8. to 17. February 2022


The registration deadline for the event has unfortunately expired.

Integrating Virtual Exchange into the University Classroom – An Online Course for University Educators

Course Type: Online-Workshop
Target Group: Teaching Staff
Virtual exchange (VE), also commonly referred to as Telecollaboration or Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL), is a broad term used to describe different approaches to engaging students in online intercultural collaboration projects with partners from different cultural contexts within their programmes of study and under the guidance of teachers or trained facilitators. Virtual Exchange has become a very popular way for teachers across all subject areas to internationalise their classrooms and to give their students first-hand experience of intercultural communication and using their digital skills.
The aim of this online course is to facilitate joint teaching projects within the ERUA context and familiarize participants with Virtual Exchange as a pedagogical activity for engaging students in authentic intercultural collaborative projects with international partners.
Participants will be required to read about, observe, and discuss the different aspects of running a Virtual Exchange project. They will examine and analyse different models of telecollaborative task design, assessment, and strategies for integrating the exchanges into their coursework. There will be opportunities for general discussion and debate about the underlying principles and issues related to Virtual Exchange, including English as Lingua Franca, students’ digital literacies and intercultural communication breakdown.
The course will be online. This will involve a videoconference session on each day of the four days of the course, followed by short discussions and reading tasks which participants will carry out individually or in groups before the following session.   
Follow up session (optional): A follow-up zoom meeting will be organised in March to deal with questions and issues which have emerged from participants’ preparations for their Virtual Exchange project.
The course should be of interest to teachers involved in joint teaching projects within the ERUA context. Besides, teaching staff are welcome who are interested in internationalising their courses and also in preparing their students for the global workplace.
A high level of digital literacy is not required to take part in the course. However, an openness to working with and learning about online technologies is a prerequisite. The course will be run in English and will take place online using an online Virtual Learning Environment as well as videoconferencing tools. Participants will need to be free for online sessions via videoconferencing as well as for off-line work during these four days.
Contents in brief:
Day 1 What is Virtual Exchange?
- Examples of Virtual Exchange projects in University Education
Day 2 What is an effective task in Virtual Exchange?
Designing effective tasks for your Virtual Exchange in your subject area
Day 3 What communication technologies to use in your Virtual Exchange?
Dealing with intercultural problems and language issues in Virtual Exchange
Day 4 Virtual Exchange and issues of assessment
Integrating the Virtual Exchange into your course and curriculum
- Finding partnerships for Virtual Exchange in the ERUA Network
Counting towards the Baden-Wuerttemberg Certificate for Teaching and Learning at University Level: Module II, Topic 2 (12 AE).