Krasnodar, 30 October. 16+ Higher educational establishments are presently rebuilding their educational process affected by the unstable epidemiological situation. This is the first experience of the kind for all Kuban universities.
The constraints and high-alert mode lasted until the very end of the previous academic year. Everything had to be done online: passing exams and internships, and defending yearly and diploma theses. Graduate qualification works were defended remotely – both graduates and members of the State Examination Board used special software to communicate.
Most likely, it was the graduates of the Krasnodar State Institute of Culture who were facing biggest challenges, because one could hardly transmit the energy of creative performance through a computer display. By far not all details could be seen on the monitor; and of course the performance atmosphere vanished if not watched ‘alive.’ But the difficulties did not end then. The work of the admissions boards became another step of the new and challenging reality. The documents were accepted in electronic way with the help of the universities’ information systems, official websites and by regular post. Personal submission of documents was also possible – providing observance of all sanitary and epidemiological requirements set by the Agency for Health and Consumer Rights. But an absolute majority of the enrollees preferred remote submission. For instance, in the Kuban State Agrarian University it was chosen by about 70% of the applicants.
Starting from September 1, all educational establishments resumed traditional work, but bearing in mind all recommendations set by the Agency for Health and Consumer Rights. Say, the educational process in the Agrarian University was built up in such a way as to minimize the communication and movements of students of different groups around the teaching blocks. Gym classes are run outdoors – in the open-air stadium and sport grounds. However the remote format has been retained in part, because the Agency recommended not admitting the teaching staff over 65 years of age and suffering from chronic diseases to in-person teaching.
Students of the Kuban State Technological University are also acquiring the mixed educational format. The lectures are given in interactive mode, and the seminars, lab practicums, and gym classes are taken offline, but with observance of all requirements.
The Kuban State University also adheres to the practice of ‘mixed’ on- and offline education. As for the extramural students, they are being taught remotely to prevent crowding in classrooms.
“This decision was taken considering the fact that the remote format of the spring term of the 2019/2020 academic year proved its efficiency, especially for students living in other regions,” a spokesperson of the Kuban State Technological University said.
However the Kuban State Agrarian University did not shift all extramural students to fully remote mode. Lab practicums on agrobiolocial, agrotechnological and engineering subjects remained offline.
Vice Rector for Research of the Kuban State University summarized the issue by saying that although “the remote mode proved convenient for working students, but both students and teaching staff unanimously stated that online education will never be able to substitute live communication at lectures and seminars.”
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