– Main objectives of the Virtual Exchange

  • Compare and contrast classroom dynamics (e.g., demographics, resources, teaching/learning strategies) between the U.S. and Turkish schools
  • Improve intercultural communication skills
  • Improve critical thinking skills
  • Improve technological skills

– Targeted learning outcomes

  • Develop a better understanding of local and global issues and how these impact social as well as educational contexts.
  • Examine diverse backgrounds, cultures, and viewpoints while connecting and collaborating with others locally and globally
  • Make use of digital tools to contribute constructively to projects while assuming different roles and responsibilities toward the accomplishment of common goals
  • To design effective questions for virtual information exhange to complete the argumentation tasks
  • To develop good inductive arguments on education based on the exchanged information

– Global task description

The specific tasks developed for the VE supported the theoretical aspects presented in the online lecture. The pre-tasks aimed to prepare students to enter a new learning environment with unknown partners. The second task required students to establish their topics/questions for the exchange. The third task involved students in the actual implementation of the VE where they had the flexibility to schedule the virtual meetings and choose the tools that best served their communication needs/styles. This task also included a diary or log where students reported their experiences and reflections as the VE was in progress. The final tasks included a presentation where students shared with their groups their experiences and challenges in the VE, and also completed a final survey. In addition, the VE tasks were built upon their complexity to fit into our gamed-based learning approach. Each task was matched to a “mission”, “challenge” and “outcome”. In the VE, the tasks gave students the experiential learning opportunity to collaborate, be exposed to multiple viewpoints, as well as to understand the affordances and challenges of VEs.


Partner / department Course Language of instruction Number of students Instructors
Iowa State University, School of Education Digital Learning in the Secondary Classroom English 36 Nadia Jaramillo Cherrez
Dr. Benjamin Gleason
Social Sciences University of Ankara, English Language & Literature Critical Thinking English 50 Aysel Saricaoglu Aygan

Start and end date

1 April 2019 – 12 April 2019


2 weeks


Teacher Education; Literature and linguistics

Integration and assessment

The VE tasks build on the skills and knowledge students have gained prior to starting the VE. The tasks are assessed separately.

Technology tools used

– Learning environment

Google Drive

– Collaboration tools

E-mail; Flipgrid, self-selected tools

– Reflection tool

Google Forms (Iowa State University)

Student learning outcomes

  • Develop understanding that digital tools are used in educational systems at different levels, not everyone uses technology in the same way.
  • Believed that the instructional activities used in the classroom in the U.S and with their partners in Turkey appeared to support critical thinking skills
  • Develop understanding that there is lack of opportunities to connect with other cultures
  • Believed the VE had value to their learning about other cultures, and expressed interested in implemented VE in their own classes when they teach
  • Develop understanding that friendships and interests extend beyond geographical boundaries
  • Made use of a variety of digital tools to collaborate and communicate