In the following page, you will be able to find information on how the studies are arranged, how to prepare for remote learning (if you are not able to attend classes in person), and what our institute has done whilst preparing to teach our courses remotely.
Autumn 2021: The university would like to start teaching and studies in the autumn as normally as possible and meet face to face in class, and therefore it is important that as many of our new and returning students and university staff as possible are vaccinated. The university and the institute look forward to welcoming international students to Tartu at the earliest opportunity. International students and staff from third countries are required to present a negative coronavirus test on arrival in Estonia. All international students can also get a vaccine. However, if travel restrictions or self-isolation rules apply, we are prepared to offer distance learning opportunities in most programmes until 1 October. The complete list of offered courses in the autumn semester, can be found here.
NB! The latest information about COVID-19 situation and all practical matters (visas, accommodation and admissions) can be found here.
Spring 2021: the spring semester begins mostly online. Practical classes that cannot be conducted otherwise may be taught in the classroom, observing the rules. Studies will begin in February. The Recotr's office takes decisions about teaching and studies in the spring semester for one month at a time – for each month, by the middle of the previous month. The institute is working on preparing its courses at all levels for remote studies. More detailed list of courses, which contain remote learning possibilities, is published in our Study Information System and can be also accessed here.
Autumn 2020: the University of Tartu started the new academic year at the usual time - on 31 August, 2020. Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies supported international students who had difficulties with entry to Estonia at the beginning of the academic year, by providing them with the possibilities to attend the courses in a "remote" study mode in the MA English-taught programs. The list of offered courses in the autumn semester, containing a remote track, can be found here.
While our teaching staff has prepared adjustments in their courses and teaching practices for remote teaching, we hope that students will also take necessary preparatory steps to consider how the following situation might affect their study process. To make your learning process a little bit easier to adjust, we prepared the following tips on studying remotely.
We also kindly ask you to get familiar with the Institute's Code of Conduct for Remote Teaching and Learning, which provides the guidelines for students and teaching staff members in regard to the main principles of teaching
and learning in digital environment.
There is also a very practical e-learner’s handbook that gives you an overview of using the e-learning possibilities at the University of Tartu. The handbook is available from the following link.
All courses at the Johan Skytte Institute have a Moodle page, where you can find course study material, instructions and submission space for your assignments. You can read more information about this online learning environment here. Once you are matriculated, you are going to receive a separate information to your email with the login credentials to access our Study Information System and Moodle platform. In addition to Moodle, we are also going to be using BigBlueButton, MS Teams, Zoom and Panopto - we suggest you to have brief look at these programs before the start of the semester.
Our Digital Task Force made of Deputy Head for Academic Affairs and Manager of Online Learning Projects, are continuously working closely with the teaching staff members of the institute and the management of study programs in order to ensure that remote teaching activities could be implemented smoothly, technical conditions of institute's facilities are feasible for remote teaching and information on Moodle (i.e., our Learning Management System (LMS)) for the courses taught during the academic year - meets best practices of e-learning, put forward by the University of Tartu and Estonian Information Technology Foundation for Education (HITSA)
Moreover, as a step to better coordinate our teaching activities in new teaching environment, the Institute is facilitating regular collegial teaching seminars, which give an opportunity to academic staff to reflect on their experience of remote teaching during the semester, get necessary technical and didactic advice as well as plan the forthcoming in the light of the lessons learned. Read more information about our seminars here and here.
During the preparations process for remote studies, Digital Task Force also developed the Institute’s Model for Transferring, Coordinating and Managing Remote Studies. The model is developed on the basis of European Commission’s DigCompEdu tool for Educators, and presents a scalable 6-stage process of preparation and re-adjustment of study process for remote teaching context.
Model for Transferring, Coordinating and Managing Remote Studies. Source: developed by Anna Beitane and Olga Bogdanova.
Transition to remote studies made an impact on various aspects:
You can see testimonials from our staff members in regard to the changes in light of the emergency below.
Heiko Pääbo, Programme Director for Central and Eastern European, Russian and Eurasian Studies: "Online teaching opens new opportunities for teaching environment, enabling students and teachers to get to know their own digital capacities and develop them further. It is important to keep in mind that uploading a massive amount of text and asking students to answer some questions is not an online teaching. Instead, it requires a well-structured process with clearly defined guidelines, combination of real time online lectures and seminars with independent work and online group work. The spring semester experience proved that well-structured courses function well also for remote learners. In my teaching I stress this aspect to support my students.“
Anna Beitane, Online Learning Projects Manager, on how online learning has been arranged and developed in Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies.
Stefano Braghiroli, Associate Professor of European Studies and Programme Director for European Union - Russia Studies, on study specific principles in Skytte institute.
Johan Skytte Institute has a consolidated experience in conducting various innovative teaching activities even prior to the crisis: we developed various MOOCs and ecourses,which received the “Estonian E-course Quality Label” (see here and here); our teaching staff members were awarded with the good teaching grants to develop innovative practices; we collaborated with leading European universities such as Leiden and Uppsala to organize series of teaching masterclasses. More information about our e-learning portfolio, MOOCs and continuous education programs can be found here.