Information about the IVEProject
Frequently asked questions (FAQ) for the International Virtual Exchange project
- What is the International Virtual Exchange project?
- Does it cost anything?
- Who runs it?
- What platform does it use? Is it email or what?
- Who will my students interact with?
- How many countries/regions are involved?
- Can I carry out research on my students?
- How much work is involved for students?
- How much work is involved for teachers?
- My students aren't good at English. Will they be OK?
- Do the students use Skype or some other tool? Is it synchronous or asynchronous?
- How does my group of students get paired with other students?
- Which universities / schools have been participating?
- Dual Language Virtual Exchanges
- OK, I want to join. What do I do?
1. What is the International Virtual Exchange project?
The exchange has students interacting asynchronously (and, on occasion, synchronously) in English as a lingua franca. The server on which it is based is maintained with financial assistance from a Japanese government Kaken grant and
also with the assistance of Hosei University. Exchanges are carried out over 8 week periods using Moodle. Students from three, four or more different countries are combined. Teachers from each of the participating classes send the exchange
administrator a CSV file with their students’ information and this is uploaded into the system. Online groups are formed by the administrator containing approximately 1~5 students from each of the countries. Hence, each group would
have between 10-15 students in it (though sometimes more). Online communication then takes place using the Moodle forums. As groups are set to ‘separate’, multiple groups are in the exchange, but because they are ‘separate’, students
only see the students they are partnered with. Participation in the forums involves posting and replying using student-created text, audio, and video posts. Students can also add links and other multimedia to their posts. Almost
all the students in this course are non-English majors at the low-intermediate level. We are working on developing an exchange for upper-intermediate/advanced students in the coming year.
Teachers are encouraged to monitor the forums and give feedback to students. Teachers are also offered resources to help their students reflect on their participation. There is no obligation to assign grades to students for their participation, but teachers are strongly encouraged to do so. All teachers are included in a separate teachers’ group where they can exchange ideas and information.
Goals for students:
To improve your intercultural competency.
To experience authentic communication with students from other countries.
To find out about your own and others' cultures and lifestyles.
To improve your communication skills. In this project, this means learning to communicate in another language with people who do not know much about your culture.
To improve your digital literacy skills.
2. Does it cost anything?
The exchange is presently run with funding from a Japanese government Kaken grant and with assistance from Hosei University. It is therefore free-of-charge for any educational institution's students to join. Private companies/students are not allowed to join.
3. Who runs it?
Eric Hagley of Hosei University is the lead in this project. He is assisted greatly by Adam Jenkins of Shizuoka Institute of Science and Technology and Thom Rawson of Nagasaki International University as well as the research group of Andrew Johnson (Future University Hakodate), Matt Cotter (Hokusei Gakuen University Junior College), David Campbell (Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine), and Yuka Akiyama (Tokyo University).
On the Colombian side, Ruben Pulgarin Cruz was the initial force behind expanding the exchange in Colombia and now Estefania Sánchez Bastidas from SENA headquarters and Jorge Eliecer Giraldo from SENA Ibague are the main contacts.
Individual teachers are in charge of their own classes.
4. What platform does it use? Is it email or what?
The exchange is done on Moodle - one of the most popular learning management systems in the world. Teachers and students do NOT require any understanding of Moodle to participate in the exchange, nor do they need to have Moodle at their home institution. Moodle is an open-source platform.
The basic exchange is asynchronous. As there are many different time zones, this is understandable. The Moodle app can be used and is encouraged. We try to encourage students to do synchronous activities but they are not a prerequisite.
5. Who will my students interact with?
At present, the main participants are from some 35 institutions throughout Japan and the SENA in Colombia. Thus, your students will be interacting with a minimum of one or both of these countries' students. Some groups will also have students from the other participating countries/regions outlined below.
6. How many countries/regions are involved?
To date, 19 countries/regions have participated in the exchange but more are coming on board every year. As noted, at present the main participants are from some 35 institutions throughout Japan and the SENA in Colombia. Thus, your students will be interacting with a minimum of one or both of these countries' students. Some groups will also have students from the other participating countries/regions: Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, Niger, the Philippines, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the region of Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam (all outlined in more detail below) and in the coming exchanges teachers from other countries have also expressed interest in joining.
7. Can I carry out research on my students?
You are welcome to carry out research on your own students (after attaining their consent) but if you are wanting to include the students in other countries, of course, you should attain their permission via their teacher, and also that of the co-ordinator, Eric Hagley.
8. How much work is involved for students?
For the exchange to work, students need to reply to other students' posts. We ask that students reply at least twice a week so that students receive timely interaction.
Students should be aiming to use over 50 words per post/reply. Students can also add self-made videos, multi-media and other information to their posts/replies.
9. How much work is involved for teachers?
The teacher's role in this exchange is crucial. It is one of the reasons why individual students are not allowed to participate.
The first job of the teacher is to send the csv file with their students' information to the coordinator, Eric Hagley.
There are online workshops for teachers prior to the exchange beginning.
After the exchange begins, teachers should offer their students support and show them how to post/reply/add multi-media. They should also check that their students are posting/replying to the students in other countries. The forum report function assists teachers with this.
Teachers should also assign a grade for their students' participation in the exchange. A rubric could be used (one is available if required) or an assessment method that the teacher designs.
10. My students aren't good at English. Will they be OK?
The majority of students participating in the exchange are lower-level students. The starters' course is for beginner level students. The topics are simple and aimed at developing basic language proficiency and better intercultural understanding. In a nutshell, yes, even if your students aren't particularly good at English, they will be fine.
11. Do the students use Skype or some other tool? Is it synchronous or asynchronous?
Students are not required to use Skype or other synchronous communication tools, though if you and your partner teacher agree, you can ask your students to do so. The main component of the exchange is done using this site and is asynchronous.
12. How does my group of students get paired with other students?
The coordinator puts your students into groups that include students from other countries. Your students are also in "your" group so that you can see all of their work in one easy to view page. Initially, you have to send the details of your students
to the coordinator for him to do that. After you have contacted the coordinator (details below) he will show you what to do.
13. Which universities/schools have participated?
- Muroran Institute of Technology (Host)
Aichi University and its Junior College
Hokkaido University of Science
Hokusei Gakuen University and its Junior College
Kanazawa Seiryo University Women's Junior College
Kitami Institute of Technology
Nayoro City University
Osaka Jogakuin College
Shizuoka University of Art and Culture
Shonan Institute of Technology,
Takasaki City University of Economics
In Colombia, the SENA.
1. Universidade Federal Fluminense
1. Universidad de Concepción
1. Hangzhou Dianzi University
2. Beijing Sports University
3. Beijing Wuzi University
4. Hefei University
5. Tourism College of Zhejiang
1. Universidad de Guayaquil
1. Universitas Advent Indonesia
1. Korea Polytechnic University
2. Kookmin University
1. Escuela Normal de Ixtlahuaca
In Saudi Arabia
1. Prince Sultan University
1. University of Córdoba
In the region of Taiwan
1. Sun Yat-sen University
3. National University of Tainan
1. King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang
2. Khon Kaen University
3. The Open University of Thailand
In The Philippines
1. The Open University of the Philippines
In the UAE
1. Al Ghurair University
1. The Open University of Vietnam
14. Dual Language Virtual Exchanges
We also have Dual Language Virtual Exchanges (DLVE) where, for example, students in Australia and the U.S. studying Japanese, work with students in Japan studying English or students in China studying Japanese working with students in students in Japan studying Chinese. If you are interested in carrying out such an exchange on the platform, please contact the organizer using the mail address below.
15. OK, I want to join. What do I do?
If you would like your students to join in this exchange, please send an email to iveprojectorg(at mark here)gmail.com
Generally, exchanges begin in April or October and run for 8 weeks but we are looking at increasing the number and frequency of these.
Only teachers from accredited schools/universities and the students they teach can join this exchange. (Individuals cannot join this exchange. If an individual sends me an email asking to join, sorry, I won't
Include in the email:
- Your school's / University's name
- Its address and phone number
- Number of students you have
- Any other information you would like to include.