– Main objectives of the Virtual Exchange
To help English language students from two completely different backgrounds and countries come together and practise English as an EFL as a way of raising awareness in their culture.
– Targeted learning outcomes
- to raise interdisciplinary cultural awareness among the two countries,
- to find possible student or future cooperation opportunities and to use English as a means of communication.
- to find interdisciplinary (Chemical Engineering & Medicine) solutions to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
– Global task description
The 5-week Virtual Exchange project was based on the task-based method. Students worked on the tasks asynchronously on Google Drive, Messenger and Facebook and presented their work synchronously on Zoom on Thursdays during class hours. Firstly, they familiarised themselves with significant cultural elements from each country through interactions in English (as a foreign language) and then they focused on interdisciplinary topics such as ways of handling the Corona virus pandemic which had just broken out. The two disciplines were Chemical Engineering and Medicine. All tasks and discussions were conducted in the students’ English course, offered by the Language Centre of each university.
|Partner / department||Course||Language of instruction||Number of students|
|Cyprus University of Technology (CY)||English for Chemical Engineering||English||13|
|Taipei Medical University (TW)||English Conversation and English Presentation skills||English and Mandarin||15|
Start and end date
12/03/2020 – 09/04/2020
Integration and assessment
Technology tools used
– Learning environment
Majorly, we use FB group as interactive platform for students’ pre & post synchronous sessions. There are certain questions posted to prepare students’ background information about our weekly core topic, so students may reply or comment to each other. Also, Google Drive is used as on-line storage site for students to ask questions or submit their homework. For Taiwan students, Line is also used as a on-line co-learning social media classroom for students to cope with each other more frequently (since Line app is commonly used among Taiwanese students). Cypriot students had a separate Google Drive folder (for the course and for the exchange) and wrote their reflections on what was discussed after each synchronous session on Thursdays.
– Collaboration tools
We use various technological tools. For synchronous sessions, we use Zoom and Skype but mostly, Zoom. For our asynchronous sessions, we rely on our closed Facebok group and on Messenger where students have private chat conversations. There is also Google Drive where students write their reflections.
– Reflection tool
Facebook post on weekly thematic topics; Pre/Post Survey Questionnaire (EVOLVE)