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SMARTI leaflet



National-Awareness-Day Events organised in the Frame of  Erasmus+ SMARTI Project (WP4)

On June 12, 13, and 14, 2021, in the frame of WP4 “Dissemination and Exploitation” of the SMARTI Project, three National-Awareness-Day Events were organised at Vanadzor State University for the VSU internal and external stakeholders (academic and administrative staff members, students, graduates).

At the beginning of these dissemination events, Lusik Vardanyan, the local coordinator of the Project, concisely presented the SMARTI Project (the consortium member institutions, the work packages, the main objectives and outcomes of the project). She emphasised the likely benefits of the English-medium instruction implemented in the academic programs and the establishment of the EMI Centers in partner universities. The participants were really enthusiastic about this innovative approach which, in their opinion, will considerably promote the efficiency and internationalization of tertiary education in Armenia in general and in VSU in particular. 

The second part of the events was devoted to the presentation of the outcomes of the SWOT analyses carried out by the VSU academic and administrative staff members on June 4 and 9. The Head of the VSU Quality Assurance Centre and the VSU SMARTI team member, Anna Khachatryan, introduced the main strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of EMI and SCL methodology and strategies, and the other VSU SMARTI team members Arine Danielyan, Gayane Kanaryan, Nune Khublaryan and Gohar Dokholyan conducted lively and thought-provoking dialogues regarding the SWOT analysis results and the possible impact of the EMI and SCL methodology on the quality of education.

As an effective dissemination tool, the VSU SMARTI leaflets were distributed to all the participants of the events for the direct access to the project-related information. 

Launch of the Erasmus +‘‘Support for Innovative Methodology, Approaches and Tools for Teaching through the Medium of English in order to improve Educational Yield, Sustainability and Internationalization’’ (SMARTI) project

From March 30 to April 1, 2021 the online kick-off meeting of the Erasmus +‘‘Support for Innovative Methodology, Approaches and Tools for Teaching through the Medium of English in order to improve Educational Yield, Sustainability and Internationalization’’ (SMARTI) project took place. The representatives from 15 institutions of the Project Consortium participated in the meeting.

 

Partners of the SMARTI Project:

  1. Technische Universität Dresden- Project Lead Partner
  2. Riga Technical University
  3. Liverpool John Moores University
  4. Universidade Catolica Portuguesa- Faculty of Biotechnology
  5. Ogarev Mordovia State University
  6. Irkutsk National Research Technical University
  7. Kazan Federal University
  8. Petrozavodsk State University
  9. Certification Association Russian Register
  10. Public Administration Academy of the Republic of Armenia
  11. Vanadzor State University after H. Toumanyan
  12. Armenian National Argrarian University
  13. Nalbandyan State University of Shirak
  14. Goris State University
  15. National Centre for Professional Education Quality Assurance

The opening keynote speeches were made by Professor Prunitsch, Dean of the Faculty of Languages and Culture of Dresden University of Technology (Germany), Gerard Cullen, the Project Coordinator, as well as Lana Karlova, Program Coordinator of National Erasmus + Office in Armenia, and Olga Oleynikova, Program Coordinator of National Erasmus + Office in Russia.

The primary goal of the project is to develop and implement nine EMI (English as a Medium of Instruction) modules in academic programs and to establish EMI centers to promote the efficiency and internationalization of education in partner universities in Armenia and Russia.

Within the three-day online meeting, the project goals and objectives, work packages, planned activities, as well as the project outcomes were discussed.

Partner institutions briefly presented their universities, the key members of the project teams, as well as the academic programs or courses targeted to be taught in English.

The VSU SMARTI team members participating in the kick-off meeting were Lusik Vardanyan, VSU Project Coordinatior, Associate Professor of the Chair of Foreign Languages and Literature, Arine Danielyan, Assistant of the Chair of Foreign Languages and Literature, Nune Khublaryan, Associate Professor of the Chair of Mathematics and Informatics, Gayane Qanaryan, Associate Professor of the Chair of Mathematics and Informatics, and Anna Khachatryan, Acting Head of the Quality Assurance Centre.

  

SWOT Analyses on EMI and SCL Carried out in the Frame of  Erasmus+ SMARTI Project (WP1)

On June 4 and 9, 2021, SWOT analyses on EMI (English as a means of instruction) and SCL (student-centred learning) were conducted by the SMARTI VSU working team with the active participation of the VSU internal stakeholders (VSU Rector, Vice-rectors, Deans of the Faculties, Heads of the Chairs, administrative and academic staff representatives and bachelor/master students).

At the beginning of the meetings, Lusik Vardanyan, the local coordinator of the Project succinctly presented the SMARTI Project (Support for Innovative Methodology, Approaches and Tools for Teaching through the Medium of English in Order to Improve Educational Yield, Sustainability and Internationalization), highlighting the main goals, objectives and outcomes of the project. She pointed out that the implementation of the SWOT Analyses was part of the Desk Study Survey according to which each partner institution was expected to submit an Institutional Report on EMI and SCL strategies and to come up with useful recommendations on research methodology and bibliography. 

These two-day face-to-face discussions centred on the VSU strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of EMI and SCL strategies and methodology helped the VSU staff decide on the extent to which the University is ready to implement English-taught courses or modules in  two Academic Programs (Bachelor Program “English Language and Literature” and Master Program “Informatics”). Those constructive dialogues also enabled the participants to identify the daunting challenges the University is currently facing in terms of English-Medium Instruction and to think of possible ways of overcoming them.

After the productive and insightful discussions, it was decided to present the outcomes of the SWOT analyses during the National-awareness-day events the VSU SMARTI working group is planning to organise for the University internal and external stakeholders.

National-Awareness-Day Events organised in the Frame of  Erasmus+ SMARTI Project (WP4)

On June 12, 13, and 14, 2021, in the frame of WP4 “Dissemination and Exploitation” of the SMARTI Project, three National-Awareness-Day Events were organised at Vanadzor State University for the VSU internal and external stakeholders (academic and administrative staff members, students, graduates).

At the beginning of these dissemination events, Lusik Vardanyan, the local coordinator of the Project, concisely presented the SMARTI Project (the consortium member institutions, the work packages, the main objectives and outcomes of the project). She emphasised the likely benefits of the English-medium instruction implemented in the academic programs and the establishment of the EMI Centers in partner universities. The participants were really enthusiastic about this innovative approach which, in their opinion, will considerably promote the efficiency and internationalization of tertiary education in Armenia in general and in VSU in particular. 

The second part of the events was devoted to the presentation of the outcomes of the SWOT analyses carried out by the VSU academic and administrative staff members on June 4 and 9. The Head of the VSU Quality Assurance Centre and the VSU SMARTI team member, Anna Khachatryan, introduced the main strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of EMI and SCL methodology and strategies, and the other VSU SMARTI team members Arine Danielyan, Gayane Kanaryan, Nune Khublaryan and Gohar Dokholyan conducted lively and thought-provoking dialogues regarding the SWOT analysis results and the possible impact of the EMI and SCL methodology on the quality of education.

As an effective dissemination tool, the VSU SMARTI leaflets were distributed to all the participants of the events for the direct access to the project-related information. 

An Annual Steering Group Meeting and Training of the SMARTI Project held at Goris State University, October 6-8, 2021

On October 6-8, 2021, a 3-day annual steering group meeting and training was held at Goris State University (GSU) in a hybrid format. At the beginning of the meeting welcoming speeches were made by Artush Ghukasyan, Acting Rector of GSU, by Khachatur Ghazeyan, Acting Rector of the Public Administration Academy of the Republic of Armenia (PAARA), and by Gerard Cullen, the SMARTI Project Manager and the representative of the Project grant-holder, Dresden University of Technology (TUD). During the meetings, the Armenian and Russian PC Universities succinctly presented the activities carried out so far, more specifically, the strengths and weaknesses of the ESP self-study manual “Headway”, the mechanisms and strategies of the ECTS system implemented in their HEIs and the extent to which they are similar to or different from the guidelines and key features described in the “ECTS Users’ Guide”. From Vanadzor State University (VSU) a presentation was made by Lusik Vardanyan, the SMARTI Project local coordinator, the Associate Professor of the Chair of Foreign Languages and Literature. Gayane Kanaryan, the VSU publicity officer of the SMARTI Project, the Associate Professor of the Chair of Mathematics and Informatics was also actively involved in these three-day discussions and a dissemination training organised by the Catholic University of Portugal (UCP). The other VSU representatives, the key persons of the VSU SMARTI working group(Arine Danielyan, Assistant Professor of the Chair of Foreign Languages and Literature, Nune Khublaryan, Associate Professor of the Chair of Mathematics and Informatics, Anna Khachatryan, Acting Head of the Quality Assurance Centre, and Gohar Dokholyan, International Relations and Grants Promotion Specialist) participated in the meetings online.

The ARM And RF country presentations on conducted and upcoming dissemination activities were made by Tereza Khechoyan, the local coordinator of the Armenian partner universities, Vice-Rector for Foreign Relations of PAARA and by Olga Safonkina, the local Coordinator of the Russian partner universities, the representative of Ogarev Mordovia State University (MRSU). The participants of the meetings also discussed some important tasks and issues related to the launch of the EMI Centres with procured equipment in the PC HEIs.

During the meetings there were also online presentations: Eduardo Cardoso, the leader of WP1, the representative of UCP elaborated on the EU inventory of the best practices and emphasized the importance of SCL (student-centred learning) in EMI teaching; Adam Shore, the representative of Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), UK, introduced the ESP training program and his colleagues from the same University highlighted the importance of “Rosetta Stone” license in improving the EMI teachers’ English language proficiency level; Valeriya Racheeva presented the SMARTI website and raised some crucial steps that are to be taken to improve the website in terms of its structure and content.

In order to be eligible to participate in the upcoming training the ESP teachers from PC Universities took an online “English Language Audit Test”. Our subject teachers Nune Khublaryan and Gayane Kanaryan successfully coped with B1 and B1+ levels.

An Annual Steering Group Meeting and Training of the SMARTI Project held at Goris State University, October 6-8, 2021

On October 6-8, 2021, a 3-day annual steering group meeting and training was held at Goris State University (GSU) in a hybrid format. At the beginning of the meeting welcoming speeches were made by Artush Ghukasyan, Acting Rector of GSU, by Khachatur Ghazeyan, Acting Rector of the Public Administration Academy of the Republic of Armenia (PAARA), and by Gerard Cullen, the SMARTI Project Manager and the representative of the Project grant-holder, Dresden University of Technology (TUD). During the meetings, the Armenian and Russian PC Universities succinctly presented the activities carried out so far, more specifically, the strengths and weaknesses of the ESP self-study manual “Headway”, the mechanisms and strategies of the ECTS system implemented in their HEIs and the extent to which they are similar to or different from the guidelines and key features described in the “ECTS Users’ Guide”. From Vanadzor State University (VSU) a presentation was made by Lusik Vardanyan, the SMARTI Project local coordinator, the Associate Professor of the Chair of Foreign Languages and Literature. Gayane Kanaryan, the VSU publicity officer of the SMARTI Project, the Associate Professor of the Chair of Mathematics and Informatics was also actively involved in these three-day discussions and a dissemination training organised by the Catholic University of Portugal (UCP). The other VSU representatives, the key persons of the VSU SMARTI working group(Arine Danielyan, Assistant Professor of the Chair of Foreign Languages and Literature, Nune Khublaryan, Associate Professor of the Chair of Mathematics and Informatics, Anna Khachatryan, Acting Head of the Quality Assurance Centre, and Gohar Dokholyan, International Relations and Grants Promotion Specialist) participated in the meetings online.

The ARM And RF country presentations on conducted and upcoming dissemination activities were made by Tereza Khechoyan, the local coordinator of the Armenian partner universities, Vice-Rector for Foreign Relations of PAARA and by Olga Safonkina, the local Coordinator of the Russian partner universities, the representative of Ogarev Mordovia State University (MRSU). The participants of the meetings also discussed some important tasks and issues related to the launch of the EMI Centres with procured equipment in the PC HEIs.

During the meetings there were also online presentations: Eduardo Cardoso, the leader of WP1, the representative of UCP elaborated on the EU inventory of the best practices and emphasized the importance of SCL (student-centred learning) in EMI teaching; Adam Shore, the representative of Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), UK, introduced the ESP training program and his colleagues from the same University highlighted the importance of “Rosetta Stone” license in improving the EMI teachers’ English language proficiency level; Valeriya Racheeva presented the SMARTI website and raised some crucial steps that are to be taken to improve the website in terms of its structure and content.

In order to be eligible to participate in the upcoming training the ESP teachers from PC Universities took an online “English Language Audit Test”. Our subject teachers Nune Khublaryan and Gayane Kanaryan successfully coped with B1 and B1+ levels.

Online training within the framework of the Erasmus + CONNECT project

From June 14 to July 2, 2021 an online Erasmus+ "Connecting Universities-Industry through Smart Entrepreneurial Cooperation and Competitive Intelligence of Students in Moldova, Georgia and Armenia" (CONNECT) project was organized. The course was held by one of the EU Partners of the Consortium, Lappeenranta University of Technology (Finland).

14 VSU staff members from different departments were actively involved in the training and showed deep interest in innovative teaching and learning approaches.

The course mainly focused on the basic ideas of digital learning (online learning, mixed (hybrid learning), flipped classroom, synchronous and asynchronous learning), as well as the main tools of modern online learning (videos, discussions, questionnaires). The participants were provided with a detailed acquaintance with the methodology of creating an online course, data analysis, copyright issues, interactive methods in the online classroom, and course management issues.

After the training, on July 9, Gohar Dokholyan, CONNECT Project Local Coordinator, International Relations and Grants Promotion Specialist, organized a meeting with the participants to have a discussion about their impressions from the course, to identify skills acquired through the training and to understand how the acquired skills could be put into practice.

The leaflet of the CONNECT project prepared by VSU was also presented during the meeting.


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