The Strategy Commission of GSOM SPbU summed up the first results of the development of the digital educational environment (DEE) at the Business School. The participants of the meeting got acquainted with the development of the GSOM SPbU team regarding the use of immersive technologies in education, and also tested a mixed format of work in a hybrid classroom.
Opening the meeting of the Commission, an employee of VTB Bank, a member of the GSOM SPbU Project Office, who oversees the development of the digital educational environment, Alexey Chubar noted that the implementation of DSP should serve as the foundation for the implementation of the Business School's development strategy until 2025.
“Achieving the ambitious goals set before us, in particular, increasing the number of alumni of all training programs to 30 thousand people a year, is impossible without fundamental technological changes. It doesn't have to be technology for technology's sake; we are talking about a new digital quality of life for both students and employees of GSOM SPbU, about rethinking an environment where the boundaries between offline and online are blurring."
Alexey Chubar recalled that the GSOM SPbU DEE is a single digital platform for education, communications, integrated with the systems of SPbU, trustee companies and the state. It includes:
· online component in all educational programs;
· fully digital business school processes;
· digital profiles of students and listeners;
· platform for remote internships and micro-internships;
· participation in government digital initiatives;
· technological partnerships with trustee companies.
The pilot project for the creation of DEE at GSOM SPbU is being implemented within the framework of the digital transformation program of St. Petersburg University.
Sergey Lukashkin, an employee of VTB Bank, a member of the Project Office of GSOM SPbU, Director of the Scientific and Educational Center Digital Technologies in Education (SEC DTE), presented the implemented projects in new educational formats to the Commission members. It was for the study, testing and implementation of edutainment, gamification, VR/AR formats in the educational process in March 2021, with the support of VTB Bank, that GSOM SPbU was established SEC DTE.
Over the past short period, the Center has already prepared a platform for designing courses and training practitioners from business. SEC DTE specialists are ready to assist teachers in the "packaging" of educational content using digital formats. Opportunities have been created for collecting and analyzing the digital footprint of students to assess their level of competence and career planning. “We are ready to integrate with our trustees for piloting and data exchange,” stressed Sergei Lukashkin.
Sergey Lukashkin explained: “Immersive technologies, virtual reality, VR are actively gaining trust in education. These technologies are no longer a tribute to fashion, they are utilitarian and therefore incredibly convenient for training all kinds of skills: from the sequence of actions during an explosion at an oil station to negotiation. They are especially effective for the development of any soft skills. In our situation, the use of such formats will help not only to give students good practice, but also to create real products for companies at the output, and bring value to the business."
Sergey Lukashkin presented new educational formats for corporate training: immersive courses, micromodular format, project intensives.
Demonstrating the capabilities of hybrid classrooms at the Mikhailovskaya Dacha campus, VTB Bank employee, member of the GSOM SPbU Project Office, Alexander Baizarov, noted: “Working forcibly during a pandemic in a remote format, we realized that, firstly, many online tools are extremely useful offline, and, secondly, this format is not an emergency solution; it is a full-fledged new form of training with appropriate methodology and pedagogical design. At this stage, we are ready to transfer the disciplines of the main educational programs of bachelor's and master's degrees into it, the next step is the development of methodology for the tasks of additional professional education."
The developers of the format emphasize that a hybrid is not an analogue or a replacement for offline or online classes, but it is a combined form of training. Its main goal is to provide an equal, seamless experience for students in the classroom and remotely connected.
Olga Alkanova, Senior Lecturer at the Marketing Department of GSOM SPbU, Project Methodology Leader, said that methodologists, anthropologists, designers and IT specialists participated in the work on the hybrid format: “Based on the experience of the first test sessions with the teachers of GSOM SPbU, we were convinced that special training, adaptation of courses to the new specifics of communication, control of information assimilation is critically important for a teacher to work in a mixed format. On the part of students, the discipline of behavior is important (for example, compulsory participation with the camera turned on), including to create the very effect of full presence that we seek."
The final scheme of work in a hybrid classroom is as follows: the teacher is present on site, and the students participate both face-to-face and online.
Anastasia Laskovaya, Associate Professor of the Department of Strategic and International Management of GSOM SPbU, who acted as the “hybrid ambassador” in terms of its testing and popularization, noted: “Working in this new format is a separate challenge for the teacher. However, we already have quite a lot of experience in conducting interactive classes; this facilitates the process of mastering new technology. "
Anastasia Laskovaya invited the meeting participants to test the capabilities of the hybrid audience using the MIRO interactive whiteboard.
Summing up the results of the meeting, Olga Dergunova, Deputy President and Chairman of VTB Bank Management Board, Director of GSOM SPbU, emphasized: “It is important that our Business School becomes a full-fledged center of methodological expertise, especially in the field of modern pedagogy. In the near future, we must launch all the novelties and processes described today in order to present our experience not only outside the GSOM SPbU, but also outside the Saint Petersburg University, on the external market."