Russian higher school: Forced distance learning and planned switch to distance learning during pandemic (experience of sociological analysis) [Высшая школа России: вынужденный и плановый переход на удалённый формат в период пандемии (опыт социологического анализа)]

Challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic require structural analysis and sociocultural comprehension, which has and will for quite a while have multi-aspect and systemic nature. All elements of the social system have been forced to function in the stress regime in the absence of any basic patterns and tried-and-true methods to solve the arising problem. The overall uncertainty in the organization of the social life and the enforced and, at times, very contentious steps taken at various levels of management have caused polarization of opinions as to the functioning of all social institutions. Special pressure has been put on education, since it is this institution that is mainly responsible for the social system’s stability. In this regard, it has been important and significant to comprehensively study the problems and limitations associated with the functioning of the higher education system in Russia during the pandemic, as well as to analyze the change in tone and attitude both on the part of the public and the teaching corps, as a response to the transition to the new forms of work at higher education institutions. The article was prepared using the materials of two stages of the sociological research “The opinion of teachers of Russia’s higher education institutions on distance learning during the pandemic” conducted in May, June and December 2020. The volume of sample sets made up 3431 people at the first stage, and 6006, at the second. An analysis of research data covers the following areas: organizational problems of transition to distance learning; resources used, organization of lectures and seminars, assessment of the positive and negative aspects of distance learning; perspectives, limitations and trajectories for the implementation of distance learning in Russia’s higher education institutions, as well as a set of social problems aimed at studying social well-being and assessing possible changes in the life and career of teachers. The research data are compared with the data of similar works by Russian and foreign analysts. On the basis of the analysis done and the conclusions obtained, the authors propose practical steps to optimize the work of the higher education system in stressful situations, to use distance technologies in the learning organization. Also, possible forms are considered that combine distance and full-time education, and recommendations are proposed on how to change the tone in perceiving inevitable informational and communication transformations on the part of teachers. This research was performed according to the Development program of the Interdisciplinary Scientific and Educational School of Lomonosov Moscow State University «Mathematical methods of complex systems analysis». © 2021 Moscow Polytechnic University. All rights reserved.

Aleshkovski I.A.1, 2 , Gasparishvili A.T. 1, 2, 4 , Krukhmaleva O.V. 1, 2 , Narbut N.P. 3 , Savina N.E.2
Федеральное государственное бюджетное образовательное учреждение высшего образования "Московский политехнический университет"
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  • 1 Center for Education Development Stategy
  • 2 Lomonosov Moscow State University, 1, bldg. 44, Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation
  • 3 RUDN University, 6, Miklukho-Maklaya str., Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation
  • 4 Federal Center for Theoretical and Applied Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences, 24/35, bldg. 5, Krzhizhanovsky str., Moscow, 117218, Russian Federation
COVID-19 pandemic; Digital resources; Distance learning; Online education; Sociology of education; University teachers’ well-being
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