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July 17, 2017 / Irene2468

New Format: Synchronous and Asynchronous Classroom for Fall 2017 Russian Lit Online

Welcome to By the Onion Sea program! I have been teaching Russian Lit online for several years, including Tolstoy’s War and Peace, Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, Goncharov’s Oblomov, 19th Century Short Russian Fiction, 20th Century Soviet History through Literature and Film, and several summer workshops on Gogol’s work, Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground, and Russian Supernatural Stories.

For fall 2017, I created a new course called Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Chekhov’s Annas, and Anna Karenina in Film that will take place in a new state-of-art blended format, combining the elements of online learning and face-to-face teaching through video conferencing (live webinars). The new format will include an innovative online classroom built through Canvas learning management system (LMS). The class content will be presented both through the synchronous sessions via Electa video conferencing and the asynchronous online classroom via Canvas LMS. I will prepare an orientation video for students to get familiar with the online classroom. They will be able to ask additional questions through the Q&A discussion forum or through e-mails.

Unique Features of the new Russian Lit course through By the Onion Sea:

  • The class is intended for the students who love to read and write about literature. This is a college-level class, and as such it has a corresponding workload and expectations. Honors-level high school English classes or AP English Composition or Literature are prerequisites.
  • I will use my Russian background to provide the students with a unique chance to appreciate some of the pleasures of the original Russian versions of Anna Karenina and Chekhov’s stories that are inevitably lost in any translation.
  • The class will focus on close textual analysis of Anna Karenina and Chekhov’s stories supplemented by biographical, historical, and critical information. The works will be examined against the film adaptations.
  • Students will be conducting a textual scavenger hunt, connecting a variety of images, themes, events, and literary devices, searching for patterns, and constructing an overall design of the works.
  • The new online classroom accessible 24 hours a day will provide flexibility and will encourage students to be active participants in the learning process. Students won’t just submit their weekly reflection paragraphs but will comment on the work by the classmates and will ask questions. The new pilot online classroom space will promote better learning, reflection, and collaboration with other students.
  • Synchronous classes will consist of a short lecture by the teacher, students’ presentations, and group discussions. The combination of lecture, presentations, and discussions is a format that should prepare teens for the college environment.
  • I will help students to choose the topic for the final analytical paper and will guide them through the writing process from developing the detailed outline through the first draft to the final draft. The result will be an A+ paper that could become part of students’ college portfolios.

You are welcome to register for the class here. The weekly synchronous sessions will be on Fridays at 9:30 am Central time on September 22 and 29; October 6, 13, 20, and 27; November 3, 10, and 17; December 1 and 8.

Please click here to see the complete syllabus for more information.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon,

Julia Denne