The paper discusses the problematic aspects of networking, peculiarities of its regulatory support, and reveals the concept of networking and resources of an educational organization. In the era of globalization, cooperation between the representatives of public administration in the field of education, heads of educational organizations of various types, scientific and pedagogical workers, as well as students can contribute to the achievement of the country’s strategic objectives. It presents the analysis of application practices and scientific research on the development of networking in educational institutions. The analysis of management problems of the networking of educational organizations (content method), as well as the methodology of studying management problems in the field of networking of educational institutions is also presented. Management problems are analyzed by considering the experience of managers of educational institutions. The results of the study confirmed the hypothesis that in the activities of educational organizations, the use of networking opportunities is insufficient due to management problems in the regulatory sphere and are caused by the lack of necessary experience in the management of educational institutions.
In the era of globalization, cooperation between the representatives of public administration in the field of education, heads of educational organizations of various types, scientific and pedagogical workers, as well as students can contribute to the achievement of the country’s strategic objectives. An example of such cooperation is the networking of educational organizations.
Networking is a communication system that allows the professional community constantly modernizing and improving the methodology and content of education. Networking requires that all participants have access to available resources at any time, support the efforts of those who want to share knowledge and skills, and provide an opportunity to publish and present the results of work to the public for discussion. Networking may take place in different environments, both virtual and social. The current conditions contribute to changes in the educational system in terms of restructuring the activities of educational organizations aimed at a new model and form of work and interaction with students, which will ensure high quality of educational services. Today, the networking of educational organizations is a modern innovative technology that allows optimizing resources and provides for dynamic development. Due to the development of networking, one of the most pressing tasks of education is solved: organization of a comprehensive partnership.
The organization of education is a complex system that actively interacts with the external environment. Bilateral communication, in cooperation with all, is the idea of an “open platform” that takes into account state requirements, the influence of society, social groups and parents, as well as influences its environment, adapts to opportunities and needs.
Quality and accessible education in an open information space with the current need to obtain it in alternative formats is one of the main tasks of networking. Networking brings together social institutions, strengthens the possibilities of education and creates conditions that develop an individual. With the use of networking, opportunities for improving the skills of employees in the educational sphere, including on the basis of remote technologies, are also expanded.
Networking is often defined as a professional community created to obtain information on a particular topic and the exchange of this information among communities on social networks.
At the same time, there is a broader understanding of this concept, which considers networking as a joint activity of educational organizations aimed at improving the quality of education through joint development, use of human and innovative methodological resources, including the ICT technologies. In this respect, the International Education Network is an example of such a joint and international approach. Its objectives are to contribute to the development of the network in relation to its main stakeholders: student communities and educational and pedagogical communities (collectives). From this point of view, networking also serves as an open environment for the exchange of experiences among interested educational communities that share the goal of supporting learning and reality as a methodology and a basic objective. This, in turn, makes it possible to assert that networking in education is developing at many levels: international, regional, national and local.
The specificity of the problem field of the studied topic is, first of all, to clarify contradictions that are directly related not only to the procedure for implementing networking programs of educational organizations, but also to determine the basic and most acceptable directions for improving the networking process. To date, the networking potential of many educational institutions has not been sufficiently utilized, which in turn affects the level of capacity of each organization, and may lead to certain duplicated actions. Besides, it should be noted that there are certain gaps in the management sector of networking in the legal field, and to some extent they are related to the human factor and the qualification component. In our opinion, it is possible to increase the qualitative component of the networking potential only with a detailed analysis of specificity and problems of the networking implementation process, which in turn will allow determining the main directions thus eliminating the revealed contradictions.
The Federal Law “On Education in the Russian Federation” contains a definition of networking, which is most advisable to take as the basis for this study, defining networking as a joint activity on training, exchange of experience, design, study, development and implementation or testing of technologies, methods, educational and methodological complexes for education and training carried out by several educational institutions/organizations (RF Government, 2020).
Networking between educational organizations arises in order to solve certain problems and tasks, to achieve a common result through resource pooling. The resource of any member of the network is enhanced by the resources of other members (Aleksahina et al., 2014).
Purpose of the Study
Analysis and comparison of problematic aspects in the process of managing the networking of the educational organization and determining the main directions for improving this process.
To achieve the goals and objectives of this study, the following methods were used: analysis and synthesis was used to identify laws, generalize analytical material; formal legal method was used to analyze regulatory legal acts, local regulatory acts and recommendations of the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia; empirical research methods: interviewing, questionnaires, observation, design.
In the scientific literature information is also classified as a resource, but since there is no certain fee for this type of resource, it is not indicated in the educational literature (Anisovec, 2012). Along with economic resources, educational resources also have a relative limitation characteristic. The relativity of limitations is manifested in the impossibility of simultaneously and fully meeting the needs of everyone and the impossibility of obtaining this resource on previous conditions. Resources are complementary and interchangeable. Each resource may be used efficiently in case of a certain resource relationship.
To date, resource support is associated with the potential of the society (Vlasova et al., 2012). To ensure the educational process, various types of resources are necessary: material and technical, natural, financial, information, labor, spiritual, etc.
The most significant potentials to date are as follows:
- information potential, which is classified and systematized, and is effectively used in education;
- intellectual potential caused by the level of general education, vocational training, school traditions, level of advanced training;
- ecological potential determined by the level of environmental behavior of students, as well as the responsibility to preserve and maintain a high level of health;
- spiritual potential of education caused by the level of general culture in the interaction of teachers, parents and students in the organization, level of mutual respect, tolerance, perseverance, law-abiding, hard work and other similar qualities, level of mental and physical health.
Everything that is directly involved in education is the resources of the educational system (Ilyin, 2015), such as:
- scientific and methodological resources, including educational-methodological and educational literature, periodic, scientific literature, official reference and bibliographical publications and other library and information resources;
- manpower, including qualified staff and professional development;
- material and technical resources, including necessary equipment for training rooms, facilities necessary for practical lessons, social facilities and classrooms;
- pedagogical technologies and know-how;
- information resources, including computer programs, manuals and other tools used in the learning process.
In any educational organization, resources are divided into (Kazannikova et al., 2012):
- obvious resources – tradition, long history, good reputation;
- implicit resources – regulatory and legal support, finances, pedagogical staff, material and technical base.
The components characterizing resources as a whole are as follows:
- market assets and explicit resources;
- nature of an educational institution;
- potential for adaptation;
- life cycle stage of an educational institution (Gavrilov & Ponomarenko, 1999).
The conformity of resources to modern technological and technical development, as well as requirements, determine their ability to influence the level of quality of the educational process. Resources and their qualitative characteristics determine a significant degree of the educational outcome. Educational services should meet the expectations of consumers as much as possible, guarantee the quality of the educational process, and change depending on internal and external factors. Most of these factors influence future changes making them difficult to predict and manage. Accordingly, it is necessary to highlight the internal factors within institutions that are being referred to as internal resources, which the educational institution is able to change (Kotomina, 2015).
First of all, such factors include the support of the educational process: material and technical, scientific and methodological, personnel, regulatory support.
To stand out against the background of other educational institutions, each institution tries to improve the quality of its educational services and education in general, as well as to develop its own profile. Every institution also sets its individual objectives. Such objectives may include the following: humanization of the learning process, individualization, development of a personal approach, promotion and preservation of health, etc. Education institutions are developing a mechanism to track educational outcomes. Hence, there is no single concept of the quality of education, since the self-determination of educational institutions and the emphasis on quality assurance of education are conditioned by the understanding of the mission by each individual institution (Bulko, 2015).
When forming a production or social requirement for the learning outcome, a study of the needs of customers, social partners – consumers of the required outcome is organized. Each institution always has the task of choosing ways and means to use limited resources for competing its objectives. Education affects the condition and development of all enterprises in all sectors, and hence, in the economic system of any country, education has high social and economic significance. It is possible to ensure the sustainability of educational institutions in a dynamic economic environment only if the competitiveness of educational institutions is understood and the state of the market of educational services is constantly monitored (Molochnikov et al., 2015).
The competitiveness of an educational institution reflects different aspects of its activities and the quality of educational services that the institution provides.
According to sociologist Chuchkevich (1999), the network organization is an association of organizations and/or social groups, independent individuals having common corporate infrastructure and image and working jointly and in a coordinated manner to achieve agreed objectives.
The main features of the network organization identified by Chuchkevich (1999) are as follows:
- single unifying goal. It is the reason for unification and competitive cooperation. Goal setting is based on the individual progress of each member of the network that cannot be achieved outside the network. The unifying goal, as a rule, is also based on the interest of network members in the use of network joint resources: information, marketing, material. When joining a network organization, an independent organization moves from competition to competitive cooperation with other network members and at the same time receives a specific benefit within a network that is beyond the network field for the organization;
- independence of network members. It determines the freedom of an educational organization in choosing the level of responsibility for the result obtained from interaction, partners and guidelines for interaction.
- Competitive advantages are achieved through the following key strategies:
- focus on the needs of consumers and their fuller satisfaction;
- provision of a wide range of training fields and training programs;
- provision of high quality services at low cost (Garaev & Faskhiev, 2002).
The dynamic development of the entire educational system, the introduction of new institutions in the educational system has led to a gap between the legislative provision and the needs of educational practices. For the first time in Russian legislation, the provisions on the network form of implementation of educational programs were enshrined in the Federal Law “On Education in the Russian Federation”. At the same time, in order to choose a particular model of the network form of educational programs, it is necessary to distinguish between the concepts of “networking” and “network form of educational programs”, since there are considerable differences between them. The concept of “networking” is not reflected in Russian legislation, but is often used in everyday life, in public speeches. Regulatory and legal support for appropriate interaction of educational organizations should be an important component of a holistic legislative framework that regulates the activities carried out by the participants of networking (Pashentsev et al., 2015).
Let us consider the legal foundations of networking:
- According to Article 2, paragraph 18 of the Federal Law “On Education in the Russian Federation”, educational organizations (institutions) are non-profit organizations that carry out educational activities on the basis of a license as the main type of activity in accordance with the goals for which these organizations are created;
- Article 2, paragraph 19 states that educational organizations are legal entities that carry out educational activities on the basis of a license in addition to the main activity as an additional activity;
- Article 3, paragraph 12 defines such an important principle as the principle of combining contractual and state regulation of educational relations.
- Article 15 regulates the online educational programs.
The distribution of rights, duties, as well as responsibilities among network members are the main issues of networking, which are subject to legal regulation.
Information and communication technologies in education serve a prerequisite for the transition of society to information civilization. Modern information and communication technologies make it possible to change the nature of the educational process, completely immerse a student in the information and educational environment, improve the quality of education, and stimulate the perception of information and acquisition of knowledge. New information technologies create an environment for supporting computers and telecommunications for organizations and management in various areas of activity, including education. Information technologies are integrated into educational programs at all levels of education: school, university and postgraduate. However, the very specificity of this process implies the need to build an effective network partnership for each of them.
To understand the features of networking of educational organizations in Russia and abroad, it is necessary to list the main IT technologies that ensure it: means of telecommunications, including a site, e-mail, teleconferences, local and regional communication networks, data exchange networks, etc.; computer training programs, electronic textbooks, simulators, tutors, laboratory workshops, test systems; training systems based on multimedia technologies, built on the basis of personal computers, video equipment and various information storage devices; intelligent and training expert systems used in various subject areas; distributed databases by knowledge industries. From the above list of technologies, educational organizations most often use a website, an e-mail and social networks. The remaining technologies require significant time and costs.
One of the possible forms of development of the educational environment of the organization is the interactive technology 1C-Bitrix. It includes a corporate portal – a system for managing the organization’s internal information resource for collective work on tasks, projects and documents, for effective internal communication (https://www.1C-bitrix.ru/products/intranet/). Below are the capabilities of this software product: internal and external communication (workgroups, projects, live tape, telephony, instant messaging and group business chat, video calls (up to 4 people at the same time)); task and project management (delegation, Gantt chart, task templates, reports, time control, time accounting for tasks, roles in tasks); joint paper work (Bitrix24); disk for teamwork, online editing in GoogleDocs, online editing in MS Office Online, document exchange, content management); time planning and accounting (planner of team meetings and sessions); security and reliability (SSl – certificate, assignment of access privileges for specific users, administration of the corporate portal, cloud backup).
Thus, when conducting an analysis on the practice of developing networking of educational organizations/institutions, its use in additional, distance and specialized education was revealed, while this interaction affects the resources available to educational organizations/institutions.
At the same time, it is noted that the problem associated with the development of a regulatory framework during the design and implementation of network educational programs, with the allocation of new pedagogical functions (for example, a navigator teacher, a network computer, a network teacher, etc.), the definition of criteria for learning outcomes, with the improvement of the mechanism for paying for the activities of pedagogical workers within the boundaries of per capita financing has not been solved. The most pressing task of extracurricular activity is to regulate it in the format of networking. Currently, mechanisms for promotion, recruitment of teachers and coordination of funding within the framework of this interaction are also not defined. The range of potential partners who perform educational tasks is quite diverse. These are organizations of specialized physical training, sports organizations, medical organizations, organizations of additional cultural professional education, research organizations with resources for training, advanced training, industrial practice and other educational activities.
- Norms governing networking institutions;
- Local normative acts used by educational organizations in the implementation of the educational process through networking;
Scientific approaches of scientists concerning the object of study.
The sharing of resources is a networking activity. With this networking, changes in the part of the resource types used may occur during its implementation. Networking will be effective in terms of performance only if the network partners are interested in such interaction.
The conditions under which networking occurs are the following: common information space, networking mechanisms, joint activities carried out by network partners.
The effect created by networking is that each network partner has access to the necessary high-quality resource, with the necessary increment after use and participation in the formation of resources common to the network.
The results of the study confirmed the hypothesis that in the activities of educational organizations, the use of networking opportunities is insufficient due to management problems in the regulatory sphere and are caused by the lack of necessary experience in the management of educational institutions.
1. The lack of experience in solving management problems of networking in terms of attracting partners and organizing cooperation with them is a prerequisite for developing a networking model.
2. The most popular areas for the development of networking include specialized education, training in additional professional programs, independent work and innovation.
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29 November 2021
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Cultural development, technological development, socio-political transformations, globalization
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Khataeva, R. S., Alisultanova, E. D., Moiseenko, N. A., & Yusupova, L. V. (2021). Networking Of Educational Organizations At The Current Stage Of Society Development. In D. K. Bataev, S. A. Gapurov, A. D. Osmaev, V. K. Akaev, L. M. Idigova, M. R. Ovhadov, A. R. Salgiriev, & M. M. Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Social and Cultural Transformations in The Context of Modern Globalism, vol 117. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 810-818). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.11.109