Challenges of distance education for foreign students in NUOS

The forced transition to distance education has become a real challenge for Ukraine’s education system. Each university has independently defended the quality of education in these difficult conditions. We can say with full confidence and responsibility that Admiral Makarov National University of Shipbuilding has coped with this task. Each international student received a full body of useful information and educational materials, had the opportunity to communicate with teachers, to receive advice, to monitor the process of scoring and grading.

All the educational materials ‑ lectures, methodical materials, support for seminars –were uploaded to the educational platform “Moodle”, so students have uninterrupted access to them. Each lecture must be accompanied by an electronic presentation, which is also available to students for further exploitation. This greatly facilitates the process of communication with the teacher, because in the process of distance education it is quite difficult to ask clarifying questions during the lecture. The presentation allows the student to get visual material, looking at which, he/she can ask the teacher some questions about the lecture later. Such clarity is crucial in the process of distance education in technical specialties.

The Zoom program for organizing online conferences and lectures has gained popularity in Ukraine. Not in all the countries where our foreign partners are located, “Zoom” is also used, but there are some foreign analogs. In the field of software, our partners never go out of their way when NUOS needs help, they share their proven tools in order to be able to organize the distance education process in the most appropriate way.

However, there are some difficulties. The first obstacle is the language barrier.

NUOS teachers are fluent in English, but much depends on the prior language skills of the audience. If the student does not understand a certain specific term and he/she does not have the opportunity to ask a clarifying question at once, the whole process of understanding the material may be disrupted for some time.

Secondly, it is the quality of Internet communication. A lot of time is spent on setting up, checking if everyone has connected to the online lecture, there are cases when the program suddenly “knocks out”, and you have to start all over again. All these “technical problems” create discomfort for both the teacher and the student. However, they are definitely less evil compared to the situation when there is no possibility to organize regular classes.

Unfortunately, we all do not know when the COVID-19 pandemic will end completely and when we will return to lecture halls without fear for our health. It is likely that the practice of distance education will be relevant for a long time. Therefore, ESCIC has a project to create a specialized classroom equipped for the process of distance education with foreign students. Today, each teacher conducts classes using personal devices, seeks the help of ESCIC, if he/she does not have such devices. Soon the question about needed devices and the special classroom will become irrelevant.

Thus, NUOS, as the flagship of international education in the region, has fully proven its steadfastness and integrity in ensuring the quality of education, even in unpredictable circumstances. This means that you can entrust us with your education in any situation.

Text is created by Olena Honcharova

Based on materials provided by ESCIC staff members – Darya Shibeko and Oleksandr Labartkava