How to move from traditional to digital education

One of the largest conferences in Europe on technologies in education #EdCrunch will be held in Moscow on October 1st and 2nd. A delegation from TSU headed by the rector Eduard Galazhinsky will take part in that conference. Our researchers will act as experts in panel sessions devoted to the problems of digital education and their solutions. During #EdCrunch, the university will present several successful projects, including the Big Data analysis for students recruiting project and the project aimed to help Russian universities in creation of online courses.

The motto of the conference #EdCrunch 2018, organised by the National University of Science and Technology MISiS and the University NTI 20.35 with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, is Data that transform a person. The conference focuses on modern research and practical solutions in the field of big data in education, from psychometric research and other analysis techniques that will improve the efficiency of e-learning, to the use of artificial intelligence in digital learning.

A panel session will be held on the first day of the conference within the framework of the track Digital University (moderator Academic Director of the Moscow School of Economics Skolkovo Denis Konanchuk). During the session a number of issues relevant for higher education will be raised. How to choose the best strategy for the development of online education? How cost effective is it? How to involve teachers? How to increase the number of students without reducing the quality of education and the level of feedback? Experts will share their point of view. Among experts are Eduard Galazhinsky, rector of TSU; Philip Regier, Dean for Educational Initiatives and Director General of the Online Education Institute EdPlus at Arizona State University, USA; Paul Krause, CEO of eCornell and Deputy Provost for Online Education at Cornell University, USA, and others.

In the framework of the panel session “How to create online courses without reinventing the wheel?”, participants will discuss the process of online courses production. One of the main difficulties that universities face in creating online courses is the difficulty of translating familiar educational content into video lectures. Statistics show that the problem of holding attention in most cases remains unresolved, and only about 30% of users who have started e-learning programme, finish it, and with final certifications much less, about 5-7%.

Representatives of organisations with extensive experience in creating and promoting digital educational products will be experts there, among them Alexander Kuptsov, Director General of the FROO, Anastasia Gribanovskaya (“Lectorium”), Evgeny Stroynov (Contented), Director of the Institute of Distance Education (IDE) TSU, Head of StrAU Institute of the Man of the Digital Era Galina Mozhaeva, and others. TSU is one of the most experienced Russian developers with more than 50 online courses created by university researchers are located on six well-known online platforms, such as Coursera, Lectorium, Stepik, and Open Education.

Several sessions will be devoted to the introduction of digital education in the regions of Russia (“Modern Digital Educational Environment in the Russian Federation” priority project). Experts will evaluate the results of the first year of the project. TSU, on the premises of which the Tomsk Regional Competence Center in the field of online education operates, will tell about the peculiarities of expert support of Siberian universities in the creation of online courses.

Within the framework of the track “Digital University”, Artem Feschenko, head of the laboratory of computer-aided learning facilities at IDE TSU, will present a new approach to finding talented students. The problem that is relevant for all universities in the world is solved by analysing big data collected on social networks. Linguists, philosophers and IT-specialists of TSU have created a programme for analysing the open user data of high school graduates in VKontakte social network. It analyses the so-called “digital footprint”, i.e. subscriptions to thematic communities, determines personality traits and interests of a person, predicts their cognitive abilities. After the university finds "its" potential applicant in social networks, employees of the recruiting service contact them, tell them about the university, faculties, and educational programmes. The new tool created at TSU can be used to search for talented applicants or creative, intellectual and highly motivated people to work in the field of entrepreneurship, management, and creative technologies.

On October 2, Eduard Galazhinsky will be a moderator of the panel session “Transforming role of data: perspectives and practical cases”. Representatives of Russian and foreign universities will participate in this panel, among them John Stamper (Carnegie Mellon University), director of the Institute of Education of the Higher School of Economics Isak Frumin, founder and programme director of #EdCrunch, development director of MISiS Nurlan Kiyasov and others. Researchers will discuss ways of interaction and the formation of general principles of working with Big Data, methods for collecting information, a unified approach to processing, the possibility of creating common databases. These measures will help to create more effective educational products and provide high quality training for the country's digital economy experts.

May 30 – June 1, 2018, the #EdCrunch Tomsk International Forum (Siberian branch of the conference) was held at TSU. Leading experts in the field of innovative education from Russia, Austria, the Netherlands, the USA, Colombia, Brazil, Thailand and other countries became speakers of the large-scale forum dedicated to the 140th anniversary of the university. MISiS and the Rybakov Fund were co-organisers of #EdCrunch Tomsk.