Online Education Participants: Standing Together or Falling Apart?
The paper summarizes the findings from research by Russian scholars into the expansion of online education technologies into Russian universities. Risks are described connected with the unpreparedness of the education process participants to be fully engaged in the new education format. Two opinion polls were organized among students and university staff in order to reveal their assessment of education strategies and their involvement in online education. The study has shown that neither students nor academic staff at provincial universities are sufficiently involved in the process, which does not enable any forecast to be made pertaining to online training efficiency. So far, it is only the opportunities to access, participate and use online education that can be assessed. The survey has revealed a significant difference in students’ and lecturers’ perception of online education. While students are ready to switch to the new format, lecturers prefer classical approaches. They display negative attitudes, tend to avoid changes and stress that the expansion of online education services may result in a lower status and loss of prestige for the teaching profession. The possibility of their participation in developing online education products is doubtful. The lack of either experience or desire to be involved in the process may result in a low quality of online courses and programs, if developed. The study enables the authors to define a problem field of youth education choice management. This field includes issues of self-study needs satisfaction, a lower level of knowledge in today’s young generation and information retaining difficulty, the “external memory” problem resulting from the abundance of gadgets et cetera. Risks are described pertaining to youth’s uncontrolled involvement in online education alternatives connected with human capital structure changes, emergence of negative generation characteristics and education prospects.
Keywords: youth, academic staff, education, education strategies, online education, self-study
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