a screenshot of a video clip from the russian online classroom

UT Lecturer Teaches Russian to Students Around the World through Russian Online

  • May 6, 2020

Students can learn Russian from anywhere in the world with Oleg and Polina, two animated characters created by Heather Rice, a UT lecturer in the Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies who is passionate about community building and student-to-student interaction in learning. 

Her class, Russian Online, is a set of modules that aims to virtually recreate the immersive experience of a language and culture class. This synchronous, interactive and engaging course is one of UT’s totally web-based classes and can even be taken by students not enrolled at the university. 

The artistic endeavor is a collaboration between Rice and the Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services. The modules feature recorded phrases for students to practice with, references to Russian mythology and culture scattered throughout and fantastical creatures that accompany novice Russian speakers on their track to proficiency. 

Three Russian Online courses are offered during both fall and spring semesters, so students can take them at their convenience. As of 2020, Rice has been teaching the class for three years and aims to improve it each semester. 

Read more about Rice’s experience teaching the course.