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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Russian Studies Materials

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.8 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: Feb 28, 2003 by World Languages Editorial Board
Overview: Russian Studies Materials is an extensive site presenting Russian grammar with
live morphology and interactive testing. The site provides grammatical material
for every part of speech and some links to the useful sources. Some basic
information such as Russian alphabet, rules of pronunciation and spelling is
also provided
Learning Goals: Learners will strengthen their theoretical knowledge of Russian grammar and
develop practical grammatical skills through practice. The site provides a fair
number of JavaScript exercises.
Target Student Population: Students with basic, intermediate, or advanced proficiency in Russian will find
this site a valuable source of information about Russian grammar.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: The site provides an alphabet, a basic grammar, pronunciation rules, rules of
verbal, nominal, adjectival morphology and syntax of the Russian language.
Theoretically, no prerequisite knowledge is needed to use this site. However,
some material is written entirely in Russian.
Type of Material: Colored text, tables, grammatical exercises.
Recommended Uses: The site is intended to be used by beginners, but due to the nature of its
content the site can be an excellent resource for intermediate and advanced
students of Russian and for instructors as well.
Technical Requirements: In order to read Russian text, one needs KOI8-R or Cyrillic (Windows) fonts on
the computer and the browser. In order to write out the exercises in the
reference grammar, one needs to install a Cyrillic keyboard and configure his
browser for KOI8-R document encoding. Some exercises require a Liquid Motion
player to see the excerpts from the movies. The Liquid Motion player can be
automatically downloaded.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This site is well organized, meets its stated goals, and provides an adequate
amount of material. The content is currently divided into 8 parts that are
further subdivided into various categories. Those 8 parts are Preliminaries, 6
Russian parts of speech (verb, noun, adjective, pronoun, preposition, and
conjunction), and Language Learning Support. The information presented on
Russian parts of speech is concise yet to the point. The Russian grammar is
presented in different colorful tables, which helps learners to visualize the
material. The interesting part of the site is the Alphabet chapter. It provides
Russian words, written in Russian font that sound very similar to the English
words of the same meaning. The author of the site challenges the reader to read
two columns of such words and figure out Russian sounds. For those who are not
able to do this, the author provides links to traditional explanations of the
Russian Alphabet.
Concerns: Some exercises do not seem to be connected much with Russian culture.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The site offers a highly effective grammatical framework for teaching and
learning. Both students and faculty can benefit from the information presented
there. It can be used for student independent study although not for the basic
level. The material can also be printed out and used in class.
Concerns: More exercises would certainly increase the possibility of learners
internalizing the material.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: The site is easy to navigate. All the labels, buttons, menus, and texts are
consistent and distinct. Every subpage provides a back button and home page
button, which makes it impossible to get lost in the site. The site provides
extensive information about the system?s status and keyboard/font requirements
and how to obtain them.
Concerns: There are some dead links that need to be updated. Even with Liquid Motion
installed, some animations do not work

Other Issues and Comments: