Promoting Innovative Teaching & Learning

to Enhance Student Learning Experience

in Eastern Partnership Countries

In-House Online Trainings at Belarusian State University

15 Apr 2021

Online TTs took place from the 6th to the 30th of April at Belarusian State University

The COVID-19 pandemic has made significant adjustments to the educational process, forcing educational institutions to make urgent changes to their working conditions. The classical classroom format was replaced by a partial or even complete transition to distance learning. For many teachers the process of adapting to the new conditions of work was accompanied by overcoming many difficulties, including technical aspects and the need to revise the content of the course.

The current circumstances are increasingly being called "extreme" or "emergency" in many Russian and other foreign sources. Properly planned online training involves a fairly long period (according to experts, on average, up to six months) of preparation of quality educational resources and has significant differences from the emergency transfer of training in a distance format.

It is obvious that all teachers without exception are thinking about the choice of teaching technologies and tools, which will help to cope with the challenge and organize teaching at the proper level.

The use of information and communication technologies and LMS MOODLE in the educational process at BSU contributed to the prompt solution of number issues. Many teachers have been using hybrid forms of learning and interactive methods in their practice for many years. However, some employees had to master modern technologies at an accelerated pace.

What will help to adjust the work process in this situation? First and foremost, it is the training of teachers in modern pedagogical approaches and familiarization with the most successful practices of colleagues.

During April 2021 the teachers of BSU within the framework of Erasmus+ project "Changing the educational environment: promotion of innovative teaching and learning to improve the educational activities of students in the Eastern Partnership countries" (PRINTeL) conducted free training seminars for their colleagues. During the training not only the best practices of European universities in applying innovative methods and technologies of teaching in the pandemic, but also their own experience and mechanism for adapting to the new conditions of the educational process organization were presented.

The classes were conducted in a remote format which allowed for an evaluation of the working conditions for both the teacher and the student.

The topics of the seminars included 5 directions:

  • Designing Meaningful Online Learning.
  • Online Teaching: development of interactive and breakout activities.
  • Video as a learning tool for remote emergency teaching.;
  • Competency-Based Approach and Assessment in Digital Learning.
  • Online Teaching Revisited.

Training was conducted by 14 teachers who had attended the corresponding courses in universities of Portugal, Austria, Sweden, Belgium and Portugal. The three-day courses, organized at the Belarusian State University, were attended mainly by representatives of the Faculties of Economics; History, Mechanics and Mathematics; Journalism; International Relations; Advanced Training and Retraining; Social and Cultural Communications; Philological Faculty, as well as participants from other departments. In total, 155 people were trained during the month.

The chosen forms of work with the audience included practicing those tools that can be used in teaching process. Each participant could share their opinion and reflect on changes in their practice. Discussions included designing an online lesson and using accessible ways to enhance student learning. In addition, workshops were provided within each topic so that participants could work with various tools and applications on their own to improve their online teaching skills.

On the whole, the training seminars received a high evaluation, aroused a keen interest and a desire to rethink a lot. It is important to note that trainees’ feedback showed the desire to implement new technologies, methods and tools in their own practice.

The Faculty of Advanced Training and Retraining thanks all participants of the project for work and vision for the development of the educational environment in the near future.

Materials are posted on the website of the Faculty: