Ten post dostępny jest także w języku: Русский (Russian)
2020 has certainly been a difficult year for many teachers all around the world. The switch to online learning technologies was very unexpected and quick, but today many of us ask ourselves: why didn’t we do this before? Why didn’t we plan a video call with our graduate students or low-performing students instead of writing long emails with comments and explanations? Today, online learning technologies not only make it possible to optimize the everyday work of a teacher, but also open up new opportunities. Now we can teach our classes online and thus interact with students from all over the world. This is exactly the teaching experience I get in the current semester at the L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. But first things first.
It was year 2019. No one yet suspects about the pandemic and the changes in the educational process. At the Emperor Alexander I St. Petersburg State Transport University a workshop is held for teachers from different countries, within the Erasmus+ project on the topic “Economics, Ecology and Infrastructure at High-Speed Railways”. As a part of the workshop, a number of teachers are going to give lectures in English on the disciplines of the master’s program of the same name. The head of the Department of “Transport Economics”, prof. N. A. Zhuravleva asked me to deliver a lecture on the market of high-speed railway services. It takes several weeks to prepare: I study articles on the topic, catch up on Chinese and European studies, write the text of the lecture and make a presentation… On the day of the actual lecture I am rather nervous, but feel that, all things considered, I am ready. I give the lecture first in English, then in Russian – at the request of the audience, mostly Russian-speaking. After the lecture, I talk to my colleagues and our University’s guests, who give me a positive feedback. One of the workshop’s participants was Zura Kelesbekovna Sansyzbaeva, Deputy Dean of the Transport and Energy Faculty of the L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University.
Zura Kelesbekovna suggested that I apply for an academic mobility program and, in case of a positive outcome, come to Nur-Sultan for a semester as a visiting lecturer. Back at that time it seemed quite feasible, and I had not yet been to Kazakhstan, so I thanked her for the offer and later applied for the competition… And then the coronavirus pandemic happened, and, naturally, I did not go anywhere. Nevertheless, Zura Kelesbekovna unexpectedly called me in August and offered to teach online classes. I agreed, despite the intense workload and doctoral studies – I wanted to gain some new experience, meet other students and lay the foundation for cooperation between our universities.
L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University has a national status. It is currently one of the leading higher education institutions in Kazakhstan. It is also a member of the International Academy of Sciences of Higher Education, the Eurasian Universities Association, the Association for International Studies of the CIS and Baltic States, the International Association of Universities, the European Association of Higher Education Institutions.
The university’s international cooperation is supported by 116 agreements with foreign universities, research centers and other scientific organizations of the European Union, America and Oceania, Asia and Africa, the CIS countries. In 2001, the Kazakhstan branch of Lomonosov Moscow State University was opened here. Education at the L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University is conducted according to the three-level training system: bachelor’s – master’s – doctoral studies in English, Russian, Kazakh languages. The university consists of 12 faculties and 28 scientific departments.
During this winter semester, I teach two disciplines for students of the Department of “Transport, Transport Engineering and Technology”: Transport Logistics for bachelor’s students and Management of Transport and Logistics Business for master’s students. The work is carried out using Microsoft Teams; at the same time, the journals of students’ current performance are filled in the automated educational process management system Platonus.
I would like to point out the high level of culture, discipline, mutual assistance and interest in learning in both groups. From the first days, the students helped me navigate the Platonus system, kept the dialogue going, asked interesting questions. A special place in our classes is dedicated to the comparative analysis of terminology, regulatory documents and approaches to the analysis of transport and logistics markets in Russia and Kazakhstan. Students demonstrate a high level of knowledge in the field of transportation technology, awareness and interest in the issues discussed, work with enthusiasm and worry about their grades. They always complete their home assignments, support educational discussions. It’s a pleasure to work with them.
In addition, my colleagues also support me: they always help, advise, facilitate the processes of paperwork and educational process support, offer collaboration in scientific research. During the period of my work at the L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University, I had an opportunity to take part in one of the international conferences, following which a scientific article will be published in co-authorship with Z.K. Sansyzbaeva and B.B. Togizbaeva – the Head of the Department of “Transport, Transport Engineering and Technology”.
In conclusion, this new teaching experience at L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University brings me only positive emotions. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Zura Kelesbekovna, my new colleagues and students. I hope for further productive cooperation and joint scientific research!
Candidate of Economics, Associate Professor of the Department of “Transport Economics” E.M. Volkova