The second day of the International Scientific Conference of T2P had discussions of the workshops on Theoretical Approaches to Inter-Disciplinarity and Social Practice and Development.
The discussion on Theoretical Approaches to Inter-Disciplinarity was led by Prof. Abdula Azizi a Full-time Professor from South East European University. Doctor of Sciences in Public Administration, Master in International Law and International Relations, Prof. Azizi has numerous publications in the fields of Social Sciences and Humanities.
Violeta Nikolova, MBA, is a former professor and Head of the IBC-M PSM Department, currently working at Inform, a US company based in North Macedonia, as Director of Business Development and Startups for their IT services. Has a wide international experience gained in Izrael, Jordan, and Balkan region.
The first Workshop covered the necessity of the Higher Education Institutions to use wide the practical approaches in their methodology, including interdisciplinary approaches. The second Workshop was dedicated to the topic of Education and Technology.
The sessions started with the questions for the participants to think:
-Do HEIs have currently have an inter-disciplinary approach? What can they do to adopt it?
-Is there a proper infrastructure in place for students to use technology in their studies?
-What has the COVID-19 pandemic taught us in terms of virtual learning?
-Are we happy with the evaluation methods we used during virtual learnings throughout the current pandemic?
Mrs. Violeta Nikolova presented a view from both, the academic perspective and IT company on the competencies that a graduate should have when applying for a job: in addition to technical skills, social skills, which students get from face-to-face interaction, happening in the traditional approach of teaching. These skills make sure the graduate can form part of the team, to help the company be successful.
She presented a case study of their company cooperating with the South East European University under one of the projects, where together with the Technological Faculty they developed a digital platform and hardware on air quality measurements to be used by the Municipality Inspectors. The project pointed out:
-students satisfaction to be engaged in practical solutions
-benefits to the citizens
-connections between Academia and Business
Prof. Sonja Radenkovic/CEPL noted that technology can be a powerful tool in teaching (e.g. IT courses can be learned with no professors involved through virtual learning during life-long learning courses).
Prof. Jelena Djokic/IBC-M noted that there is sometimes a misconception of technology use in education, people should understand that this is not just a virtual learning approach, but rather incorporating technology to the learning objectives, where labs are more equipped, where students see the technology behind the theory.
Prof. Merita Shala stated that from a Social point of view the contact with the students is very important, in order for the student to get the skills, leading to personality growth, the connection to the society, etc.
The challenges of virtual learning, being experienced now during pandemic situation were discussed, among them:
- Budget limits and no infrastructure
- Lack of training on technology use, rapid transformation with no proper evaluation of the methods of teaching to be used
- Challenges with the evaluation of the students
Prof. Monika Posiask also shared her concern on proper tools for evaluation of the students’ competences during virtual learning.
Another perspective of technology use was discussed, on how it helps Universities in the management, or lack of it jeopardizes some processes (that was very well connected and again showed a need for it to recently won Erasmus+ structural Project STAND by IBC-M and its partners where technology embedded solutions for University Management are one of the project objectives)
It was great to see more than 130 abstracts submitted for this Conference, especially many coming from young researchers, many works concentrated on the practicality of the teaching methodologies, problems encountered in teaching during swift virtual shift.
It was summarized, that this Conference will evaluate all the discussions held during these two days and come up with the recommended Model for the HEIs to use during these transitional times, where Theory to Practice is the main component.