The "Onstream" Project: Collaboration between Higher Education Teachers of Russian and Teachers of Russian in Mainstream and Supplementary Schools

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Abstract

This case study describes how the problem of the isolation of teachers of Russian in supplementary (Saturday) schools in London was addressed by organising collaboration between them and teachers in a mainstream secondary school and a university. The aim was for them to share resources and pedagogical approaches. The project began with a meeting for identification of common needs and goals. A space in a Virtual Learning Environment (Moodle) was set up and subsequent activity was via an on-line discussion forum for exchanging ideas and a resource bank for sharing materials. Early on, the supplementary teachers visited the mainstream school to observe lessons. The ensuing resource bank was substantial; four short films of lessons in each sector, twenty items of teaching materials, two PowerPoints by teachers for classroom use and seven by their students on study topics. In their first venture into on-line Open Educational Resources, the team found the development of a culture of sharing among teachers faces many obstacles: differences in the context of the production and use of the created materials and in styles of pedagogy, the problem of non-take-up of resources and the psycho-sociological factors inherent in sharing with strangers. Yet, on the positive side, everyone recognised the benefits of sharing.

Keywords: collaboration, supplementary schools, cross-sector, Russian, OER.

References

King, J. T. (2010). The CrossCall Project. In S. Guth & F. Helm (Eds), Telecollaboration 2.0 (pp. 437-450). Bern: Peter Lang.

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King, Terry. (2013). The "Onstream" Project: Collaboration between Higher Education Teachers of Russian and Teachers of Russian in Mainstream and Supplementary Schools. In Ana Beaven, Anna Comas-Quinn, Barbara Sawhill (Eds), Case Studies of Openness in the Language Classroom (pp. 110-120). Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2013.000114

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