Cooperative and Contributive Learning 
in Professional Education

Demchenko Yu.V. *)
National Technical University of Ukraine “Kiev Polytechnic Institute”

Role of Education and Training in developing Information Society
Main Principles of Teaching in Networked Information Environment
Pilot Implementation of the new Instructional Methodology

Role of Education and Training in developing Information Society

An important role in Open Information Society (as Knowledge based Society) will belong to education, professional education and training. 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.

Internet and Global Information Infrastructure (GII) development in the world changes the main paradigms in Education and Research and raise new tasks caused by humankind survive Information Revolution and starts building Information Society which is defined as post-technological society. The main driving forces are shifted from technologies (that are changing very rapidly) to knowledge (together with knowledge and learning acquisition).

Education should respond on global challenges of forming Information Society in providing necessary background for successful people living in this new knowledge based formation:

Paper describes two years experience and results of development and implementation of a new instructional methodology of teaching Internet/intranet Networking and Information Technologies in conditions of emerging new technologies and rapidly developing Internet infrastructure in Ukraine. Development and implementation of the new approach in education that combines cooperative and contributive learning models had allowed to organize educational process in real conditions of restructuring economy with limited state support of new technologies' implementation in education.

Main Principles of Teaching in Networked Information Environment

Proposed instructional methodology is very similar to the Project Based Learning (PBL) that signify advent of the new paradigm of education in knowledge based Information Society. In this new environment, students and teacher become collectors and produces of knowledge/information in contrary to previous roles of just receivers and source of information in previous models of education in industrial and technological societies. Main issue of such new approaches belongs to knowledge search, transfer and acquisition in information and knowledge reach environment formed by GII and Internet that are not limited by classroom and national boundaries. Students in such environment are capable not only consume information and knowledge but also introduce new information and even skills retrieved from the Net.

Main principles teaching modern Information Technologies in Technical, Technological and non-Technical education can be formulated as following:

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

Learning from the Internet - Contributing to the Internet
2. Cooperative Learning Model + students' initiative.

Using Internet/Intranet technologies Teachers and Learners can mutually benefit from implementation and mastering new technologies. Key role in exploring this principle belong to educational projects and rely on Cooperative model of course management that effectively use students' initiative in mastering new technologies.

3. Contributive Learning model.

In conditions of wide use of computers and multimedia technologies among students and rapid technology changes, teachers sometimes can not have strong benefits 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 contributive learning when students or student groups work on the projects that will have real implementation in building Campus computer network, development of information resources or other Society’s meaning.

4. Integration of traditional and distance learning.

New networking environment provided by Internet/Intranet eliminate 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.

5. Concept of “active position”.

Complete implementation and full benefits from using Internet and New Information Technologies in Education can be reached only by using this principle that is very close to the idea of contributional learning. 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.

Pilot Implementation of the new Instructional Methodology

Pilot project on development of Educational Program and Instructional Methodology for Teaching Computer Networking and Internet Information Technologies has been started at Computer Aided Design Department in Kiev Polytechnic Institute. Two groups of 50 engineer students of the firth year have started education in September 1995 and 1996. 17 students of the first group have successfully defended their Master theses in June 1997. All students were involved into development of complete educational course technical and information base.

The pilot educational program includes main specialized courses on Computer Networks and Networking Information Technologies and Services:

Rapid development of modern Networking technologies has 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.

All courses are supplied by instructional and computer presentation materials that are distributed among students in paper and/or electronic form. Some materials are available on educational WWW server ( It allowed to create initial base of instructional and educational materials as well as 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' design that include development of real network projects for concrete academic and educational institutions including development of necessary information services for operational needs of the organization and/or users’ 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.

During design period all projects have their homepages on educational WWW server at CAD Department in special working directories (see reference page at After completing and final editing by webmasters Web pages or templates are moved to their destination location on departmental WWW Server or other designated servers. Original works are left on their working directories for future use by other students as templates.

Contributive part of educational projects was resulted in development of information content of experimental server “U’Pavilion - WWW Server on Historical and Cultural Heritage of Ukraine” (http:/


Background of successful realisation of discussed project on development new educational program and instructional methodology is idea of cooperative and contributive learning enforced by students’ enthusiasm and wide interest of professional and business circles in Ukraine.

Described experience is very simple for implementation but demands experienced and devoted teacher corps capable to work as “playing coach”. Some areas of fruitful international cooperation should be found in development of distance education on the base of existing results and technologies for better utilisation of developed educational courses and instructional methodologies on different subjects interesting for Universities.


Main Working Document (1996). Educational Policies and New Technologies. Second International UNESCO Congress on EDUCATION and INFORMATICS (EI’96). Moscow, Russian Federation, 1-5 July 1996.

Lenschow, R. (1997). On the Electronic Highway to Lifelong Learning. A Paradigm Shift in Learning and Technologies. ICTE’97 Proceedings. Oslo, August 10-13, 1997.

Demchenko, Yu.V. (1997). New Paradigm of Education in Global Information Environment: Learning from the Internet - Contributing to the Internet. INET’97 Proceedings, “The Internet: Global Frontiers. The Annual Meeting of the Internet Society”. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 24-27 June 1997.

Demchenko, Yu.V. (1997). Cooperative and Contributive Learning - the real choice to push professional education in Networking Information Technologies in Ukraine and CIS. JENC8 Proceedings. Edinburgh, Scotland, May 12-15, 1997, pp. 822-1 - 822-7.

Author Affiliation and Address

Yuri Demchenko is Associate Professor in National Technical University of Ukraine “Kiev Polytechnic Institute”
Prospect Peremogy 37, Kiev-56, Ukraine, 252056.
Voice, Office: +380 (44) 441-1465
Fax.: +380 (44) 274-5932