06 Apr 2020

A milestone: more than 60 GSOM professors met online to discuss distance teaching formats

On April 3, 2020, at the Graduate School of Management, SPbU, more than 60 representatives of the faculty discussed the organization of an online work with students in an online format. Professors shared their experience in keeping students' attention in online class, tools for interactive work, and much more.


One of the most pressing issues was ethics: should be there the possibility of recording lectures and seminars? Several positions were confronted at once, on the one hand there were the privacy of participants and copyrights to the material, and on the other hand, there were various time zones of students and other personal circumstances of students. The issue will continue to be discussed at the ethics committee at GSOM SPbU.


Lecturers have pointed several tools to in e-learning. Chat is the most popular tool among MS Teams users. It allows lecture to quickly ask and answer questions during the lesson and even control students.


“Chat is a good tool for checking students' involvement in the educational process. For example, after a break, I ask students to write in the chat if they return and are ready to continue the lesson. During the lecture, I ask questions that require simple feedback from students, which helps me understand their involvement and interest. It’s additionally convenient to use interactive tools, such as menti.com, for example,” Maria M. Smirnova, Head of the Marketing Department, said. Many lectures note that the transition to online has required updating additional materials. So, Maria Smirnova updated all the teaching materials, which now helps students to study the material on their own and later discuss online. 


The lecturers discussed various options and tools of the MS Teams platform that they use in their work. Among the main ones are “Board”, “Screen Demonstration” and chat. “As part of the Microeconomics course, I used one of the platform tools, which is called the "Board". It allows me to demonstrate the problem-solving process to students and to take it apart with them,” said Tatyana M. Sklyar, Academic Director of the Bachelor in Public Administration program.   


“As part of the course in English “Financial Analysis” for Bachelor students, we analyze the solution to a large number of problems. I developed two ways to conduct such classes in MS Teams. The first option is the use of chat: I demonstrate the conditions of the task on a presentation slide, and students, having solved the problem, write the resulting answers in the chat. The second option, if the task condition is large and has additional data files, I use the “Screen Demo” button and show pre-prepared materials. Then we together with the students analyze the task and fill out the answer table,” Egor Dm. Nikulin, Associate Professor, Department of Finance and Accounting.


The meeting participants discussed new approaches to conducting lectures in an online format that will help them improve the quality of the teaching material, as well as issues related to innovations in the learning process.


The next meeting is scheduled for April 10, 2020. On that date representatives of the faculty will discuss the technology of conducting tests and exams online.