Tutors’ Support For Students Of Educational Intensive In Novsu

Abstract

Tutoring support of the individualization of education and its quality assessment based on the growth of a student’s competencies in a classical university is a response to both external and internal factors from subjects of education. The problem with introducing flexible educational models is the lack of trained personnel and the inertia of the classical education system. The first experience of tutoring students is described on the basis of the competency model of the NTI University 20.35 in educational intensive at Novgorod State University named after Yaroslav the Wise in 2018. The model of tutorial support for adult students of a digital University has been adapted for the students of a classical university. Employees external to UNTI broadcast its digital competency model through the framework management in project teams heterogeneous in age and direction of preparation. The task of tutorials was: identification of individual requests of students in the educational process; supporting the development of an individual educational trajectory (IET) and fixing its development; organization of reflection of the IET implementation results; interaction with a mentor. The focus of the tutor IET was formed by students on the educational deficit actualized by the project activity through a wide selection of online courses and offline activities. The article analyzes the dynamics of team and individual tutorials attendance, the reasons for its changes during the educational intensive. Recommendations and limitations based on the results of analysis of the NovSU tutorial team activities are presented.

Keywords: Educational intensiveindividual educational trajectorytutor

Introduction

Scientific and technological development of the country, primarily based on new technologies and digitalization, is one of the priorities nowadays. To maintain this trend, the dynamic development of a training system corresponding to market demand is necessary. This is possible through the creation of incentives that ensure the highly qualified specialists training in the context of globalization, standardization and integration into the global educational space through the prism of national interests of states (Dudin, Bezbakh, Frolova, & Galkina, 2018).

In a changing world, education should not remain unchanged, adapting to its target audience and the environment in which its graduates will work. Only training in which a personal process of structuring relevant knowledge occurs (Seter & Stan, 2018) can be recognized as effective while quality assessment is based on identifying the fact and dynamics of the increase in students’ knowledge and skills (Romanov, 2018). An informal teaching style helps in the development of scientific thinking, plays an important role in the training of generation Z students, and especially in the key competencies development (Kerekes, 2018). Moreover, a well-organized support for education enhances not only the student’s results, showing their individual progress, but is also accompanied by a change in the conditions in the organization (Zemskova, 2016). Thus, there is both an external (from the state) and an internal request (from a student) for the value of individual development and human subjectivity (Kovaleva & Yakubovskaya, 2017).

Problem Statement

The competency-based digital education model is being developed by the NTI “20.35” University (UNTI) focusing on individualized training for company leaders, the participants of the National Technological Initiative (NTI) and specialists working in new global markets. There the tutors are the translators of the value bases to the students.

However, the most relevant audience, which needs to adapt to a changing future and alter it in accordance with the development vectors of the country and the world economy, are those young people who are students currently studying mainly in classical universities. The university teaching staff do not have special training in tutoring, moreover, there is a fear that the pedagogical experience of assessment activities reduces the willingness to transfer to subject-subject relations, which are an integral part of tutoring.

Research Questions

Is the model of tutor support for adult students of the NTI 20.35 digital University applicable for students of a classical university?

Are the employees external to UNTI able to translate the values of a digital competency model to the students from classical universities?

Purpose of the Study

The aim of the study was to analyze the tutorial support for the educational intensive “University of NTI 20.35 at NovSU” conducted at Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod State University from 09/19/2018 to 12/10/2018.

Research Methods

In the educational intensive “NTI University 20.35 at NovSU” tutors were a key component of the implementation of a subject-oriented technology of individualization of the educational process, which includes the development of reflexivity, internal motivation, professional orientation and the formation of the subjective position of a student.

The stages of tutoring implementation are associated with the stages of developing an educational intensive model:

  • development of an interaction format (from 05/17/ 2018 to 06/09/2018);

  • model development (from 06/10/2018 to 09/05/2018);

  • PR campaign (from 09/05/2019 to 09/10/2018);

  • training and selection (from 09/06 to 09/15/2018);

  • testing the basic methodology of tutors' work and testing hypotheses of tutoring support (from 09/19/ 2018 to 12/10/ 2018);

  • preparation of verified recommendations (from 12/15/2018 to 01/15/2019).

To develop a unified approach to understanding the role of participants and the system of interaction between the parties, a series of strategic sessions was held; three start-ups, and then those dedicated directly to the tutorial model: one for designing at UNTI and the other for designing developers from NovSU. Almost before the launch of the intense, the latest version was finalized taking into account operational changes.

A public relations campaign was held: an ad was posted on NN.ru, other ones were placed on the university’s page and in a social network group, besides through UNTI channels among graduates of other university programs. The selection stages for tutors included resume submission, individual interview, training, participation as facilitators in the game “Challenges of the Digital Economy”.

To ensure the legal regulation of support, a training program “Tutoring in the framework of the competency model of the University of NTI 20.35” was designed. From September 6 to 10, UNTI methodologists conducted practice-oriented training immersing in activity and tutorial support model refinement became part of it.

The university’s tutor team management can be described as a framework when values (digital model of UNTI competencies, subjectivity, individual educational path) and frequency of meetings (once a week - team meeting, once per beat - individual meeting with each student) and reporting form (profile) are present. Socratic dialogue and reflection were encouraged as the main work tools.

Work with students was carried out in the form of tutorials which aimed at identifying students’ individual requests in the educational process; supporting the development of an individual educational trajectory (IET) and fixing its progress; organizing the reflection of the IET implementation results; interacting with a mentor.

After the meetings, a profile was filled out in a form that set the scope of the topics discussed at the meetings, helped to maintain focus on communication, team development dynamics and educational trajectory. Filling out the profile was quite subjective in nature, being a tutor's interpretation of the answers to their questions. The objective part was only fixing the very course of the meeting. The tutors themselves built the scheme of their work with the student team, put forward hypotheses regarding their own work and tested them.

During the intensive course, supervision by the tutors of the University 20.35 was carried out both in the team (twice per cycle) and individually (once per cycle). In addition to the reflective task, these meetings were to carry out updated methodological support.

Particular attention was paid to the analysis of mistakes made as an opportunity to learn, to be aware of one’s learning problems and to progress in acquiring new knowledge.

Findings

The public relations campaign resulted in 40 resumes being submitted, according to which 14 people were later selected for training. The main criterion for selection was openmindedness, since the stability / flexibility of stereotypes and value-normative settings are crucial for being ready for a new professional activity type. The documentation of training is fixed through orders for admission and expulsion from continuing education courses.

Since some of the 14 people who completed the training were not ready to start work in a new quality, the team of tutors included 9 people: 5 teachers and 2 employees from the talent development center in NovSU in addition to a coach and a psychologist. Time, financial and emotional costs were differentiated by the applicants themselves depending on the level of motivation, personal ambitions and a number of other conditions, which is typical for the faculty motivation (Rogach, Frolova, & Ryabova, 2019). Already during the intensive course, two tutors were suspended from work for personal reasons. The initial number of people who expressed a desire to undergo training at a tutor decreased to 18%. The presence of a sufficient inlet funnel provided the possibility of a stable and most effective support, taking into account the fact that only one tutor had some previous professional experience, which was also not obtained when working with student teams.

Student teams which the tutors were assigned for were heterogeneous.

The organized teams included students from different institutes, of different ages, of various levels of initial training and motivation of 3-7 people, fashion – 4. Seniors outnumbered (36%), sophomores and juniors were equally presented (24-25%). Freshmen and college representatives were in the minority, which both significantly increased the risk for them not to be heard in the team or unknowingly join the majority. Team members were mostly unfamiliar before, which is a plus from the point of view of a creative approach to the project, but it can be a minus in terms of the different ability to quickly establish new contacts and maintain the established ones. To avoid this, some work was carried out with communication, role distribution and team dynamics at team meetings, with motivation and awareness - at individual meetings as well as the reflection on conflicts that arose.

In quantitative terms, the leading position was taken by students of the Polytechnic College and the Institute of Economics and Management (19-22%), the least represented were the institutes of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Continuing Pedagogical Education (3.4%). The remaining four institutes were represented more evenly (10-13%). Mutual enrichment of all the participants in the intensive course took place thanks to the interdisciplinarity of the teams, which activates active learning, critical thinking and skills to solve students’ inevitable problems (Pastushkova, Savateeva, Trotsenko, & Savateev, 2019).

In the context of educational activities, the project component acted as a zone of proximal development, which allows us to record the development vectors initiated in this educational activity, available resources and problem epicenters that block the course of development (Zaretsky & Nikolaevskaya, 2019). Creating a request through the arising educational deficits, students made a choice from the proposed online and offline activities and formed an individual educational trajectory. Assessment of the students’ level and structure of motivation along with feedback were indicators of the quality of education.

One of the important factors, the pressure of which increased during the intensive period, was the students’ high workload and general fatigue due to the increased study load, as they were intensively mastered as an additional educational module including project meetingsas well as online and offline activities. Maintaining a resource state and conscious motivation also became part of the tutor's work.

It should be noted that tutorial meetings were held stably and regularly, even in times of crisis in the team development dynamics, the collapse of project ideas and their success, too. For comparison, the attendance of project meetings, which the allotted time and place was provided for, did not overcome the downward trend, on the contrary, it rapidly increased by the second cycle. By the third cycle, less than half of the students came to meet their project mentors. Attendance averaged 79% for team and 94% for individual meetings. A very strong positive relationship (r = 0.65) between attendance at individual and team meetings was registered. The starting attendance rate was 86 and 95% respectively.

The analysis of the attendance dynamics suggests that it decreased in the first cycle (by 5–6%) due to the adaptation to the increased load, correlation of the study schedule at the main place of study and the participation in intensive events. In the third cycle, active work is done to complete the project and prepare it for presentation, which also sets priorities in the time allocation not in favor of the project activities. Almost all students came to the final meeting when the program was completed (98% for individual meetings), which once again confirms the high value of what they learned from tutorials.

In the attendance of team meetings, a clear failure in the second cycle (up to 73%) is due to the fact that by this time almost all the teams went to the seething phase which resulted in the decrease of the motivation for joint meetings. The tutors’ work at focusing team dynamics allowed us to overcome this expected crisis.

In total, 12 meetings were held with each of the teams; on average, each student visited 9.5 of them spending 78 + 19 min (according to an unrepeated, representative 8% sample of all meetings). Two individual meetings with three students were held, four - with 8, with the rest - scheduled five meetings lasting 26 + 14min (according to a systematic selection of people according to the list of students, k = 2, meeting number - randomly). The relative variability of the duration of individual meetings (54%) is twice as high as that of team meetings (24%), which is related both to the tutor's approach to meeting fullness and the willingness of individual students to give detailed answers to the proposed questions.

The lack of measurable data fixation in the form of coordinated tests on subjectivity and motivation does not allow to make reasoned conclusions about the dynamics of these indicators for students. There remains the need to work on the restoration of the ontological scheme of subjectivity formation grounded on an empirically based model of the formation of the subject of innovative pedagogical activity (Zobkov, 2019).

Conclusion

In general, the hypothesis about the possibility of using the 20.35 University model of tutoring with the involvement of external employees in a classical university was confirmed.

The factors that contributed to the hypothesis implementation and can be used as recommendations are as follows: a wide entrance funnel, transparent selection criteria, training by specialists - carriers of the value foundations of UNTI 20.35, framework management and regular supervision.

Limiting the study of the activities of tutors to put forward more significant hypotheses: on-the-go learning, the lack of a unified meeting methodology, and, as a result, unified databases of measurable effectiveness with respect to increasing subjectivity, motivation, awareness, etc.

Acknowledgments

Belozerova Irina, Head of the Department of Tutors, University of NTI 20.35.

Genarov Vitaliy, Head of Administrative Department.

Kulyasova Alexandra, admittance manager.

Alexei Makarevich, methodological support for tutors.

Ninenko Ivan, project manager “University of NTI 20.35 at NovSU”, UNTI.

Serebryakova Evgenia, project manager “University of NTI 20.35 at NovSU”, NovSU.

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Publisher

Future Academy

First Online

23.01.2020

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2019.12.05.66

Online ISSN

2357-1330