Autonomous Educational Activities In The Educational Process Of The University

Abstract

Autonomous educational activity of students is a process of forming the skills necessary to create their own educational product. The formation of the skills is conditioned by organizational-pedagogical, psychological-pedagogical and didactic conditions, such as educational and methodological equipment, training of teachers, subject to subject relations between teachers and students. Pedagogical conditions are aimed at solving problems that arise in the implementation of an integral pedagogical process. The purpose of the study is to determine the pedagogical conditions, the implementation of which in the educational process will contribute to the effective formation of students’ readiness for autonomous educational activity, manifested in the skills of goal-setting, goal-fulfilment, self-reflection and self-government. We answer the questions of how to determine and evaluate autonomous educational activity of students, what pedagogical conditions determine its formation, how to effectively organize the corresponding educational processes. The proposed methodology has shown its effectiveness in forming students' readiness for autonomous educational activities.

Keywords: autonomous educational activityeducational process

Introduction

A person learns all his life. In the modern world, the need to acquire new knowledge does not end with a diploma. The educational process continues throughout the entire professional activity. The labour market has its own requirements for the quality of specialist training. Today, specialists are required not only to have a theoretical knowledge base, but also to be able to demonstrate various types of professional activity, general and professional culture, readiness for further professional, career and personal growth and continuous professional education.

Today, one of the main factors of economic development of modern society is human capital. Modern education should be focused on the formation of a fully developed and socially responsible personality, determined by the need and ability to achieve further professional growth, to expand and acquire new knowledge, creative activity and social responsibility. The development of professional mobility will allow a modern specialist to feel confident in the labour market, be competitive and in demand. But the awareness of these provisions should be internally accepted and represent personal meanings of each individual’s professional activities.

Problem Statement

Individuals need to acquire new additional knowledge as a result of emergence and implementation of new technologies in the workflow, because of career growth, change of activity, change of job, getting a new profession, etc. All these points are a push to get new knowledge. But the problem is that not everyone can and wants to learn. Some do not know how to do this, some simply cannot overcome their own laziness, others say that they do not have enough time. All this is the effect of the inability to learn, the inability to organize oneself. On the other hand, we have a lot of examples when people study, make a career, change their profession, and become successful. What is the reason, are they just lucky or are they very talented? Of course not, although the last is not excluded. What is luck or talent? In our opinion, this is the ability to overcome oneself, set a goal and move towards it. When a student comes to the university, he or she is completely confused. After all, students must independently build their educational activities: set tasks, be able to plan the progress, choose rational ways to solve problems, be able to check and evaluate their work. But to do it you need to be able to organize yourself, your time, your workplace; you must be able to work with information, which requires the ability and skill to study workbooks, textbooks, library resources; to be able to write essays, to work with projects.

One of the conditions for the formation of the above-mentioned skills is the autonomous educational activity of students. In recent years, the autonomous educational activity of students is considered as an effective direction for obtaining individual education, taking into account both the student’s own needs and his or her intentions for further professional activity (Shaosen, 2018). According to a number of authors, autonomous educational activity solves such problems as the development of the student’s ability to independently carry out productive educational, and later professional activities, independently manage their stages, take responsibility for the process and product of such activities, being ready for further self-development and self-realization (Bukhteeva, Chernavsky, Vartanova, & Gerasimenko, 2019).

Education should be focused on formation of a personality with the need and ability to acquire new knowledge. Thus it is important to foster the autonomous educational activity of students.

Research Questions

The hypothesis of our research is that the pedagogical conditions of autonomous educational activity, as a component of the pedagogical system, should include a set of measures aimed at forming readiness for autonomous educational activity. These include educational and methodological support and pedagogical interaction, supported by appropriate content, methods and organizational forms of training and education. We answer the questions of how to determine and evaluate autonomous educational activity of students, what pedagogical conditions determine its formation, how to effectively organize the corresponding educational processes.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this article is to identify and justify the pedagogical conditions, the implementation of which in the educational process will contribute to the effective formation of readiness for autonomous educational activities, due to the ability to set goals, achieve them, conduct self-reflection and self-government.

To achieve this objective, the authors solve the following tasks:

  • Analyze approaches to the definition of pedagogical conditions;

  • Determine the pedagogical conditions for the formation of readiness for autonomous educational activities in the educational process.

Research Methods

To solve the first problem, the authors analyzed the psychological and pedagogical literature of Russian and foreign scientists. Scientific sources were selected based on their conceptual provisions, which are the theoretical and methodological bases for determining the pedagogical conditions for the formation of students’ readiness for autonomous educational activities based on the skills of goal-setting, goal-fulfilment, self-reflection and self-government.

To solve the second task, the authors tested in the educational process different variants of teacher’s behaviour and instructional support, which were proposed in a number of monographs, educational and methodological guides. We have tested the techniques of psychological and methodological support of teachers and students, as well as technology of formation of readiness for autonomous learning activities.

Findings

Based on the analysis of approaches to determining the pedagogical conditions of a number of authors we will rely in our research on the position of V. I. Andreev that pedagogical conditions are a set of measures of pedagogical influence and opportunities of the material and spatial environment, that is, as a set of measures that include the content, methods, organizational forms of training and education (Andreev, 1988).

The analysis of research on this problem allowed us to distinguish three types of pedagogical conditions: organizational-pedagogical, psychological-pedagogical and didactic (Volkova, 2002).

Organizational-pedagogical conditions are seen as opportunities of training and education, opportunities, content, forms, methods, and logistics of the teaching process aimed at the successful solution of educational tasks by managing its components. Its main function is to manage the pedagogical process (Kozyreva, 1999).

Psychological-pedagogical conditions are determined by a set of opportunities of the educational environment, measures of influence, effective methods of activity aimed at the development and improvement of personality characteristics, taking into account individual psychological characteristics. The function of this type of pedagogical conditions is to educate, train and develop the student’s personality (Egorina, 2001).

Didactic conditions are the result of special selection and application of content components, certain methods and organizational forms of training to achieve didactic learning goals. The function of this type of pedagogical conditions is to determine the content, methods, forms aimed at achieving the planned tasks and goals.

To identify the pedagogical conditions of autonomous educational activity of students, we have studied the very concept of “autonomous educational activity” in the psychological and pedagogical works of Russian and foreign authors (Holec, 2018). From the point of view of determining the pedagogical conditions of autonomous educational activity, we support the view of Koryakovceva (2001), who believes that autonomous educational activity includes:

  • involvement of the student in the socio-cultural process as an active subject and the realization of his or her personal potential;

  • creating conditions for self-expression and self-realization of the student;

  • actualization of educational and cognitive activity and mastering the methods and system of this activity as the basis for his or her independent development;

  • focus on creating student’s personally significant educational product;

  • orientation on independent acquisition of knowledge in order to solve specific problems and accumulation of corresponding experience;

  • inclusion of the student in a certain socio-cultural context related to his or her life.

We believe that all three types of pedagogical conditions are necessary for the formation of autonomous educational skills, namely: organizational-pedagogical, psychological-pedagogical and didactic.

The organizational-pedagogical conditions in the context of our research include methodological training of teachers and providing them with educational and methodological material. Educational materials include various recommendations for teachers on the organization of autonomous educational activities, which reflect all their aspects, concepts of educational strategies, as well as methods, forms and means of forming the skills of goal-setting, goal-fulfilment, reflection and self-government, forms of interaction of subjects of the educational process. As teaching materials for teachers, we used monographs prepared by us, such as “The concept of autonomous educational activity of students” and “Modular approach to the organization of Autonomous educational activity of students”.

In the first monograph, which can be used by both teachers and students to organize autonomous educational activities, we analyze the concept of learning activities and autonomous learning activities, and introduce readers to such concepts as learning strategies, learning styles, show the role of the teacher in autonomous learning activities. The concept of autonomous educational activity and its implementation technology are proposed.

The other monograph is devoted to the topic of organizing autonomous educational activities of students based on a modular approach. We examine the trends of modern higher education, the impact of globalization on its development, address the issues of continuing professional education in Russia, and provide examples of foreign practice in organizing training of students. We also analyze the concept of “culture” from the point of view of the formation of autonomous educational activities of students and present a model of professional training of a specialist in the tourist sphere based on a modular approach, as well as provide methodological recommendations for organizing autonomous educational activities of students.

In addition to teaching materials, it is necessary to conduct seminars and open classes, where the application of the above recommendations is shown in practice. It is also necessary to develop special training tasks for students, the purpose of which is to form a certain type of skills of autonomous educational activity.

To organize training sessions in offline training activities and form students’ skills of goal setting, goal fulfilment, self-reflection, and self-government in training activities, we have developed a training manual “Country studies of German-speaking countries”. This training manual can be used for both classroom and independent extracurricular work of students. The methodological basis of this tutorial is an autonomous approach. The main idea is that the student receives knowledge not in a ready-made form, but learns to extract it him or herself, while realizing the content and methods of educational activities, which contributes to the formation of his or her abilities and skills for autonomous educational, and in the future, professional activities.

The manual introduces the geography, climate, economy, political, social and educational systems of German-speaking countries. It includes theoretical information on relevant topics, a short dictionary, questions to the text, as well as a number of exercises to practice and consolidate lexical skills as part of independent work on the material. When working with texts about Austria and Switzerland, we recommend that students develop questions for the texts themselves, write out reference words, translate into Russian, choose, at their own discretion, a country with a different language and make a similar text about it. The manual also presents theoretical material on the dialect diversity of German-speaking countries. As a result of studying this topic, students can choose one of the Federal States of Germany and prepare a presentation or abstract. Students also learn about the history of education in the European Union. The texts of the website “Deutsche Welle” are additional country studies material. The result of working on each of the texts is the writing of an essay in which students express their opinion on this topic, as well as describe the situation of solving similar problem or issue in Russia. The final part of the tutorial presents a variety of tests, that allow not only to identify the level of knowledge, but also fill in the knowledge gaps by referring to various literary and Internet sources, as well as to reflect on your actions in the process of learning materials. The manual contains a Glossary that explains specific terms. The list of references includes educational publications on the country studies of German-speaking countries, links to German-language portals and Internet resources, which allows to rationally organize extracurricular independent work of students, as well as improve skills and practical knowledge of the German language.

We have prepared educational-methodical tutorial “Methodical recommendations for students for the organization of autonomous learning activities”. The tutorial contains recommendations for students on the organization of autonomous educational activities. The authors introduce students to the concepts of “strategies of educational activities”, “self-management of educational activities”, and give recommendations: how to encourage yourself to learn, how to prepare for the exam, how to learn a foreign language easily. The authors offer useful links to Russian and foreign libraries, as well as useful books for developing their intellectual potential.

Psychological and pedagogical conditions are determined by the new role of the teacher, acting as a consultant, assistant; building relationships of cooperation; teaching strategies of goal setting, goal fulfilment, self-reflection, self-management, as the best ways to achieve the goal. The teacher-consultant accompanies the student in the educational process, provides him with consulting assistance in solving problems of an educational or personal nature. Pedagogical counselling can be considered in a narrow and broad sense. In a narrow sense, it means the consistent and systematic conduct of consultations and the provision of consulting services. In a broad sense, consulting also includes moderation of group work, individual and group supervision, and mentoring. An important feature of mentoring is that it is more personal and takes place in a teaching environment where a more experienced teacher passes on their experience to a young specialist.

Psycho-pedagogical conditions of organization of independent educational activity from the perspective of a student are determined by the following characteristics of activities: self-identifying his or her needs and motives of educational activities; formulating the goal; developing a plan to achieve the goal; possessing a wide range of cognitive and metacognitive knowledge and learning strategies; self-regulating the process of goal formation, goal fulfilment, and self-reflection; self-evaluating training activities; taking responsibility for their learning activities; actively cooperating with the teacher and other students; striving for further self-education and self-development.

The educational process is based on subject-subject relations founded on the idea of cooperation and the principles of interdependence, equal responsibility for decisions, joint actions and evaluation of their actions.

As mentioned above, didactic conditions are the result of a special selection and application of content components, certain methods and organizational forms of training to achieve didactic learning goals.

To determine the content of autonomous educational activity, let’s consider the algorithm of students’ actions in the mode of autonomous educational activity. Analysis of research that deals with aspects of the organization of autonomous educational activities of students (Chik, 2017; Hu & Zhang, 2017; Klimas, 2017; Palfreyman, 2018) allowed us to create the following algorithm of students’ actions to form readiness for Autonomous educational activities:

  • Analysis of needs and requirements. The student determines what he or she would like to focus his attention on, improve the existing level of knowledge, acquire new knowledge, based on his or her interests and desires.

  • Determining the current skill level.

  • Allocating priorities in setting goals.

  • Selecting tools and training strategies.

  • Making a plan of action what and how to learn.

  • Making detailed description of the objectives.

  • Keeping a diary, which records the actions performed. This type of portfolio allows one to monitor and evaluate the learning process. In the diary student writes: what was studied, how it was studied, activities, topics, exercises, test results.

  • Using graphs or summary tables to evaluate and analyze the results achieved, evaluate satisfaction with the learning process.

We translate this algorithm of actions into the content of autonomous educational activity, the focus of which is the formation of skills of autonomous educational activity, such as the skills of goal setting, goal fulfilment, self-reflection and self-government.

The technology of forming the skills of autonomous educational activity of students is based on the use of methods: self-monitoring, educational and cognitive strategies, self-reflection in solving educational tasks as mini-projects that include a sequence of three phases: the design phase, the technological phase, and the reflection phase (Lin & Reigeluth, 2019).

Our hypothesis was based on the fact that the pedagogical conditions of autonomous educational activity, as a component of the pedagogical system, should include a set of measures aimed at forming readiness for autonomous educational activity, presented in the form of educational and methodological support and pedagogical interaction, supported by appropriate content, methods and organizational forms of training and education (Villamizar & Mejia, 2019). When analyzing the pedagogical conditions we saw three types of them: organizational-pedagogical, psychological-pedagogical and didactic.

Based on the approaches to the allocation of organizational-pedagogical conditions, training opportunities and education opportunities in the content, forms, methods, and logistics of the teaching process, we have prepared a monograph, which discusses the concept of autonomous learning activities, approaches to its organization in the educational process, given the foreign experience, the authors’ concept of autonomous learning activities (Liu, Huang, & Xu, 2018). When preparing teachers for the introduction of autonomous educational activities of students into the educational process, in addition to seminars, open classes, these monographs were recommended to them for additional information, for additional familiarization with the problem under consideration. However, students do not immediately start working in the mode of autonomous educational activities. The first step is to get acquainted with this concept, to realize for what purpose autonomous educational activities are introduced into the educational process.

Among the psychological-pedagogical conditions, we highlight the preparation of a teacher for a new role as an assistant or consultant. Teachers are used to seeing themselves as the head of the educational process, defining it and directing. But in autonomous educational activities, the training session is based on subject-subject relations, relations of partnership. The purpose of the lesson, the topic, and the training module are determined jointly, taking into account the views of each participant in the training process. Students also feel themselves in a new role. Through this interaction, they develop motivation, independence, and confidence that they will be able to cope with the task, first with the educational, and later with the professional. This thesis is based on the opinions of graduates, who note that the formed skills of goal setting, goal fulfilment, self-reflection and self-management help them in performing various professional tasks, not only in terms of the algorithm of actions, but also self-confidence, self-determination and choice. Taking up a professional task, they confidently take responsibility, are able to work in a team, do not hesitate to ask for help if necessary.

Didactic conditions are defined in the choice of content as well as in the technology of implementation of this content. This technology is based on a design and technological approach. Educational tasks and situations are presented in the form of educational mini-projects, the solution of which is a cycle of completed activities, consisting of the design phase, the technological phase and the phase of self-reflection. The result is the creation of your own educational product. The implementation of the three phases of the educational task is based on students’ knowledge of educational strategies and their ability to apply them to achieve the goal.

Conclusion

As we can see, pedagogical conditions are the requirements for the organization of the pedagogical process, as well as a set of measures, the implementation of which will contribute to a more effective flow of this process, the vector of which is represented by the stated goals. The implementation of correctly chosen pedagogical conditions ensures the development and effectiveness of the pedagogical system. Pedagogical conditions, being a component of the pedagogical system, are manifested in three types: organizational-pedagogical, psychological-pedagogical and didactic.

The organizational and pedagogical conditions of autonomous educational activity include: methodological training of teachers and providing them with educational and methodological material. Methodological training consists of seminars, round tables, open classes, exchange of experience. Educational and methodological support is presented in the monographs “The concept of autonomous educational activities of students” and “Modular approach to the organization of autonomous educational activities of students”. As a result of the research the manual “Methodological recommendations for students to organize autonomous educational activities” has been prepared for students.

To fulfil the psychological and pedagogical conditions, the teacher acts in a new role for himself - a consultant, while transferring the educational process from external management to self-management by students of their educational activities. The educational process is based on subject-subject relations.

The didactic aspect of pedagogical conditions is manifested in the content, which is determined by the formation of skills of autonomous educational activity and implemented by the pedagogical technology of forming the necessary skills.

Thus, on the one hand, general pedagogical condition of realization of the integrity of pedagogical process is the internal unity of its constituent components, their harmonic interaction due to fundamental principles of the organization of pedagogical process; on the other hand, pedagogical conditions are aimed at solving problems arising in the implementation of a holistic educational process.

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Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

25.12.2020

Doi

10.15405/epes.20121.31

Online ISSN

2672-815X