SONJA BURROWS, PhD | Portfolio

School in Russia| A Middlebury CV Starr School Abroad

Project Description: This learning space provides cultural and linguistic guidance and support to students interested in studying abroad in Russia in one of three locations: Moscow, Yaroslavl, and Irkutsk. The site provides in-depth cultural preparations and language supports for students to make use of both before and during their time in Russia. The space includes cultural events listings, photo galleries, local maps and directions, language lessons, cost and travel, course information, and more.

Design: This space is built with a full-installation of WordPress and designed in partnership with staff and leadership at Middlebury’s School in Russia from all three locations. A particular design highlight includes an interactive exercise to help site visitors choose the best location for their study abroad experience by laying out the options in a visually-clear, one-touch navigation system allowing them to form meaningful comparisons between the three cities.

Additional Features: In addition to the site selection exercise and cultural information about Moscow, Yaroslavl and Irkutsk, this orientation space provides a robust social networking opportunity for students wishing to connect with one another both before and during their study abroad experience in Russia. Within this part of the learning space, students can practice their Russian together, ask for and give advice, and connect socially so as to smooth their experience upon arrival. As well, the space includes information regarding courses of study available to students in the three locations so that they can begin academic preparations and make their selections with all of the available information. Also, students can use this space to brush up on their knowledge of cultural practices and activities so as to best prepare for their experience studying abroad in Russia. A future goal of this learning space is to also provide beginning Russian language-learning lessons and supports for novice level learners with no previous Russian language experience preparing to study in Middlebury’s School in Russia. This part of the space will include “survival Russian” phrases, dialogues, audio-supported flashcards, and language games.

Sonja Burrows served as lead Instructional Designer on this project as part of her work with Middlebury’s Office of Digital Learning and Inquiry. Please send a message to request further information.


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