Experience in using eduMEET at a Ukrainian university
Universities around the world moved to distance learning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, seeking reliable tools for online lectures, seminars and meetings. In Ukraine education is assisted by the national research and education network, URAN Association, with the support of the EU-funded EaPConnect project. URAN staff rapidly set up eduMEET, a new online meeting service developed in the GÉANT project. Within the first week eduMEET became a popular tool and is now attracting up to 120 users per day.
Roman Yatsenko was among the first to test eduMEET and was pleased with the result. As the Head of the E-learning tools Department at Simon Kuznets Kharkiv National University of Economics (KhNUE), he is responsible for the entire spectrum of electronic tools in the educational process, including distance learning technologies. Here Roman Yatsenko talks about his extensive KhNUE experience in organising distance education and the new eduMEET service.
What experience did you have with distance learning before the pandemic?
We have gained good experience. Firstly, in our department, we constantly record videos of lectures for offline courses for students to study on their own. Secondly, for several years at our University, extramural learning courses have been taking place online only. We have not stopped the educational process, it continues; almost all the classes take place online using different platforms, including eduMEET.
How do you decide which platforms to use?
From day one, there was full democracy. That is, a teacher had the opportunity to choose a platform himself. For example, in the early days, I used Skype. Three popular platforms include Zoom, eduMEET, and Skype. Zoom offers many features for conducting webinars and online classes; we chose it and eduMEET as the base tools.
Why did you choose eduMEET?
After I received a letter from the URAN association about this platform, I tested it myself, and I liked it. It’s easy to use and simple. There are five main features in eduMEET, including a chat function. There is video, there is a screen demonstration. In fact, this list of features is the list you need. Conveniently, it requires no additional software – because very often, especially in the first online classes, students complain: “I connected – I didn’t connect, I was able – I wasn’t, I installed – I didn’t install, I was on the phone, I was on the tablet…” And with eduMEET you don’t need anything, only a link. It even turned out the link is permanent, it works all the time. For example, we have a room in eduMEET where the rectorate’s meetings take place.
What else do you use eduMEET for?
For classes, simple meetings. Personally, I use eduMEET for teaching and I recommend teachers to use it when the number of participants is 20-30. Also, I support and consult teachers using eduMEET: I have a link to the room, I give it to the teachers and immediately communicate with them, share my screen, show how to do something with a computer. That is all. Very fast.
I prefer eduMEET over other services, for its simplicity. I am grateful to URAN for implementing this platform, its simplicity just wins me over.
eduMEET was developed as part of the pan-European GÉANT project and launched on 25 March 2020 to support education during the pandemic. Work on the development of eduMEET is ongoing.
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