Grandin & Hedderich : In reference to 21st century Engineering graduates “...the future belongs to those who learn to work or team together with other groups without regard to location, heritage, and national and cultural difference” (2009: 363). US Department of Education’s National Education Technology Plan 2010: How we need to learn includes using the technology that professionals in various disciplines use. Professionals routinely use the web and tools such as wikis, blogs, and digital content for the research, collaboration, and communication demanded in their jobs. ...For students, using these real- world tools creates learning opportunities that allow them to grapple with real-world problems…(2010b, p. vii). EHEA Ministerial Conference: We call on higher education institutions to develop other possibilities for mobility such as virtual mobility and enable non-mobile students to have an “international experience at home (2012: 5)
Telecollaboration/ Online Intercultural Exchange (OIE) involves virtual intercultural interaction and collaboration between classes of Foreign Language (FL) learners in geographically distant locations
Future Primary-School teachers in Uni León (B1 level) work with Students of Spanish in Missouri, USA: Task 1: Upload a photo or video which tells the other group something about your home culture Task 2: Participate in two discussion forums – one in English and one in Spanish. Task 3: Make a short video teaching your partners some expressions in your language Task 4: In groups of four, create a blog with images, text and links about an aspect of life in Spain/USA. Post your reactions and some language corrections to your American partners’ blogs. Task 5: Write an essay reflecting on what you have learned from the exchange.
Writing and designing blogs about their localculture for a foreign audience
My opinion about this Exchange is very positive; it has made me consider to use it in my future English classes with my students. These months sharing opinions have given us a very different view of the United States, which we had idealized, and that, from this we have taken note that are not so different to our countries and that American films us had deceived with respect to reality. The most important thing Ive learned in this Exchange has been not to judge a society without first speak with one of its citizens… I really enjoyed meeting new people and talk with them. I think it was a good experience. I also think that learning English with this online exchange is fun for people who don’t like English and it is an alternative way of learning English.
For Students: Development of FL competence, intercultural awareness, electronic literaciesFor University Educators: Opening up of classroom / Authentic communication and project work / Developing international network of collaborators For Mobility Officers: Preparation for physical mobility/ Alternative to physical mobility For University Management: ‘Low cost’ internationalisation strategy / Opening up new university partnerships
INTENT Integrating Telecollaborative Networks Into Foreign Language Higher Education Financed By The European Commission - Lifelong Learning Programme October 2011-March 2014 Objectives: Establish a clear overview of the use of telecollaboration in European HE and identify practical barriers to the take-up of telecollaboration. Develop a set of tools, telecollaborative models and partner networks to overcome barriers and facilitate telecollaboration practice. Develop a set of workable solutions to address the lack of academic integration in Europe.
Online surveys from December 2011 - February 2012 Language versions: English, German, French and Italian Three surveys: Experienced teacher telecollaborators (102 responses) Inexperienced teacher telecollaborators (108 responses) Experienced student telecollaborators (131 responses) Qualitative Case studies: 7 representative examples of telecollaboration around Europe Aims: Identify types of telecollaborative practices undertaken by European university educators Explore the barriers to telecollaboration and the strategies used to overcome these barriers
In your opinion, what are the reasons why telecollaborative exchange is not more popular in university education? __________________________________ (Mentioned by 49/ 98 practitioners) __________________________________ (Mentioned by 28 / 98 practitioners) __________________________________ (Mentioned by 20/ 98 practitioners) __________________________________ (Mentioned by 19 / 98 practitioners) __________________________________ (Mentioned by 9/ 98 practitioners)
In your opinion, what are the reasons why telecollaborative exchange is not more popular in university education? Time necessary to set up and run exchanges (Mentioned 49/ 98 practitioners) Difficulties in integration & assessment due to institutional requirements (Mentioned by 28 / 98 practitioners) Lack of pedagogical knowledge about how to run and integrate exchanges (Mentioned by 20/ 98 practitioners) Teachers lack e-literacies/ required technological knowledge (Mentioned by 19 / 98 practitioners) Difficulty in finding appropriate partners (Mentioned by 9/ 98 practitioners)
• Because teachers are not trained and insitutions are not aware of its potential and of teachers’ needs. Those teachers who are carrying out innovative teaching practice are not in a position of power and cannot make decisions which impact on their institution.• First, it is difficult to organize such exchanges at institutional level. Second, the idea sounds interesting, but the teachers involved need to dedicate much time and energy to the exchange, so finally they wont do it. Third, the students motivation wont last long since it is not a credited course.• It is essential to find a partner with similar aims, able to adapt programs to different institutional expectations (amount of homework done by students for example), willing to adapt to technical disturbances (network disturbances, computer crashes), and to some extent lose or share control of class dynamics. The partners must build a program that satifies needs, levels and interests of both classes.
What are practitioners doing to overcome these barriers and to ensure successful, on-going exchanges which involve recognition of teachers and students’ work? Case studies of practitioners in Trinity College, Dublin Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden The University of Padua, Italy University of Manchester, UK Arhus Universitet, Denmark University of Riga, Latvia University of Warwick, UK
Telecollaboration is not only for ‘pure’ language students – Engineering students in Sweden, Business Studies students in Trinity, Dublin Senior Management – view OIE as a positive international activity but are often unwilling to provide adequate staff and technical support OIE can contribute to educators’ academic careers – new academic networks, staff mobility – e.g. Riga & Grenoble / Warwick & Clermont sign ‘Memory of Understanding’ No ‘one size fits all’ -Different levels of integration are possible: Claivier at Warwick takes place independently of academic courses SpEakWise at Trinity is integrated into a course but does not carry credit Manchester and Latvia – course marks are based completely on OIE activity
Sign written contracts with participating partner classes – provide security to include exchanges in study guides etc. Ensure that students see relevance and value of exchanges – e.g. through providing academic credit for OIE Try to maintain steady partners - Functioning partnerships gather momentum Ensure awareness and support of department heads – If necessary, coordinating staff can be replaced Raise prestige and awareness through press releases and prize winning (e.g. Trinity award) Ensure internal department collaboration and sharing of good practices (e.g. Padova – tool sharing)
‘Loose networks’ of partners are gaining in popularity TransAtlantic Network (Translation students around Europe & technical writing students in USA) Soliya – Connects students from 100 HEI’s in 27 countries in Western-Eastern dialogue Cultura – bilingual bicultural exchanges through comparative task types AUSJAL DUAL IMMERSION PROJECT - 21 Jesuit universities from eight different countries in North and South America Byram’s Intercultural Citizenship project – 25 practitioners looking for partners to carry out a project on intercultural citizenship Advantages: Common themes of interest Not obliged to work with same partner constantly - flexibility Activities, solutions and ideas are shared and developed
Contact and suggestions welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org Read our Report on Telecollaboration in Europe: www.intent-project.eu Upcoming platform for collaboration and networking: www.uni-collaboration.eu This report and its related project have been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Name of Exchange Participating Institutions Student ProfileThe SW-US Exchange Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Engineering students in Sweden and Sweden & Clemson University, South Carolina, English students in the USA USASpEakWise Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland & University of Students of German and Business Hildesheim, Germany studies in Ireland and students of International Information Management and of International Communication in GermanyTelecollaboration at The University of Padua, Italy & various partner Students of foreign languages in ItalyPadua universities and telecollaborative networks with students from various study backgroundsV-PaL University of Manchester, UK & Universities of Students of Modern Languages in the UK Cagliari and Macareta, Italy and in ItalyThe Trans-Atlantic Vasa Universitet, Finland; Università degli Studi Students of Translation Studies in theNetwork di Trieste and Università degli Studi di Padova, European institutions and students of Italy; Université Paris—Denis Diderot, France; technical writing in the American Århus Universitet, Denmark; Hogeschool Gent, institutions Belgium; North Dakota State University and University of Wisconsin, USALe Francais en University of Riga, Latvia & University of Students of French in Latvia withPremiere Ligne Grenoble, France students of foreign language education in FranceThe Claivier Project Université Balise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand, Students of Sports Sciences in France France & University of Warwick, UK and students of various undergraduate degrees in the UK