About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1509-1514
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain

RUSSIA AND THE UNITED STATES: CROSS-CULTURAL COLLABORATION

S. Norris

University of Wyoming (UNITED STATES)
In the fall semester of 2005, Russian English Professor Mila Koretnikova from Volzshky University, Russian English Professor Tanya Kharlamova from Saratov State University, and English Professor Shelly Norris from The University of Wyoming coordinated a long-distance cross-cultural collaboration via the internet between their three classes. Professors Koretnikova and Kharlamova each conducted a class of third year university English majors, while Professor Norris conducted a class of first year university freshmen. The common subject of instruction was Rhetoric. The Professors shared materials, located useful internet sites to share, and the students read some of the same texts in order to share Rhetorical Analyses.

Logistically, Proffessor Norris attended the Second US-Russia Symposium in Moscow in spring of 2005 where she met up with Dr. Koretnikova whom she knew from Koretnikova's year abroad as a visiting scholar at The University of Wyoming. Dr. Koretnikova introduced Dr. Norris to Dr. Kharlamova, and the three women immediately began brainstorming a collaboration.
The Professors outlined most of the course via e-mail. The course was established online through an internet based course platform leased by The University of Wyoming's Teaching Resources Center and offered free to UW faculty. The course platform, which is now being phased out, is called WebCT. Through this course platform, the Professors were able to post learning unit materials, register all students, and everyone could create a "Homepage" with a photo and a short bio. Students and Professors could also communicate with one another via the course platform e-mail and assignments and discussion exchanges were posted in the discussion area. Additionally, Professor Norris met alternately via Messenger for video conferences with Dr. Koretnikova and Dr. Kharlamova's classes. Due to the thirteen hour time difference between this area of Russia and Wyoming in the US, Dr. Norris had to meet with her Russian counterparts late at night from her home, while they, in turn, had to plan to be at their computer site early in the morning. The major hurdle of the collaboration was the time difference, which made it impossible to connect US students with the Russian students for video conference. A method for overcoming this obstacle should be created for future collaborations. A second hurdle, a bit more minor, was the semester scheduling difference between the Russian university and the American university systems. This time difference was easier to work with; however, the time difference in the spring semester scheduling is too great, which makes the fall semester the most optimum for conducting this type of collaboration.

Overall, the collaboration was successful and useful to students on both sides. The Russian students were challenged to increase their oral and written English skills by reading, writing, and presenting in English. They were able to hear an American speaker during videoconferences. The American students, many of whom are culturally encapsulated, were introduced to students like themselves from another country and culture. They communicated with these students, both on a personal and an academic level. The American students were able to recognize word choice and grammar issues in the writing of the Russian students, which in turn helped them to better understand their own language and the writing of it, a key goal.
@InProceedings{NORRIS2009RUS,
author = {Norris, S.},
title = {RUSSIA AND THE UNITED STATES: CROSS-CULTURAL COLLABORATION },
series = {3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-7578-6},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {9-11 March, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {1509-1514}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Norris
TI - RUSSIA AND THE UNITED STATES: CROSS-CULTURAL COLLABORATION
SN - 978-84-612-7578-6/2340-1079
PY - 2009
Y1 - 9-11 March, 2009
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2009 Proceedings
SP - 1509
EP - 1514
ER -
S. Norris (2009) RUSSIA AND THE UNITED STATES: CROSS-CULTURAL COLLABORATION , INTED2009 Proceedings, pp. 1509-1514.
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