Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 143

143 Arctic Yearbook 2014   allow teachers, college and university instructors and educators to use the latest and greatest technology to promote collaboration, as well as assess and improve performance. Many Russian northern universities using the e-learning environment are facing a motivation problem. For instance, North-Eastern Federal University, previously known as Yakutsk State University, has created a lot of digital training materials, but educators in the learning process do not widely and effectively use these materials. There are many reasons for this, including no access to the Internet or lack of compensation for creating new media (Zamorshchikova 2011). MESI has successfully resolved this traditional problem. A multilevel wage system encourages professors who teach hybrid courses using the e-learning environment by creating course website, engaging students in social learning, weaving multimedia into class content, assessing performance and managing grades, and sharing open education resources. These educators have an additional pay per hour. Higher education in the northern and Siberian regions of Russia needs indigenous language training. One of the positive aspects after the collapse of the USSR is the fact that the number of languages taught in Russian schools doubled between 1991 and 1995. In 1987 students could be educated through grade 10 in four languages other than Russian (Georgian, Bashkir, Armenian, and Tatar). Five years later Russian students could be educated through compulsory education in nine languages (add Buriat, Urdmurt, Chuvash and Iakut). In the mid- 1990s an additional 87 languages constituted the part of the curriculum. In some instances, non-Russian languages are used in schools where Russian speakers are in the minority. This adds a different dimension to the question of protecting ‘minority rights (Heyneman 1998: 28-29). Indigenous peoples have begun promoting their own websites on the Internet, which is very important with a view to the possibilities of distance education as well as with regard to information dissemination. Today in Russia there exist a number of NGOs that promote professional orientation through the Internet and this tendency in education is growing rapidly (International survey on adult education for indigenous peoples, 2000: 20). Many opportunities have joint American and Russian educational and scientific projects. US-Russian Cooperation in Distance Education Building US-Russian university partnerships might be based on such projects as joint research programs of MESI and University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) with the use of information and communi