Be Productive Every Minute
The Associate Professor of the Department of Social Science and Social Work, Candidate of Social Sciences Yulia Petrovskaya talked about distance education.
“I have long been using elements of distance education in work with both our students and international students in the framework of cooperation with foreign partner universities. So it was not that new to me. Moreover, distance forms of teaching are part and parcel of the work of a modern higher education teacher.
Yet I must say that I miss the face-to-face contact with students and colleagues. Besides, teaching such “helping” professions as a social worker cannot be done completely in the remote mode. There are essentially practical aspects that require face-to-face contact between a teacher and a student. No distance technology can substitute training classes that develop certain professional skills.
Distance education is a heavy workload for both teachers and students. Both sides need to prepare for classes, spend much time on studying material and reforming it, reconsider forms of classes. To make it clear, to me distance education does not mean that I give students assignments for individual work and then check it. I work with my students online according to a strict schedule. We have managed to arrange both lectures and practical classes in the form of seminars, discussions, creative tasks and even group work on projects and their presentation.”
When asked what learning platforms she used, Yulia Petrovskaya said:
“I use various platforms with prior discussions with students. We use platforms that allow free conferences with a large number of participants. We hold consultations on course papers and theses online and offline (by email, in social networks). Even while some course and theses research work is now in jeopardy (most studies are done at the premises of institutions that are now closed due to quarantine) we are looking for options to do quality work following the principles of scientific research.
I want to thank my students for resilience, diligence, discipline and the genuine desire to do their best in the current situation. It is amazing!”
According to Yulia Petrovskaya, she does not have free time:
“My time is filled with everything important to me. Yet against the backdrop of distance learning and self-isolation, the time is organized differently. Now I spend more time at home, as I do not have to commute and sit in traffic, which is unusual. I can devote time to tasks that have long been neglected: research work, distance communication with colleagues from other universities, and finally, I can spend more time with my family. The time spent with a small child is precious. As you know, daycare centers are closed as well. What do we do at home? We read books, practice walking on the balcony, try various entertainments, take care of houseplants, cook dishes that we usually do not have time to cook.”
Yulia Petrovskaya offered her advice to colleagues and students:
“Stay healthy! Take care of yourself and your near and dear ones. Pay more attention to each other and monitor your state of health. Distance learning requires discipline and routine. You should not forget that we are not on vacation. Do not push to the side what you normally do on regular working days. Be productive every minute. In this way, we will have no trouble returning to the normal rhythm and meeting the challenges.”