Vache Tokmajyan: let us overcome the difficulties of distance learning together…

Facing the threat of corona virus Covid-19, we quickly realized that we have serious problems in the educational process during this crisis.

Discussing the situation with the university administration, it became clear that the organization of distance education has much more “underwater reefs” than it seemed at first sight. According to the directions they can be classified as follows:

  1. Necessity of sufficient lecturer potential
  2. Availability of technical equipment
  3. Practice, laboratory and other lessons the distance teaching of which is impossible  
  4. Creating active contacts with students
  5. Supporting the student in his self education process
  6. Checking the knowledge by distance method, passing exams and organization of final works

Let us discuss the first issue 

It is one thing to teach in a small classroom when a few students are listening to you but it is quite another thing to teach them to be in live. There may be a lack of psychological and professional training. The first is fast to overcome, in the second case there is no solution. Of course, theoretically it is possible to prepare for each lesson but in the case of lack of basic knowledge, failure in live is inevitable. Here it is necessary that the experienced lecturers of the field take the main burden of online teaching leaving the lecturers with more limited abilities to organize the secondary processes.

In the process of teaching there is a very important problem. Many of our elder colleagues who have valuable knowledge to pass on to students, usually do not know or have poor knowledge of information systems and modern technology which is necessary for qualified online lectures. Fortunately, the solution to this problem was found very quickly. The grandchildren of these lecturers, mostly schoolchildren, came to help their grandfathers and grandmothers who had problems with mastery of the technique. With their help the representatives of our elder generation are already successfully organizing their lectures. And there is a very nice sense in it

The next problem is related to the methodology of providing subject programs during distance learning. Some people have the misconception that when doing distance lessons online lectures should sharply repeat the existing curricula. It is a dangerous and unpredictable way taking nowhere…

The logic of distance education differs significantly from the approaches used in the case of existing education. Here, as a key factor, the component of increasing the size of student’s specific load is set forward. We should try to take advantage of this critical situation to move the organization of the educational process to a new level, a level where the student will acquire a qualitatively new status becoming a partner of the lecturer.

Today I was attending to an online lecture by my teacher, Professor Albert Margaryan, on the basic theory of jet turbine. I have attended this lecture dozens of times and I have explained it to other students many times. Now, how much I need those equations displayed on the monitor to be put in front of me and I wish I had the opportunity to think about them once more. We have to convey this to the student so that when he hears the essence of the problem from the lecturer, he will be able to analyze what he has heard, understand its meaning and make it his own. The student must be able to work with the book, it must become something like drinking water for him. And the status of a lecturer should become secondary factor and the so-called exam becomes a daily and ordinary process.

Now when the first quarter of the 21st century is coming to an end, many questions can be answered by questioning as the Japanese used to say: “To the wall”. The main thing is to understand the answer given by the “wall” and the ability to analyze it. Or, as Sevak says:

“Everyone knows how to read today

So honor to you for understanding what you read…”

Of course, this can lead to a decrease in the number of students. But there are those who really want to learn. When doing orgmoment, there will be main motivation not to lose the connection with the university. Let’s add that the lecturer-student partnership will stimulate the continuous growth of the professional level of the lecturers.

Otherwise, we will never be able to find any “medicine to cure corona virus”

To be continued…