In January 2020, Chinese students from NUST MISIS were transferred to individual curricula, allowing them to study remotely from home. The program, originally designed for a month, was extended due to the epidemiological situation, which does not prevent Chinese citizens from fully mastering the educational program and successfully preparing for graduation works.
Currently, there are 43 students from China studying at NUST MISIS, 12 of them are in Russia, and 31, who did not have time to return from vacation, are in China. All of them are transferred to individual curricula and remotely go through an educational program under the guidance of curators and teachers.
“I like the distance learning format. Thanks to it, I can continue to study, being thousands of kilometers away from the university. I want to return to Russia as soon as possible. I miss my friends,” says Liu Binbin, a 4th-year undergraduate student in the Department of Economics at NUST MISIS, who went home for the winter holidays and did not manage to return to Russia on time due to the quarantine.
As her scientific advisor, associate professor of the Department of Economics of NUST “MISiS”, Ph.D. Alexander Aleksakhin notes: “We are conducting training in the last semester and writing the thesis remotely. To conduct classes and write tests, we use the Canvas University educational platform, Zoom video conferencing service, etc. As a research supervisor, I advise Liu Binbin on emerging issues using the WhatsApp messenger and e-mail. I think that the educational process will be completed successfully and on time.”
Chinese students note that distance learning allows them to master the material on time, despite the difficult epidemiological situation in the world.
According to Gao Zhengfeng, a first-year student of the NUST MISIS Advanced Materials Science English-taught program, he can continue to study fully thanks to the support of the university: “It is valuable to me that the university provided me with such an opportunity in this difficult time for the whole world. Professors send assignments through curators and group leaders. Almost every day we call up fellow students and discuss the material covered, do our homework. The only difficulty is the difference in time zones. I am looking forward to my return to Moscow! ”
For teachers, this situation is both a challenge and an opportunity to be creative in adapting the material to a new format. The technical capabilities of NUST MISIS allow them to quickly respond to changing conditions and give students the material in the required volume and without failures in time.
“Despite the epidemiological situation, the classes in the framework of my course ‘Materials of Quantum Electronics’ have not been interrupted and are held on schedule and in full. The decision on the distance learning option was made promptly and we, the lecturers, also quickly adjusted our curricula and processed the working materials to give the course material as fully and conveniently as possible to the students, says the professor of the English-taught Master’s program, associate professor at NUST MISIS, Ph.D. Oleg Rabinovich. — We encountered difficulties in visualizing the material, but the Zoom platform solved these problems. Another problem is that the online format does not allow to provide students with real samples of the studied devices to understand the features of their work. We will have to postpone these classes to a later period when they return to education in classrooms and laboratories.
Chinese students have shown themselves to be attentive and involved students: they actively ask questions, clarify the nuances. This creates the feeling of a standard conversation in the audience. The only difficulty is the feedback — the scientific spirit is floating in the audience, but on the Internet — everything is more reserved. However, scientific jokes succeed even with this educational format. It is evident that the undergraduates are not just being on quarantine, but want to get knowledge and pass the exam well.”
In general, the educational process has not undergone major changes: students receive theoretical material, work with their supervisors and mentors. But everything is online. At the same time, students have the opportunity to flexibly change the class schedule, redistribute individual educational modules and supplement the educational program with elective courses.