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Exchange curricula and exchange mobility

The Virtual Exchange Scheme (based on MOOCs, SPOCs and online courses)

The Virtual Exchange Scheme between the universities mentioned below is based on MOOCs (Edx). Students take an online course at a top university and gain credits for their They learn at their own pace and at a time and place that suits them, be it from their favorite spot on campus or even from their holiday destination. Inspiring lecturers from high-ranking international universities, from Australia to Switzerland and from Hong Kong our brought to their own campus. They engage with students from countries across the globe to broaden and enrich their knowledge and portfolio. Both synchronous and asynchronous learning is possible in MOOCs, which is an asset for international education.

Only MOOCs which are part of the regular programme of a university are allowed. On completion of the online course and on successful final assessment (this can vary, from a written exam at the campus to a digital oral assessment with the lecturer), the student will receive credits for his grade list.

Challenges are the differences in ambition level of universities to innovate in international collaboration, different workload and credit systems in the world, collaboration and scale in different leaning environments (own LMS, Edx, SPOC settings,…), and no show rates of students, especially when courses are electives or not part of a regular programme.

Examples of MOOCs in this exchange scheme are: Solar Energy, Neural Dynamics, Anthropology of Current World Issues, Astrophysics, Introduction to Computing with java, English Grammar and style.

This Virtual Exchange initiative results from a collaboration between leading international universities. Active partners at the moment are: Delft University of Technology, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Leiden University, Rice University, the Australian National University, the University of Adelaide, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Université Catholique de Louvain, University of Queensland, Sorbonne Université, Wageningen University & Research, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. 

  • MOOCs-based exchange mobility

  • online mobility

  • synchronous and asynchronous learning

  • multi- campus

  • assessment and credits for MOOCs

  • European and world-wide partnerships (through Edx, Coursera)

Coriolanus Online

Coriolanus Online (Tampere, Coventry) was the first part of the two-year Theatre project, which in 2017 continued with King Lear, another Shakespeare play. Student actors of both universities cooperate with the support of a “telepresence” technology, by which actual spaces are conjoined via technology. Coriolanus Online brought the students from Tampere in direct contact with a living Shakespeare tradition in Coventry, instead of flying in experts from Coventry to teach and play in Tampere.

Telepresence may be defined as “live video that allows for human-sized interactions, while offering clear sound and visual fidelity to individuals in remote rooms” (Miller et al. 2015) and this project explores its potential for teaching and learning in the field of performing arts. In particular, the project facilitates international virtual mobility collaborations between theatre students at the University of Tampere (Finland) and Coventry University (UK), with a particular focus on acting in a foreign language. 

While providing students with opportunities to engage in intercultural collaborations and to develop valuable global attributes, the project promotes a more environmentally sustainable model, diminishing the need to move large groups of student actors across the globe for rehearsals, workshops and even performances.

Initially taking the text of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus as a basis for study, in 2015-16 students of the two universities worked on a small section of the script (3:3) in both Finnish and English. An ‘Immersive Space’ was created in both locations through the re-purposing of videoconferencing technology and the use of large rear projection screens, high speed internet connections and unidirectional, hyper cardioid microphones. Moreover, a unified spatial design and a careful use of lighting gave the actors the illusion that they were occupying the same physical space.

A second iteration of the project took place in February 2017, utilising the same group of students and culminated in a field trip to Tampere where both groups performed together live in Telakka Theatre and demonstrated the use of the technology to an invited audience of theatre practitioners and technologists. The work continued to examine Shakespeare’s texts as the students already have some experience in dealing with Shakespearean language and the complexities of blank verse. The text chosen for this second stage was King Lear and we explored both a large ‘public’ scene as well as more intimate sections from the text in order to examine how this pedagogy enables rehearsal work in these differing circumstances. 

The third iteration of the project was a collaboration between the team and the Theatre Academy at the University of the Arts, Helsinki and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. On this occasion, the text chosen was Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night which offered the students the opportunity to explore the comic side of Shakespeare’s work, using a combination of large, intricate scenes as well as smaller ‘one on one’ segments.

  • virtual mobility fine arts

  • telepresence technology

  • synchronous learning

  • multi-campus

  • long term online mobility

The Lived Experience of Climate Change

This interdisciplinary e-module development and virtual mobility project was related to the development of education and lifelong learning in relation to climate change. It was focusing on the lived experiences of climate change -- how individuals, communities and organisations conceive and respond to its perceived local impacts (e.g. extreme weather, biodiversity changes). Through collaboration between nine institutions, innovative teaching modules and a virtual learning space were designed, making a major contribution to the United Nations decade on education for sustainable development.

The educational level is postgraduate Masters. A key feature is that it complements existing and proposed Masters programmes in the area, rather than create a parallel programme. Consortium members are free to use or adapt the content (see below) within their own programmes, through their normal accreditation The teaching modules can be used flexibly by students: as available educational resources without assessment or accreditation to enhance their studies or as conventional modules with assessment and accreditation.

To achieve the project’s aims, a virtual learning space contains the educational resources and facilitates learning communities and virtual mobility across the institutions.

Five postgraduate content deliverables are devised:

  • An introduction to climate change in the context of sustainable development (teaching module)

  • Comparing the experience of climate change in the global South and North (teaching module)

  • Interdisciplinary research methods for investigating the lived experience of climate change (teaching module)

  • A Masters dissertation package based on the virtual learning space

  • A virtual mobility package based on the virtual learning space

The teaching modules are available as open educational resources for any university to use as it wishes.

Partners: The Open University (UK), Open University of the Netherlands, Fernuniversitat Hagen, KU Leuven, Universidade Aberta

  • e-module development for mobility

  • online courses and mobility

  • asynchronous learning

  • master’s level

  • collaborative modules (staff mobility in courses teams)

  • virtual learning space

  • open educational resources

  • flexible use of e-modules in multiple courses

  • master’s thesis package

Edelnet – Schools of Law

The EDELNet (European Distance Education in Law Network) project is planned to be the first building block in the implementation of an ambitious scientific and pedagogic concept of Blended Active Learning and student oriented teaching facilitating a personal learning path with an emphasis on interdisciplinarity and intercultural communication skills as a basis for a better understanding of each other’s legal cultures and practices throughout Europe and beyond.

In order to achieve these goals, the EDELNet project comprises the development and implementation of virtual and face-to-face teaching and training activities and courseware in key methodological and substantive areas of the law, including language competences, intercultural communication skills and interdisciplinary methods of knowledge production applied to legal practice and scholarship.

The project is conceived as blended, student-oriented learning with virtual mobility at three levels: bachelor, master and Face to face components are mainly Summer and Winter Schools. Other components are online.

Partners are: FernUniversität in Hagen, the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED) and the Open Universiteit Nederland (OUNL).

  • blended active learning and mobiliy

  • three cycles in law

  • interdisciplinary and intercultural communication skills

  • online modules and virtual mobility

  • summer and winter schools as face to face components

Global Health Education (TropEd)

The Network for Education in International Health (TropEd) is an international network for international/global health with institutions from Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and Latin America. TropEd provides postgraduate opportunities for education and training contributing to sustainable development. It focuses on improving the management of health services for disadvantaged populations. The innovative approach is based on mobility of people, the exchange of experiences in different disciplines and the establishment of a common standard in education and training. 

Each institution was responsible for producing one online module for the programme (5 ECTS) each year over the 3-year project period, 9 online modules in In addition, each institution was responsible for enrolling 8 students in the programme, for a total of 24 students.

Moving from face-to-face classroom teaching to online, learning management system-based teaching is challenging and time-consuming. However, the overall consensus is that this kind of virtual teaching / learning have many advantages for students and teachers alike. A Handbook is developed to help others to create online courses. 

The project involved researchers and specialists in their respective fields from the Centre for International Health Bergen, KIT Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, and Queen Margaret University Edinburgh. 

  • postgraduate online modules

  • online courses and mobility

  • exchange of students

  • asynchronous learning

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This website reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. This website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.