Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 144

144   Arctic Yearbook 2014   available online for every participant according to the following course schedule: (1) a professor from UAF creates the modules and posts them online to the students in Russia; (2) within each module, the professor gives directions to the MESI instructors for the face-to-face classroom interactions with the students (in tandem with the online module); (3) the MESI instructors are to enhance the online lessons by engaging the students in face-to-face learning and discussion within each module. In addition, the students have different assignments to post material to each other to read online, particularly during the introductory assignments, which allow them to have some online interaction with each other. They can also post messages online for others to view and send private messages by email. As the instructors in Russia are to enhance the online lessons by engaging the students in face-to-face learning and discussion within each module, the course is considered a distant education course with face-to-face enhancements. MESI also can create an international wiki project with students from UAF including Academic Writing in Arctic Governance and American English through Digital Storyline. The objectives of the project are as follows: 1) to learn to create the content of an Internet-based course using Web 2.0 technology (blogs, wikis, etc.) and a learning management system; 2) to introduce students to exploring and mastering digital tools, or “to develop their digital competence so that they themselves could discover the pedagogical potential in these tools”; 3) to find ways to incorporate contemporary Internet use and culture into Arctic governance and foreign language teaching; 4) to study each others’ experience of education through e-learning and Internet-based courses; (5) to establish contact between Russian and American colleagues for further cooperation, consultation, and exchange; and 6) to develop Internet-based cross-cultural communication networks between students of Arctic universities for a future teaching community. Storyline is a method for cross-curricular teaching and learning centered on a specific theme. The main objective is to collaborate on a common storyline based on this methodology, entirely realized through so-called Web 2.0 tools (wikis and blogs) and applications (YouTube, Google tools, etc.) (Brox 2009). Similar projects had already been conducted by Pembroke College, Oxford University and Yakutsk State University (North-Eastern Federal University) in 2002. The interactive course involved students in the head university and its branch in Mirny. The second one was introduced by Yakutsk University and the University of Tromsø, Norway in February 2010 (Zamorshchikova 2011). New information technologies for distance learning are very dynamically and rapidly developing. Russian universities often face a shortage of financial resources, and create learning management systems of their own. Collaborative joint projects can be conducted with the use of a cutting edge learning management system CoureSites by Blackboard. An online teaching tool Wikis, a collaborative space within the course where all students can view, contribute and edit, can create joint educational projects in the Arctic Governance or International Relations content. Wikis can also be used as a resource for students to view information and content relevant to their courses. Course Wikis are created by an instructor and any course member can add pages, unless the instructor intends to be the sole author and use the Wiki as course content. Group Lipatov