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To take part in the formation of the personality of the 21st century through the development of education technologies, i.e., to influence the molding of the future society.
The Modern University for the Humanities was founded in 1992, and with it arose an opportunity to reconsider the views on teacher-student interaction. As we are part of the new information society, we are destined to follow the laws of its development. Therefore, the employment of innovative technologies in education is not casual or abnormal. It is a requirement of the modernity put into life by enthusiastic scientists and specialists. The Modern University for the Humanities is an independent, not-for-profit institution of higher education of the Russian Federation with a developed structure and broad international relations. The University has a registration certificate, a state license to perform educational activity, and state accreditation. The University offers bachelor studies in the following fields: law, linguistics, economics, psychology, management and computer science. And the following specialties are offered: linguistics and international communication, psychology, finance and lending, accounting and audit, world economy, state and municipal management, management, marketing, computers, complexes, systems and networks, automated systems of information processing and management. One can also receive a master's degree in management and economics. Since 1999, the University has had post-graduate studies in the following fields: economics and management of national economy; accounting, control and economic analysis; ontology and theory of knowledge; social philosophy, sociology of management; constitutional law, state management, administrative law and municipal law; civil law, family law, civil procedure and international law; criminal law and criminology, criminal procedural law and international law. Students have the opportunity to study wholly or partly in English and other foreign languages. The University has not only Russian accreditation, but also British accreditation. University graduates can have their diplomas confirmed by NARIC (the National Academic Recognition International Center). In accordance with NARIC documents, the bachelor's diploma awarded by the University is recognized as equivalent to the British bachelor's diploma. The University's international status is supported by international ties, and by the implementation of scientific, educational and professional programs of cooperation. In accordance with agreements for the implementation of joint projects, academic exchanges and exchanges of educational programs, the University collaborates with international institutions of higher education. Among them are Mercer University (USA), La Universidad Europea de Madrid-cees (Spain), Instituto de Relaciones Europeas (Spain), Hogeschool voor Economie en Management (Netherlands), University of Derby (England), Richmond College (USA-Great Britain) and Senior University (Canada). The University also works in cooperation with the Board of Continuing Education of Cambridge University. They have developed and are implementing a distance learning program entitled "Introduction to English Law and the Law of the European Union" The University is an active member of the UNESCO International Association of Universities. There are about 200 MUH branches in Russia and the CIS which have the right to conduct educational activity in the field of higher and vocational education. The University is participating in the "Experiment in Distance Learning" project set up in accordance with a decree (No. 41) issued by the Ministry of Education on June 22, 1999, There are more than 100,000 students enrolled in MUH branches in Russia. The distance learning technology and organization of education employed by the University have aroused interest in many CIS countries. So far, MUH has founded the Russian-Kazakh MUH, branches in Yerevan, Moldova, the Kharkov Center for the Humanities and Engineering, the Russian-Tadjik MUH and the Minsk Representative Office of MUH. These educational institutions, all holding state licenses, teach more than 8,000 students. The University has passed state evaluation, which confirms that the quality of student training conforms to state standards. MUH activities are guided and coordinated by its Board of Trustees. The University is administered by a rector appointed by the Board. The rector is Professor Mikhail P. Karpenko, Doctor of Engineering. The Academic Council plays a considerable role within the Modern University for the Humanities. It includes 32 persons. Seventy-five percent of them are full-time workers. Twenty-five percent of the members of the Academic Council are doctors of science and professors, and 63% are candidates of science and assistant professors. Apart from the Academic Council, the University also has a Scientific-Instructional Council. It is one of the governing bodies which ensures the coordination of activities among the teaching staff, research institutes and educational departments. The University's educational process is based on the principle of distance learning. Students receive a host of educational services for their tuition fee, including the use of computer classrooms, video lecture halls and packages of educational materials. The University's earnings are used only for educational purposes. The University's work is based on global scientific research. Four research institutes and 20 sub-faculties work on the development, improvement and optimization of the educational process. The University allocates at least 8% of its total annual budget to scientific research. The University's priority is the psychological-educational aspects of teaching. Research is conducted by the Research Institute of Educational Psychology and Sociology. The University's distance technology is based on an individual approach. Students assimilate knowledge and acquire skills through many individual forms of work. Therefore, the research of the Laboratory of Differential Psychology is directed toward the important area of the study of individual rates of knowledge assimilation and the factors affecting it. This research is based on the University's unique system of knowledge measurement. The researchers pay special attention to individual characteristics which influence the rate of knowledge assimilation. It was discovered that this indicator is affected by a student's intelligence and cognitive style. Students' gender and age play an important role. And overloads in educational programs lead to an exceedingly low level of knowledge assimilation. The University measures the time expended on all procedures which are part of the MUH distance learning technology. Complexes of educational media are being studied at the moment. This research will make it possible to determine an optimal combination and the most effective technological modules in the distance learning system. The researchers have studied education when it takes place under extraordinary conditions, such as observing F.F. Konyukhov in the conditions of solo circumnavigation of the world on a sailing yacht. The technology of the development of educational programs is based upon basic training developed by the Research Institute for Computer-Based Education. This makes it possible to program many educational computer programs quickly and properly. All the programs produced in conformity with this technology are employed in a network classroom. Students can also work with programs individually on computers at home. Software, as well as instructions and educational plans, are recorded on laser disks and are distributed to the branches. Any problems that arise are solved on a hot line with the use of e-mail. Computer-based education employs two types of computer classrooms: Classrooms for laboratory work in computer science, and Classrooms for independent work on different subjects. The operation of computers is administered from a server with educational programs. All programs are protected from unauthorized access. Programs are adjusted, modified and added by the server administrator with the help of an IBM personal training program. The University pays much attention to the development of TV technologies, which are most promising for educational purposes. Educational video films and live lectures are effective tools of distance learning which enable a student to acquire university-level knowledge irrespective of the location of studies. The University has set up a powerful TV center. Students watch video films and video lectures in specially equipped rooms. The Research Institute for Television-Based Education has developed a technology for producing films of a new generation--three-screen films with volume sound. Their purpose is an "information attack" in the demonstration of introductory educational films on different subjects. The pilot demonstration of such films revealed a considerable increase in knowledge assimilation by students. The possibility of conducting individual independent TV classes is an important factor affecting the efficiency of studies. Using this method, the level of concentration and knowledge assimilation considerably increases, and students are not distracted. They can revise material, and can go back and familiarize themselves with any topic that was not initially understood. The University has refined the technology and has arranged the production of audio courses in foreign languages, which enables students to acquire practical skills. The University has developed a technology for the production of audio lectures which are to become part of the MUH virtual training system, as the cost of such a lecture is not very high, and students can listen to them in any conditions. Satellite television is a powerful means for enhancing the quality of education. It makes it possible to attract a wide variety of professors and specialists. MUH students have listened to lectures delivered by G. Padva, a lawyer, L. Roshal, a specialist in film studies, Roy Medvedev, a journalist, Sergey Kapitsa and others. The MUH television system includes Intelsat-604 and LMI-1 satellites. Their employment provides a unique opportunity to broadcast programs throughout the entire territory of Russia and the CIS. At the beginning of November 2000, about 200 towns with MUH branches were able to watch University television. The technological and organizational solutions developed by the University in the creation of the satellite system are now known not only in Russia, but also worldwide. Multi-teacher satellite television includes a video-conferencing system which employs the ISDN digital telephone network. This system integrates large cultural and industrial centers with university infrastructure, and makes it possible for 2 or 3 professors to conduct a class at the same time. They may be in different towns or countries, and they can debate with each other, and also supplement or correct each other. The telephone network permits feedback between students in branches and teachers at University centers. Students can ask questions which are sent to the monitor in front of the lecturer, and the questions can be answered on-line during the class session. Given the specifics of MUH education, the University has created special furniture for TV classrooms, with individual lighting for each student. This enables a student not only to watch and listen to a lecture, but also to take notes. The furniture is put in branches together with the other required equipment. A major component of MUH distance learning technology is the modular workbooks given to students. A technique called the "balance" method makes it possible to objectively determine the required volume and content of an educational program and to balance the time required and allotted for the study of a subject. A workbook is a package of various teaching media. It comprises a glossary which introduces glossary education to learning, a list and algorithms of skills, a skills training. It also includes a scientific review which gives a general idea of the problem, and a file of materials for study, including excerpts from professional documents, laws, acts, articles and monographs. The system envisions a complete renewal of all workbooks every semester. The development and introduction of such a system of selection of form and content makes it possible to optimize the educational process and enhance its efficiency to the greatest possible degree. The University has developed an original form of classes--active seminars including situational analysis, discussions, round-table talks, role-plays, operational and business games. The form of a seminar depends on the subject, and follows a detailed scenario which envisions all the variants of seminar development and the participation of all students. Such a method makes it possible to evaluate students' work objectively. The University exercises regular control over knowledge by checking students' written examination work. The method for development of examination cards makes it possible to change the number of questions and assignments depending on the subject, and to combine forms of tasks: question-answer or open or closed tests. The University has branches with specific functions not characteristic of traditional institutions of higher education. The Center for Departments and Sub-faculties controls the educational loads. The University has set up a teacher's database which makes it possible to monitor the educational load of each sub-faculty, department or teacher. One of the most significant aspects of distance learning is student knowledge evaluation. Based on its research, the University has introduced a two-stage system of examination: Stage 1 envisions modular control over knowledge (homework, tests, active seminars and practical work in computer classrooms) reflecting student academic performance throughout the semester. Stage 2 envisions the assessment of written examination and course work. There is a Center for Modular Control over Knowledge. Modular control is control over knowledge throughout the entire semester in the place of studies (at the branch). Modular control is exercised according to one technique. Testing is done during the final class in the module. In accordance with the results of the assessment of student examination work, experts from the Evaluation Center prepare final materials on the results and send them to the branches, so that they can take them into consideration. Regular assessment is carried out by the Independent Evaluation Center of the head institution (Moscow). Such communication between experts and branches helps the branches to make timely modifications to the organization of classes, and to appraise the professional level of teachers at the branches. The Center for Final Evaluation is in charge of final evaluation, state qualification exams, and the defense of qualification works. To conduct final evaluations in the three areas of law, economics and management, the University has set up and approved state evaluation committees. The evaluation committees consist of the teaching staff of the head institution and state institutions working with MUH, and also authoritative specialists from different agencies. Among the authoritative specialists are those from regional administrations, public bodies, law-enforcement agencies, the bar, the public prosecutor's office, judicial bodies, the Federal Treasury, tax inspectorates, departments of home affairs, customs' agencies and state labor inspections. The Center for Final Evaluation summarizes and analyzes the results of evaluation and, in a centralized fashion, controls the drafting of documents in accordance with the guidelines. Diplomas are produced by the Department of Student Evaluation using a computer program for document completion. The great amount of information on students and their academic performance necessitated the creation of a single information network called "Luch," whose servers contain files for all students from all MUH branches. This system makes it possible to obtain the required information for groups of students as well as for individuals. The forms for information input and output are the same in all branches. The Coordination Center of Luch Information System carries out this work in the Luch information network. E-mail and telephones can be used for fast communication. The guidelines on the educational process, document maintenance and reporting are especially important for the branches. They enable educators at branches to organize their activities correctly, and to organize students' work efficiently and effectively. The head institution has a broad exchange of communications with the administration of the branches and with students (mail, e-mail and cable). Teachers from the head institution come to the branches to deliver lectures and conduct final evaluation. The Educational Center provides them with a program to control educational activities in a particular field, and a seminar on MUH educational technologies for teachers and employees. Teachers' reports are also submitted to the Educational Center for Branches. It uses one reporting system, Luch information network data, and modern communication facilities, and it exercises quality control and management. The Advertising and Marketing Center combines MUH efforts in conquering the educational services market, expanding the influence of new information technologies, and advertising new educational technologies and the MUH system of distance learning. It communicates with branches, and prepares promotional materials for their use in organizing selection committees, contests and fairs. There is a package of adverting materials. The Center conducts marketing research in different regions with the help of branches, and prepares analytical materials on the financial-economic standing of regions and towns. This makes it possible to calculate tuition fees and identify opportunities for MUH to promote educational services to certain regions, towns and districts. Since 1994, the University has been taking part every year in the "Education and Career" exposition. The University received awards for its considerable contribution to the promotion of Russian education at the 7th and 8th international expositions. Every year, all branches take part in regional expositions of educational services. Diplomas and honorary documents are awarded to many of them. Within the framework of an advertising enrollment campaign, the University conducts "Knowledge and Skills" contests for students. The public is admitted to these contests on certain days in April and May. The University takes an active part in the all-Russia program known as "Continuous Education: School-University, " which is aimed at the upbringing and training of prospective students. Upon successful completion of these courses, they can be admitted to the second year of MUH without exams. Thus, the Marketing Center works not only on advertising, but also on the training of prospective students. The MUH educational technology includes non-traditional forms of classes, and new methods of control and interactive media. The Center for Qualification Enhancement organizes qualification enhancement and professional training of workers at all levels. This is done not only in the system of distance learning, but also in the sphere of psychological and economic problems and teaching. The Coordination Center for the Introduction of Innovative Facilities is engaged in introducing, controlling and analyzing the quality of the University's innovations in all MUH departments. The Center of International Educational Projects cooperates with foreign institutions of higher education. The newspaper "Modern Education" plays an enormous role in the promotion of the MUH educational system, awareness of students, their parents and other parties interested in the organization of MUH education. It has been published since 1997. There is a special quarterly educational issue which informs readers about educational innovations and information technologies. The newspaper was awarded a diploma at the 6th International "Education and Career" Exposition. The university publishes the monthly digests "Educational Psychology," "Educational Sociology," "Distance and Virtual Education," the journals "Law and Education," "Telecommunications and Computerization of Education," "Educational Innovations," and "Educational Economics," and also the "Anthology of the Humanities." MUH pays much attention to conferences and seminars conducted by the Russian Ministry of Education and various associations. And the University also organizes its own seminars and conferences. MUH works on the training and retraining of teachers in the Chechen Republic (R. Akhtakhanov), and also implements educational programs in the regions far from university centers and in problematic regions. MUH technology is able to provide quality education for any group of the population irrespective of geographical location and the specifics of professional activity. The University has organized television educational centers in Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Khabarovsk, and Cambridge (Great Britain). At the moment, the University is organizing additional centers in Sorbonne (France), Tokyo (Japan) and, in the CIS, in Karaganda (Kazakhstan), Minsk (Belarus), Kiev, Kharkov (Ukraine) and Yerevan (Armenia). At the moment, the University is working in a new direction, establishing contractual relations with the leading institutions of higher education of Russia and the world to develop and implement joint educational programs, including continuing education. The University actively works in Europe, Africa and Latin America (Philippe Nehri). At present, MUH can provide education in any country in Europe and North Africa. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares that everyone has the right to education, and the constitutions of many countries declare principles of the freedom of education, and democracy and autonomy of educational institutions. MUH telecommunications technologies make it possible to overcome discrimination caused by unequal starting opportunities of university applicants connected with the place of their residence and professional activity.
- Arkady Zhdanov
- (+7 (9) 902-120-03-13
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