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Benderets N.M., Borbit A.V Model of the Regional System of Distance In-Service Teacher Training in Kyiv Region and its Implementation

Benderets N.M.,

vice-rector on international affaires,  information and communication technologies of Kyiv Regional In-Service Teacher Training Institute;

Borbit A.V.,

head of distance learning center of Kyiv Regional In-Service Teacher Training Institute

 

Model of the Regional System of Distance In-Service Teacher Training in Kyiv Region and its Implementation

 

This article provides information on opportunities to incorporate distance education to postgraduate pedagogical education in Kyiv region. Many sources of information were studied. Working experience of various educational establishments, domestic, and foreign materials on the perspectives of distance education development, scientific and methodological researches of teachers applying distance education techniques were considered. Models and approaches to organizing information based – teaching environment, creating electronic textbooks are introduced in the article.

Key words: information and communication technologies, distance education, tutor, didactic materials guarantee, system of distance education.

 

In the process of information society foundation, the system of education has to meet some requirements:  adequacy to the changes which take place in society, and environment, correspondence to the constantly growing volume of information, and rapid development of new information technologies. Therefore, the innovative paradigm of ‘teaching’ education substituted the ‘supporting’ paradigm. The major constituent of the ‘teaching’ paradigm is the idea of ‘life-long education’, or continuous education [2].

Nowadays information and communication technologies are integrated in different branches of public life and particularly in in-service teacher education. The process of in-service training is targeted not only at the development of general pedagogic abilities of teachers and deepening of subject knowledge, but also the formation of a high level of teacher  information culture (M.I. Zhaldak [5], L.A. Kartashova [6], G.O. Kozlakova [8], P.I. Serdyukov [10], I.M. Smirnova [11]), which is high enough for the effective use of information and communication technologies, – at lessons, in the process of preparation of the educational process and improvement of professional level via self-education.

One of the forms of integration of ICT in education is distance education, which is gradually being implemented in practice of in-service teacher training.

The expedience of introduction of distance education in the system of in-service teacher education is justified by such arguments:

  •   flexibility of educational process (comfortable time, place, rate of studies);
  •   moduleness of studies (personal motion trajectory for every teacher);
  •   money savings (business trip, travel expenses, food, accommodation, payment for substitution);
  •   stability  of educational process (cutting the number of substitution, changes in the time-table);
  •   courses motivate self-education;
  •   courses induce teachers to the increase of level of information culture (mastering of computer equipment, use of information and communication technologies in class).

At the same time, it is worth to mention the problems which arise in the process of ICT usage and in the distance form of studies, namely:

  •   technical equipment (obsolete  technique, insufficient carrying capacity and low quality of telecommunication network or no access to the Internet). By 2009 only 85% schools of Ukraine were equipped with computer technique which does not meet modern requirements. Other schools do not have computers at all. The important criterion which demonstrates the level of computer support of educational process is the amount of students per one computer. In the beginning of 2007, the average number of students per 1 computer decreased from 49 to 41 student, and in the beginning of 2008/2009 school year it made 25 students. Today 87% of Ukrainian schools are equipped with computer classes;
  •   psychological unpreparedness of teachers to study self-guided, non-acceptance of new and innovative things. The main reason for such phenomenon is not just teachers’ unwillingness to improve their professional skills, but lack of necessary conditions in educational establishments they need for self-education and use of information and communication technologies in their practical activity. This problem is particularly crucial for rural educational establishments. Computer classes which these schools possess do not solve the problem because the software is obsolete and does not meet modern requirements.
  •   low level of teachers’ computer literacy. The conducted researches revealed that for the last years this question has become of most teachers’ concern, especially those aged from 35 to 55, whose work experience is from 15 to 40 years. Usually, the   professionals, who are highly recognized not only within the school they work for but also within the district, city, region, However, the research found out that 65% of them are not able to use modern information and communication technologies in their teaching practice, which causes huge psychological discomfort, influences their professional rating, reduces the demand at the market of educational services;
  •   no free access to the Internet. If recently the situation with computer supply has been managed to improve, then the situation with connecting schools to the speed Internet needs much work. It is especially important for the remote rural districts, where the launch of distance education is the most crucial. It is worth saying, that teachers have low enough motivation to the use Internet resources  because they do not know how great this resourcefulness is and how to use it at the work;
  •   absence of legal standards for  regulation and supporting activity of educational establishments which is connected with distance learning.

Contradictions which exist in the system of in-service teacher training also complicate the process of problem decision, particularly presence and permanent growth of the number of trainees who can not afford full-time studying, above all things, because of geographical location, the questions of business trips payments,  employees substitution, changes in school time-table and others like that [7].

Awareness of importance of the use of modern information and communication technologies in providing equal access to high-quality education, especially for the teachers from rural area, motivated us to search the methods of decision of the question at a regional level.

Taking into account the situation, having learnt the native and foreign scientific and practical works [9, 10], where this problem has been studied, using the experience of other educational establishments (The National Academy of Public Administration, under the Office of the President of Ukraine, Central Institute of Post-Diploma Pedagogical Education) and carrying out the analysis of the modern state and prospects of development of the system of distance education, the Kyiv Regional In-service Teacher Training Institute developed the model of organization of in-service training for teaching staff of the Kyiv region using the distance form of studies.

The regional center of distance education has been founded on the base of the Institute. There are 89 local centers of distance studies in 36 district and towns of Kyiv region, which are created on the base of regional methodical services and educational establishments. 93 tutors have been trained for work in these centers.

Further training of in-service teachers by means  of distance form of studies is carried out in the institute in accordance with the Legislation of Ukraine in  education branch and the Conception of Development of Distance Education, in Ukraine [1], Statute about organization of educational process in higher educational establishments, Regional program of development of distance education of Kyiv region teachers, Statute about distance education in the system of in-service training of pedagogical staff of the Kyiv region, etc.

In accordance with the Conception of Development of Distance Education in Ukraine [1] the “distance education” is a form of studies, equal to full-time, part-time, evening, and external studies, which is mainly released via technologies of distance learning. An important notice is added in the Conception [1], that some, not big at time and by volume part of educational process of distance education can be carried out in-class (taking examinations, practical, laboratory works, etc). The quantitative and context indexes of this part depend on direction of preparation (specialties) and development stage of distance education. They are determined by the normative documents of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.

The basis for organization of in-service training of pedagogical staff of Kyiv region is a model which combines full-time and distance forms of education. Such approach foresees integration of information and pedagogical technologies, which provides interactiveness of cooperation of trainees and high results of educational process.

For in-service distance teacher training, the most reasonable is the mixed technology of distance education which takes into account individual possibilities and abilities of every trainee. Such combination for today, taking into account economic possibilities of the majority of population, is the most acceptable.

In-service teacher training is carried out via combination of full-time and distance form of studies, including three stages:

I stage (full-time) – organizational introduction session;

ІІ stage (distance) – the guided self-guided trainees’ work;

ІІІ stage (full-time) – a final session.

At inter-session time trainees study remotely, combining possibility to work and study.

Distance lessons (lectures, seminars, practical and individual classes, consultancy, self preparation, learning of theoretical materials, etc) are conducted with the use of both traditional and modern information and communication technologies.

Self-guided trainees’ work is the basic means of obtaining practical knowledge.  Quality control of distance trainees’ knowledge and skills is carried out by conducting control measures which are released at full-time and distance stages.

Throughout the learning process trainees have to learn how to obtain and use knowledge, search and find necessary sources of information, be able to work with this information, analyze it, see and solve the problems of intellectual and moral development of personality.

The trainees who have taken the distance course, executed an on-line tutorial and defended a creative project receive the certification of a standard pattern.

Pedagogical staff of the Kyiv Regional In-service Teacher Training Institute have developed 40 program methodological complexes for pedagogical employees and administrative staff, the electronic versions of which are constantly being accumulated and integrated in the unique information system.

Distance learning which is mainly individual by nature does not eliminate the possibility of communication with a teacher and other trainees and the collaboration in the process of different cognitive and creative activity.

For organization and management of distance education the traditional  LMS – Learning Manager System are used. These platforms are the environment for creation of educational courses and control. They offer the packages of tools, which support creations of on-line courses, their service and presentation, means of trainees’ registration and management work with them, administration of learning process and generating reports on educational achievements of trainees.

In particular, Prometheus, the distance learning system is used in Kyiv Regional In-service Teacher training Institute [12], which is widely used in many countries of the world. This system is developed for organization of valuable process of distance learning and/or self-guided testing of knowledge. Moreover, it can serve a large number of trainees. The system allows to conduct tuition and testing of knowledge in corporate networks and on the Internet. Besides, it can be used as an additional mean for the traditional forms of studies.

Thus, the offered model of distance learning in the system of in-service teacher training enables:

  •   to make the process of in-service teacher training more opened, continuous and flexible;
  •   to improve professional skills without leaving basic activity;
  •   to individualize the process of studies with the targeting at possibilities and professionalism level of a teacher, conditions of his pedagogical activity;
  •   to promote the level of competence in the use of modern information and  communication technologies.

The in-service teachers of Kyiv region have opportunity to self-study and self-develop at distance courses during 7 years.

For the last few years there has been a positive dynamics to the increase of:

  •   the number of pedagogical workers, who choose such form of studies;
  •   the number of directions for preparation, which are chosen for learning;;
  •   the number of districts, the teachers of which take distance courses;

 

Number of

Teachers

Number of

directions for preparation

Number of

districts

2007-2008 School Year

38

13

11

2008-2009 School Year

42

16

13

2009-2010 School Year

223

30

21

2010-2011 School Year

161

30

25

2011-2012 School Year

700

37

35

2012-2013 School Year

610

35

35

 

 

  •   the number of district and city centers of DL, that is the evidence of understanding  how important this issue is;

2007-2008 School Year

2008-2009 School Year

2009-2010 School Year

2010-2011 School Year

2011-2012 School Year

2012-2013 School Year

25

38

54

75

84

87

 
  •  the number of trainees, who have  sufficient knowledge of computer equipment.

With the purpose of trainees’ work activation during taking in-service teacher training courses, the model of trainee’s activity was developed (picture 1).

All types of activity are assessed and marked by the certain amount of points. Two weeks before completion of studies a trainer have to get not less than 270 points.

Picture 1. A model of trainee’s activity during studies

Such model enables:

  •   to pass from the passive knowledge taking of the essential material to active use of teaching methods;
  •   to activate co-operation trainee-tutor, trainee-trainee;
  •   to increase motivation of participants of educational process.

Following recommendations of P.I. Serdyukov [10], professor of the National university of the USA, for every distance course, we developed sets of practical tasks which test the trainees’ level of skills formed. So, 69% of all trainees sent in practical tasks done.

Let’s consider the examples of the tasks, which are offered to the trainees (task 1.1 and 1.3 to the module «Theory and methodology of teaching foreign languages» for the teachers of the latter category). 

Task 1.1. Teachers are suggested to revise the part of the lesson. Using the modern methodological terminology, to write the script of this fragment, specifying age of students, the level of their knowledge, educational purpose, educational facilities, sequence of tasks implementation and time spent on them.

Task 1.3.  Teachers are suggested to familiarize with the sample of student's work. They have to correct mistakes, specify their type, comment on them and give the students advice, assess work in accordance with the modern assessment criteria of the level of educational achievements of foreign languages students, prove the evaluation.

Practically directed assignments for the teachers of foreign languages

So, in 2012-2013 school year 63% of trainees took part in forums, 46% put of them were active participants. Such indexes can be explained by different trainees’ level of preparation to such kind of studies and the number of people in some groups (1-3 trainers).

We will make a few examples of conducting forums.

Example.

In Picture 2 the page of organizational forum, which is open for all participants of educational process, is presented (trainees of different groups, tutors, organizers).

The purpose of this forum is the decision of general organizational questions, consultancy aid to trainees, in relation to realization of studies by a distance form of education. The moderation function of the forum is done by A.V. Borbit, the organizer of distance in-service teacher training courses.

Picture 2. One of the pages of organizational forum

Different types of forums were also used during the courses with the access for only trainees and tutors in different specialties. Problematic questions in different educational fields were discussed in such forums.

All trainees pass diagnostic tests during the courses. As a result of entrance and exit questionnaire, the average indexes of self-evaluation of trainees’ knowledge and abilities at the beginning of the course and after course completion were found out (pictures 3, 4), which allow to draw the conclusion, that the main task of distance in-service teacher training courses is completed.

Picture 3. Average index  of trainees self evaluation of present knowledge and abilities (entrance questionnaire)

Picture 4. Average index  of evaluation of results of studies trainees (exit questionnaire)

Trainees confirm that during the course they obtain not only professional preparation but also skills, namely:

  • use of the computer in the educational process – from 68% at the beginning of the course to 91% after completion of the course;
  • communication using network technologies (e-mail, forum, chat) – from 33% to 80%;
  • searching for and finding necessary information on the Internet – from 50% to 86%.

These results again confirm conclusions that courses motivate teachers to increase their level of information culture and are a stimulus for a self-education (Picture 5).

Picture 5. Reviews of teachers on the distance in-service teacher training courses

However, there are still questions which need decision in the Kyiv region:

  • conducting educational work by the district and town methodologists about the possibility and specifics of taking distance in-service teacher training courses, about work of district and city centers of distance education;
  • providing the proper computer literacy level for pedagogical workers who choose distance form of studies. On the base of establishments of education it must be organized studies;
  • realization of valuable methodical accompaniment of courses, namely tutors preparation for work in the district and town centers of DE. With the purpose of it, on the base of the Institute, a problem thematic course for the newly-appointed methodologists and tutors ‘Organization and contents of distance in-service teacher training courses’ is planned.

The quality of distance education is not lower than the quality of full-time learning, as the best professors and lectures are involved in preparation of didactics materials for studies the most modern educational and methodological materials are used. However, individual skills, knowledge, experience and professional level of a trainee have an important value in the system of DE. The result of trainees activities much depends on the trainee, his willingness to learn, motivation and capacity, regardless the level of education programs and technologies.

Consequently, use of information and communication technologies in the system of in-service teacher education provides the new methods of presenting educational material, stimulates trainees to positive educational activity, enables teachers to release his own, formed in accordance with individual features and requirements, trajectory of studies. Overall, use of ICT in the in-service teacher education system can be effective only on condition of the development of scientifically grounded technologies of studies both in relation to the subject of studies and to educational establishment on the whole. In addition to the problem of modernization of materiel of educational environment, there is a problem of necessity of substantial modernization (scientifically grounded and pedagogically expedient) of organizational forms of studies and methodology, as traditional organization of educational process does not provide meeting modern requirements to the educational process and results.

 

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Бендерець Н.М., Борбіт А.В. Модель регіональної  системи дистанційного підвищення кваліфікації педагогічних працівників в Київській області та ії реалізація

У статті представлено модель впровадження дистанційної форми навчання в систему післядипломної освіти педагогічних працівників Київської області. Джерелами інформації стали діяльність інших навчальних закладів, вітчизняні і зарубіжні матеріали з питань сучасних розроблень і перспектив розвитку системи дистанційної освіти. Описано моделі та підходи до організації інформаційно-навчального середовища, створення гіпертекстових електронних посібників.

Ключові слова: інформаційно-комунікаційні технології, дистанційне навчання, тьютор, дидактичне забезпечення, система дистанційного навчання.

 

Бендерец Н.Н., Борбит А.В. Модель региональной системы дистанционного повышения квалификации педагогических кадров в Киевской области и её реализация

В статье представлена модель внедрения дистанционной формы обучения в систему последипломного образования педагогических работников Киевской области. Источниками информации стали деятельность других образовательных учреждений, отечественные и зарубежные материалы по вопросам современных разработок и перспектив развития системы дистанционного образования. Описаны модели и подходы к организации информационно-обучающей среды, создания гипертекстовых электронных пособий.

Ключевые слова: информационно-коммуникативные технологии, дистанционное обучение, тьютор, дидактическое обеспечение, система дистанционного обучения.

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