Nataliya Kuba works as the Head of Training and Development department at SoftServe, and she was among those who contributed to creating a new educational program Internet of Things at Lviv Polytechnic National University. It is the first time when IT-specialists worked together with lecturers and professors on a program. We decided to talk with Nataliya about the expectations and how the study process looks like.
There are 51 students studying at the IoT program. There is a great demand for specialists in this field and in 4 years, the program will meet its first graduates.
“These students are supposed to become architects of new smart decisions in our life. Internet of Things is one of the most innovative fields, it’s an ability to integrate digital solutions to any needs. It’s a blue ocean for business, an opportunity to handle social demands and needs of customers in a new way. These students will change the quality of our life and will be the driving force of the further technical progress, which has now reached the highest level”.
Blended learning is used at the IoT: it combines traditional lectures with workshops, online videos, interactive learning, training sessions at IT-company offices, excursions etc.
“We have a possibility to add something new to the program anytime. It’s an innovative element of the program. We use all our contacts and people we know to organize interesting lectures and meetings with important people, giving students a chance to study in a very unusual format for Polytechnic University. Soon we will have a practical training about how to write a CV and communicate with an employer. Later we will organize a game simulation together with UCU students. Students will work in teams, have different roles and will solve creative exercises and challenges. In the beginning of March, we have visited the Main Office of National Police in Lviv. In particular, we have visited the new situation center which is a modern technology solution. We have a lot of ideas on how to improve the IoT Program”.
Nataliya Kuba is an author and lecturer at the course “Teamwork and Presentation Skills”. She thinks that the right communication and teamwork skills are absolutely needed for everybody.
“There are certain competencies expected by practically every employer nowadays. For example, skills in working with digital systems and working with people. I developed this program in such a way, that at first students learn what exactly is the communication competency. How to implement and improve your skills in it. We learned how to solve conflicts, how to hold a discussion and listen, we also worked with the emotional intellect. With all these newly acquired skills we tried to organize an effective teamwork and improve public speaking skills. During the first semester, students were working in teams, creating their first own mobile apps. At the end of my course and course “Introduction to IoT,” students had to make a report and a presentation. This is how our final exam looked like. The jury consisted of CEO’s of different IT companies, they graded their presentations and gave feedback. During the work on projects, students have also worked with mentors. Our goal was to create real conditions for them”.
Around 40 people worked on the IoT Program for a few months.
“I started to volunteer at different NGOs when I was 18 years old, that’s why I always try to spend a part of my time doing something important for the society. If I can share my own experience, it means that I can get some experience in exchange. That is why I immediately agreed to the offer to join the work on the IoT program. It matched my values and my skills. Even if it takes a lot of time and energy, it gives a result and this is the most important”.
According to the participants of the working group, creating such an innovative program is a chance to make changes in the general education system in Ukraine, it’s a possibility to modernize studying here and make it more interesting.
“Changes always have a continuous effect. Other universities are already interested in our program and want to adopt our experiences. It’s very important to start with small steps, this way we can slowly but surely rebuild the whole system. It’s such a global effect. We managed to unite a great team with such experiences, knowledge, and values, that we have not raised the question “Why we are doing this?” even once. It was a chance to make my own contribution. The IoT program and all its components are opened to everyone and I am ready to share them with others, advise and help to make even bigger changes”.