It's the fourth week of study at Zaporizhzhia State Medical University. Students, starting from the second year, listen to lectures and attend practical classes online according to the schedule.
"There was no stream failure during this period!" says Associate Professor Svitlana Morhuntsova, the Pro-rector for scientific, pedagogical and educational work. "The main function — to teach — ZSMU performs brilliantly."
"Such a clear organization of work in the new academic year was preceded by a strong preparation," continues Associate Professor Svitlana Morhuntsova. "In the summer, 25 lecture halls of the University were equipped with required equipment; 15 lecture halls, belonging to the first group, are now used most actively, with full load, and the rest are ready for the work as well. According to the approved schedule, all the streams are conducted from these lecture halls. Usually, there are 50-59 such lectures a day, on average, and 11-15 broadcasts at the same time. Three weeks passed with extraordinary productivity, during the first one 197 lectures were given, the second — 268, the third — 267.
In order to ensure high-quality delivery of educational material to students, the university has a well-adjusted system, the feature of which is that the lecturer does not worry about technical issues in any way — this is the competence of moderators. There are several levels of moderators: those who come with a lecturer from the department, as well as from the Department of Medical and Pharmaceutical Informatics and Advanced Technologies and from the Technical Support Center. Working this way, each of them performs its functions."
Such organization of the process, according to the Pro-rector, is stated in the Regulations on the organization of online lecture halls and the organization of lectures, it is a product of mutual work of the Administration, dean's offices of faculties and departments. In practice, it's done like this: when the lecturer comes to a lecture hall, everything is ready for the virtual meeting with students, the equipment is set up, groups of listeners are connected. As all classrooms are now equipped with modern equipment — computer or laptop, powerful video cameras, professional lighting — the image quality is impeccable and creates the effect of the absolute presence of the lecturer next to the listener, although it can be thousands of kilometers away. One or even two batches can be present at the lecture: there are two lecture halls, where you can teach paired adjacent batches of students simultaneously.
"The university continues to work via the Teams, which has served students and faculty well since March, when they switched to the distance learning format," said Pro-Rector Morhuntsova. "To improve the system of control over student attendance, specialists of the Department of Medical and Pharmaceutical Informatics and Advanced Technologies and the Technical Support Center have developed a guide that allows you to automatically generate data on the number of students attending lectures, practical classes, convert them into Excel. This allows you to automatically analyze student attendance at any time, objectively and correctly track the contingent present. The guide is concise and clear, it states that to get a list of participants, the moderator or lecturer must be the initiator of the Teams meeting and be connected to the relevant online session to be able to download attendance reports, this option is not available to other participants. The analytical data indicates the time of connection and the time of disconnection of each of the participants."
An important component of the educational process in the remote format is monitoring. The responsible clear work of the Educational Department should be noted as well, as they monitor each lecture, coordinating all current technical issues with the moderator, if necessary. The emphasis is on quality, details are also important. For example, a moderator may be asked to adjust the position of the screen, or a recommendation to convert tables to a certain format, so that the presentation can be downloaded freely.
This teamwork, complex and fine-tuned, organizes the learning process for the student community at this stage. How long will this mode continue?
"We consider lectures in online format shall last at least the entire semester. Later, if possible, practical classes will be held in lecture halls," sums up Pro-Rector Svitlana Morhuntsova. "By the way, our freshmen have already joined the educational process, they are starting to listen to lectures remotely, and from October 1 they will come to practical classes in classrooms."
21 September 2020