К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №1 - 2005
Автор: Бордияну И.
In the recent years
universities in different countries of the world have paid attention to
opportunities offered by computer telecommunication technologies for the
organization of on-line education. Computer telecommunications provide an
effective feedback both in the organization of the teaching material and in
dialogue with the instructor conducting the course. Such training “at a
distance” has received in the last few years the name of "on-line
education" as opposed to the correspondence courses familiar to all.
On-line education is a quickly developing
method of education, which has emerged in the last third of the 20th century. This came as a result of comprehension that the progress of mankind
has finally overcome such barriers between the student and the teacher as
distance, employment, age, etc. You are engaged at home or at work at any time
convenient for you. You can study at leisure, in any place and at a suitable
Distance education is the special
educational technology as a result of influence and interaction of five
- Shifts in hierarchy of
vital values - good education is appreciated more and more;
- Increase of need of a
modern labor market in highly professional and competent experts;
- The dynamism of a
modern life forcing professionals actively to move both in space, and on a
- Globalization and
internationalization of a modern labor market, technologies and services;
- The advances in science
and technology that allowed introducing new means of communication and
information processing in education.
The modern life today is such that
traditional forms of training frequently cannot satisfy the needs of particular
categories of people who desire to be the learner in a particular manner.
- Youth, if necessary
overlapping of study with work, geographical remoteness from the centers of
training, and other reasons;
- Persons of all ages
living in the remote regions of the country;
- Experts, wishing to
study in any other direction;
- Students, aspiring to
receive additional training not necessarily related to their major;
- Impaired individuals;
- Heads of regional
authorities and administration
- Teachers of various
educational establishments, and etc.
But nobody should be deprived of
opportunities to study due to geographical or time insolubility, impossibility
to visit educational establishments by virtue of physical defects or employment
industrial and private affairs.
On-line education is the way to break out
of this vicious circle. Being the consequence of objective process of
information systems development and incorporating the best features of other
forms, on-line education entered the 21st century as the most
perspective and effective form of education.
However, first of all it is
important to define on what conceptual pedagogical positions it is expedient to
build a modern on-line course. Shortly they can be reduced to the following:
1. In the
center of process of training there is an independent learner’s cognitive
activity (the focus being on learning instead of teaching). The studies,
independent acquisition and application of knowledge have become the need of
the modern person throughout his or her entire conscious life in conditions
postindustrial, information-based societies.
2. Thus, on
the one hand, a more flexible education system is required, allowing acquiring
knowledge there and then, where and when it is convenient for the learner. On the other hand, it is important, that the learner not only acquires a certain amount of
knowledge but, more importantly, that he becomes an independent learner, able
to process the information and to master ways of cognitive activity which he or
she could apply further if necessary to raise their qualifications, to change a
acquisition of knowledge should not be of a passive nature; on the contrary,
the learner from the beginning should be involved in the active cognitive
activity which is not limited by mastering the knowledge, but by all means
providing their application to find solutions for various problems. During such
training students should first of all learn to get and apply knowledge to
search and find the means of training necessary for them and sources of the information
to be able to work with this information.
organization of independent (individual or group) learning activity in a
network assumes in not smaller degree than in resident instruction, the use of
the latest pedagogical technologies stimulating disclosing of internal reserves
of each student and simultaneously promoting formation of social qualities of
the person (skill to work in a group, carrying out various social roles,
working together on group projects, solving by joint effort difficult cognitive
problems). First of all, the issue is to widely apply what is known as project
work, cooperative learning, research and problem-solving methods.
education, individualized in its very essence, should not at the same time
exclude opportunities of on-going communication with the instructor as well as
with other partners, cooperation in the course of various sorts of cognitive
and creative activity. The issues of socialization are rather vital for on-line
monitoring system behind mastering of knowledge and ways of cognitive activity,
ability, skill to apply the received knowledge in various problem situations
should be systematic; it must be based on an operative feedback (incorpocoursed
both in the text of a material, and in an opportunity of an operative reference
to the teacher or the adviser of an on-line course), and the deferred control
(for example, at testing).
In the literature on on-line
education a number of the general characteristics applicable to any kind of
on-line training are determined which are crucial for the course’s
courses assume a more careful and detailed planning activity of the learner,
its organization, precise statement of goals and objectives of the training,
and the provision of necessary instructional materials;
is the key concept of educational programs of on-line training. On-line courses
should provide the greatest possible interactivity between the learner and the
teacher, an interaction between the learner and a teaching material, and to
give an opportunity for group training;
- it is
extremely important to provide a highly effective feedback so that the learner
could be assured in the correctness of his or her progress on the way from
ignorance to knowledge. Such feedback should be in the forms of diagnostic,
placement, achievement and exit assessment.
is also a major element of any course of on-line education. For this purpose it
is important to use various approaches and means;
structure of an on-line course should be modular so that the learner may have
an opportunity to track his or her progress from one module to another.
Volumetric modules or courses significantly reduce the learner’s motivation. If
we are concerned with higher education, such training can be offered:
a) to the students wishing
independently to study any course which in their higher educational institution
is not studied and to pass examination for this course, having received the
b) to the students, who wish to
deepen their knowledge in any subject or who are not satisfied with the level
and organization of teaching at the university;
c) to the students, wishing to
liquidate blanks in the knowledge because of the significant number of missed
lectures due to illness or other reasons;
d) to the students, wishing to
study any specific course of the foreign program.
Any model of on-line education
- a flexible
combination of independent cognitive activity of students and various sources
of information including the teaching materials specially developed for the
- an on-going
interaction with the teacher conducting the course and advisers or
learning with participants of the course, using a variety of problem-solving,
research, and critical thinking methods while working on the modules of a
projects of participants of a course with foreign partners (the international
projects), organizing discussions, presentations of groups and individual
presentations of intermediate and final results during electronic
teleconferences, exchanging opinions, the information with participants of a
course through the Internet.
The assessment for on-line
training should be timely and built into the development of corresponding
teaching materials. There should be an exit or final assessment on the part of
the conducting teacher and advisers - coordinators in the form of tests,
research papers, presentations and other creative works.
The problem of organizing
on-line education is multifaceted and extremely difficult. Certainly, the list
of issues mentioned above is by no means exhaustive. There are many other
questions of both technical and pedagogical and economic nature, which in each
particular case will be solved according to particular conditions of
technological maintenance of students, according to specific characteristics of
a concrete course and the purpose of training.
In this connection it would be
desirable to consider, how on-line education at the Kazak-American Free
University is carried out. Along with standard methods of training at KAFU the new approach of on-line
education was introduced in 2003. One may wonder why there should be on-line
education when there are books available for self-study. It is true. But it is
far from being true that all students are capable of working with the book.
Studying of any subject is connected to going beyond its borders, or expanding
those borders. Frequently, while studying independently, a student may have
questions to which there are no answers to be found in the book. Therefore,
on-line education is unique. The student learns only that what he or she does
not know yet and only what he or she is motivated to study. The learner may
choose one or several courses, which correspond to the curriculum he or she is
following at present, but in each course the learner is worked on an individual
basis and finds answers to all or almost all the questions.
The purpose of on-line education is to give
students a necessary level of theoretical and practical knowledge.
Advantages of on-line education at KAFU are
- the cost of on-line
education is affordable to any student;
- the on-line education
is accessible. At KAFU there is a resource center, where there are enough
computers and access to the Internet;
- the on-line education
is perspective – distance education technologies grow from year to year;
- the student receives a
maximum of convenience and saves time and money.
Disadvantages of on-line education at KAFU:
the absence of direct visual contact with
the teacher. However, it does not greatly affect the quality of training.
Students and teachers could find other ways compensating this lack. Training
materials and a technique of teaching are adapted to conditions when the information
is perceived extremely visually, using advantages of interactive means. All
students of on-line education have identical opportunities for active
participation in seminars. In result, the opinion of each student is taken into
account. A distinctive feature of on-line education at KAFU is the agreement of
cooperation signed between KAFU and three American universities: Seattle Pacific University in the
state of Washington, Indiana Wesleyan University in the state of Indiana, and Letourneau University in the
state of Texas. For a very small fee, KAFU students can
sign up for on-line courses offered by these universities. In the academic year
of 2003-2004 our undergraduate and graduate students participated in the
following on-line courses: Organizational Behavior, International Marketing, and
Human Resources Management. Starting from March 1, 2005 KAFU MBA students can be enrolled in a new course on
What is necessary for participation in distance
- an active e-mail
account through which tasks will be communicated and interaction will occur
with all participants;
- good possession of the
English language, as that is the language of instruction and of all teaching
How long does an on-line course last?
Terms of training are various
and depend on the complexity of a course. Courses are designed for intensive
independent work and correspondence with the teacher takes place within 4-12
What does on-line education
The student receives an
opportunity of distance dialogue with highly skilled teachers. For a successful
completion of a course the student receives the certificate of achievement,
which can be very valuable in the future as the student seeks job or promotion
What does the course of on-line education
consist of and how is it realized?
An on-line course consists of the following
- The name of a course –
the name of a course, time of training.
- The instructor of a
course – a surname and a name of the teacher of a course.
- The electronic address
of the instructor.
- The information of a
course – the purposes and problems of a course, the description of a course,
the order of training, assessment criteria, the textbooks, requirements for the
course and for the equipment, the recommendation on training and a course, the
cost of training.
- Materials of a course –
- The schedule – the
schedule of performance of tasks, carrying out of discussions in an electronic
- Forum – an electronic
forum where questions and tasks at the course according to the schedule are
- Students - the list of
students of the course, including a surname and a name, activity, the
- The help – the
information on the system. The instruction for users of a distance course
includes the following questions: how correctly to use a course, how to carry
out tasks, how to participate in an electronic forum, how to carry out and send
tasks, the description of the menu of a course.
The implementation of on-line education at
KAFU occurs as follows. In the beginning of the program the administrator of
on-line education sends the list of offered disciplines. Then the instructor
carries out interrogation among students and chooses the most necessary
subjects for students. After that the instructor sends the name of the chosen
subjects and the list of students with their electronic addresses in the
registration form. The program administrator registers participants of courses
on the basis of the applications sent by e-mail and sends confirmation to participants
and the instructor in registration. Then the program administrator sends out
instructive and other materials to the instructor and students. Students
receive contracts on training, sign and pay for the training.
The following step is the actual process of
on-line education. The student enters the username and password. Then he or she
gets to the blackboard. This is the first area the learner will always come to
after logging in. Announcements and links to a variety of tools appear here.
After that the student carefully studies the information on the given service
and starts to work. Usually, in the beginning of week the teacher sends
individual tasks and offers questions on the given subjects.
During all week the student independently
carries out tasks, and also takes part in discussion of various questions. Also
by means of a computer the student can ask all questions interesting to him or
When the student finishes the home
assignments, he or she sends them to the teacher. The teacher evaluates the
work and returns them back to the student with comments. During all on-line
education the student carries out control tasks and, at the end of training,
passes examination or carries out a project.
What does the student receive after the
ending of on-line education?
- Knowledge – the best
teachers of the western universities will help with it.
- Skills and experience
of independent work, practical lessons and
examinations under the direction of experienced teachers; the final project -
all this will help the student feel confident and competent in a new field of
- The certificate.
In summary, it is worth mentioning that on-line training is a new, modern, accessible and
effective way to receive knowledge. If somebody does not like or cannot afford
more traditional forms of training, but lacks discipline or time for
self-study, then on-line education is the solution to the problem!
1. Теория и практика дистанционного
обучения: Учеб. Пособие для студ. высш. пед. учеб. заведений/Е.С. Полат, М.Ю. Бухаркина,
М.В. Моисеева; Под. ред. Е.С. Полат.- М.: Издательский центр «Академия», 2004.-
К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №1 - 2005