Implementation and Assessment of a Blended Learning Environment in Postgraduate Education


The article is devoted to the description of information technology (IT) tools in teaching foreign languages to PhD students in a digital environment. The authors describe the methodological basis for designing an assessment system that is relevant to the specific character of digital education, clarify the main functions of new assessment tools and determine the peculiarities of this activity in connection with information technology. The article deals with explaining the use of IT tools with an emphasis on the study of the educational content of the student and the development of personal soft skills. The results include monitoring the performance achieved in the learning process, authors’ observations and research based on post graduates’ outcomes and aimed at monitoring the development of their own perspective. The findings were confirmed by prognostic simulation and experimental learning. According to the authors, the use of information technology tools, as well as technology-based assessment, is based on principles which tend to challenge traditional learning and teaching practices and, thus, affect education policies and systems. On the other hand, piloting this technology has outlined a promising range of problems that need to be addressed in further research related to higher education.

Keywords: digital environment, technology-based assessment, blended learning, a postgraduate course, soft skills, professional development

[1] Sergeyeva, S.V., Voskrekasenko, O. A. (2016). The formation of students’ social competences in a technical university as a multilevel educational complex. Integration of Education, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 484–492.

[2] Cheah, Ch. Y. J., Chen, P. H., Ting, S. K. (2005). Globalization challenges, legacies, and civil engineering curriculum reform. Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, vol. 131, no. 2, pp. 105–110.

[3] Bonk, C. J., Graham, C. R. (2006). Handbook of blended learning: Global perspectives, local designs. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer Publishing.

[4] Watson, J. (2008). Blended learning: The convergence of online and face-to-face education. North American Council for Online Learning. 16 p.

[5] Yarotskaya, L. V. (2016). A foreign language and development of professional personality (nonlinguistic higher school). Moscow: Triumph, 258 p.

[6] Vonog, V. V., Prokhorova, O. A. (2015). A competence-based approach in teaching foreign languages during a postgraduate course. Bulletin of Tomsk State Pedagogical University, vol. 12, no. 165, pp. 25–30.

[7] Byram, M. (1997). Teaching and Assessing Intercultural Communicative Competence. Clevedon, Multilingual Matters, 587 p.

[8] Pavlova, I. P. (2003). On testing tasks, tests and different strategies of testing. Bulletin of Moscow State Linguistic University, vol. 477, pp. 146–159.

[9] Galustyan, O.V. (2010). Assessment of foreign communicative competence of non-linguistics higher school students in terms of Bolonskii process, In Proceedings of the 10th Russian-American research and practice conference. Topical issues of modern university education. Saint Petersburg, pp. 255–257.

[10] Little, D. (1991). Learner Autonomy. Dublin: Authentik.

[11] Scharer, R. (2009). European Language Portfolio: Final Report 2008. Executive summary.

[12] Titova S. V. (2017). The model of education mobility used for teaching foreign languages. Pedagogical and psychological studies of education, vol. 1, pp. 122–133.

[13] Smolyaninova, O. G. (2016). The problem of the assessment of educational achievements: eportfolio technology. Informatics and Education, vol. 1, no. 270, pp. 55–63.

[14] Koryakovtseva, N. F. (2010). The theory of teaching foreign languages. Productive education technologies. Moscow. Akademia, 192 p.

[15] Vonog, V. V. (2016). Alternative methods of evaluation in teaching foreign languages in terms of Russian academic excellence program (With Reference to Siberian Federal University). Bulletin of Moscow state linguistic university, vol. 16, no. 755, pp. 7–16.

[16] Ilina, N. F., Petrova, E. O. (2016). Criteria of readiness of Medical Institute students for communication in English for professional use. Standards and monitoring in education, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 20–24.

[17] Brian, T. (2005). Testing to learn: a personal view of language testing. ELT Journal. Oxford, Oxford University Press, vol. 59, no. 1, pp. 39–46.

[18] Burgess, S., Head, K. (2006). How to Teach Exams. Pearson, 157 р.

[19] Douglas, Dan. (2010). Understanding Language Testing. Routledge, 156 p.

[20] Koskensalo, A., Smeds, J., Kaikkonen, P., & Kohonen, V. (Eds./Hg.). (2007). Foreign Languages and Multicultural Perspectives in the European Context / Fremdsprachen und Multikulturelle Perspektiven im Europäischen Kontext. Dichtung-Wahrheit-Sprache. Berlin: LIT Verlag.

[21] Weir, C. J. (2005). Language Testing and Validation: An Evidence-Based Approach. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

[22] Whitelock, D., Watt, S. (2008). Reframing e-assessment: adopting new media and adapting old frameworks. Learning, Media and Technology, vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 151–154.

[23] Sadler, D. R. (2010). Beyond feedback: developing student capability in complex appraisal. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, vol. 35, no. 5, pp. 535–550.

[24] Jenkins, H., Clinton, K., Purushotma, R., Robison, A. J. and Weigel, M. (2006). Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. A MacArthur Foundation report.

[25] Facer, K. (2012). Taking the 21st century seriously: young people, education and sociotechnical futures. Oxford Review of Education, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 97–113.

[26] Claxton, G. (2007). Expanding young people’s capacity to learn. British Journal of Educational Studies, vol. 55, no. 2, pp. 115–134.

[27] Pellegrino, J. W., Quellmalz, E. S. (2010). Perspectives on the Integration of Technology and Assessment. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 119–134.

[28] Bennett, R. E. (2002). Inexorable and Inevitable: The Continuing Story of Technology and Assessment. Journal of Technology, Learning and Assessment, vol. 1, no. 1. URL:

[29] Whitelock, D. (2010). Activating Assessment for Learning: Are We on the Way with Web 2.0? Web 2.0-Based-E-Learning: Applying Social Informatics for Tertiary Teaching. IGI Global. 319–342.

[30] Goutondji, A. E. (2015). The use of mock conferences as means of practical instruction in simultaneous interpreting training, with specific reference to Model United Nations conferences. Mini-dissertation (MA)-University of Pretoria. URL: