On the basis of the Resource Center for Modern Methods of Teaching a Foreign Language, an express discussion The World Universities’ Response to COVID-19 was held, organized by the head. Department of Foreign Languages of Humanities, Doctor of Philosophy I.E. Abramova and Art. teacher A.V. Ananyina.
During the event, 2nd year students of the Institute of History, Political and Social Sciences of the field of study “International Relations” Maria Amozova, Anna Dmitrieva, Ivan Dudko, Valeria Zavyalova, Valeria Ivanova, Evgeny Konov, Ekaterina Nikulina, Maria Prokhorova, Ksenia Savina, Alena Smolyar, Dmitry Tarasov and Anastasia Khodchenkova studied the experience of foreign universities in organizing distance learning in foreign languages in a pandemic and made an attempt to “try it on themselves” in order to assess how useful such an experience could be for PetrSU.
A week earlier, teachers of the Department of Foreign Languages of Humanities took part in an international webinar and considered it important to familiarize students with the pedagogical experience of the world’s leading universities.
The students were tasked with choosing one of the cases described in the collective monograph The world universities’ response to COVID-19: remote online language teaching , analyzing the goals and objectives of a particular university, studying the composition of the participants in the pedagogical experiment, the methods and digital tools used, as well as critically describe the results and difficulties in the process of digitalization of education. The organizers explain the success of the express discussion by the fact that the topic of studying under lockdown conditions is very relevant for PetrSU students, and such a discussion will help them feel that they belong to the global educational community.
The sophomores very accurately identified the key problems and advantages of online learning and were able to fairly objectively assess the effectiveness of the methods proposed in the monograph.
With the outbreak of the pandemic, the University of Cambridge, one of the oldest universities in the UK, set itself the goal of organizing effective remote work with a minimum amount of costs. In my opinion, teaching foreign languages online can be effective, provided that all participants in the process feel confident, but this is not the case during a pandemic. At the University of Cambridge, all students were familiar with the curriculum, knew their teachers and classmates. This is what helped to maintain trust, cooperation and an overall positive attitude. Although time consuming, online classes have led to the creation of inclusive and pedagogically successful learning programs.
Students and teachers of the University of São Paulo in Brazil had to adapt to the distance learning format in a very short time. The proposed method of blended (face-to-face and distance) learning has shown its effectiveness, and the participants in the experiment hope to use it after the pandemic. From my point of view, the teaching method described in the monograph is quite good, since there are tasks that can be effectively performed remotely, and there are those that involve live communication, and they remain in face-to-face format.
In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, the University of Paris faced a rather unexpected situation: masters in foreign language classes actively contacted teachers in order to organize comfortable online learning, while bachelors refused to turn on their webcams under the pretext that this was an interference with their privacy … This has resulted in a noticeable digital literacy gap between undergraduates and undergraduates. An important conclusion can be drawn that distance learning affects not only the work with educational content, but also the entire context of relations between the participants in the educational process.
For the convenience and peace of mind of teachers, an online community was created where they could share the problems they faced during these difficult times. In addition, the university offered a training program for teachers to master the methods of working in the new environment. The most rewarding lesson that Durham teachers have learned from this situation is the need to interact with colleagues.
Shanghai University has focused on the use of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and Short Term Closed Online Courses (SPOCs) so that students can autonomously acquire knowledge and then put it into practice using the Zoom platform. In my opinion, this is a very attractive learning model. First, it is easier for the teacher to work with students who have already at least superficially familiarized themselves with the topic before the lesson. Secondly, I think that instructional videos and presentations are a more effective way of presenting information than regular lectures.
Universities have focused on the technical component. Having studied the German experience of online education, I realized that Russian education during the pandemic was effective. At the same time, failures made it clear how to act next time. Unfortunately, the world has not yet fully emerged from the crisis caused by the epidemic, so students and teachers need to get the most out of this stage, as well as quickly adapt to a new life.