In applying to the GMA Award 2023, Saint Petersburg University’s Tatiana V. Chernigovskaya, the lead instructor of “Neurolinguistics,” sent us the following enlightening message.

Tatiana V. Chernigovskaya
Doctor of Biology, Doctor of Philology, Director of the Institute of Cognitive Studies, Academician of the Russian Academy of Engineering (RAE)
Transcript of the video message:

Dear colleagues, in today's world and the world of the future, online education is set to play a pivotal role. Hence, its quality and proficiency in performance are of utmost importance. However, it should go beyond mere mechanical knowledge acquisition, for which online courses are not really needed. Online education ought to be a captivating and thrilling craft, maintaining a dynamic connection between students and their instructors. That is why it is crucial for those developing online courses to bear this in mind, ensuring that their courses are lively, interesting, and engaging. The goal is to make the viewer not only want to continue watching but also eager for more. I wish all of us success on this journey.

The message from Chernigovskaya underscores a critical perspective on the evolving landscape of online education, particularly in the realm of STEM. Her insights resonate deeply with the core themes of the GMA Award 2023 and the recently held Global MOOC and Online Education Conference 2023, themed “Reconstruction of Future Universities and Education Driven by Artificial Intelligence.”

As we dissect her message, several key points emerge:

  1. The Central Role of Online Education: Chernigovskaya identifies the increasingly pivotal role of online education in both current and future learning landscapes. This observation aligns with the 2023 GMA Award’s mission to celebrate excellence in technology-enhanced STEM courses. In a world where digital transformation is rapid, the significance of online platforms in disseminating knowledge, especially in STEM fields, cannot be overstated.
  2. Quality and Proficiency in Performance: The emphasis on quality and proficiency reflects a universal concern in the realm of online education. As digital technologies empower STEM education, the focus should not only be on the accessibility of content but also on its caliber and effectiveness in fostering learning.
  3. Beyond Mechanical Knowledge Acquisition: Chernigovskaya’s point about moving past mere knowledge acquisition is particularly poignant. In the context of AI-driven educational reconstruction, as discussed in the Alliance’s annual conference, it’s crucial to envision online courses that offer more than just information. They should stimulate critical thinking, creativity, and practical application, which are key components in STEM education.
  4. Engagement and Connection: The call for courses to be “lively, interesting, and engaging” is a challenge to educators and course developers. The integration of AI and other digital technologies in online learning should aim not just at delivering content but at creating interactive, dynamic learning environments. This approach can bridge the gap between students and instructors, fostering a more personalized and responsive educational experience.
  5. Aspiration for Continued Learning: The goal of making students “eager for more” is a testament to the potential of online education to inspire and ignite a passion for lifelong learning. In STEM subjects, where ongoing innovation and learning are crucial, the ability of online courses to maintain student interest and curiosity is invaluable.

In summary, Chernigovskaya’s message, deeply aligned with the GMA Award’s ethos and the Alliance’s vision, challenges us to redefine the essence of online education in the STEM fields. Her insights compel us to consider: How can we transcend the traditional boundaries of digital learning to create experiences that are not only informative but profoundly transformative? How can we leverage AI and other technological advancements not just as tools for content delivery, but as catalysts for fostering critical thinking, creativity, and a relentless pursuit of knowledge?

As we stand at the cusp of an AI-driven educational revolution, the challenge before us is not just to adapt to the changing landscapes of learning but to actively shape them. Our goal must be to craft online educational experiences that are as captivating as they are educational, sparking curiosity and a desire for lifelong learning. The true measure of our success will be when online STEM courses are not just a pathway to acquiring knowledge but become a journey of discovery that students are eager to embark upon, driven by passion and a sense of wonder.

In envisioning the future of universities and education, we must ask ourselves: How can we ensure that the digital transformation in education enriches the human aspects of learning? How do we build a future where technology enhances, rather than replaces, the irreplaceable human connection between a teacher and a student? These are the questions that must guide us as we strive to harness the power of online education to not only inform but to inspire, to not only teach but to transform. The journey ahead is as challenging as it is exciting, and it is up to us to make it not just a technological triumph but a triumph of the human spirit in the quest for knowledge and growth.

Any thoughts or comments?

You can reach me at [email protected] or [email protected]. I look forward to continuing this exciting dialogue with you.

Enoch Wong Avatar

Enoch Wong,
OED (Online Education Dialogue) Host;
Senior Advisor of Global MOOC and Online Education Alliance

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