Alexander Khaustov, Margarita Redina

Virtual educational technologies for the sustainable development

 

Alexander Khaustov, Margarita Redina

 

 

Modernization of university training programs for professionals, environmentalists are aimed in particular at improving the professional level of environmental culture in organizations. The result of this process is the improvement of the environmental safety of companies and organizations in general. This is achieved by an adequate professional level of specialists in the field of environmental safety, in accordance with present level of science and technology and the demands of the labor market.

The current educational standards of higher school include the sustainable development priorities. This allows to start preparation of  a "new generation" of specialists  in a short time on the basis not only of environmental disciplines. It is connected with the ecologization of the society and accordingly with the new priorities in the education. It can be noted that the sustainable development of society is impossible without the identifying of different types and degrees of risk and, therefore, the domestic education should respond promptly to such requests.

Considering the high level of diversification of industry, the experience in teaching in Russian and foreign universities points to the reality of training through the establishment of specialized training facilities. The lack of practical skills is today the most serious obstacle to employment of the graduates. It is a vicious circle: the "no experience - no job, no work - no experience."

Learning difficulties for ecological safety due to the fact that objects often can not in principle be studied in the laboratory, not to mention knowledge of the processes of technogenic impact on the object. It is possible to play only certain parts of the process, for example, to estimate the rate of infiltration of water contaminated by petroleum products in soil and the aeration zone. However, such data will be only approximate accuracy, and distribute them to other conditions (soil types and structure of unsaturated zone) - a very risky and problematic. Most often, these data are far from reality and do not allow the student to capture the whole picture of environmental pollution and the metamorphosis taking place with the contaminant. By the same token it is difficult to perceived self-purification processes of assimilation and the various media, as they are known in the dynamics over a sufficiently long period of time. These tasks become more complex as the inclusion in the settlement schemes of various elements on the properties of landscapes.

The need for  specialists in occupational, industrial and environmental safety is explained with the critical situation in this direction in all branches of the economy. These areas are closely intertwined in practice, and this has led to the emergence of specialist of a new integrated direction (management in sphere of health, safety and environment). Especially important the issues of quality training on HSE-management are in areas where there are high levels of risks (industrial, environmental). It is no accident that the most intensive program of master's training are in developing countries that follow the industrial path, where the high demand for specialists who are able to identify, analyze and manage specific environmental risks in the industry. An additional argument in favour of such programs in industrialized countries - the high cost of material support.

Despite widespread use of such programs in universities abroad, in Russia they are only beginning to be created. Peoples' Friendship University was the first university in Russia, where in 2007, has developed and piloted an educational program is a master's degree.

One of the key elements of the program is a virtual training complex on environmental safety. It allows you to assess the likelihood of environmentally adverse events simulate scenarios of their development and the selection of the optimal measures to prevent accidents or mitigation of their effects, to evaluate the effectiveness of environmental damage and rehabilitation of the environment. Emphasis is placed on emergency situations in the oil and gas industry (accidents with spills of oil and oil products) that illustrate the problems of environmental safety as the basis for sustainable development in the industry.

The complex includes e-textbooks on the major disciplines of master program, the blocks of planning and elimination of consequences of critical situations related to the accidental oil (oil products) spills, as well as advanced tools for rehabilitation of environmental components affected by human impact.

The most important component of innovative character of the master program is the use of advanced information technologies – virtual models of the professional environment. It promotes the best adaptation of the students to the professional environment. Despite the highest didactic effectiveness of such approaches in environmental education they have so far hardly implemented or being implemented to address specific tasks, as auxiliary learning tools.

The concept of virtual simulators based on the following diagram of continuous learning: theoretical knowledge à dive into the production environment (with the use of virtual simulators) à test à identification of bottlenecks choice of directions for additional training necessary materials à dive into the production environment. The work with a virtual training complex lets not only. Working with a virtual simulator allows not only to trace the development of the accident and to take actions for localization of the accident  and elimination of its consequences. The student is also faced with the need to maintain documentation of their actions – according to the officially adopted format must be prepared the emergency action plan (preparation of the Plan for liquidation of the accidental oil spill is one of the stages of work on the simulator) and the Report about the elimination of the accident.

Visualizing processes accidental pollution can demonstrate student development of the accident, to control the speed of decision-making and choice of technologies and technical means. Immersion into the professional environment occurs in the scenarios “technogenic impact – result”, with implementation of all the complex of knowledge  and practice competences, self-estimation of the activities and testing of the level of theoretical knowledge using the dynamic patterns of the modelled objects.

The economic effect of the presented project can be estimated using the indirect indicators – the professional activities of the graduates (avoiding of the costs and damages):

r reducing of the organizational costs of high school for the practical training of students (cost of travel to places of practice, etc.);

r skills of independent action - on training during an emergency can only large companies for their own emergency response teams (programs of retraining, according to the experience of leading companies can cost tens of thousands of rubles per person);

r reducing the accident rate by attracting qualified specialists - the damage of the “medium-sized” accident, for example, according to the data for oil and gas industry in Khanty-Mansiysk, amounted to a few tens of thousands of rubles.;

r the reduction of environmental damage due to the competent organization of measures to eliminate accidents (shortcomings of Plans for liquidation of the accidental oil spill and weak commitment to the possible consequences may cause overestimation of costs in thousands of dollars, even for a minor spill).

The emphasis in training should be shifted to the multiple changing situation with the constant testing of the legality of action learning with virtual information models. From this perspective, the creation of new educational technology, which combines a set of traditional principles of education, modern approaches to education for sustainable development, as well as the advanced technology of virtual reality immersion in a professional, you can confidently attributed to the extremely topical.

The functional structure of the virtual training complex is based on the principle of the interactivity – the student contacts always with the thematic modules. The interactivity is reached thanks to the independent work of the student and rejection of the passive perception of the information. The priority is given to the active kind of the perception, which improves the efficiency of the training.

The functional structure of a virtual simulator includes the following elements (Fig. 1):

 
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fig. 1. Functional structure of the virtual training complex

At the time the shown materials are used in the training process at the ecological faculty of the Peoples’ Friendship University: regular we organize the practical training, preparation of the term papers, theses, master and PhD theses. The program raises interest of the Russian and foreign specialists  of oil and gas sector and of the educational organizations.

Virtual educational technologies for the sustainable development

 

Alexander Khaustov, Margarita Redina

 

 

Modernization of university training programs for professionals, environmentalists are aimed in particular at improving the professional level of environmental culture in organizations. The result of this process is the improvement of the environmental safety of companies and organizations in general. This is achieved by an adequate professional level of specialists in the field of environmental safety, in accordance with present level of science and technology and the demands of the labor market.

The current educational standards of higher school include the sustainable development priorities. This allows to start preparation of  a "new generation" of specialists  in a short time on the basis not only of environmental disciplines. It is connected with the ecologization of the society and accordingly with the new priorities in the education. It can be noted that the sustainable development of society is impossible without the identifying of different types and degrees of risk and, therefore, the domestic education should respond promptly to such requests.

Considering the high level of diversification of industry, the experience in teaching in Russian and foreign universities points to the reality of training through the establishment of specialized training facilities. The lack of practical skills is today the most serious obstacle to employment of the graduates. It is a vicious circle: the "no experience - no job, no work - no experience."

Learning difficulties for ecological safety due to the fact that objects often can not in principle be studied in the laboratory, not to mention knowledge of the processes of technogenic impact on the object. It is possible to play only certain parts of the process, for example, to estimate the rate of infiltration of water contaminated by petroleum products in soil and the aeration zone. However, such data will be only approximate accuracy, and distribute them to other conditions (soil types and structure of unsaturated zone) - a very risky and problematic. Most often, these data are far from reality and do not allow the student to capture the whole picture of environmental pollution and the metamorphosis taking place with the contaminant. By the same token it is difficult to perceived self-purification processes of assimilation and the various media, as they are known in the dynamics over a sufficiently long period of time. These tasks become more complex as the inclusion in the settlement schemes of various elements on the properties of landscapes.

The need for  specialists in occupational, industrial and environmental safety is explained with the critical situation in this direction in all branches of the economy. These areas are closely intertwined in practice, and this has led to the emergence of specialist of a new integrated direction (management in sphere of health, safety and environment). Especially important the issues of quality training on HSE-management are in areas where there are high levels of risks (industrial, environmental). It is no accident that the most intensive program of master's training are in developing countries that follow the industrial path, where the high demand for specialists who are able to identify, analyze and manage specific environmental risks in the industry. An additional argument in favour of such programs in industrialized countries - the high cost of material support.

Despite widespread use of such programs in universities abroad, in Russia they are only beginning to be created. Peoples' Friendship University was the first university in Russia, where in 2007, has developed and piloted an educational program is a master's degree.

One of the key elements of the program is a virtual training complex on environmental safety. It allows you to assess the likelihood of environmentally adverse events simulate scenarios of their development and the selection of the optimal measures to prevent accidents or mitigation of their effects, to evaluate the effectiveness of environmental damage and rehabilitation of the environment. Emphasis is placed on emergency situations in the oil and gas industry (accidents with spills of oil and oil products) that illustrate the problems of environmental safety as the basis for sustainable development in the industry.

The complex includes e-textbooks on the major disciplines of master program, the blocks of planning and elimination of consequences of critical situations related to the accidental oil (oil products) spills, as well as advanced tools for rehabilitation of environmental components affected by human impact.

The most important component of innovative character of the master program is the use of advanced information technologies – virtual models of the professional environment. It promotes the best adaptation of the students to the professional environment. Despite the highest didactic effectiveness of such approaches in environmental education they have so far hardly implemented or being implemented to address specific tasks, as auxiliary learning tools.

The concept of virtual simulators based on the following diagram of continuous learning: theoretical knowledge à dive into the production environment (with the use of virtual simulators) à test à identification of bottlenecks choice of directions for additional training necessary materials à dive into the production environment. The work with a virtual training complex lets not only. Working with a virtual simulator allows not only to trace the development of the accident and to take actions for localization of the accident  and elimination of its consequences. The student is also faced with the need to maintain documentation of their actions – according to the officially adopted format must be prepared the emergency action plan (preparation of the Plan for liquidation of the accidental oil spill is one of the stages of work on the simulator) and the Report about the elimination of the accident.

Visualizing processes accidental pollution can demonstrate student development of the accident, to control the speed of decision-making and choice of technologies and technical means. Immersion into the professional environment occurs in the scenarios “technogenic impact – result”, with implementation of all the complex of knowledge  and practice competences, self-estimation of the activities and testing of the level of theoretical knowledge using the dynamic patterns of the modelled objects.

The economic effect of the presented project can be estimated using the indirect indicators – the professional activities of the graduates (avoiding of the costs and damages):

r reducing of the organizational costs of high school for the practical training of students (cost of travel to places of practice, etc.);

r skills of independent action - on training during an emergency can only large companies for their own emergency response teams (programs of retraining, according to the experience of leading companies can cost tens of thousands of rubles per person);

r reducing the accident rate by attracting qualified specialists - the damage of the “medium-sized” accident, for example, according to the data for oil and gas industry in Khanty-Mansiysk, amounted to a few tens of thousands of rubles.;

r the reduction of environmental damage due to the competent organization of measures to eliminate accidents (shortcomings of Plans for liquidation of the accidental oil spill and weak commitment to the possible consequences may cause overestimation of costs in thousands of dollars, even for a minor spill).

The emphasis in training should be shifted to the multiple changing situation with the constant testing of the legality of action learning with virtual information models. From this perspective, the creation of new educational technology, which combines a set of traditional principles of education, modern approaches to education for sustainable development, as well as the advanced technology of virtual reality immersion in a professional, you can confidently attributed to the extremely topical.

The functional structure of the virtual training complex is based on the principle of the interactivity – the student contacts always with the thematic modules. The interactivity is reached thanks to the independent work of the student and rejection of the passive perception of the information. The priority is given to the active kind of the perception, which improves the efficiency of the training.

The functional structure of a virtual simulator includes the following elements (Fig. 1):

 
   

 

 

Fig. 1. Functional structure of the virtual training complex

At the time the shown materials are used in the training process at the ecological faculty of the Peoples’ Friendship University: regular we organize the practical training, preparation of the term papers, theses, master and PhD theses. The program raises interest of the Russian and foreign specialists  of oil and gas sector and of the educational organizations.