The LINK Educational Alliance, whose member is the Faculty of Contemporary Arts (FCA), has adopted an education strategy developed by the Institute for Contemporary Education (ICE) together with other institutions operating under the wings of the Alliance. The strategy is based on the best examples of educational and psychological adaptation implemented by globally renowned education systems that have proven to be highly successful in developing different teaching methods and solutions.
The strategy combines the experience in innovative teaching practices of LINKgroup’s educational institutions that spans over two decades, while taking into consideration the recommendations of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development regarding the necessary steps during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the strategy is compatible with current models and educational trends around the world, and complies with EU recommendations.
In addition, a distinctive feature of the strategy is the fact that it has been harmonized with a series of guidelines published by Cambridge Assessment International Education, which refer to the enhancement of the teaching and learning process in the context of modern education.
Teaching model focused on comprehensive development
The teaching model focuses on comprehensive development, which means that it enables students to not only learn and master the curriculum, but also to develop their determination and motivation to achieve excellent academic results. The aim of the model is twofold: to include in the learning process the development of skills and character, which are equally as important for the success of each individual, and develop digital competences of both students and professors. FCA has always given priority to practice over theory, thus enabling students to gain valuable experience during studies.
Digitally-oriented teaching, in combination with developing students’ personality, has shown the best results in education systems, e.g. those in Finland and Singapore. Consequently, LINK’s strategy draws from multiple educational and psychological practices applied by education systems that have proven to be highly successful in finding solutions to online forms of teaching. Research has shown that placing focus on comprehensive development is stimulating for both academic success and the development of a healthy personality.
Improving quality through teaching evaluation
The use of online teaching for educational and psychological purposes has undergone significant innovation. It includes the analysis of recorded lessons, which is an excellent opportunity for teachers to self-observe and evaluate the success of the lessons and used materials. Self-criticism and self-reflection are excellent instruments for adapting to students’ educational needs, and for enhancing one’s educational, psychological, technological, and other capacities which teachers should recognize as a chance for professional development and lifelong learning.
A team of psychologists and educators provides constructive support in the reflection process and, together with the professors, analyzes positive aspects of lessons and those that need further improvement. This approach should encourage all those participating in the teaching process to adopt a culture of constant professional development through a dialog between co-workers. Through the support of ICE, as an element of external evaluation, educators, psychologists and professors can receive feedback on their work and guidelines for improvement.
Projects as an important part of education
Despite the fact that organizing project-based learning is a demanding task, the professors have the freedom to step outside the box and, together with the students, find creative project design solutions in their virtual or real classrooms. During lockdown, for instance, multimedia production students and their colleagues from the drama department started the #FCAfromhome project, which included making short films on quarantine life.
This type of project work turned out to be highly successful in the online environment.
Innovative Distance Learning Platform – a classroom without time and geographic limitations
In addition to providing support to students and professors in following livestreamed lessons, the Distance Learning Platform is a good tool for monitoring student progress.
Through the DL platform, the students can follow lessons synchronously or asynchronously, which is a great advantage during the pandemic. Video lessons are available in the archive, which means that students can access them 24/7 from any location. A classroom without time and geographic limitations is a vision of education implemented by LINK group as we speak.
The LINKgroup Distance Learning System is the first and most cutting-edge distance learning system in Serbia. It adheres to the standards of the leading global universities. The system enables uninterrupted lessons, which in the current coronavirus situation is the perfect solution for carrying out a continuous teaching process.
The platform is the result of the dedicated effort of experts in the fields of education, software engineering, programming, administration, pedagogy, psychology and andragogy, and is extremely flexible for use. The students and teachers can use their laptops, computers, smartphones, tablets, as well as iOS and Android apps.
FCA – an agent of positive change in education
As part of the LINK Educational Alliance, FCA constantly enhances its teaching processes and follows educational trends, and this strategy is a blend of experience, current circumstances in the world and the latest technological innovations. FCA is the only art faculty in the country and the region that has managed to organize online lectures, tests and preliminary exams during lockdown without any obstruction.
Given that the strategy draws upon the analysis of information gathered during the implementation of lessons during the state of emergency, one can safely say that it is based on tangible parameters and planned with a vision to enhance human, material and organizational capacities so as to maximize performance.
Through its modern program tailored to the needs and requirements of contemporary education, the LINK education strategy clearly shows the capacity of LINK Educational Alliance institutions, including FCA, to respond to the high standards of teaching. Taking into account their decades-long experience in education and modern solutions that adhere to global standards, the adopted education strategy is a guarantee for success.