New Paradigm of Education in Global Information Environment:
Learning from the Internet - Contributing to the Internet

Yuri V. Demchenko (
Department of Computer Science
Department of Computer Aided Design
National Technical University of Ukraine "Kiev Polytechnic Institute"

Society's demand on professional education in modern Networking Information Technologies, mainly caused by rapidly developing Internet in Ukraine, initiated pioneer work in Kiev Polytechnic Institute at CAD Department on developing educational course and Instructional Methodology for teaching Computer Networking and Internet Information Technologies. Some interesting results of pilot implementation of mentioned courses and existing problems are discussed in the paper. Main Principles of developing Instructional Methodology of Teaching in Networked Information Environment have been formulated and are discussed in the paper.
Internet eliminates boundaries and distance in dissemination of the new technologies. But still there are many differences in studying Networking Information Technologies and Internet in local conditions comparing to developed countries. It was impossible to duplicate experience of some western universities in local environment with poor communication infrastructure and information resources. We should exploit the new approach in learning from the Internet and contributing to the building of our Information Infrastructure and Resources.
Professional Education in Networking Information Technologies as a demand of emerging Global Information Society
Programs and activities in Internet Training and Professional Education on Networking Information Technologies in Ukraine
Pilot educational program on Networking Information Technologies and Services
Current results and acquired experience
Main Principles of Teaching in modern Networked Information Environment
Existing problems
Professional Education in Networking Information Technologies as a demand of emerging Global Information Society

The emerging Information Society is characterized by wide use of modern computer communications technologies providing access to a variety of different information resources distributed over the global networks. Recent summit of the Group of Seven (G7) - group of senior government ministers from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom and United States - in Brussels in February 1995 has adopted plans for creating basic set of rules for Global Information Infrastructure (GII) that will play key role in developing Global/Open Information Society (OIS) defined at the summit as knowledge based society. G7 declared their intentions to welcome participation of developing and technology emerging countries in building GII and developing it's information contents to provide them "the chance to fully participate in this process as it will open opportunities for them to leapfrog stages of technology development and to stimulate social and economic development" [1].

An important role in participation of Ukraine in GII development and creating elements of Open Information Society will belong to Universities' Academic and Research community. The knowledge-based economy demands greater openness and creativity in schools and universities, and the acquisition of new skills and adaptability through life-long training. An open approach to education that combines local and national cultures and promotes mutual understanding between all people is required. Access must therefore be tackled at its roots by providing citizens with the tools to learn in an information society [1, 2].

Successful implementation of GII elements in Ukraine and its future sustainability requires a special concern about professional Education on Networking Information Technologies and concurrent Training and User Support activity, which will contribute to the solving problem of preparing workforce/specialists for socially important area of academic, industry and business activity in the country.

Currently main and most notable activities in Ukraine are oriented on building regional networking infrastructure for Academic and Research communities in the frame of numerous state and international projects [3]. Further development of Networking and Information Infrastructure in Ukraine will demand professional education of specialists in Computer Networking and Communications Technologies and wide User Training and Support.

Programs and activities in Internet Training and Professional Education on Networking Information Technologies in Ukraine

As result of deep understanding of importance of education and training in conditions of emerging new technologies, many organizations, companies and foundations in Ukraine have started different programs and projects on development of educational and training courses oriented on wide dissemination of the new knowledge and creation of critical mass of specialists for sustainable development of new technologies. Training and User Support are the obligatory component of all funded projects on Internet Programs in Ukraine funded by International Renaissance Foundation (IRF), International Eurasia Foundation (IEF), IREX. Special project on development of distance learning model for training on Internet Technologies and Services is supported by UNESCO [4]. But still professional education on Internet and Networking IT remains only the destiny of some leading organizations and universities.

Partially needs of developing Internet infrastructure are satisfied by training small group of administrators of Internet nodes in the frame of different international workshops and seminars such as INET Workshops, TERENA, NATO and CEENet Workshops on Advanced Networking Technologies.

However it does not solve the problem of preparing specialists for important areas of economy and for needs of different companies that start to implement new Internet/intranet technologies for their corporate needs which are necessary for smooth integration into world economy and business processes.

Pilot project on development of Educational course and Instructional Methodology for Teaching Computer Networking and Internet Information Technologies was started by Computer Aided Design Department at Kiev Polytechnic Institute because of existing demands of Internet and Networking Information Technologies development in Ukraine [5]. The project is based on effective utilization of existing professional resources and specialists in modern networking technologies and Internet in Kiev Polytechnic Institute that has experience in Campus and regional network building as well as in Internet training courses and materials development.

The project has two parts of activities: professional education in modern Networking and Information Technologies, and associated with it training on Internet and services applications for different categories of users. This approach reflects existing in the world experience of two directions in wide implementation of new technologies: professional education that create and strengthen sustainable basis (academic and research) for implementation of new technologies, and short term training and continuos professional renewal for satisfying urgent demands in dissemination of new technologies among wide group of users.

Proposed paper discusses results of two years realisation of initiative project on development of educational course and instructional methodology of teaching Internet/intranet Networking and Information Technologies. Development and implementation of the new approach in education that combines cooperative and contributive learning models have allowed to organize educational process in real conditions of deep economical crisis of restructuring economy with very limited state support of new technologies implementation in education.

Pilot educational program on Networking Information Technologies and Services

Pilot group of 50 engineer students of the firth year have started their education from September 1995 till May 1996 at CAD Department of NTUU "KPI", part of them continue their Master education till May 1997 and will work on their Master degree thesises on Internet and Networking Information Technologies related topics. Also they will be engaged into development of complete educational course technical and information base.

Educational program intended to give students solid technical knowledge and initial project design experience in Computer Networking Technologies. Therefore, pilot program is compounded of three basic courses: Computer Networking, Internetworking and Internet/intranet Information Technologies, - completing necessary educational base for designing corporate and/or campus computer information networks.

The program includes the following main specialized courses on Computer Networking and Networking Information Technologies that can be developed on existing information and technical base with minimum additional funding and are the most actual in local conditions:

Rapid development of modern Networking technologies have demanded more than 40% changes in course content during second year as well as sufficient changes in themes of educational projects. Information about new technologies and standards were directly transferring to students on lectures, classes and via departmental server.

The prospective program development will cover all components of new Internet/intranet technologies that include the following main services of campus or corporate networks

  1. HTML/WWW Publishing
  2. IP-address translation, Network Security (Firewall, Proxy, Cache)
  3. E-mail standards (MIME, PGP/PEM, X.400) and system integration (Eudora, MS Exchange, cc:Mail, MS Internet Mail, Netscape Mail)
  4. Common Directory System (Yellow Pages, X.500, Whois)
  5. Intranet Search System (WAIS, CWIS, AltaVista)
  6. Electronic commerce over Internet (including secure corporate tunnelling)
  7. Collaborative and Cooperative work (electronic/video conferences, cooperative design/editing/publishing, WhiteBoards)
  8. User and Applications Mobility
All courses are supplied by instructional and computer presentation materials that are distributed among students in paper and/or electronic form. Some materials available on educational WWW server [6]. One of the purpose of such work is to create initial base of instructional and educational materials and to adopt and test Russian/Ukrainian terminology on real lecturing and educational project development.

Some practical experience will be acquired by students during educational projects designing that include development of real networks projects for concrete academic and educational institutions including development of necessary information services for operational needs of given organizations and/or user's group. Also practical installation of services and pilot information resource development is performed on special educational laboratory base.

Two main components of complex educational projects are network infrastructure design and information server structure and content development. Projects are recommended to be developed by groups of three or four students and include all necessary components of real networking project design of campus or company's network including organisation of optimal cooperative work of the project group

Topics of projects can be chosen from proposed actual list or proposed by students themselves. Most of developed WWW server contents were devoted to realisation of two initiative project at the department Examples of students Web pages developed during current semester are listed below During design period all projects have their homepages on educational WWW server at CAD Department in special working directories (see reference page [9]). After completing and final editing by webmasters Web pages or templates are moved to their destination location on departmental WWW Server and two other mentioned servers. Original works are left on their working directories for future use by other students as templates. Thus, with such instructional methodology most of students are involved in development of educational course and information resources creation.

Experience of the first 1995/1996 has demonstrated effectiveness and fruitfulness of such organization of students works. Students projects of the new 1996/1997 academic year have more practical orientation on design of different corporate networks of current or future students' employment. This year students received possibility to use popular CACI COMNET III Network modelling software in their projects design for modelling network components and traffic flow.

Second year Master students participate actively in development of educational and information base for new courses. Complete information library on Internet Networking and Information Technologies (including HTML, CGI, HTTP, RFC and other standards, application software and accessories, etc.) was founded now on educational server and accessible for students via FTP or WWW.

During the first year of project realization five graduate students have defended their diploma projects devoted to Internet and related topics. Also four Bachelor's diploma works were devoted to development of components of KPI Campus Wide Information System (CWIS), Gateway between Fidonet users' group and Majordomo Mailing Lists, Ukrainian WWW resources index database and Java graphics presentation.

Master research works are devoted to the very modern Internet information technologies and WWW application including

Listed research themes are worked out in cooperation by students of the first and second years of Master education providing in such a way continuity of investigations and development of these topics at the department.

Current results and acquired experience

The main intermediate results of pilot project realisation can be stated
  1. Creation of Hardware and Software technical information library (electronic and paper) and basic learning materials on pilot courses on Russian language
  2. Development of training materials for practical studying of Internet technologies that are used now both for students self-training and for users training courses
  3. Involvement of students in pilot testing of instructional methodology, development of educational base and creation of WWW information resources of society's meaning was resulted in development of information content of two experimental servers U'Pavilion [7] and WebIT [8]
  4. Creation of critical mass of specialists and students involved in development of educational courses and correspondent research activities
  5. Creation and operation of educational server and development of technical base for cooperative work of tutors and students on educational and information resources development
To provide efficient tool for testing students' knowledge and feedback for course revising and improvement, the examination test system was developed. The questionnaires on Computer Networking Technologies consist of 50 questions (randomly chosen from the base of more than 100 questions with more than 1000 linked statements) covering all key items of the course. This questionnaire has attracted now wide interest among commercial companies. Officially adopted such test system could be used for specialists' certification for organizational staff education and training management needs. The Demo version of the examination system will be accessible in the near future via departmental WWW.

One of the interesting secondary result in teaching such course, mainly based on English language manuals and handbooks, is in rising aspiration of students to learn and enhance their knowledge of English. All educational project's Homepages have their presentations in English and Russian/Ukrainian languages but some documents have only their original presentation on single Ukrainian or Russian language. To solve properly the language and Cyrillic encoding problems in Internet application special research work was started at department [10].

The obligatory condition for all students in this pioneer course and diploma projects was the use of Russian or Ukrainian languages for preparing textual materials of the projects that sometimes contradicted with students own desire. But such approach will help to create information base for future course development and dissemination.

Another task of current stage of the project realization is to encourage wide use of Internet and computer communications among professors, tutors and students as a way to develop collaborative learning models at the department. Professional academic contacts have to be established for cooperative development and wide dissemination of the new educational courses and technologies in the University, in Ukraine and over the world involving the most active network users from academic and scientific community that are tutors, researches, students and associated users groups.

To provide course with current technical information and new technologies, professors and tutors of CAD Department actively participate in organising Workshops, Conferences and Seminars in Kiev and Ukraine with project's promotion purposes. Participation in training activity helps universities tutors to understand better real needs of different categories of users and practical workers.

As a result of real recognition of advantages of provided education methodology and existing needs of Networking market in Ukraine, specialists and students of department were proposed to technically assist specialised Internet/intranet exhibition EnterNet'96 in Kiev on November 26-30, 1996. EnterNet'96 Internet/intranet Network Operating Team (INOT) responsible for network design and maintenance was completed of students and specialists of CAD Department. Many students were involved in development of intranet WWW information resources too. Such cooperation with Exhibition Company Euroindex Ltd. will provide good possibility for students to see and master new technologies and be acquainted with IT market in Ukraine. Really, this experience is very similiar to well-known NOC and ITM volunteer program of Interop world exhibitions [11].

Basic training materials and courses on Internet related issues have been developed during realisation of the pilot academic curricula. Regular training courses for different categories of users were started at CAD Department. The first groups trained, surely, consisted of teacher's staff of the Department and University's postgraduate students that have encouraged them to use Internet in academic process and researches. Another one was a group of 30 students of KPI that took part in the international distance educational course of IUAP (International Association of Universities Presidents) on the book "Preparing to the XXI Century" by Paul Kennedy during 1995/1996 academic year.

Important factors for successful realisation and future extension of the project are

Current experience allows to suppose that wide implementation of such instructional methodology and whole realisation of it's potentiality in local conditions will affect teaching of another IT related courses at the Department and lead to their integration on the base of Internet/intranet networking and information technologies which were found to be very effective for re-engineering educational process.

Main Principles of Teaching in modern Networked Information Environment

Strong orientation on reaching real practical results in integration into GII in discussed pioneer work has allowed to formulate main principles of developing instructional methodology for teaching and/or implementing modern Information Technologies in Technical, Technological and non-Technical education. These principles can provide real base for establishing active position of teachers and creative role of learners.

  1. The new paradigm of education in modern Networked Information Environment should be incorporated into instructional methodology development

  2. Learning from the Internet - Contributing to the Internet
  3. Using Internet/Intranet technologies Teachers and Learners can mutually benefit from exploration of the

  4. Cooperative Learning Model
  5. Students' desire and inspiration to learn, use and implement the very new Information Technologies (such as HTML 3.2, Java, VRML) can be and should be exploited very effectively if teachers will be capable

  6. To give students the possibility to express themselves
    and to direct their initiative on educational course purposes or other meaningful directions.
  7. In conditions of wide use of computers and multimedia technologies among students and rapid technologies changes, teachers sometimes can not have strong advantages in practical technological experience. In these circumstances they should play the role of mentors and/or managers of educational process or curricula. Teacher can propose some idea of contributional learning when students or students groups work on the projects that will have real implementation for building Universities, National Information Infrastructure or other Society's meaning.

  8. Exploration of this principle in KPI has allowed to start a number of interesting projects completely based on students initiatives (Creation of WWW Server with Information Resources about Historical and Cultural Heritage of Ukraine; Creation of Campus Networking Information Library of Internet and IT related documents for educational purposes, etc.).
  9. New networking environment provided by Internet/Intranet eliminates differences between traditional and distance learning, however, stressing on interactive on-line (IRC, conferencing) and off-line (e-mail, mailing lists) communication between teachers and students.
  10. The new obligatory features that should be included into educational firmware and designed projects are Multilingual support of Server and Client applications. Further realization of this principle will lead to using automated language translation assistance for user that should be established automatically between Client and Server.
  11. Complete implementation and full benefits from using Internet and New Information Technologies in Education can be reached only by using concept of "active position" that is very close to the idea of contributional learning.

  12. It is not enough to give students and teachers Internet access only. To use effectively Internet, faculties should start development of their own Internet resources and creation of its own Internet presentation.
In general, all these principles are based on University's ways of Internet development (as opposite to commercial one) that suppose undepletable providing of all available resources to individuals for their creating commonly consumable goods and resources [12]. Understanding of this is very important for planning right policy for future development of this area of activity. It also confirms common principles of Internet and modern technologies development even in such different social conditions as developed countries and former Soviet Union countries.

Existing problems

Current project realisation was faced with number of problems caused by technical, organizational, methodological and funding reasons. Some of them can be discussed more detailed:
  1. Technical problems including
  2. Methodological problems that include
  3. Funding problems including shortage and lack of necessary funding for proper implementation of such kind of educational project. Modern Networking Information Technologies are quite expensive and their implementation demand correspondent funding.

Intending to wide dissemination of current work, special educational WWW server integrated into POLYTECH Campus network was established at CAD Department that provides basic information about academic curriculum, educational courses and consists of necessary instructional and reference information as well as basic training materials on Internet services.

Pilot realisation of the project has been resulted by development and implementation of the new approaches in conducting professional education in local conditions of emerging technologies in Ukraine. The key idea is in applying cooperative and contributive models for interaction between tutor and students using modern Internet/intranet technologies on practice. Such an approach has allowed to create the critical mass of specialists (and students) for future sustainable development of the courses.

Real contribution of educational projects was made to development of information contents of two WWW servers: U'Pavilion - WWW Server on Historical and Cultural Heritage of Ukraine ( [7], and WebIT - WWW Server for Internet Publishing and Internet Business and Marketing applications ( [8].

Such pioneer work will create solid base for wide implementation of Networking IT in University's environment in Ukraine and mobilise community's intellectual forces for self supporting development of new technologies. Some areas of fruitful international cooperation should be found in exchanging of educational courses and instructional methodologies between Universities.

Described experience is very simple for implementation in other places but needs experienced devoted tutor personality for it's managing.


Realisations of this project have become possible owing to sufficient material, people and moral support of all CAD Department staff.

At the initial stage project was supported by special grants of USIA in Ukraine [13] for conference participation, educational materials publishing and students' research support

For the 1996/1997 academic year project has received special grant of International Renaissance Foundation of Soros Foundation [14] for developing Professional Education Programme in Networking Information Technologies and Information Resource Management.

Sufficient support was received from Dialectica Computer Publishing Company [15] that donated a lot of technical literature on Networking and Internet technologies.


  1. Chair's Conclusions. Issued by the G7 Ministers. Feb. 27, 1995. - G7 Summit in Brussels. February 24-26, 1995. -
  2. Main Working Document. Second International UNESCO Congress on EDUCATION and INFORMATICS (EI'96): Educational Policies and New Technologies. - Moscow, Russian Federation. 1-5 July 1996.
  3. Demchenko Yu.V., Shkarupin V.V. Kiev Pilot IP Network. INET'95 Proceedings. --June, 1995.
  4. Copernicus Project #1445 (1995-1997) "Flexible and distant learning through telematics networks: a case for teaching English, and Communication and Information Technologies" (Netherlands, England, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Ukraine). -
  5. Demchenko Yu.V., Petrenko A.I. Development of Instructional Methodology for Teaching Computer Networking and Information Resource Management Technologies in Kiev Polytechnic Institute. - JENC7 Proceedings. -- Budapest. -- May 13-16, 1996. -- Pp. 175-1 - 175-9.
  6. Education on Computer Networking and Networking Information Technologies and Services. -
  7. U'Pavilion - WWW Server on Historical and Cultural Heritage of Ukraine. -
  8. WebIT - Experimental WWW Server for Internet Publishing and Internet Business and Marketing applications. -
  9. WebWorkshop'96. Educational projects on Networking Information Technologies. -
  10. CEN/TC304 - Character Set Technology Workshop. Providing multilingual support in middleware: Implementing the Universal Character Set ISO 10646 in the European Information Society. -
  11. The InteropNet Contributor Program. Guide Contributing Human Resources. -
  12. Hallgren M.M., McAdams A.K. Model for Efficient Aggregation of Resources for Economic Public Goods on the Internet. - JENC7 Proceedings. - Budapest. - May 13-16, 1996. -- Pp. 243-1 - 243-10.
  13. America House in Ukraine. USIS. -
  14. Interantional Renessaunce Foundation Ukraine. Soros Foundation Open Society Institute. -
  15. Dialectika Computer Publishing Company. -