Saving billions of dong in printing documents and time for students to queue up for school admission are some of the benefits for schools starting digital transformation efforts.
After the 2020 Tet holiday, when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, the National Economics University (NEU) immediately organized online teaching.
At that time, students protested the online teaching, saying that they wanted to go to school to meet friends.
Nguyen Hung, a third-year student, when recalling the days, said students even created a protest movement on Facebook. NEU, attending to students’ desire, decided to alternate online and offline teaching.
In the second semester, when Covid-19 broke out again, the school tried to apply the ‘normalization’ regime, so that students could go to school as usual. However, surprisingly, students proposed organizing online teaching as they realized that online teaching had been effective and more convenient.
“If studying online, we can review lectures. We don’t have to travel and we can save time,” Hung explained.
Online training courses on the rise
Le Viet Thuy, director of the NEU’s Information Technology Application Center, said that changing habits is one of the difficulties in implementing digital transformation.
However, just after half a year, the habits of students have shown clear changes. In early August, 55 percent of students said in a survey conducted by the school that they wanted to study online.
Bui Van Hong from the HCM City University of Technology and Education commented that studies have not been disrupted despite Covid-19.
He said that nearly 100 percent of students and lecturers at the school use digital platforms and teaching tools.
“Reducing offline teaching time and increasing online teaching time. Students have become used to self-study. In classes, lecturers spend time solving problems in online studying and focus on practicing skills,” Hong said, adding that the school is drawing up a plan under which only 10 percent of content would be taught in classes, while the remaining will be for students’ self-study and exchanges on digital platforms.
The school in April 2019 established the UTEx Online Training System, organizing online courses for students and former students. The lecturers at UTEx use digital teaching tools to search and provide digital learning materials to students, give assignments online, and communicate with students online.
The assessments of students’ learning outcomes are partially implemented online. This allows students to become more active, and access more learning resources. In particular, they can assess their learning results through digital teaching tools.
In 2019, the school had six online training courses, but it has 160 courses this year.
Online teaching saves money
According to Thuy, in digital transformation, the way of transmitting knowledge to students needs to change.
|Previously, students mostly studied in classes and teachers provided knowledge. But now, when applying information technology in teaching and studying, the way of teaching and teaching content needs to change, and lectures and materials need to be digitized.|
Previously, students mostly studied in classes and teachers provided knowledge. But now, when applying information technology in teaching and studying, the way of teaching and teaching content needs to change, and lectures and materials need to be digitized.
NEU has recently established a digital learning material system for students to access. Instead of printing learning materials and delivering to students, the school has digitized the materials and only a small part of documents is printed for libraries and archival purpose.
The learning material digitization has helped save about VND2-3 billion a year.
The HCM City University of Technology and Education also has a digital library which allows students to use materials without having to come to libraries directly.
“Students now can more easily search for materials they need. Postgraduates can also refer to the materials if necessary,” Thuy said.
Digital transformation is not only applied in training, but also in student management.
NEU was the first school applying automatic authentication and student attendance system.
Previously, students had to queue up for a long time for admission. But new students this year can authenticate themselves by showing their ID card images, enter information and send photos. The system will automatically store the information, and grant student cards with which students can enter the buildings in the school.
The students who participate in the school’s activities also receive automatic attendance. This more accurately assesses the students’ process of learning and practice.
“It was very difficult to quantify students’ activities in the past. But it is easier to do this now, because each student has his or her own code,” Thuy explained.
Thai Van Thanh, director of the Nghe An Education and Training Department, said if there are favorable conditions, online teaching will bring big benefits, especially in remote areas.
Vietnam has been warned of great challenges when developing online teaching, but it believes that these can be overcome.