Research Competence for Development of Distance Education in Russian Universities

Research Competence for Development of Distance Education in Russian Universities

Igor G. Krevskiy (Penza State University, Russia), Aleksandr Bershadsky (Penza State University, Russia) and Tatiana Glotova (Penza State University, Russia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3485-3.ch020
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The development of e-learning is one of the main trends of improving education. At the same time, e-learning has been developing for several decades, but due to the rapid development and changes in technology it claims to be unprecedented in the educational field. Currently, you can see two opposing tendencies of development of distance education in universities: extension of the scope of distance learning courses; the development of digitalization of traditional educational programs. Algorithms of these processes and especially the administration of training and change management as part of these processes are discussed in chapter.
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The development of e-learning is one of the main trends of education improvement. There is a fact that Internet has become major source of knowledge. And the universities are aware of the need to change approaches to education. So, experts of Ernst & Young report on the future of Australian universities (Ernst & Young, 2012) give the statement of one of interviewees, University Vice-Chancellor: «Our major competitor in ten years will be Google...if we’re still alive! ». At the same time, e-learning has been developing for several decades, but due to the rapid development and changes in technologies it claims to be in unprecedented position in the educational field. Now, we can see two counter tendencies of development of distance education in universities:

  • The development of purely distance programs: growing the number of online courses, expanding the possible application areas due to introduction of simulators, interactive elements, etc., formal recognition of some courses and entire educational programs by conventional universities and employers.

  • Embedding distance learning elements in the traditional education is the overall trend. Specifically for Russia after the introduction of new generation of educational standards in the 2014-2016 the Electronic information-educational environment (EIEE) has to be applied in the universities. The educational resources that are used in the learning process should be placed in a special information environment, that provides access to the students' schedule, portfolio of students’ works and achievements, realizes fixing educational results and attendance, provides interaction the teacher with trainees. The implementation of these requirements actually incorporates elements of Distance Learning in any educational program.

Thus, there are a counter movement and mixing of both traditional and distance learning technologies as well as approaches to the organization and administration of educational programs. The counter movement takes place in many cases, even in a particular university, if the institution has some background in Distance Learning and begins implementation of EIEE.

Organization and administration of Distance Learning are some of the most pressing problems. They are closely related to training and content technologies, specifics of a student contingent, combining Distance Learning and traditional learning, etc. The authors consider its extensive experience in administration of higher education programs, training of public employees, teachers, etc., conducting training events using Distance Learning (workshops, training of electoral commissions, entrepreneurs, etc.).

An extensive body of literature examines distance technologies, but little attention has been paid to issues of administration of distance programs and traditional education. The main purpose of the chapter is analysis of key trends in interpenetration of technologies and methods of distance programs administration with and traditional education. The following components are offered:

  • EIEE structure.

  • Algorithm of Distance Learning Development at the University: from the separate components and digital learning courses to a number of completely Distance Learning programs with consideration of the features of administration at different levels of the development.

  • Algorithm of EIEE implementation in the university and building Distance Learning components in the traditional educational process with the consideration of changes of Administrative Leadership in Learning Programs at the steps of the algorithm.

The authors also consider:

  • Administration of educational content’s lifecycle to support reusable learning objects and source objects.

  • Administration of interaction of life cycles of experts, learning programs and training content.

  • Features of educational programs administration depending on the implementation technology.

The main idea of the chapter is to allow to universities to select the one's own way to improve education administration using the proposed algorithms.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Development of E-Learning Algorithm: The sequence of steps in the development of e-learning at the University.

E-Learning Resources Life Cycle: Cycle including development, use and modernization of E-learning resources.

Electronic Information-Educational Environment (EIEE): Information environment that provides comprehensive support for training at the University.

Electronic Educational Resource (E-Learning Resource, ELR): Educational resource represented in digital form and included structure, subject content and metadata about them. ELR may include data, information, and software necessary for its use in the learning process.

Distance Learning: The education of students who may not always be physically present at the University.

Electronic Dean's Office and Maintenance of Educational Process: EIEE subsystem provides accounting, organization, support the learning process, as well as the release of the documents stipulated by the regulations on the learning outcomes and moving troops.

Digitalization of Traditional Training: The introduction of digital technologies in the traditional education.

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