STOUH Institute of Distance Learning Organizes International Conference on “Digital Education: The 21st Cenutry”

image2810On October 15-16, 2019, the second international academic conference on “Digital Education: The 21st Century” was held in the SAP Digital Leadership Center in Moscow. The organizers of the conference were SAP CIS, Surgutneftegas, and the Institute of Distance Learning of Saint Tikhon's Orthodox University of the Humanities (STOUH IDL). The goal of the event was to create a platform on which professionals active in the field of digital education would be able to share experience.

The conference opened with a roundtable. Those who took part in the plenary discussion talked about how to achieve a balance in the modern world between practical work in the field of education and the methodological and academic foundations on which it is based.

The session on “Pedagogical Communication in Distance Learning” was led by the director of STOUH IDL, Archpriest Gennadiy Egorov, and by Prof. Ignatius Gous of the University of South Africa. “When considering the factors that influence how successfully an educational program can be adapted to the needs of adults, my colleagues and I have determined that the most important means for achieving success in education is the system of interactions among the people who are involved in the educational process,” Fr. Gennadiy explained. “The educational process itself can be portrayed as a chain of communicative acts.”

Professor Santosh Panda of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (New Delhi) spoke about what it means for a teacher to be present in distance education. Associate Professor Tatiana Rezvykh of the Department of New Technologies and the Humanities at STOUH IDL talked about how knowledge is conveyed through the structure of the Institute's Master's course in Antique Philosophy. Tatiana Melanina, head of the Department of New Technologies and the Humanities at STOUH IDL, explained that a considered formulation of assessment criteria helps to compensate for a lack of personal interaction and to communicate teachers' expectations to students. Professor Jennifer Roberts of the Institute of Open and Distance Learning of the University of South Africa talked about what it takes to engender a sense of belonging to a group – which gives students belief in their own abilities and heightens their motivation – in a distance-learning context.

The second day of the conference was dedicated to practical aspects of distance learning: turning the cases presented by instructors into research projects, discussing experience of introducing distance-learning programs into universities, the practical applicability of various approaches to engineering the digital-education space, and developing skills for introducing gamification into distance-learning courses.