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Francesca Helm, UniCollaboration

UNIMED General Assembly 2018

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Francesca Helm, UniCollaboration

  1. 1. 1 UNIMED Ca’ Foscari, Venice, Italy 25 October 2018 Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange INTERCULTURAL LEARNING EXPERIENCES
  2. 2. 2 What is Virtual Exchange?
  3. 3. What is Virtual Exchange? 3 virtual exchange is defined as "technology-enabled, people-to-people education programmes, sustained over a period of time" in which communication and interaction takes place between individuals or groups who are geographically separated, with the support of facilitators and/or educators.
  4. 4. Different models of virtual exchange Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange into two categories: ➔ Implemented by the consortium Multi-partner large-scale exchanges where young persons can either sign up to participate directly, or enrol through their institution ➔ Implemented with support of the consortium: Grassroots, smaller exchanges implemented by educators with support of consortium and facilitators, after being trained. Formats, length, time investment, thematic scope or number of participants differ while they all adhere to the key components of virtual exchange. 4
  5. 5. Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange Training ● For educators to develop their own virtual exchanges ● To become Erasmus+ facilitators ● To become debate leaders Virtual Exchanges ● Online Facilitated Dialogue ● Bi- or trilateral small-scale exchanges ● Interactive Open Online Courses ● Debates 5
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  7. 7. Training to Develop Transnational Virtual Exchange Projects France-Czech Republic Chemistry and Physics-Business Tunisia-France English as a Foreign Language France-Spain English - Chemical and Environmental Engineering Germany - Finland - Czech Republic - Ireland Business and Management – Global Virtual Teams Italy-Libya History Spain-Poland Computer Science and Gaming-Business and Management Palestine-Netherlands English as a Foreign Langauge - Journalism Spain-Poland Business & Economics - English for Specific Purposes
  8. 8. 1 March 2018 Introduction to COIL, Sarah Guth 8
  9. 9. Why is virtual exchange important for universities?
  10. 10. 1. Interdependent world • The world is increasingly interdependent and there is an urgent need to develop a deeper understanding of this interdependency and to address major global challenges through multilateral and intercultural collaboration
  11. 11. 2. Global ‘knowledge society’ • Intercultural, international and global competencies are required for employability in the global ‘knowledge society’. There is also a need for greater attention to notions such as critical global citizenship and civic engagement. “The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills: being a good coach; communicating and listening well; possessing insights into others (including others different values and points of view); having empathy toward and being supportive of one’s colleagues; being a good critical thinker and problem solver; and being able to make connections across complex ideas.” Washington Post, 2017
  12. 12. 3. student mobility has limited reach • Even if funding for student mobility is increased, its reach is limited. Over 90% of students do NOT experience mobility, for a series of reasons.
  13. 13. So what does virtual exchange offer? • Experiential & collaborative student learning • Enhances learning by engaging with course content through their own and the other’s unique cultural lenses • Develops transversal skills such as: • intercultural awareness • online intercultural communicative competence • digital literacies • working effectively in virtual teams • Offers opportunities to build diverse personal relationships • Better prepares them for work and civil engagement in a global context • Encourages students who never thought of study abroad to do so
  14. 14. Stories of Virtual Exchanges Syrine Ayachi (Erasmus + Virtual Exchange alumni, Tunisia, 22 years old) “We all know that young people are the future leaders. So, if we help them through the virtual exchange to become more open-minded and give them the opportunity to see the world through new eyes away from the propaganda, we can have a better, more peaceful world”. Learning from the experience ● Skills : Active listening, critical thinking, asking good questions, open- mindedness ● Different cultures : their religion, traditional food, marriage, major festivals in each country, values ● Global issues : Poverty, Women rights, educational system, the negative effect of social media, immigration 14
  15. 15. What did you learn through Virtual Exchange? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkM1pxTd_fw
  16. 16. Advantages for educators • Professional development • Basics in online teaching and student-centred teaching • Co-teaching with an international colleague • Development of Intercultural awareness and communication skills • Implement new pedagogic approach • Internationalise the curriculum • Learn new things from colleagues • Research opportunity I gained new perspectives from my international partner from the outset, as well as confidence in my own approach toward my students at our institution. I am more convinced than ever that, with proper institutional and technical support, these collaborations are invaluable for students and instructors around the world. The best thing about the training was the synchronous sessions ( being in different countries with different persons at the same moment ) making, thereby the impossible true!
  17. 17. Advantages of VE for the university • Offer a ‘portfolio of virtual exchange projects’ that support internationalisation at home – and abroad • Greater student interest in Erasmus mobility programmes • Prepares students and staff for mobility and intercultural experience • Offers an international experience to students who do not go for mobility, at a lower cost • Fosters development of students’ transversal skills and employability • Can support the creation of strategic inter-institutional agreements and strengthen already existing joint degree programmes
  18. 18. Important times for virtual exchange
  19. 19. Engagement so far 19
  20. 20. Impact 20
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  23. 23. Recognition: Open Badges • Recognition of transversal 21st century skills that are acquired through participation in Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange activities. • Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange has developed an ecology of badges. • Importance of endorsement.
  24. 24. The Hub https://europa.eu/youth/erasmusvirtual_en 24
  25. 25. Thank You Any questions? 25

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