Research article
Issue: № 12 (114), 2021


Научная статья

Лабзина П.Г.1, Меньшенина С.Г.2, *, Кошарская Е.В.3

1 ORCID: 0000-0002-1470-0134;

2 ORCID: 0000-0002-5794-5342;

3 ORCID: 0000-0002-4413-441X;

1, 2 Самарский государственный технический университет, Самара, Россия;

3 Самарский национальный исследовательский университет имени академика С.П. Королева, Самара Россия

* Корреспондирующий автор (Menshenina.mail[at]


Модернизация профессиональной подготовки будущих специалистов в вузе в соответствии с требованиями работодателей направлена на повышение конкурентоспособности выпускников через развитие креативного и критического мышления, способности к эффективной коммуникации, адаптивности, наряду с их профессиональными качествами. Цель исследования – рассмотреть возможности интерактивной образовательной среды вуза для развития личностных качеств студентов в процессе обучения иностранному языку. В работе акцентируется потенциал дисциплины «Иностранный язык», который заключается ее ресурсе – иноязычном дискурсе и возможности применять интерактивные технологии для развития мыслительных операций. Научная новизна заключается в разработке и внедрении интерактивных технологий (геокэшинг, на основе интернет-ресурсов, содержащих банк фотографий), направленных на субъект - субъектное взаимодействие участников образовательного процесса и одновременное включение студентов в познавательную, коммуникативную и продуктивную деятельность. Доказано, что организация интерактивной образовательной среды при помощи использования интерактивных технологий повышает заинтересованность студентов в обучении. Результаты опроса студентов, проведенного после экспериментальной работы, показали их удовлетворенность предложенным форматом обучения и подтвердили необходимость создания интерактивной образовательной среды для развития мыслительных операций студентов.

Ключевые слова: интерактивная образовательная среда, креативное и критическое мышление, профессиональные компетенции, студенты неязыковых специальностей, интерактивные технологии, геокэшинг.


Research article

Labzina P.G.1, Menshenina S.G.2, *, Kosharskaya E.V.3

1, 2 Samara State Technical University, Samara, Russia;

3 Samara National Research University, Samara, Russia

* Corresponding author  (Menshenina.mail[at]


The modernization of future specialists professional training in the higher educational institutions (HEI) in compliance with employers’ requirements is aimed at enhancement of graduates’ competitiveness through development of creative and critical thinking, ability to communicate effectively, adaptiveness together with their professional qualities. The goal of the research is to exploit the opportunities of Interactive Educational Environment (IEE) for students’ professional and personal qualities development in course of Foreign Language study. The paper highlights Foreign Language potential, which is presented by its resource – foreign language discourse and ability to use interactive technologies for thinking operations development. Scientific novelty is in the implementation of interactive technologies (geocaching, in the Internet resources, containing bank of photos) involving the subject-subject interaction of the educational process participants and simultaneous students’ engagement into cognitive, communicative, productive activity. The experiment demonstrates that IEE creation by means of interactive technologies stimulates their interest to foreign language learning. The results of the survey after experimental work showed that the students were satisfied with the educational format offered and proved the necessity to design IEE to develop students thinking operations.

Keywords: interactive educational environment, creative and critical thinking, professional competences, non-linguistic students, interactive technologies, geocaching.


Successful integration of future specialists into the labour market requires professional training improvement in HEI. Currently graduates employability depends not only on their professional competences (hard skills) but competitive personal qualities as well. Therefore, one of the primary educational tasks of the university is to ensure the compliance of graduates’ training results with employers’ demands. One of the factors that might contribute to the development of required qualities of a future specialist, capable of thinking creatively and critically, adapting successfully to changes in the professional and social environment and analyzing current events is to design an Interactive Educational Environment (IEE). We believe that IEE can serve as an important resource for the efficient Foreign Language training and will enhance the quality of language education. The environment can provide student-student and student-teacher interaction. The IEE encourages feedback and influences positively the realization of creative potential based on dialogue interaction within the educational process. In this regard, it is necessary to select and use effective technologies, forms and methods to reorganize the process of Foreign Language training so that it could meet the requirements for the issue under study.

Materials and Methods

Theoretical and empirical methods of pedagogical research were applied. The study was based on the analysis up-to-date requirements and standards, comparison of domestic and foreign experience, literature on the problem of the research. We used methods of pedagogical observation of the educational process, study and generalization of pedagogical experience. Effective educational technologies were selected. Experimental work was carried out and results.were analyzed.

Theoretical Background

The study starts with the analyses of the IEE components. Firstly, we will consider the term “environment”. According to the definition, the environment is “natural conditions of humans activities, influencing their existence” [1, P. 540]. Other scientists (L. Novikova) believe that the environment is “something that a person perceives, which he reacts at, comes into contact, interacts” [2, P. 3]. In a generic meaning, the concept of “environment” can be defined as a set of conditions that affect the development, socialization and upbringing of a person [3]. From the functional point of view Y. Manuilov considers the environment as something that surrounds the subjects, and through which he realizes himself as a person [4], [5].

From the point of view of pedagogical science, the term “environment” can be described as “a specifically designed in accordance with pedagogical goals system of conditions for orchestrating students’ vital activity, aimed at development of their attitude towards the world, people and friends” [6]. The environment is “a means for managing personality formation, which contributes to the pedagogically expedient management of the environment influencing the process of a specialist development and is enriched with new parameters according to the updated employers’ requirements” [7]. We believe that the environment is an important pedagogical factor, since skills and personal qualities are formed in a specially designed conditions [5]. Thus, the design of the educational environment is the key to a successful educational process.

The design of the environment is based on the provisions of the environmental approach considered by Russian scientists N. Borytko, V. Kozyrev, Y. Kuliutkin, Y. Manuilov, T. Meng, L. Novikova, S. Pisareva, N. Selivanova, L. Shemyakhtin, V. Zinchenko. The environmental approach is a set of principles and ways of realizing the ability of the environment to contribute to the implementation of pedagogical goals. Scientists (Y. Manuilov, L. Novikova, I. Sulima) claim that the environmental approach is “the theoretical basis of the strategy to manage indirectly the processes of personality formation and development” [4, P. 21]. From the point of view of the pedagogical process, the environmental approach ensures the development of the student’s personality and is an effective means for development of professional competencies [1].

Basic conceptual principles of the environmental approach are integrity, naturalness, continuity and involuntary influence, cumulative effect, transfer of skills to other activities, activation of self-learning and self-development mechanisms [3]. The above principles make it possible to consider the peculiarities of development of both student’s personal qualities and professional competencies by designing the conditions for the professional activity of future specialists. The application of conditions contributes to the organization of the educational process with regard to demands and needs of modern society, specificities and characteristics of future professional activity [8]. Thus, the design of environment in education will help improve the quality of the educational process.

In this connection we introduce the concept of educational environment which has been extensively developed by Russian scientists. Though foreign researchers consider the educational environment in terms of applications used as a tool in educational process [9].

In our research the educational environment is considered as a part of the outer space of a person, which consists of specifically designed and purposefully implemented pedagogical conditions that can contribute to the development of the student’s personal qualities, including thinking operations. It is an organized set of educational, methodological, information support aimed at the object of educational process. At the same time, within the research framework of the problem under study, we noticed that scientists focus on the internal active position of the student, his “engagement in the educational environment” [2, P. 9]. It provides the idea to create conditions for enhancement of positive motivation to learning a Foreign Language and developing personal and professionally significant skills.

Educators attempt to create conditions and thus stimulate the formation of students’ skills, abilities, and competencies in frames of the educational environment of the university. For this purpose, specially organized forms and methods of activity are selected, as well as teaching aids that ensure the dynamic evolvement into the educational process. From the point of view of L. Shemyatikhina, students can be motivated to master the future professional activities, imitating possible situations of professional communication, if niches for new tasks creative solution are organized [10]. Consequently, specifically designed educational environment can positively influence the training in the university and will let students acquire professional knowledge, skills and competences. It is important to create environment with simultaneous engagement of students into cognitive, communicative, productive activity. We claim that interactivity of educational environment might provide for thinking operations development.

 The educational environment is aimed at students’ creative activity intensification. The use of interactive tools, forms, methods of training fosters development of students’ ability to work with information sources and competently organize communication of participants of pedagogical process, form problem solution abilities. Continuous interaction between instructors and students promotes intensification of joint creative activity.

Lately the concept Interactive Educational Environment (IEE) has been introduced. The term can be considered as a technical means of training (S. Dormido, J. Aranda, J.M. Díaz, S. Dormido Canto, 2001) [11]. It can be understood as “system of organized set of pedagogical conditions, interactive techniques and technologies, which can form active position of educational process subjects in interaction in terms of their intellectual and moral development, expression of individuality, ability to cooperate, professional culture, independency and creativity in various learning and extracurricular activities with perspectives for self-realization in the profession” [12, P. 5].

We should point out, that the interactive education is characterized with change of learning technics in interaction of an educator and a student: teachers’ activity is changed by students’ activity, whereas an educator is responsible for providing the conditions for students’ creativity [13]. From the object of influence students turn into the subject of interaction. In this case none of the educational process participants dominate.

In course of training, each student has a chance to think critically and solve problems based on the analysis of circumstances according to every day or professional communication, make decisions, and participate in discussions actively.

Experimental Work

We analyzed Federal State Educational Standard. The analysis showed that humanitarian disciplines form the basis for development of general cultural and professional competencies. As a compulsory discipline of the curriculum Foreign Language allows to simulate necessary educational situations and makes it possible to use interactive technologies that contribute to the depth, fluency, flexibility and originality of thinking in understanding and interpreting professionally significant information.

The potential of the Foreign Language is in its resource, represented by a foreign language discourse. This subject is characterized by the necessity to create and support IEE through the flexible and widespread use of various interactive methods and teaching aids, based on modern technologies.

Thus, Foreign Language provides conditions for interactivity required for the development of students’ creative and critical thinking through the formation of the ability to explicate subject-semantic content, to understand and interpret the information for solving the communicative task set within the framework of the implemented interactive technologies [14].

The objective of the experimental work was to stimulate Foreign Language learning by organizing an IEE and introducing the technologies aimed at developing students’ thinking skills. One of the obstacles in the process of working with a Foreign Language discourse might be the passive character of the students’ learning activity. In this regard, we suggest to motivate students to learn a foreign language with the help of interactive technologies. When students are involved in creative process, they carry out independent cognitive activities. Subject-subject interaction is essential to set and solve communicative-cognitive tasks and one means to realize this approach is to use role plays in the educational process.

To use the potential of the interactive technologies to the full, we structured the experimental tasks. There was an instruction to provide a communicative situation with a system of specific interacting factors; a professionally oriented text that allowed to carry out a speech action and control stage with introducing the product of speech activity into oral or written communication [15].

We introduced interactive educational technologies in the form of games. For example, the game of geocaching (Geo - Earth and Cache – a secret place). This technology allows to develop interpersonal relationships and the ability to present the ideas and thoughts clearly through searching for the information about the given objects, answering the questions and using the prompts. To make the game possible in terms of educational process and learning a Foreign Language in particular, the game rules were adapted to allow students to understand the meaning of the text by facilitating the processes of information decoding, deverbalization and explication.

A text in a foreign language had gaps to fill in with words according to their definitions given in these gaps. The required gap was to be found by means of a question or prompt, for example, “this concept has a diameter”. Then a prompt and definition for the other gap were formulated and passed on to another student. The text contained a number of gaps and the teacher's responsibility was to indicate the number of the gap in the text and the very word that the student was supposed to encode. It was a collaborative work, as all students were engaged in educational interaction, all necessary instructions were provided by the teacher [16].

After completing this task, the students became aware that the success of task completion could depend on the correct actions of every student. Therefore, all students tried to code their prompt so that the decoding would not have caused any difficulties for other students. As a result, the text was analyzed with all the gaps filled in for correctly selected lexical units and semantic correspondence.

The interactivity of the educational environment is also ensured when working with Internet resources and computer technologies which have a collection of photographs (, to create photo collages on the subject of the texts studied. For example, the interpretation of the text in a foreign language should be done by means of photographs in such a way that would facilitate the reproduction of the content based on the presented photo collage. The task implied the idea to interpret the information creatively, to understand individual facts deeply, to highlight the main thoughts in the text. The use of visual resources facilitated the process of information perception and memorizing, and stimulated students’ interest to the educational material [16].

Research results

Managing students’ cognitive activity in the process of developing new concepts and skills, as well as thinking qualities is of great importance. The interactive technologies didactic value is about uplevelling independency (the ability to do without outside help), awareness of one’s actions, flexibility (ease of switching between activities), creativity (vigilance in search of problems, ease of generating ideas), depth (the degree of abstracted features), economy (the ability to shorten information and mental operations). The interactive technologies contribute to the formation of future specialist personality, stimulate decision-making, striving for self-education and creative and independent thinking. Students had the opportunity to study the task set comprehensively and from different angles. It was possible to share responsibilities between the participants and the group work stimulated more ideas, an exchange of views covering more material and presenting it in a better way.

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Fig. 1 – Experiment Survey


The increased interest of students in practical classes based on implemented interactive technologies was proved by the survey. 53% of students were fully satisfied with the educational process, found it interesting and motivating, their language skills improved; 31,5% of students liked the process but think that they didn’t improve their level of English; 13,5% found new technologies complicated and would prefer traditional education; 2% of students expressed the unwillingness to learn the language (diagram 1). Results of experimental work showed that the technologies applied motivated students for Foreign Language learning developing personal qualities through thinking skills development, which was the aim of the research. 


The experimental work proved the potential of the Foreign Language in the context of providing valuable information for professional growth, intellectual development and thinking skills improvement. Dialogue between teachers and students, ideas and opinions exchange, active use of modern teaching technologies create the IEE to enhance students’ potential, to advance the cognitive activity to a higher level of participants interaction in the educational process, to encourage sustainable psychological pursuit aimed at learning activity. The survey among students showed positive dynamics in their motivation for Foreign Language learning. To a great extent the process was facilitated by the use of interactive technologies that design the educational environment aimed at developing students’ personal development.

Конфликт интересов Не указан. Conflict of Interest None declared.

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