Information Technology School – ITS did not interrupt its activities even once during the state of emergency. Lectures were held regularly via live stream, which was made possible by the Distance Learning System developed by LINKgroup, the founder of the school. The state of emergency was abolished, but the epidemiological measures banning mass gatherings remained in force. Schools and universities were particularly affected by the current situation due to the nature of their activity, and will probably be the last institutions where the situation will completely normalize.
Impressions about the previous period have slowly taken shape, and the various research has been conducted to see how this difficult situation affected studies in Serbia. To what extent have institutions of higher education adapted to the current situation, and what will be its effects on future students?
Lectures were held without interruption at ITS
Information Technology School – ITS did not interrupt its operation even once during the state of emergency. Lectures were held regularly via live stream, which was made possible by the Distance Learning System developed by LINKgroup, the founder of the school.
In the survey conducted by the NajStudent.com website in the period between 21 and 27 April, 1,447 students answered questions about the impact of the pandemic on their studies. When asked what measures their faculties undertook to adapt to the state of emergency, almost a half of the respondents pointed that the teachers sent them PDF and PPT presentations with or without audio.
ITS carried out live stream lectures on a daily basis in all study programs, both at bachelor’s and master’s level. In the conditions of the state of emergency, students were able to follow lectures in real time on the school’s portal. Between 50 and 100 hours of live stream program in HD was broadcast from the premises of ITS every day.
Expert teachers and commitment to students
In the same survey conducted by the NajStudent.com website, students were asked what measures should faculties and colleges implement in these conditions, and almost two fifths of the respondents answered that they should increase teacher availability.
In addition to their expertise and professional competencies, teachers at ITS proved their extraordinary commitment to students and performed their duties without exception even during the state of emergency. Complying with all the recommended protective measures, they arrived at work and held their lessons via live stream from the ITS classrooms, they were available to their students via video conferencing and responded to emails within 24 hours.
Video archive of all lessons
In addition to live stream, all lessons and exercises were recorded and stored in the Video Archive on the Distance Learning Platform. This option proved particularly useful for ITS students to prepare for exams, because each lesson can be rewatched as many times as necessary.
How did ITS manage to adapt so quickly and realize all the planned classes during the state of emergency?
Because since its foundation in 2006, ITS has been using the Distance Learning Platform in its work, and applying a number of software services as support to the teaching process. Live stream has been an integral part of our services since 2015, and has only gained in importance since then.
In addition to live stream, our platform also includes online courses which help students to master the material and prepare for exams as efficiently as possible. ITS students can also take online tests to check their knowledge in each course, and gain insight into areas they’ve mastered, and those they still need to work on.
Materials from each lecture available on the Platform for Students
ITS student portal regularly uploads materials from each lecture of each course, both at bachelor’s and master’s studies. Students can access printouts and textbooks for all courses written by the course teachers. As an additional learning resource, there is also a collection of multimedia learning and testing materials. The Platform for Students also allows online exam registration, and publishes results of all exam results.
Lessons available via mobile phones
Students of ITS were also able to follow their lessons via mobile phones in the previous period. We enabled them to access the Distance Learning Platform at any time, scheduled Live Class sessions and video archives using the OS and Android application. This free application provides simple access to all lectures and online lessons. The only thing they need to do is install the iOS or Android app on their phones, and they will be able to cover all the required material and watch online classes.
Video consultations with teachers
In addition to the live stream, we also held regular video consultations with all teachers at bachelor’s and master’s studies. Teachers discussed the material with students and were available to answer all student questions.
Registrar employees available even during the state of emergency
Employees in the registrar’s office and other services were available during the entire state of emergency and continued to provide technical and software support to students of ITS. The registrar’s office was available to answer all student questions by phone and email, whereas the technical support helped in the realization of classes, published schedules and uploaded all teaching materials on daily basis.
Students ready to take exams
Using all the available services at ITS, students were able to continue their education and follow lessons without interruption. Classes were held via live stream, teaching materials were published on the portal after each class, videos of all lectures were stored in the archive, and teachers were available for video consultations. During the state of emergency, when most of us were shut up in our homes, ITS students were able to use that time to master the teaching material. We believe they will confirm their knowledge in the exams, as soon as the conditions allow exams to take place.