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Campus inSaint Petersburg

11 Questions about Distance Learning

On April 6, the 4th module started at HSE University - Saint Petersburg. Study process switches to distant form. How will it be organized? What do I do with the Physical Education classes? How will I defend my thesis? Natalia Chicherina, Professor and Deputy Director, answers the questions about distance learning.

11 Questions about Distance Learning


1. How will the distance learning 
process be organized?


Distance learning does not mean that the mode of study changes. The only change is that students will not attend in-person classes. Distance learning includes both synchronous and asynchronous communication with teachers. Synchronous interaction means online classes hosted by special digital platforms and tools, e.g. Zoom and Webinar. Teachers will deliver lectures or seminars in a real-time mode according to the schedule.
Asynchronous interaction means that other platforms and tools, for example, LMS, will be used to consult students, control and track their studying progress. Soon, information about the procedure for studying the disciplines of the 4th module will be placed on LMS.
MOOC may replace some courses upon agreement with the Programme Academic Supervisor. There is an opportunity to postpone some classes to the next academic year. The information will be available on LMS soon.
 

2. How will the training in Military Training Centre be organized?


The educational process of the Department of Military Training will be organized remotely. Our students will be informed.
 

3. How will Physical Education classes be organized?


The classes will be cancelled in module 4.
 

4. Will students be allowed to come to the university to work on their projects in small groups? Will the library or the cafeteria be available for studying?


It has been decided to prevent access to the University buildings. As soon as the relevant Rector's order is issued, access to the University will be completely closed. It will happen soon, but now students can visit the library or the university cafeteria.
 

5. How will students take exams in modules 3 and 4?


This year, exams for module 3 will be held simultaneously with the exams of the 4th module. This concerns all HSE students. The examination period will take place from June 10 to 30 and conducted remotely.
 

6. How will internships be organized?


Internships will be completed remotely in module 4.
If employers can organize distant internships, it will be great. If no, students should think about changing the organization. HSE University will suggest some students having an internship at laboratories, research centres, and other structural units of the university.
If a remote internship is impossible to organize, it can be postponed.
 

7. How will final state certification and theses defence be organized for final-year students?


The final state exam, as well as theses defence, will be held remotely via special platforms for video communication. Students will be informed about the procedure in advance. Thesis text, feedbacks and reviews must be uploaded to LMS. Student presentations will be recorded.
 

8. What digital tools can students and staff members use? For example, particular programmes, applications.


First, HSE students and employees will use LMS. It is the main platform we have to organize a distant learning process. Faculty members will place study materials and important information there.
For remote interaction, students and staff members can also use the corporate subscription to get access to Microsoft Teams. Faculties and Schools have also purchased licenses for Zoom and Webinar software. Currently, we are clarifying whether the licenses we have received will be sufficient to organize smooth processes or whether we will need to buy more.
Provided that there are required technical conditions, teachers can work with students remotely from home or specially equipped classrooms on the campus.
 

9. How can students get the necessary documents, such as a certificate of attendance, academic transcript, etc.?


As before, all request must be sent to a Programme Office, but only remotely. All issues should be resolved promptly.
 

10. Can students from other cities or countries go home while there is distance learning? What should be done for it?


Students do not have to stay in Saint Petersburg as they will have classes, examinations and final state certification remotely. They can continue their education on the programme from anywhere in the world. Therefore, students from other cities and countries can spend the entire module 4 at home.
 

11. Students living in dormitories and those who belong to the category of students eligible for benefits will get financial help. Would you tell us more, please?


HSE University supports non-resident students who go home while there is distance learning. They will be exempt from paying dorm fees for the period from April to June 2020.
Students of special categories will receive one-time financial help to pay for transport expenses. To apply for this help, eligible students should contact the Social Welfare Department on returning to Saint Petersburg. Financial help will be from four to eight thousand rubles.