MAI and the distant learning: how the university develops its online educational tools

12 November 2021

MAI and the distant learning: how the university develops its online educational tools

Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University) is going back to the combined learning format: classes will be held both online and offline. The MAI e-learning system – LMS (learning management system) with a built-in video conferencing option is used for distant studies. How online education is held this year, Maxim Vikulin, Head of the Department of Technical Means and Electronic Learning Technologies of the Directorate for Support and Monitoring of E-Learning at MAI, told us.

– Our previous experience of working in a distance format helped us switch to online education this year the least costly. We knew what to expect and were able to calculate the load on the MAI LMS system in advance, so we managed to avoid disruptions. In addition, in order to improve the quality of online education, Moscow Aviation Institute organized the recording of video lectures, – said Maxim Vikulin about the transition to full distance during the autumn lockdown.

The functionality of the system allows to conduct surveys during video conferences, connect screen sharing and create separate rooms for discussions when working in groups. LMS MAI also provides the interactive whiteboard: teachers can write by hand, draw and use tools to add printed text, lines, circles and other shapes. The platform allows to use various testing tools, publish interactive text lectures, check assignments manually and invite students to chat rooms for consultations, and also to various forums. The teacher independently chooses the tools that will help MAI students in their studies.

Each MAI student has the access to the system – all institutes and departments work in it. At the moment, more than 11 thousand courses have been created at LMS MAI. Despite the fact that it is difficult to replace the full-time offline format, LMS MAI allows to organize the educational process for any subject. As Maxim Vikulin says, the platform is able to withstand the simultaneous work of all MAI students. Every day, from 300 to 600 online classes are held in the MAI e-learning system.

– The video conferencing system allows to simultaneously organize up to 200 online classes. Disruptions in work related to the load on the servers are immediately eliminated together with the Department of MAI Information Technologies, – he noted.

Instead of Microsoft Teams, the university is using the Webinar.ru e-learning platform, an ecosystem of services for online events, as an auxiliary tool this year. The reason for the change in the educational site is that a license to use MT cannot be acquired by MAI without obtaining the export license.

In connection with the temporary transition to distance learning, an increase in the load on the electronic platforms of Moscow Aviation Institute was expected, so the Information Technology Department increased the number of servers for stable operation. In case of problems, users can contact technical support: lms@mai.ru.

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