Information about the IVEProject

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) for the International Virtual Exchange project

  1. What is the International Virtual Exchange project?
  2. Does it cost anything?
  3. Who runs it?
  4. What platform does it use? Is it email or what?
  5. Who will my students interact with?
  6. How many countries/regions are involved?
  7. Can I carry out research on my students?
  8. How much work is involved for students?
  9. How much work is involved for teachers?
  10. My students aren't good at English. Will they be OK?
  11. Do the students use Skype or some other tool? Is it synchronous or asynchronous?
  12. How does my group of students get paired with other students?
  13. Which universities / schools have been participating?
  14. Dual Language Virtual Exchanges
  15. 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?

In Japan:

    1. Muroran Institute of Technology (Host)
    2. Aichi University and its Junior College

    3. Akita University

    4. Aoyama Gakuin University

    5. Chiba University of Commerce

    6. Chubu Gakuin University

    7. Doshisha Women's College

    8. Fukuoka University

    9. Future University Hakodate

    10. Hannan University

    11. Hokkaido University of Science

    12. Hokkaido Musashi Women's Junior College

    13. Hokusei Gakuen University and its Junior College

    14. Juntendo University

    15. Kumamoto Gakuen University

    16. Kanagawa University

    17. Kanazawa Seiryo University Women's Junior College

    18. Kitami Institute of Technology

    19. Kindai University

    20. Kyoto Sangyo University

    21. Miyazaki International College

    22. Miyazaki Municipal University

    23. Nagano Prefectural College

    24. Nagasaki International University

    25. Nagasaki Junior College

    26. Nayoro City University

    27. Niigata Seiryo University

    28. Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinarian Medicine

    29. Osaka Jogakuin College

    30. Rikkyo University

    31. Saga University

    32. Sapporo Gakuin University

    33. Sapporo University

    34. Seinan Jo Gakuin University

    35. Seiryo University

    36. Seisen Jogakuin College

    37. Shizuoka Institute of Science and Technology

    38. Shizuoka University of Art and Culture

    39. Shonan Institute of Technology,

    40. Sojo University

    41. Takachiho University

    42. Takasaki City University of Economics

    43. University of Electro-Communications

    44. University of Nagasaki

    45. University of Shimane

    46. University of Tsukuba

    47. Yamagata University

    In Colombia, the SENA.

    In Brazil

    1. Universidade Federal Fluminense

    In Chile

    1. Universidad de Concepción

    In China:

    1. Hangzhou Dianzi University
    2. Beijing Sports University
    3. Beijing Wuzi University
    4. Hefei University
    5. Tourism College of Zhejiang

    In Ecuador

    1.  Universidad de Guayaquil

    In Indonesia

    1. Universitas Advent Indonesia

    In Korea

    1. Korea Polytechnic University
    2. Kookmin University

    In Mexico

    1. Escuela Normal de Ixtlahuaca

    In Niger

    1. LDB

    In Saudi Arabia

    1. Prince Sultan University

    In Spain

    1. University of Córdoba

    In the region of Taiwan

    1. Sun Yat-sen University

    2. Shu-Zen Junior College of Medicine and Management

    3. National University of Tainan

    In Thailand

    1. King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang

    2. Khon Kaen University

    3. The Open University of Thailand

    In Turkey,

    Çukurova University

    In The Philippines

    1. The Open University of the Philippines

    In the UAE

    1. Al Ghurair University

    In Vietnam

    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 reply.) 

    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.
    You should receive a reply within 24 hours.

    Last modified: Saturday, 12 December 2020, 12:10 PM