New trends in Education in conditions of
Emerging Global Information Infrastructure


Yuri Demchenko


Paper discusses general trends and problems of Education development in conditions of emerging new technologies and Global Information Environment. New principles of Education in Information Environment are based on existing paradigm shift in modern education changing role of teacher from source to producer of information and role of students from passive information receivers to active knowledge accumulator. Possibilities of Internet for education and Research are considered. Discussed results are based on the three years experience in active instructional methodology development in Kiev Polytechnic Institute.

1. Education and Research in Global Information Environment
2. Paradigm shift in professional education
3. Main Principles of Teaching in Networked Information Environment
4. Pilot implementation of new instructional methodology and educational program
4.1. Educational program
4.2. Educational projects -- the key part of proposed instructional methodology
4.3. Using cooperative model for effective course management
5. Current results and background of success
6. Summary
7. Reference

1. Education and Research in Global Information Environment

In forming now Information Age economy knowledge and skills become the key factor of competition. New Knowledge Based Companies (KBCo) incorporates constant technologies' development and change as well as learning acquired skills in their production system [1]. Internet and Global Information Infrastructure (GII) development in the world changes the main paradigm in Education and Research. Education should respond on global challenges of forming Information Society in providing necessary background for successful people living in this new knowledge based formation:

The education area is becoming now the place where many technologies meet, converge and are tested by real practice and coexistence. Education activity is becoming important part of general companies’ activity (notwithstanding the structural affiliation -- to company or university). Education becomes a conductor and promoter of new technologies and area where new approaches and new social imperatives are forming now.

New approaches in education and training should increase the assistance-to-contributive effect, i.e., education and training organisations should become the knowledge based organisations themselves and implement KBCo corporate model. Contributive effect in IT education should shift from secondary process to productive. Professional education should utilise learning process (or its results) for creating information and knowledge base for teaching next generation of students and/or trainees.

Classroom integration into Internet will demand special approach for curriculum design and instructional methodology used that should be focused on reaching main educational goals because of learners in such environment have real choice “to stay” in the class or escape into Internet surfing. Curricula have to take into account existence of such global information environment as Internet.

Education and culture globalisation and internationalisation shall not impact on national cultures. In these circumstances, education at its initial stage has to inoculate national and cultural values to learners. (Students should accept priorities of national values in integration into the global IS). During education and further lifelong learning people should take over new global criteria (but not change values) applying and adopting them to the national values.

Rapid technology changes and economy IT-directed restructuring in Ukraine (as country with emerging technologies) raise another problem with “professionally lost” generation. Wide demand of knowledge intensive qualified workforce in IT (and programming particularly) causes problems with completing professional education. Students that have at least initial knowledge in IT and programming are absorbed by many small companies for serving their IT needs. In difficult economical situation they are forced to earn money that, in general, contradict with needs for intensive learning according to curriculum. Young people of the third-fourth years in Universities go to professional sphere without formed professional credo that could affect their potentiality to innovative qualification growth in the future. Professional consciousness should correspond to the professional knowledge to secure constant and successive professional growth and knowledge acquisition but not only skills.

2. Paradigm shift in professional education

In modern networked information environment the main paradigm of professional education is sufficiently changed in actual roles of teacher and students. Old methodology was based on concept of classroom as the ultimate place of knowledge receiving where teacher plays the role of source and transmitter of information and knowledge and learners play the role of receivers. Teacher could learn from his/her experience. But now with rapid technologies' changes very few teachers can teach from their own experience.

The problem for education is that competition between transnational industry leaders provides increased pace of technologies' development and changes. Therefore, in current conditions the main paradigm of education is changed to cooperative and contributive learning in which teacher plays role of information producer and curriculum adviser but students act as information accumulators and knowledge acquirers. They become responsible for necessary knowledge acquisition based on curriculum experience but teacher has to manage education process and set up an appropriate motivation system, in other words, teacher will teach students how to learn and set motivation frame for successful and timely curriculum performing.

Students are learning in cooperative project based environment oriented on producing final results that help them to acquire knowledge in adjacent areas of common project group competence. Contributive process of education in IT should work on developing meaningful information resources increasing national presence in GII.

The real challenge for countries with emerging technologies in Professional Education on IT and IT based courses is Constructivistic instructional methodologies incorporating active position of teacher and students in tight interaction with global information environment:

3. Main Principles of Teaching in Networked Information Environment

Experience acquired during implementation of elements of PBL and CCL instructional methodology in teaching Networking Information Technologies and Services at CAD department in NTU “Kiev Polytechnic Institute” allows to formulate the main principles of education in Global Networked Information Environment. 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. Cooperative Learning Model + students' initiative.
  4. 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

  5. Contributional Learning model.
  6. 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 conditions teachers 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 student groups work on the projects that will have real implementation in building Campus network or development of useful information resources.

  7. Integration of traditional and distance learning.
  8. 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.

  9. 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. 4. Pilot implementation of new instructional methodology and educational program

4.1. Educational program

Pilot Educational Project on development of new Instructional methodology of teaching in Networked Information Environment has been started in 1995 at Computer Aided Design Department in Kiev Polytechnic Institute [2]. Now two groups of Master students defended their theses in the frame of this Project. Master research works are devoted to different topics related to Internet/intranet Networking and Information Technologies. They play important role in new educational courses development and creation of information and technical educational base at the department.

Pilot educational program includes the main specialized courses on Internet/intranet Networking and Information Technologies that have been considered as the most important in local conditions:

Rapid development of modern Networking technologies in the world and their wide implementation in Ukraine demands more than 40% changes in course content every year as well as sufficient changes in themes of educational projects. First year program was more oriented on practical issues, program of the last academic year has more basic structure with more theoretical content. All issues that could be learned practically were left for students’ self-study. Information about new technologies and standards is directly transferring to students on lectures, classes and via departmental server.

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.

4.2. Educational projects -- the key part of proposed instructional methodology

Important component of proposed instructional methodology belongs to students independent work that includes development of educational course projects. All educational projects include development of real networking projects for concrete academic and educational institution including planning necessary information services for operational needs of concrete organization or users’ group:

Generally, complex educational projects consist of two main components: 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 of campus or company’s network building including organization of optimal cooperative work of the project group. Templates, specimens, forms of all necessary documents for project development and tender organization are available on educational server. Special lecture on project design and management is in included into lecture course.

Topics of projects can be chosen from recommended list or proposed by students themselves. Most of created during last semester WWW servers were devoted to development of public Internet information resources about Ukraine in the frame of initiative project “U’Pavilion - Ukrainian Internet-Pavilion. WWW Server on Historical and Cultural Heritage of Ukraine” (

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

Experience of the three years demonstrates effectiveness and fruitfulness of such organization of students independent works. Students’ projects of the last 1997/1998 academic year have more practical orientation on design of different corporate networks of current or future students’ employment. Students have now possibility to use popular CACI COMNET III Network modeling software in their projects design for modeling network components and traffic flow.

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.) has been created and is available now on educational server (

Master research works are devoted to the very modern Internet information technologies and WWW application. Research work is conducted in cooperation by students of the first and second years of Master education providing in such a way continuos researches during two years of Master education.

4.3. Using cooperative model for effective course management

Course management system includes such main components as

Cooperative work of students of different years of education provides continuos course development and sustainability of investigations in mentioned fields at the department. Educational course is permanently supported by group of specialists. Skilled students are also involved in course technical assistance. Some elements of course management are delegated to them.

During the semester students groups and teacher work as big project group developing common project and mastering new technologies. Teacher with his assistants has to organize work in such a way that all accept conditions of cooperation, common tasks and orientation on final results. Cooperative model for course management allows to better utilise joint experience of teacher, experts and students as well as more effectively organise project work itself.

5. Current results and background of success

Project has been started as demand of developing Internet and IT industry and market in Ukraine. But from the very beginning the idea of cooperative and contributive learning have given unexpected positive results enforced by students' enthusiasm and wide interest of correspondent professional and business circles. New ideas prompted by real practice have appeared and been developed.

Some intermediate results can be listed below:

  1. Development of the main principles of Cooperative and Contributive Learning Instructional Methodology in teaching Networking Information Technologies and Services
  2. Creation of electronic library on Networking Hardware and Software and basic learning materials on Russian and Ukrainian languages
  3. Creation and operation of educational server and development of technical base for cooperative work of tutors and students on educational and information resources development
  4. Creation of critical mass of specialists and students involved in development of educational courses and correspondent research activities at the department which remains sufficient in conditions of high drain of specialists caused by expanding IT market in Ukraine.
Important factor of successful realization and further extension of the project is tight cooperation with different local computer and networking companies in defining main courses' content and providing practice for students. However, key role in realization of such kind of projects and instructional methodology belongs to teacher and his personality who must be able work as tutor, project manager and team leader.

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 invited to technically assist annual specialised EnterNet Internet/intranet exhibition in 1996 and 1997. EnterNet Internet/intranet Network Operating Team (INOT) responsible for network design and maintenance was completed of students and specialists of CAD Department. Students were involved in creation of Exhibition’s intranet WWW Server. Such cooperation with Exhibition Company Euroindex Ltd. provides good possibility for students to see and master new technologies and be acquainted with IT market in Ukraine. Really, this experience is very similar to well-known NOC and ITM volunteer program of Interop World Exhibitions.

6. Summary

Education in current rapidly changing global information environment has to challenge new approaches and paradigm shift. The importance of Education, particularly professional education, is increasing now as necessary condition for successful implementation of new information and Internet technologies. Cooperative and Contributive Learning model was found as effective approach for developing new instructional methodology of Teaching in Global Information Environment. Formulated main principles of this instructional methodology, however, leave the key role to the teacher and his personality who must be able work as tutor, project manager and team leader.

7. Reference

  1. Peter Drucker. The Age of Social Transformation. --
  2. 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 - 175-10.
  3. Introduction to Problem-Based Learning. - URL:
  4. Overview of Project-Based Learning. - URL:
  5. R.Lenschow. On the Electronic Highway to Lifelong Learning. A Paradigm Shift in Learning and Technologies. - ICTE’97 Proceedings. - Oslo, August 10-13, 1997.
  6. Demchenko Yu.V. 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.
  7. Demchenko Yu.V. 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. - 24-27 June 1997, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.