Telecollaboration: where we are and where we are headed Sarah Guth, Francesca Helm, Sake Jager, Gosia Kurek, Mirjam HauckEUROCALL 22-25 August 2012 Gothenburg, Sweden
Agenda• Brief introduction• Paper 1: Survey – State of the art of telecollaboration in Europe (Sarah Guth)• Paper 2: Telecollaboration Case Studies and strategies for mainstreaming integration in HEIs (Francesca Helm)• Paper 3: The Unicollaboration Platform (Sake Jager)• Paper 4: Telecollaboration Task Database (Gosia Kurek)• Paper 5: e-Portfolio (Mirjam Hauck)• Future & Discussion (all presenters)
What is telecollaboration?• Telecollaboration/ Online Intercultural Exchange (OIE) involves virtual intercultural interaction and collaboration between classes of Foreign Language (FL) learners in geographically distant locations
Mobility and the EHEA Mobility is important for personal development and employability, it fosters respect for diversity and a capacity to deal with other cultures. It encourages linguistic pluralism, thus underpinning the multilingual tradition of the European Higher Education Area and it increases cooperation and competition between higher education institutionsIn 2020, at least 20% of those graduating in the European Higher Education Area should have had a study or training period abroad. – Communiqué of the Conference of European Ministers Responsible for Higher Education, Leuven and Louvain-la-Neuve, 28-29 April 2009
And the remaining 80%?Virtual mobility:i.e. the use of the internet and other electronic forms ofinformation and communication, is often a catalyst for embarking on aperiod of physical mobility. Although not a substitute for physicalmobility, it does enable young people to prepare a stay abroad and cancreate conditions for future physical mobility by facilitating friendships,contacts and social networking etc…. – It can also provide an international dimension to those learners who, for different reasons, are not able or willing to go abroad. In that context, ICT can be used for “electronic twinning” …etc. Commission of the European Communities: Green paper: promoting the learning mobility of young people.
Benefits of telecollaborationFor Students: Development of FL competence, intercultural awareness, electronic literacies For 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 mobilityFor 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• Co-ordinated by Robert O’Dowd at the Universidad de Leon, Spain• 8 European partners (PH Heidelberg, Grenoble III, Padova, Czestochowa, Groningen, UA Barcelona, Open University UK)• October 2011-March 2014
Study of Telecollaboration in European Universities Online surveys from December 2011 - February 2012 Language versions: English, German, French and Italian Three surveys with responses from 24 European countries: Experienced teacher telecollaborators (102 complete responses) Inexperienced teacher telecollaborators (108 complete responses) Experienced student telecollaborators (131 complete 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
What languages do they teach?Catalan, Chinese, Dutch, Finnish, Hungarian, Polish, Portughese, Romanian, Turkish and ... Translation, Intercultural Studies, CommunicationsStudies, Linguistics ...
Why did they implement OIE?• développement des compétences didactiques, pédagogiques ettechniques pour de futurs enseignants de langue française (T-Yes-FR-16)(Development of teaching and pedagogic competence and techniques forfuture French language teachers.)• learning first-hand about the collaboration between technicalcommunicators and translators which goes on in the real world oflocalization. (T-Yes-EN-56).• Development of learners autonomy. (T-Yes-EN-01)• Development of multiple academic competences. (T-Yes-EN-51)• Encourage acceptance of cultural diversity rather than social inequality.(T-Yes-EN-39)
Students – Final comments “je nai pas vraiment vécu la télécollaboration sous langle dune rencontre inter- culturelle, mais dune rencontre tout court.”• Eine gute Idee, aber nur wenn sie sinnvoll geplant und durchgeführt wird.• I encourage all students to participate in a cultural exchange• I think it was a great idea and experience. I think Skype would be a better way of oral communicating.• I think, it was fine and also, that it would be a necessary part in the degree of people who are learning a foreign language.• I will encourage everyone to participate in exchange programs• Ich denke, dass interkultureller Onlineaustausch besonders für Studierende, die bisher nur wenig interkulturelle Erfahrungen gemacht haben, sinvoll ist.• Our University should organise more exchanges.• Si on organise la télécollaboration jeexigerais comme prof un laps de temps obligatoire pour parler (p.ex. les élèves doivent avoir une conversation pendant une heure par semaine..)• We must do them mor than one term
Identifying Strategies for integrating TC into university education• What are practitioners doing to overcome these barriers and to ensure successful, on-going exchanges which involve recognition of teachers and students’ work?
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
Learning from the Case Studies 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
Strategies for Integrating Telecollaboration Signing of written contracts between participating partner classes – provides 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 Functioning partnerships gather momentum – try to maintain steady partners Ensure awareness and support of department heads – coordinating staff can be replaced if necessary Ensure internal department collaboration and sharing of good practices (e.g. Padova – tool sharing, involvement of graduate students, mobility staff, admin) Prestige and awareness raising through press releases and prize winning (e.g. Trinity award)
‘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
UniCollaboration PlatformMain functions:• Interactive platform for Telecollaboration/OIE in HE• Information sections for teachers, mobility coordinators, administrators, students• Tools for practitioners: create tasks, describe classes, search for classes• E-portfolio: competences and tools for reflection and (self-)assessment• Training and ‘how to’ materials• Social functions: links to FB, Skype, messaging, blogs• Announcements and site activities on home page
Practitioner profile• Personal details: – Info section – Contact form – FB and Skype user name• Institutional details – Access to other practitioners in the same institution• List of classes available for telecollaboration• List of tasks created• Function to establish new partnerships
Class search tool• Tool for finding classes to work with• Searchable fields include: – Target language – Country – CEFR level – Mode of exchange – Number of students – Study programme – Period – Availability• Map searches supported
Platform: Implementation details• Design, programming and hosting: OU, Knowledge Media Institute (Chris Valentine)• Functional specs: Léon (O’Dowd), Groningen (Jager, Thorne), Grenoble (Mangenot, Nissen)• Site designed in Drupal• Limited version: September 2012 (limited functionality, for adding content and release in our own personal networks)• Full version: Autumn 2013 (for training, open to the general public)
The role of tasks in online exchanges:• provide a purpose and a structure to a multimodal, multilingual and multicultural situation;• help integrate the exchange with a school curriculum (O’Dowd, 2010);• help reduce misunderstandings resulting from cultural differences;• help reduce misunderstandings resulting from various levels of partcipants’ multimodal competence (Hauck, 2007).
Our strategies for creating a bank of telecollaborative tasks- establish needs and expectations of potential users;- explore the features of already existing telecollaborative platforms: their functionalities, target audiences, types of tasks e.g Cultura, E-twinning, Niflar, Le francais en (Premiere) Ligne ;- refer to research into the role of task design in telecollaborative learning (e.g. Dooly, 2011; Hauck, 2010; O’Dowd & Wary, 2009, Hampel, 2006, Mueller-Hartman, 2000).
Structure of the task databank• Stand-alone tasks – the smallest possible units of interaction between partcipants• Task sequences –examples how long-term exchanges can be structured, consist of stand-alone tasks.
Eportfolio for Telecollaborative Language Learning• Set of competences to identify the “Telecollaboratively Competent Person” (TEP)• Help individuals keep track of their development during an online exchange• 3 parts: – descriptors (also goals for self- and other-directed learning) – template for Personal Reflection Diary (to link descriptors with events before, during and after an online exchange) – sample rubric (criteria based on descriptors for self-progress reports, peer evaluation/s, formative assessment)
Part 1: Descriptors of Telecollaborative Effective Person• 4 main areas: – Online Language Competences (not to be confused with general language learning levels!) – Social Competences – Technical Competences – Cross-Cultural Competences• Main areas divided into 3 macro KSAs (Knowledge, Skills, Attitudes)• Macrosdevided into micro KSAs (to pinpoint specific actions that can reflect development →assessment of competences)
Online LanguageKNOWLEDGE SKILLS ATTITUDESK.1. Knows that S.1. Can communicate using A.1. Accepts /is open to non-on-line language online language with its standardised, flexible, evolvinghas its own particular features nature of on-lineparticular features communicationknows and can insert emoticons and other chooses to use emoticons andrecognises symbols from interface to other symbols to express ownmeaning making make or add meaning to the emotions ...features of online online communication ...communicationwhen provided bythe interface (e.g.buttons foremoticons) ...
SocialK.2. Knows that S.2. Can understand that A.2. Accepts that onlineidentities are online identity is constructed identity may vary from real lifemultiple, dynamic and defined in the interaction identity and from one contextand situated with other participants to the nextknows which can adopt textual and visual accepts that identities areidentities are identities that are appropriate multiple and context-bound ...appropriate to the to the context (e.g. does noton-line context and take offensive user names,communication dresses avatars appropriately,channel being used etc.) ...(e.g. appropriateavatars in virtualworlds) ...
TechnicalK.3. Knows that the S.3. Can apply the necessary A.3. Is sensitive to both onlinelocal contextual logistics to adjust local and and local environments andfeatures have an online circumstances the way they condition eachimpact on online othercommunicationknows which local can consult and use online chooses to usecontextual tools designed for facilitating complementary tools forcircumstances to meetings, etc. (world clocks, facilitating planning ...consider when calendars, etc.) ...arrangingexchanges ...knows the proper can control the local is critically aware of distractinglocal conditions for environment to ensure features of local environmenteffective online effective online ...communication communication ...(sound, lighting,etc.) ...
Cross-culturalK.3. Knows that S.3. Can learn from all A.3. Is ready for opportunitiesonline exchanges exchanges, successful or not for self-development in theoffer unique context of online exchangesopportunities forself-developmentknows that each can examine and step outside wants to find out more aboutindividual is the his/her own and partners’ own cultural context(s) andoutcome of a long cultural boundaries that are the cultural context(s) ofsocio-historical displayed in the exchange, partners as part of the onlineprocess of and learn from them ... encounter ...acculturation (oftenimplicit andsubconsciousprocess of learning)...
Acknowledging the challenges• Descriptors represent an “ideal”• Inconceivable to capture the multitude of parameters of online exchanges → impossible to provide a comprehensive list of TEP competencies• Simply an overview of the type of competences a TEP would have• Presentation does not reflect any hierarchy in terms of importance• Can serve as goals for self-directed learning• Can be used for self/assessment of progress made in developing the competences
Other work in the field ...• Assessment of intercultural communicative competence: – INCA (Intercutlural Competence Assessment) •www.incaproject.com – YOGA (Your Objectives, Guidelines and Assessment) •www.experiment.org/documents/AppendixG.pdf• EU-funded projects: – LOLIPOP (ELP with enhanced intercultural dimension) •http://lolipop-portfolio.eu – CEFcult (drawing on INCA descritpors) •www.cefcult.eu
Another source of “inspiration” for TEP descriptors:
Get involved• 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
Recommendations• Support the establishment of online exchanges between European countries in much the same way as they have supported physical mobility• Draw up models of Erasmus agreements specifically for virtual mobility programmes.• Establish European grants for virtual mobility to help cover the organizational costs.• Support the establishment of OIEs for students prior to their period of physical mobility. With the training and support of international office and language centre staff exchanges, these ‘pre-mobility exchanges’ could improve the quality of physical mobility by promoting integration of Erasmus students in host universities.• Integrate OIE in teacher education programs as this will encourage future educators to integrate telecollaboration into their practice• Provide incentives and support for educators embarking on their first experience of OIE.• Provide a technical and administrative infrastructure which will support educators in their telecollaborative activity.• Find more systems of awarding credits (ECTS) for students’ participation in OIEs. Other ways of awarding credit, such as explicit mention of the activity in the European Diploma Supplement, are also worthy of exploration.