Beginner language labs are best done synchronously, says Assistant Professor of Russian Alyssa DeBlasio, because real-time interaction is paramount to building conversational skill. Her Russian-department colleagues assessed each course individually to determine the digital methods that best fit students’ needs. While some classes meet via videoconference at their previously scheduled times, others split into smaller conversation groups. Students preparing to study in Russia next year also meet synchronously online—not only to maintain conversational proficiency but also to retain the friendships and network they’ll rely on while studying abroad.
Students in Iza Savenkova’s Russian class can see each other while also accessing assignments: