Distance learning. New horizons: online defence of the essays

Distance learning provides new opportunities for students and teachers. This time we gained the experience of presentations and defending student essays online.

Third-year students defended group essays in the module “Systems of intelligent processing of natural-language information.” The idea behind this activity is as follows. Students formed teams of 2-4 people on their own. Since the module is elective, the team may include students from different academic groups. Each team chose a topic for the essay based on their preference. The problem can be selected either from the proposed list or some other relevant to the course subject.

The team member in charge of leadership has a responsibility of representing the work overall. Here is the scenario of team presentations. One team’s member showed up the slides for a public. Every student spoke in turn. The first student makes an introduction, including a history of the theme and the current state of the problem. The next one makes a detailed analysis of the problem and suggests well-known methods for solving it. The last one concludes, speaks about the obstacles that exist in this area of Natural Language Processing and some promising approaches to solving the problem at hand. Thus, everyone feels responsible for the material presented as a whole and for their part.

Postgraduate first-year students defended their essays in the module “Ontological Engineering.” It was an individual task. Each student chose a topic from the list or offered their own. Since almost all of them already work for IT companies, they approached to work professionally and did an excellent job.

Thus, students gained new experience of online defending their work, which will undoubtedly be useful in the formation of their competencies as IT specialists. The ability to represent and uphold the results of research, to seek and analyze new tasks that require a creative approach, new software tools, methods and algorithms is vital. The results showed that students welcome new challenges and are ready to tackle challenging but exciting tasks.

We wish our students success and health!