Studying in the digital age
The way people communicate has changed significantly in the last twenty to thirty years, primarily thanks to the great advances in technology and the digital transformation that has affected all aspects of human life. The world as we knew it no longer exists. While the changes used to be gradual (evolutionary), the patterns of communication in recent months are changing significantly, rapidly and irreversibly (revolutionarily).
In a very short time, our habits have become different, from how we work, study, do business, communicate, hang out, to how we travel, consume art, and buy. More and more services are being digitized, and a number of new opportunities are being created on the basis of advanced technologies, and this is just the beginning.
Millions of people around the world have been working from home for some time now, and the situation with the Covid19 pandemic forced us to think about which tools we use for working from home or for fun online .
When enrolling at BLC, each student receives their own code to access e-learning and thus gain complete insight into the entire scientific teaching process at Banja Luka College, regardless of where they are.
Pursuant to the Decision of the BLC on measures for organizing teaching activities online ie - classes, the students of the BLC, in addition to, up to now, within the framework of the BLC website, available fully formed courses on E-TEACHING, are enabled to, in full capacity , follow lectures from the subjects they have, consult with subject professors and get all the necessary information related to the teaching process via the Microsoft Teams platform.
BLC was also ready for this type of teaching before, but in BiH the legal prerequisites for this have not yet (and are still expected) been made available, as well as the possibility of taking the exam online. Due to the corona virus pandemic, there was a sudden need to switch to that type of study, which BLC was ready to meet. This is knowledge from the field of online learning that we only apply in practice, which is also our mantra. Everything that students, who study, any major at BLC and learn, must be applicable in practice. So that online communication between professors, assistants and students, which until now existed through e-teaching with the possibility of free use of Microsoft Office 365, upon enrollment at BLC, is now only deepened.
Access to e-Teaching services
The choice of software for conducting online classes is very important. For distance learning, BLC uses Microsoft Teams , a tool that is part of the Office 365 package, which every student can install for free when enrolling at BLC, while it provides a unique way of communication and work for teachers and students. In this way, we have secured virtual classrooms, in which we teach face-to-face, and within the subjects, which students take according to the usual schedule of classes, certain tasks are assigned, exercises are done, interactive communication takes place and students have the possibility of daily consultations. with professors.
In certain files, students also have literature and presentations in electronic form, and they can combine all of this with e-teaching on the BLC website, where they also have all of this in an even wider scope. What is also important is the fact that the Microsoft Teams platform, apart from a computer, can be accessed from a phone, tablet or browser, which allows every student to attend classes regardless of where they are.
In addition to the classes themselves, the platform can also organize extracurricular activities, from poetry classes to cooking schools, for example, or all activities of the BLC student organization. On the other hand, platform administrators are enabled to monitor and document class attendance and all activities that take place during the teaching process and document all this technically, automatically.
Teaching at a distance is strictly controlled, as is the record of student attendance, and at the level of this higher education institution, students' activities are regularly monitored. So the possibilities are huge.
Lectures and exercises are conducted through interactive video conferences supplemented with programs and materials that are normally used in classes, as well as assignments, homework, written reports, independent preparation of professional papers, individual consultations. If legal conditions are met for that, which will enable students to finish the academic year in the distance system, BLC is ready for that part as well.
Distance learning takes place according to a specific schedule for all activities, which means that for BLC students, no time is lost in the dynamics of teaching, regardless of whether they are full-time or part-time students.
The opinions of students about the new way of teaching are visible through the forums of individual subjects, where students express a particularly high degree of satisfaction. Likewise, the presence of students in all forms of teaching is very high, which is proof that students took the new way of teaching very seriously. Students also, through a survey, evaluate the entire work of the professor and the teaching.