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Workshop on Introducing Distance Learning into the Educational Process of Military Academies, 16 November 2018, Kyiv, Ukraine
Today, on November 16, the 1st International Research and Practice Conference on the issues of introducing distance learning into the educational process of military academies and possible solutions took place in Kyiv. It was organized by Ivan Chernyakhovsky National Defense University of Ukraine with the support of the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Defence.
There is a Distance Learning Center within the structure of the University, which is currently considered a leader in the field of distance learning in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. It was the support of the Norwegian colleagues that made it possible. The equipment and software for the classroom were provided by the partners from this country. It should be particularly noted that academic staff of the University that are involved in the distance learning processes have been trained abroad.
During the conference, its participants analyzed the first results of online learning within the Armed Forces of Ukraine, exchanged experiences in the field of distance learning, reviewed the matter of enhancing the mobile introduction of distance learning in the academic process of higher educational establishments and educational institutions of Ukraine. This year, almost 900 officers who are students of the military academy participated in the test educational mode.
Participants emphasized the importance of such changes in the educational process taking into account current challenges. Online learning will facilitate the desire to obtain modern knowledge significantly. Speakers also emphasized the cost-effectiveness and convenience of online learning for teaching those wanting to gain new knowledge. They may do it at home or at a military base – all they need is an access to the software and the desire to learn.
— The significance of the conference is also confirmed by the fact that it takes place in the moment, which is important for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as we all find ourselves at the stage of the defense reform, which partially consists of the military education reform, — said Brigadier General Serhiy Salkutsan, Deputy Head of Ivan Chernyakhovsky National Defense University of Ukraine.
According to him, the goal of the conference is to present results of the development of Distance Learning Project in Ukraine, to facilitate the development and experience exchange in the field of distance learning, as well as to design a consolidated solution for improving the mechanism of distance learning implementation in military academies.
As the representative of the Norwegian Defence University College, 2nd rank Captain Geir Isaksen, notes, there are ongoing reforms in the Norwegian Armed Forces. In particular, the funding is being reduced. Therefore, digitalization of learning has become a way out of the situation, However, the process of preparing the transition to online lectures has been lasting for 18 years now. This is a truly complicated process, as many questions arise both from students and teachers. Despite the age, they are often not ready to say goodbye to the classroom and communicate with students online. Sometimes, the reason is some psychological barriers, not technical ones. When teachers appeal to the fact that students will doze during video lectures, they are answered with an argument that listeners might as well sleep in the classroom if the lecture is boring.
Therefore, first of all, it is important to teach all teachers, provide them with all the technical means, explain the advantages of the information presented on slides.
The conference allowed the participants to learn the best practices, discuss challenges, solutions, and perspectives of distance learning in the education process.