Co-Laboratory Training

What is Virtual Exchange?

Virtual Exchange is a form of computer-mediated learning whereby students from geographically remote classes work together online (in pairs or small groups) on learning tasks developed by teachers or educational facilitators.

A more extensive definition is given on the EVOLVE website but the videos here collected from VE projects around the world will also give you a good idea of how VE works in practice.

VE can be implemented in a variety of contexts including:

  •  teacher training
  •  pre- or post mobility
  •  content delivery, also  across disciplines
  •  developing transversal skills (e.g. global citizenship, digital literacy, intercultural competence)
  •  language education.

See the following examples:

Virtual Exchange for teacher training.

VE is commonly used as a tool in teacher training. Here is an illustration of a typical setup in that context, developed as part of the EVALUATE project

Virtual Exchange across disciplines.

Here is an example of VE used across disciplines, in the context of DePaul University’s Global Learning Experience program

Erasmus + Virtual Exchange.

VE has been already recognized as a valuable educational  program for HE institutions and Youth Organisations and, as such, promoted by the European Commission.   For example, Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange is a pilot project in the Erasmus+Youth programme.  It provides an accessible, ground-breaking way for young people to engage in intercultural learning. 

Here is a trailer for Transnational Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange Projects (TEP). These are curriculum-based Virtual Exchanges jointly developed by two or more educators  located in different countries. 



Types of VE

VE refers to a set of practices rather than one specific model which can be applied in any given situation. In addition, every exchange project has its own characteristics and dynamics. One common element, however, is that students from different geographical regions and/or cultural backgrounds work together online on tasks with the support of educators or facilitators.

We generally distinguish between:

  1. Class-to-class exchanges in the form of tasks or courses designed by teachers of one institution together with teachers from one or more other institutions.
  2. Facilitated exchanges in the form of training programmes or courses moderated by specialised exchange providers (NGOs, foundations, etc.)

This training will address both types. You’ll have a chance to learn more about Facilitated Dialogue in Module 6 of this course.

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