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Virtual Exchange and the Results of the EVALUATE project


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A brieft overview of the outcomes of EVALUATE as well as an overview of other Virtual Exchange initiatives.

Published in: Education
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Virtual Exchange and the Results of the EVALUATE project

  1. 1. A Brief Introduction to Virtual Exchange & The Results of the EVALUATE Project Robert O'Dowd University of León, Spain @robodowd
  2. 2.
  3. 3. “I
  4. 4. In Europe the average is 5%...
  5. 5. Sarah Richardson: “…the espoused benefits from [physical] mobility do not derive from the act of crossing borders but instead from two other factors. First, the encounters that students have. And second, the influence of their psychological make-up on how they respond to these encounters” (Cosmopolitan Learning for a Global Era, 2016, p.54). Simply getting students to study abroad is not necessarily the solution to our problems anyway…
  6. 6. And what about the large majority of our students that will never engage in physical mobility programmes? European Commission Report (2013) “European Higher Education in the world”: “…internationalisation should ensure that the large majority of learners who are not mobile… are nonetheless able to acquire the international skills required in a globalised world (2013:6)” “Internationalisation at Home” (Beelen & Jones, 2015) + “Internationalisation of the curriculum” (Leask, 2015)
  7. 7. One under-explored element of internationalisation at home is Telecollaboration or class to classVirtual Exchange… The engagement of groups of students in online intercultural interaction and collaboration… …with students from other cultural contexts or geographical locations…. …as an integrated part of course work…. …and under the guidance of educators and/or expert facilitators.
  8. 8. What does class-to-classVirtual Exchange look like at university level?
  9. 9. An example of an American-Spanish e-tandem email Hey Pablo! It was great to receive your letter. I was so happy to see that you responded to my questions. Thank you.Your responses were very informative and definitely showed me that family life in Spain was not all I'd expected it to be. (I was surprised, for example, that your family is not religious. I assumed that most families in Spain are, and I'm sure you have many assumptions about life in America as well). Your English is very good.There are only a few suggestions that I have to correct it. Some of your sentences are too long, and would make more sense if you separated them into two or three sentences instead. For example, "My parents are not divorced in Spain there are very few cases of divorced" could be rewritten as "My parents are not divorced. In Spain there are very few cases of divorce."Your letter was great and made sense despite these things. Good work. Las fiestas en mi ciudad son muy locas y emocionantes. Voy a las discotecas con mis amigas los jueves, los viernes, o los sabados. Vamos a los bars tambien. Nosotros volvemos a nos salons de dormitorio a las cuatro de la manana. Queremos bailar a las discotecas. Necesita tener veintiuno anos por beber el alcohol pero la mayoria de estudiantes en las universidades tenen los "fake IDs" y ellos beben el alcohol. … No sabo mucho de Espana. Sabo que hay un museo de Guggenheim en Bilbao y sabo que hay muchos castillos bonitos. Que sabes de los Estados Unidos? Como es la fiesta en Espana?
  10. 10. Examples of virtual interactions: Blogs, videos, videconferencing, multimodal presentations…
  11. 11. Common learning outcomes across virtual exchanges • Contextualised vocabulary and grammar learning • Increased confidence in using the L2 with peers • Nuanced ‘insider’ perspective on cultural behaviour
  12. 12. How many of you have already engaged your students in Virtual Exchange projects with other classes?
  13. 13. “EVALUATE”: A European Policy Experimentation to evaluate the impact of class-to-classVirtual Exchanges on student-teachers involved in InitialTeacher Education. Student-teachers working in transnational teams to create lesson plans and projects together online
  14. 14. Students’ andTeachers’ Experiences Student 1: “I learned a lot from this experience. It was different from any other activity that I have done. It helped me with my communication skills, in the practice of the second language, team work, learning about the education system in a different culture and more.” Teacher 1: “At the end of the exchange the reaction was very positive because the students said they had learned a lot from their partners and that was, for me, very satisfying. Because I realised that the students had understood the essence of what we wanted to develop in this project - which is put yourself in the position of the other, understand them and, many times, give way. And they learned how other people work.”
  15. 15. Teachers’ Experiences Teacher 1 of Virtual Exchange: “[Teachers need]….a recognition of what we are doing. I believe teachers get motivated when what they do is valued. And this can be valued by giving them recognition for their work.” Teacher 2 of Virtual Exchange: “Teachers need to be provided with special time for planning and time to develop Virtual Exchange. They will need much more time. Virtual Exchange (like any form of collaboration) is really important for learning, but it takes more time than individual work.”
  16. 16. Now compare these outcomes to what we saw at the beginning of our session…
  17. 17. Other resources and initiatives forVirtual Exchange
  18. 18. Let’s look at the Home ofTelecollaborative Virtual Exchange for University Classrooms
  19. 19. If you choose ‘classes’ then you’ll be able to search or browse a list of classes which are interested in taking part in virtual exchange projects...
  20. 20. Find a partner class at the OnlineVirtual Exchange Partnering Fairs organised by
  21. 21. Get support for your firstVirtual Exchanges:
  22. 22. Free online teacher training courses at Erasmus+Virtual Exchange
  23. 23.
  24. 24. Join us in León for a (free) conference onVirtual Exchange andTeacher Education
  25. 25. More information