The article discusses the state of Russian education system of future. It is noted that for the effective change of educational process organization, for the increase of modern students’ motivation, it is necessary to reconsider the methods, technologies and the content of higher education, taking global world trends into account. In order to study the out–look on the development of higher education, the following world trends were identified: remote technologies and digital educational resources; creation of digital universities’ models and certification centres for external independent assessment of professional qualifications; introduction of general language for teaching in the system of higher education; organization of training via interactive lectures of the best teachers of the world; introduction of playing and electronic simulators into educational process. However, the attitude to the issues of digitalization of domestic education is debatable in pedagogical circles, dividing the audience into supporters and opponents of this phenomenon, as far as digitalization causes not only a significant change in the appearance of modern education, but digital technologies are aimed at the change of the nature of a person bodily and spiritually. The latest technologies are used for this very purpose, among which are NBIC-technologies – nano, bio, information and cognitive ones. Digital educational space should not do any harm to a person. So, all the participants of this global project, both developers and experts, must take into account the negative consequences of the impact of digital technology on humans. They should not make them the means of destroying domestic education, its culture and morality. If digital technologies are put at the service of a person, Russian higher schools will be really modernized, as well as, medical education in general.
- digital education
- digital pedagogy
- digital university
- digital educational resources
- digital educational technologies
- playing electronic simulators
The generation of modern medical students, grown up in specific conditions of constant social and economic changes, comes to medical school with their own peculiarities and needs. To ensure that doctors are able to master intellectual and professional skills of high quality demanded in the health care market, educators, who are the representatives of older generations, should reconsider the methods, technologies and the content of higher education, change the atmosphere of studying process in order to promote the success of any student as much as possible. To organize the educational process effectively, it is necessary to take into account a number of factors, global and regional trends that go beyond the vocational training and the experience level of employees in the system of higher education . A mature teaching staff, especially the one of a medical school, follows classical, fundamental medicine that is a search and visual demonstration of the “truth”, existing in the form of a system of fundamental and universal knowledge.
However, the situation in the field of education is changing considerably and, in this connection, it is necessary to realize that the students, entering the university, are quite different from what they were before . Nowadays students often deny both the scientific facts themselves and the authorities in science Howe N, Strauss W. Millennials rising: the next great generation [Internet]. Vintage Books, 2000. [cited Jan 24 2015]. Available from:
Howe N, Strauss W. Millennials rising: the next great generation [Internet]. Vintage Books, 2000. [cited Jan 24 2015]. Available from:
To eliminate the mentioned contradiction between the needs of modern students and the state of traditional education system, we will rely on theoretical methods of cognition, including: analysis (the process of mental separation of any phenomenon into parts (features, characteristics, relations), synthesis (fusion of parties, identified while being analysed, into a single whole), abstract modelling of educational situation, application of theoretical and logical operations of induction and deduction These methods require empirical facts. Such facts were collected while studying the literature in the field of modern education, while observing actual events that take place in high school.
The following documents made the empirical basis of the study:
– The concept of long-term social and economic development of the Russian Federation for the period up to 2020 (the Order of the Government of the Russian Federation dated November 17, 2008 No. 1662-p);
– The report of Oxford University Research Centre “International Trends in Higher Education 2016-2017”;
– The speech of the head of Sberbank German Gref “About the trends of the new digital era”. Ekaterinburg, July 26, 2017. Therefore, both theoretical and empirical methods of studying the trends in the field of education development supplement each other and exist in unity.
Before studying the problem of Russian education development outlook in the context of world trends, let us ask such pedagogical question as: what is currently happening in the field of education?
Firstly, the essence of teaching process is the transmission of knowledge from a teacher to a student on the basis of lecture and practical classes, as far as traditional university education is based on the value of knowledge. Therefore, it is necessary to acquire certain blocks of knowledge while spending a lot of time in classrooms, in libraries preparing for classes. Such activities ennoble a person, makes him or her wiser and stronger. At least Wilhelm von Humboldt believed in it, creating the model of university in its present form at the beginning of the nineteenth century.
Secondly, knowledge should be ideally transformed into practical skills by means of a set of practical training forms such as seminars, laboratory works, trainings, case studies, master classes, etc. All these forms of applied training imitate the context of future professional activity.
Nevertheless, nowadays communication intensity has increased many times, it leads to rapid thinking, fast switch from one subject to another . A young person, grown up in the digital age, can hardly find common language with a professor, who has received classical education. All the teachers simultaneously note the loss of learning motivation. And, the consequence of the previous idea is a weak motivation for academic activities for both students and teaching staff.
The teachers understand real motives of their students for entering (to move to another city, to fulfil some social program, to prolong childhood, etc.) and, therefore, they are not anxious to demand much . Low level of income and social status of university teacher decrease the remnants of motivation to do work properly. Unfortunately, Russia, lags behind the world leaders in such pedagogical parameters as: education goal-setting, digitalization of academic environment, social level of teaching staff and students, organization system, human and material resources, E-learning . At best, only some Russian universities will be able to integrate into the system of transnational universities. What could be done in such a situation in obviously not favourable terms?
The first step in Russian system of education in this direction is done by remote technologies and digital educational resources . Delivering knowledge and its transformation into skills is possible even without physical presence of a group of people in one place and at the same time . For example, one can take a course of mathematics, given by the best world-known professor, might be physically anywhere at the moment, so one can take it on–line. But, at the same time, not all kind of knowledge and skills can be brought to the network. First of all, it concerns many medical courses and disciplines, e.g. surgery, cardiology, dentistry, which require long-term work both individually and in a group with a teacher. Nevertheless, there is a number of subjects, courses and disciplines with a prospect of entering digital network, and moreover, the creation of a university on a digital platform. Therefore, let us consider in details the first direction of changes in the system of higher education, called “Digital Universities and Certification Centres”.
The creation of digital university model will require an appeal to another type of pedagogy. This is the pedagogy of digital education . In digital educational space, classical pedagogical theories face completely new conditions. A new digital educational environment is being formed, and nobody nowadays can still define it. It is clear that this is an experimental, pioneering space in which everything is done for the first time: digital models, digital electronic textbooks, digital educational materials  are being created for the first time; the content of higher education is being updated in the context of global trends . “The new large data can be used for deeper assessment of knowledge and skills, deepening the links between all levels of learning, establishing contacts between educational institutions, students and employers, rating academic progress” Manifest about digital educational environment EdutInme. Non-commercial initiative [Internet] [cited Apr 28 2018]. Available from:
Manifest about digital educational environment EdutInme. Non-commercial initiative [Internet] [cited Apr 28 2018]. Available from:
The term “university” as a typical way of self-organization of higher education, will remain in the academic environment at the very beginning. But on the basis of traditional universities a part of digital ones will start to appear. Another part will be formed on the basis of the largest technological enterprises. Finally, free associations of teachers will appear. At the same time, traditional academic education will remain. But it will be reduced many times and will have a single goal – to reproduce the learned elite from the gifted students .
In the conditions of digital education, Certification Centres will appear. These centres are created to grade the quality of specialist’s training. Specialist’s training will be carried out on the basis of formation of “continuous education system, based on introduction of national qualification framework, qualification certification system, modular programs that will maximize the use of human potential and create conditions for self-realization of citizens during the whole life ...” The concept of long-term social and economic development of the Russian Federation for the period up to 2020. Order of the Government of the Russian Federation № 1662-p (Nov 17, 2008). Federal target program of education development for 2011-2015, task 3, activity 8 “Development of quality of vocational education assessing system based on establishment and implementation of certification mechanisms for qualifications of specialists and graduates of educational institutions, taking into account the integration of FSIS requirements and professional standards”
The concept of long-term social and economic development of the Russian Federation for the period up to 2020. Order of the Government of the Russian Federation № 1662-p (Nov 17, 2008).
Federal target program of education development for 2011-2015, task 3, activity 8 “Development of quality of vocational education assessing system based on establishment and implementation of certification mechanisms for qualifications of specialists and graduates of educational institutions, taking into account the integration of FSIS requirements and professional standards”
What will the system of Russian higher education be like in future? It is difficult to answer this question unambiguously. Nevertheless, it is possible to consider some more trends that are already being actively introduced on the basis of Russian universities and which are most likely to be further developed in the next 10-20 years .
Firstly, there will be single language of teaching in the system of higher education. And it will be English. Even now, as Bulyzhenkov I. E. and Soloviev O. N. note, there are courses or educational programs in English in thousands of universities all over the world [15, p. 64]. Migration to different parts of the world becomes as typical as a trip to a neighbouring city. Knowledge of basic English will become an obligatory condition for a full life all over the world. Therefore, teaching different disciplines in English in higher education system is the requirement of modern time. But the system of medical education in Russia offers bilingual educational programs both in Russian and English, as not all patients, who are Russian citizens, will speak English in the nearest future. One of the very important tasks for a doctor is to establish a good contact with a patient and this can be done only in the patient’s native language. In this regard, during their years of education, medical students should develop literate native speech, along with learning English as foreign language.
The second tendency, as it was mentioned above, is the organization of training by means of interactive lectures given by the best teachers [15, p. 67]. Each subject can be studied from the most talented teachers of each university discipline Pervyh S. How to improve medical education? Experience of Surgut State University [Internet]. [cited 2015 Jan 24]. Available from:
Pervyh S. How to improve medical education? Experience of Surgut State University [Internet]. [cited 2015 Jan 24]. Available from:
The indicator of this process is the fact of creation an online university, which quickly passes the corporate framework by the world’s largest technology companies (Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, etc.). Such projects as Coursera and EdX (mass online education sites) are growing very fast and are gaining a huge number of students around the world. And as a result, most of the courses and educational programs will transfer to the network. First of all, it concerns disciplines of general education, humanities and social sciences. This will cause a significant reduction in teaching staff, studying rooms, etc. At the same time, the importance of the administrative apparatus of higher educational institutions will decrease, as there will be no need in deans, vice rectors, heads of departments, since the service provider (professor, teacher) can access the client (student) directly .
However, this trend has its dark side. Firstly, the use of only the best teachers in educational process establishes monopoly of views on certain problems of medicine and, possibly, will limit creation of the alternative approaches. Secondly, giving lectures to thousands and millions of students does not allow to make it really interactive, because even genius professor has only 24 hours a day and can respond effectively to no more than 10-20 questions.
The next trend, which already changes the form of future education, is the introduction of playing simulators into the educational process Naumov VV. Potential of educational simulators [Internet]. [cited 2018 Apr 04]. Available from:
Naumov VV. Potential of educational simulators [Internet]. [cited 2018 Apr 04]. Available from:
Such approach to the development of electronic simulators is very valuable for full-time playing, because e-learning has clear criteria for grading the studying quality, detailing certain playing activities and the effects they cause, that in the conditions of “real” playing often “remains beyond the limits” being not fixed and reflected by moderators, being solved “by itself”. Simulation playing gives a chance to experience certain forms of professional activity in circumstances that are safe from risks, costs and sanctions in cases of inappropriate behaviour.
Learning through immersion in the game world allows to get into different situations of Peter I era within the computer game. Costumes of the nobles and the city buildings are modelled exactly in accordance with the historical data on that era. While doing the tasks of the game, a student learns the life style of that time, gets acquainted with real historical characters. S/he can talk to virtual locals and completely immerse into the Peter’s era, listening to dialogues among real historical characters. Historians, archaeologists, culturologists, linguists are to be involved in the process of creation of such games. This might sound like a utopia, but it is worth noting that such a game already exists, it is called Assassin’s Creed II. And it is one of the most popular and commercially successful educational gaming projects in the world.
Interactive audio-visual tests can be also compiled in the framework of digital education system. Meanwhile, the test can be not only linguistic. Any kinds of tests can be visualized and voiced. It is possible to create colourful video on its basis with various answers – right and wrong, among which one needs to choose only the right one.
The issues of digitalization of national education are the most acute for the discussion among pedagogical academia [20, 21,]. All the indicated trends are included, e.g. remote technologies and digital educational resources; creation of models of digital universities, certification centres for external independent assessment of professional qualifications; introduction of general teaching language in higher education; the organization of training through interactive lectures by the best teachers of the world; introduction of educational playing simulators, etc. Of course, in most cases, it is the matter of our country joining the global educational space. However, sometimes there is another point of view. And in this connection there are two points of view – of the supporters and of vigorous opponents of the indicated phenomena. For example, the works of O. N. Chetverikova presents the idea that the consequences of digitalization of the Russian education are so destructive that even people far from politics understand that it is something more serious than simply upgrading the system of higher education . The matter is that digital technologies are directed, first of all, to the change of a person and his/her essence. Therefore, it deals with the change of physical and spiritual nature of a person that is the main aim of latest technologies (NBIC) being used – nano, bio, informative and cognitive ones. Their key direction is a change in a person and making him/her as a kind of bio-object and the main source of profit. Nothing is said in this connection about the formation of an educated and developed personality serving the Fatherland, about the formation of patriots. The main thing for a graduate is to demonstrate a standardized set of competencies. And the main task of Certification Centres is to bring together students and business investors, so that the project, a student has developed, could be realized in some business. Education will become asynchronous, the whole teams will enter universities, develop some projects and protect them, and then some investor will purchase them. Students can then move to another university. Such a model exists at Singularity Institute, created by Google and NASA.
One more controversial point is also worth mentioning – online learning, which is the main one in transformation of students’ way of thinking and dismantling of our education system . When in 2014 the concept of remote education was discussed, it was said that if it was introduced, classical universities would gradually disappear with digital ones of remote training to change them. This idea was given in the report of I. Peskov, who said that education in the future will be of two kinds – remote and human Peretolchin Dm. Dismantling. Zavtra [Internet] [cited 2018 Mar 26]. Available from:
Peretolchin Dm. Dismantling. Zavtra [Internet] [cited 2018 Mar 26]. Available from:
Thus, mobile technologies change teaching in higher education radically. On the one hand, the use of applications will allow students to find new ways to handle routine tasks or to approach the solution of vital problems. The following phrase is widely used nowadays: “All the routine that can be given to robots, should be given to robots”. In order to do this, it is possible and it is necessary to apply all available technological innovations and achievements of various fields .
But, on the other hand, there is a dangerous trend connected with the fact that innovative digital technologies will reformat the very nature of students, will bring them to entirely different system of values, will rebuild and format new worldview. It is necessary to understand that it is a matter of dismantling education system, because now a system filling a person with certain competences is being introduced instead of education. The education itself is being abolished. It is necessary to think more broadly and exceed the bounds of a subject, a department, a faculty, an institute, a university to avoid such a situation in the conditions of digitalization. It is necessary to arrange relationships with the largest libraries and educational platforms, to participate in discussions at international forums. One can try using new things being not limited by traditional forms of communication: start chatting and blogging; work together on documents, for example, in Evernote; use interactive whiteboards. It has turned out, a circle of like-minded people can be found anywhere – in another country, in another specialty. Nevertheless, it is necessary to see the danger of digital world. D. Medvedev in his speech at the forum “Open Innovation in “Skolkovo” Technological Park” on October 17, 2017 said: “Governments around the world need to hurry up, until an artificial intellect comes to power, and changes our organs, and presses “Delete” button in order to reset our brains ... Our task, in fact, is to join mutual forces to make the jump of mankind into the digital world well prepared. And I am sure we can do it. First of all, because we understand our responsibility today” . Undoubtedly, in order to implement the above mentioned educational prospects, a lot is needed to be done, e.g. to create a real digital pedagogy. Digital pedagogy, before being called pedagogy, needs to work out the principles and rules of its functioning in the context of the humanization of education. Digital educational space should do no harm to a person. And all participants of this global project, both developers and experts, should take into account all negative consequences of the impact of digital technologies on people and they should not make them a means of destroying the domestic education, culture and morality. If digital technologies are put at the service of a person, Russian higher schools will be really modernized, as well as medical education in general.