Most of all people in Russia believe in hybrid learning and that the future of education lies in micro-qualification programs and a combination of study and practice. These are the results of a study on the impact of global trends on Russian education, conducted by the Laboratory of Educational Innovation at the Higher School of Economics together with Rosatom State Corporation. This is the second time the study has been conducted. This year the research was presented at the Global Impact Conference 2022.
To find out what innovations will come to education in 2023 and how much the Russian and European "visions of the future" match, the researchers took the top 10 new global trends in pedagogy. They were highlighted by scientists from the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University (UK) in cooperation with the Open University of Catalonia (Spain) and published in the report Innovative Pedagogy. The impact of the world's leading trends on Russian education was evaluated by domestic innovators, experts, as well as students and schoolchildren. 370 innovators from 60 regions of Russia took part in the survey.
"The education sector, traditionally considered rather conservative, is now adapting to a life of high uncertainty and constant change," commented Diana Koroleva, head of the Educational Innovation Laboratory at the Higher School of Economics and director of the Contest of Innovations in Education (KIEVO). Therefore, the ability to notice new trends in time and adapt your strategy becomes especially important. "We invited those whose adaptability is the highest to assess the relevance of global trends for Russia: leaders of educational projects, innovators in education and young members of the educational process – schoolchildren and students," adds Diana Koroleva.
The trend for hybrid learning was supported by 61.8% of Russian respondents. Experts point out that it originated as a forced measure, and now it has become trendy. As a result of the pandemic, the learning process has changed: teachers began to use online tools more often along with traditional lessons in the classroom. Many teachers have mastered video and offer their courses in a hybrid format, with some students connecting online while others take the same course in class.
But teacher training and the necessary technological infrastructure are essential when using a hybrid format, experts warn. For example, this format is not possible in rural areas. In addition, it is necessary to learn how to manage the attention of students.
46.1% of respondents highlighted another trend - obtaining micro-qualification programs. Respondents from large cities emphasized its importance. The surveyed experts predict the development of the trend for micro-qualification programs both in the world and in Russia, mostly due to the fact that today's employees have to constantly acquire new skills and knowledge.
In some professional spheres, such as programming, law, and psychology, microlearning has long been a standard. For others, such programs become a way for adults to enter a new profession or advance to a new career level.
"In my vision, a microqualification is more than just a single course. It should be part of the whole diploma, a block of three or four courses, as a kind of clarification of what you got at university. A person graduates at 22 and will work until the age of 60 - over that time, life is bound to change; there will be global technological shifts, and it will be impossible to work on the basis of the skills acquired during the first university education. It will be necessary to update and refresh them, get new knowledge, even a new profession, and product such as micro-qualification fits perfectly into this logic," comments Pavel Travkin, Deputy Vice Rector of the National Research University Higher School of Economics.
38.7% of respondents identified combining training with practice as a trend. Its importance was stressed mainly by young people. At the same time, experts say that this trend is not sufficiently supported by universities, and students and schoolchildren would like their internship to be paid.
"Combining studying with practice is becoming more and more demanded by employers, and this demand will increase in the context of rapid change and new business demands. Employers themselves are actively engaging and creating different opportunities to involve students as early as possible in understanding the profession. We have 19 supporting universities in Russia, and now we have started to provide internship opportunities to school students studying in our industry classes as well. We are creating an ecosystem that includes working with schoolchildren, their parents and teachers, with the college and university students, and attracting young people into STEM professions. Nowadays, employers are ready to invest their resources into training qualified personnel as never before," comments Yulia Uzhakina, General Director of Rosatom Corporate Academy.
Among other significant trends, respondents point out knowledge acquisition in social networks, psychological education, active parental involvement in education ("pedagogies of the home"). At the same time, experts are skeptical about some educational trends, like, for example, walk-and-talk. Experts were aslo divided on the possibility of developing creative skills and critical thinking through the joint viewing of video content.
In general, the researchers noted, Russian participants in the study primarily recognized trends at the intersection of online and offline formats: hybrid learning, combining learning and practice through digital technologies, and microlearning online for career progress. For all these trends, the ability to learn independently and design one's own educational path in small steps is especially relevant. In this regard, the trend of "autonomous learning" can be called the key one for 2023, they summarize.
"This is a very relevant study that takes on a special dimension in the current international situation, when the joint educational programs of Russian universities with foreign universities are being reduced and the window of opportunity for the exchange of students on international educational programs is narrowing. This situation is deconstructive in every sense. Education should maintain an integrated international format in order to provide the appropriate level of knowledge and competencies to future specialists," comments Natalia Dorpeko, Executive Director of the Global Compact National Network Association.