After our two rounds of Virtual Exchanges, various teacher trainers and their students have told us about the ways that their EVALUATE Virtual Exchanges have had an impact on their students and on their institutions. These success stories will be reported on here.
There was good news for Virtual Exchange and for the EVALUATE project at the University of León, Spain in March 2019: The university has announced that teachers who carry out Virtual Exchanges will receive 0.25 ECTS extra credit for every Virtual Exchange which they incorporate into their classes. This will be a great way of promoting the activity among the teaching staff.
It’s wonderful to see how EVALUATE has brought teacher trainers together and has given them the opportunity to collaborate in academic research and publishing about their work together. Two teachers who took part in the EVALUATE programme, Elżbieta Gajek from Poland and her Spanish partner teacherTeresa Calderon Quindos have contacted us to say that they have written an article together on their experiences in Virtual Exchange which is going to be published in the online journal e-mentor in their 5th issue 2018. The article is titled “Developing a reflective practitioner through telecollaboration in language teacher preservice education – a bottom-up perspective”. Congratulations to the two colleagues for their work together.
This EVALUATE ‘success story’ comes from students from Malmö University in Sweden who talk about how their experience in an EVALUATE project influenced how they used #VirtualExchange in their own teaching.
Onother success story comes from Tina Waldman from Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts, Tel Aviv, Israel and Goetz Schwab from the Karlsruhe University of Education in Germany. They have told us about how their EVALUATE virtual exchange has led to a physical mobility initiative between their two classes:
“The German students have decided that they want to visit the Israeli students and Kibbutzim college in Israel and together with their professor – Gotz Schwab – they are planning a visit to the college in May 2018.
This is our third telecollaboration, but the first time that such an initiative has come from the students. One of the reasons for this is, we think, that in this telecollaboration we have helped to enhance personal and working relations between the students through weekly videoconferencing sessions using Unicko. Goetz and I were lucky enough to be able to plan our courses to be almost back to back so that our students can videoconference weekly. They continue to collaborate outside of class using Whatsapp and other tools.”
A further success story comes from Turkey:
Assist. Prof. Dr. Derya Bozdoğan has contacted us to tell us that her exchange “BURTED Telecollaboration: Online Intercultural Exchange with University of Burgos”, which is part of the EVALUATE project, has been awarded by the TED University Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) in Turkey with the Teaching Excellence Grant 2018. The Center seeks to support the faculty in their endeavors to achieve excellence in teaching and learning through innovative teaching projects.
Congratulations to Derya. We are delighted that institutions across the globe are recognising the value of Virtual Exchange projects for their teachers and students.
Here is a picture of Derya with her telecollaborative partner Concetta Maria Sigona from the University of Burgos Spain at the EVALUATE training workshop: