the faculty members of the Department of E-learning Technology and Pedagogics, which is aimed at improving teachers’ competences in the field of blended education. The course is actively used as a basis and a platform to implement additional educational programs in e-learning at TPU.
The Reimagine Education Steering Committee notified:
‘This year's competition has been the most competitive, so too has our judging process been the most extensive so far, and to be shortlisted is a testament to the innovative work that you are doing in education.
Your project will now proceed to the next stage of the judging process, where three projects in each of our 17 Award Categories will be selected either as Bronze, Silver or Gold Winners. You can expect to hear whether your shortlisted project is a finalist by the 27th November.’
According to the project’s authors, training materials of the resource are designed in such a way that teachers might use them both in blended education when online courses complement classroom activities, and in the distant format when students and teachers interact only in the online environment.
The project leader Oksana Sitnikova tells: ‘At present this technology is a necessary tool for modern teachers, reflecting global educational trends and allowing the formation of individual academic trajectories for each student. The provision of online technology is carried out through its practical usage.’
In October 2016, the Government of the Russian Federation approved the passport of a priority project Modern digital educational environment in the Russian Federation, which demonstrated the significance of tasks for the development and a wide introduction of new electronic technology into the institutions of higher education. Educational institutions of all levels were tasked to implement online training in full-time and additional educational programs for up to 200,000 people by 2019 and up to 1 million people by 2025.
‘Undoubtedly, it will be extremely hard to achieve these impressive indicators without having highly qualified specialists both in disciplines and digital technology. TPU faculty members are aware of ongoing changes and very motivated to master new tools of e-learning,’ adds Alexander Fadeev, Director of the E-learning Institute.
The experience of implementing the course as well as other courses developed at the department showed a high level of their relevance: since 2014, totally over 40 programs have been implemented for more than 1,600 teachers and specialists of TPU and other universities. According to the analysis data, about a half of former learners became authors of their own online courses and at least 80% use the knowledge gained at the course when communicating with students in the electronic environment.
Developers of the project are Evgeniya Isaeva, Olga Lobanenko, Svetlana Reshetnikova, Anna Serebrennikova and Olga Sitnikova.