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CROWDSOURCING AS AN EFFECTIVE TECHNOLOGY FOR TEACHING FOREIGN LANGUAGES AT RUSSIAN UNIVERSITIES

I. Ainoutdinova, A. Blagoveshchenskaya

Kazan Federal University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
The purpose of this paper is to analyze whether crowdsourcing may support different learning needs of Russian students, change universities` learning spaces for effective foreign language teaching, enable learners and teachers to create open communities, massive open online courses (MOOCs) and virtual worlds to share ideas, links or materials that would otherwise remain undiscovered.

Modern students, known as Generation Z, have been exposed to digital technologies from their birth. This generation has clearly divided its activities including communication and education into offline and online modes. Even though they dive into the web-based environment with ease, most of them still realize the need for teachers to instruct them. Personalized education seems to be a timely response for teaching such individual students according to their abilities, interests, motivations, and learning styles. Crowdsourcing may serve as an efficient tool to deliver quality education via creating university communities or social networking platforms to share information of common interest, etc.

Our study of crowdsourcing in educational context has been supported by deep analysis and synthesis of scientific literature, case studies and personal empirical research. We examined the broad international experience concerning crowdsourcing through comparative research and study as a source of innovation to improve the system of university education in Russia.

The provided analysis and study allowed us to systematize the theory and practice of the process of crowdsourcing for teaching foreign languages at universities. We revealed the common nature of any crowdsourcing initiative in education including its elements and characteristics, found appropriate Web-based open authoring tools to proceed in our experiments to create, design and test the effectiveness of author's MOOCs and virtual networking platforms.

The outcomes of our research may contribute to better delivery methods in personalized foreign language learning spaces where students may feel more relaxed and independent, truly engaged and motivated. Our general recommendations could be of interest for those building open online communities, MOOCs and virtual networking platforms. Crowdsourcing techniques may integrate learners and teachers, universities and communities, set ideas of “collective intelligence” for future.