DOI: 10.24411/2470-1262-2019-10066  


Teaching and learning innovation can significantly change work in the large courses and transform lecture-centered classrooms into student-centered, student-driven, collaborative classrooms that utilize differentiation using educational technology. Three best practices of increasing engagement in the classroom are explored – storytelling, scenario-based learning and gamification – with the goal of developing an online course to introduce Russian folklore, culture and traditions to American students.

In the proposed course, the main character Ivan is traveling through five Russian kingdoms of spirits, witches and wizards, vampires and werewolves, gods and the kingdom of the Sun to find his kidnapped bride Marya. During his journey, Ivan must accomplish various tasks to find his bride that bring him to different tribes of Ancient Russians, spirits, gods, and other characters of Russian folklore as he learns about customs, traditions, art and culture of old Russia.

The course will use multimedia, including videos, audio and text to support storytelling and scenario-based approach to learning, as well as reward points and leaderboard, as gamified mechanisms of student engagement. In the context of blended and online learning, engagement becomes one of the main predictors of student retention and success. Our research aims to demystify the concept of engagement that many instructors want to achieve but very few know how to develop in their classrooms. We would like to implement further research on learner engagement utilizing the proposed course on Russian Folklore in real classrooms.

Keywords: Motivation, innovation, lecture-centered classroom, student-driven course, educational technology, engagement, retention, performance, differentiation, immediate feedback, storytelling, scenario-based learning, gamification, articulate storyline

m to the current course and set it up.


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Information about the authors:

Irina Kostina (Iowa, USA), Ph.D., Associate professor of Instruction, Director of the Undergraduate Russian program, the University of Iowa, e-mail:, over 30 articles in the field of education and methodology of teaching.

Anastasia Pryanikova (Stamford, USA), M.A., J.D., Educational Technology Consultant, E-Studio, LLC, e-mail:, two chapters in anthologies on storytelling and technology, articles on cross-cultural studies. 

For citation: Kostina Irina, Pryanikova Anastasia, (2019). Innovations in Teaching with Technology:
Gamified Online Course on Russian Folklore. 
Cross-Cultural Studies: Education and Science. Vol. 4, Issue 4 (2019), pp. 90-96 (in USA)

Manuscript received 19/10/2019                                                                              

Accepted for publication: 26/11/2019         

The authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

CC BY 4.0