At present higher educational institutions are integrating into the global educational space. In this research, the authors aim to identify the conditions for the formation of a new type of teacher: teacher-facilitator, teacher-tutor, teacher-moderator in the educational process for all levels of Higher Education: Bachelor’s / Master’s Degree Programmes based on the data obtained at Sevastopol State University. The characteristics of the main components of the teacher-facilitator are distinguished. The relevance of the problem investigated in the article is due to modern trends in the study of the methods of using e-learning and distance learning technologies in the educational process for the teachers’ professional competencies formation. The term «online identity» is considered in the theoretical aspect. The factors of its formation are highlighted. Based on the analysis of literary sources and the conducted empirical study, the authors present and substantiate the recommendation for online educators about the sorts of skills that it will be worth them gaining in order to be prepared for future innovations in e-learning. The study also presents the results of the experiment to reveal the attitude of future teachers to the expansion of professional roles and to identify the greatest benefit for creating an online identity as an educator in teaching to conduct professional training of undergraduate students. The new educator’s skills are summarized.
In the system of world education and education of the Russian Federation, as an integral part of it, reform processes, which significantly affects the formation of the teacher’s personality at the present stage, continue. Besides, the teacher ceases to perform only an educational function, he should immediately respond to the requirements of society as a customer of educational services, requests from participants in the educational process, changes in the labor market at all levels.
First of all, under present-day conditions the transition from paternalistic relations between teacher and student to relations of partnership and dialogue gets really matter for optimizing and improving the efficiency and quality of education in general.
Secondly, social changes in society and general trends in the field of education require a revision of the structure of scientific knowledge and the development of innovative approaches to the professional training of future teachers. With the development of e-learning in our country the inquiry a new type pedagogical personnel with creatively thinking, using innovative teaching technologies and engaging in self-education is becoming relevant. These changes definitely affect the structure and content of pedagogical activity and lead to the expansion of the professional roles of the future teacher. Along with the traditional roles in the professional activity of the future teacher appears necessity of “new” professional roles such as tutor, moderator, and facilitator (Dorofeev et al., 2019; Mena et al., 2016).
Over the past 20 years, Higher Education in Russia has been changed greatly. Also, with the transition to the e-learning learning system in the 21st century education process we need to consider the peculiarities of new online and real communication; the importance of changing interaction and conducting effective learning (Federal State Educational Standards of Higher Education, 2020).
As a result, the demands of online learning may also affect how both teachers and learners perceive the teaching and learning process (Samoylenko, 2018).
Like many higher educational institutions, our university has been hit hard by the global pandemic. The lockdown in the Sevastopol State University has emptied campuses, impacting on how students access the courses and on the work of academics across all disciplines.
The relevance of the problem investigated in the article is due to modern trends in the study of the methods of using e-learning and distance learning technologies in the educational process for the teachers’ professional competencies formation.
There is an overarching question: how can the educator effectively navigate the fast-changing, hype-filled world of innovation in online education? (Erzsébet, 2020; UNESCO, 2019).
We’ve approached this question from several perspectives and have examined several related researches. The educators share their own views about this topic.
3.1 .What will be the key developments in online education?
3.2. What will the biggest challenges be? (The Online Educator.., 2020).
Purpose of the Study
A relevant theme has been the relationship between face-to-face and online education. There are many similarities between the two. Learners’ needs – motivation, support, clear goals and well-structured, engaging, relevant content – are the same in both contexts. What’s different is the way in which educators meet those needs.
The process of learners making social connections is a good example. In a face-to-face setting, these connections arise informally through being physically present in the same place, for example in lectures, laboratories, social events and cafés (Siemens, 2004).
When online, opportunities for social connections need to explicitly be designed into learning materials, for example with collaborative activities, discussion forums and blogs. The dynamic between adapting what we currently do and realizing what new possibilities online learning provides is at the heart of many of the debates concerning educational technology (Graham, 2019).
The relevance of the problem investigated in the article is due to modern trends in the study of the methods of using e-learning and distance learning technologies in the educational process for the teachers’ professional competencies formation; how to establish an online identity.
The study involved students of Bachelor’s, Master’s Degree Programs as well as Professional Training (Sevastopol State University in 2018-2020).
The study is based on the results of the empirical study devoted to the implementation of distance learning into the educational process.
The problem of professional online tutor preparation is relevant. We analyzed the opportunities for implementation of online education for the improvement of higher pedagogical education in teaching process.
Earlier, we researched the versatility of a teacher's professional activity and described the types of teacher’s activities (Zharko, 2018). In our opinion today expanding of a teacher role "structure", which will contribute to the formation of a new type of teacher: a teacher-facilitator, a teacher-tutor, a teacher-moderator, is relevant. These phenomena are still insufficiently studied in the scientific world.
The questions of relationships in which the individual undergoes constructive changes were dealt with by K. Rogers, L. N. Kulikova, E. G. Vrublevskaya, L. S. Vygotsky, A. S. Makarenko, and others. The psychological features of facilitation were considered by E. F. Zeer, I. V. Zhizhina, N. K. Roerich, and others (Zharko, 2018).
The phenomenon of facilitation (facilitās, ātis f (lat.) ease, pliability, disposition, condescension, courtesy; facile (fr.) easy, easy; to facilitate (eng.) to help, guide, facilitate) are studied in the sphere of universal, family, professional relations, in psychotherapy. We operate the facilitation mechanism, in our opinion, more often intuitively than consciously. The sphere of education involves the conscious use of pedagogical tools to influence the student's personality in order to build a constructive verbal/non-verbal interaction of participants in the educational process and achieve a high-quality result of the educational service provided. We believe that the educational process in this case involves a conscious approach to the acquisition of knowledge; personal interest and direct participation of the student; assessment of what is happening not only by the teacher, but also by the student. All the listed components in the complex will lead to confirmation of the already existing personal experience, both of the teacher and the student, and will enrich them with new knowledge, skills and abilities. Based on the works of T. Mann (Mann, 2007) and Rodzhers (2015), we distinguish the features of a teacher-facilitator (table 1).
This list is not exhaustive, but it also allows us to conclude that each teacher can determine their level of readiness for facilitation. After all, the internal readiness of the teacher to change is the main factor of personal self-improvement.
The scholars discuss some of the challenges online educators are likely to face in the next few years and make some predictions about future developments in online education.
Martin Weller is known for her interests in digital scholarship, open education, open educational resources (OER) and MOOCs (The Online Educator.., 2020).
Martin Weller analyzes how people establish an online identity. She thinks that becomes increasingly problematic, because the use of online, particularly forms such as Twitter and Facebook, becomes used for different purposes. She thinks being able to develop an online identity and help her students develop their online identity is really important in ongoing society, but also to do that in a responsible way and a way that doesn’t expose them to harm or expose the educator to potential abuse they can receive online.
Internet identity, online identity or internet persona is described as:
a social identity that an Internet user establishes in online communities and websites;
an actively constructed presentation of oneself;
anonymous Internet user identifying himself/herself by means of pseudonyms, which reveal varying amounts of personally identifiable information;
a user’s relationship to a certain social group they are a part of online.
In addition to this concept a digital identity is considered as information on an entity used by computer systems to represent an external agent. The agent may be a person, organization, application, or device. (https://course.oeru.org/lida100/unit-2/online-identity-for-learning/ defining-online-identity/).
Rebecca Ferguson is a senior lecturer at the Open University. She describes the most impactful developments in online learning. She has mentioned another ongoing challenge for educators. It is just having the time to investigate how they and their learners can benefit from all these new opportunities.
The researcher highlights one of the big challenges. It is navigating research ethics. Rebecca Ferguson gives the recommendation for online educators about the sorts of skills that it will be worth them gaining in order to be prepared for future innovations in e-learning:
data and dashboards give new opportunities to support online learners;
to know how to interpret innovations;
to know about ways in which they could mislead educators;
to know how to use innovations effectively.
Martin Weller summarizes the educator’s skills: be able to develop online identity and find a voice that's useful for an educator and become a good citizen of an online environment. The most important for the educators is that people come to them, and the educator contribute to that environment (The Online Educator.., 2020).
At present, the educators for creating their identity use different online tools and technologies.
This aspect has received scientific support in the literature. Professor Martin Weller in his blog, The Ed Techie over the years (http://blog.edtechie.net/) explored online identity.
Using Twitter is the central issue explored by Veletsianos (2011).
In his study devoted to online education Dennen is trying to state that the academic establish the identity and social norms (Dennen, 2009).
We analyzed the questionnaire results for the educators who worked in the pandemic period and now are using LMS platform in teaching process at the university, concerning the main benefits of creating an online identity.
As scholars consider there are both positives and negatives to establishing an online identity as an educator. In the poll below, consider the benefits of online identities.
The question was: which of these do you consider to be the greatest benefit for creating an online identity as an educator?:
1. Students see more of your personality.
2. You are able to experiment.
3. You gain an online reputation.
4. You better understand the online world.
5. You can use technology in teaching.
6. Connecting with your peers.
The results demonstrate that the greatest benefit for creating an online identity as an educator are: 1-20%, 6-50%, 2, 4-10%, 3, 5-20%.
Thus, the tutor creates conditions for the equal social presence of every participant of educational process. He enables and encourages each to pay attention to the personal (professional) profile, presents him/herself to the educational community by own principles and expectations from studies, encourages communication and exchange experience, supports discussions, involving participants in an educational process.
In order to study the attitude of future teachers to the expansion of professional roles, we conducted a survey among bachelors of 2-4 courses (178 people) in the direction of training 45.03.01 Philology, 44.03.01 Pedagogical education of Sevastopol State University. Students were asked anonymously to answer the questions of the developed questionnaire.
Based on the survey the following results were revealed:
1. The majority of the students (68%) indicated their readiness to implement 2-3 professional roles. This indicates awareness and readiness to fulfill professional roles.
2. Answering the next question about the choice of professional roles from the proposed list, the answers were distributed as follows: tutor (25%), moderator (35%), facilitator (40%).
3. Answering the last question, students (87%) gave an unambiguous positive answer regarding the need to expand the professional role of the future teacher. The negative attitude of students (13%) to the expansion of professional roles is connected with the idea that the expansion significantly complicates professional activities.
The obtained research data show that there is a need for further study of the problem of preparing the future teachers for the implementation of professional roles in modern educational conditions.
The perspectives for future research are the development and implementation of a system of special tasks for the formation of the ability to fulfill new professional roles in the process of training future teachers.
Thus, the transformation of the teacher's roles at the present stage determines their preparation for a new status – teacher-facilitator, teacher-tutor, teacher-moderator. In order to fulfill the social order of the society and the teachers themselves, it is necessary to develop and scientifically justify a strategy for training, support and financial support of teachers. In connection with mentioned above, there is a need for future teachers to study the features and possibilities of tutoring, moderation and facilitation.
In virtual educational environments the new teacher’s role – tutor, who responsible for involving participants in an educational process – appeared. New competencies are necessary for further developing at the pedagogical educational institutions.
This research is supported by the grant "Methodology and methods of using information technologies in training and support of teachers-facilitators’ professional activities" registration number 48/06-31, 06.04.2020 Sevastopol State University.
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21 June 2021
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Samoylenko, N., Zharko, L., & Shevchenko, M. (2021). New Generation Teacher: Challenges And Technologies. In N. G. Bogachenko (Ed.), Amurcon 2020: International Scientific Conference, vol 111. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 839-845). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.06.03.111