First Interactive Lecture Hall Opens Doors at UMG “St. Ivan Rilski” Under Bulgarian Virtues Charity Program

The first interactive lecture hall opened doors at the University of Mining and Geology “St Ivan Rilski” (UMG) with the generous support of Geotechmin OOD, Ellatzite-Med AD, Geostroy AD and Geotrading AD through Bulgarian Virtues Charity Program. The companies donated 4 graphics tablets, 4 laptops, а large size monitor and other devices to facilitate online learning and make it as close as possible to traditional face-to-face lectures. The Rector Prof. Dr. Eng. Ivaylo Koprev handed out donation certificates to the representatives of the four companies during a Career Day organized by the university and GEOTECHMIN GROUP.

The donated graphics tablets are the first ones used at UMG. A complete set of the new equipment is located in the main conference room at the Faculty of Mining Technology and is used for holding online lectures, seminars and official video conferencing. The rest of the devices are provided to the Faculty of Geology and Exploration and the Faculty of Mining Electromechanics. The equipment is needed to facilitate the rapid transition from face-to-face to online learning. In the 2020/2021 academic year, the university shifted most of its academic programmes online and the lectures were carried out virtually.

The e-learning is conducted in one of the most widely used platforms for business communication, video conferencing, etc. The advantages of the interactive lecture hall are described by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zahari Dinchev, Head of Mine Ventilation and Technical Safety Department.

“The graphics tablet is an excellent tool which is of great benefit in our work. It allows teachers to run real-time audio/video, text communication, and an interactive whiteboard on the same screen, which is especially important during our seminars. Using a mouse to type is very difficult. If the seminar is held in the form of a presentation, students do not perceive it as interactive training and consider it as lecture material. It makes a difference when the teacher creates a task from scratch,” said Assoc. Prof. Dinchev.

‘Using a graphics tablet enables us to hand-draw images, write formulas and explanatory notes, draw hachures and shaded relief maps, which is much easier compared to using a mouse,’ explained Assistant Professor Dimitar Kaykov from the Mineral Resources Department at UMG.

‘We also use the interactive lecture hall to conduct meetings of scientific juries, preliminary defenses of doctoral theses, as well as virtual defenses of diploma theses by quarantined students,’ explained the Vice Dean of the Faculty of Mining Technology Assoc. Prof. Dr. Evgenia Aleksandrova.

The new interactive lecture hall at UMG is one of the projects within Bulgarian Virtues Charity Programme aimed at supporting science and education in Bulgaria.