- What is the International Virtual Exchange Project (IVEProject)?
- 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 Zoom or some other tool? Is it synchronous or asynchronous?
- How are my students linked with other students?
- Which universities / schools have been participating?
- Dual Language Virtual Exchanges
- OK, I want my students to join. What do I do?
1. What is the International Virtual Exchange Project?
The International Virtual Exchange Project (IVEProject) has students interacting asynchronously (and, on occasion, synchronously) in English as a lingua franca. The server on which it is based has been maintained with financial assistance from a Japanese government Kaken grant and more recently by help from those participating in it. Exchanges are carried out over 8-week periods. Students from three, four or more different countries are combined by the coordinator. 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 up to 20 students in it (though sometimes more). Online communication then takes place using the forums. As groups are set to ‘separate’, multiple groups are in the exchange, but because they are ‘separate’, students only see others they are grouped 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 years. There is also an open forum where students can choose the topics they discuss and other activities for students to do.
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 cultures.
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 was, in the past, run with funding from a Japanese government Kaken grant and with assistance from different universities. It is now running on assistance from those participating in it. It is therefore free-of-charge for any educational institution's students to join. Private companies/students are, as a general rule, not allowed to join.
3. Who runs it?
Eric Hagley is the lead in this project. He is chair of APVEA. He is assisted greatly by Adam Jenkins of Shizuoka Institute of Science and Technology, Andrew Johnson (Future University Hakodate), Matt Cotter (Hokusei Gakuen University Junior College), and Hülya Tuncer of Çukurova University
On the Colombian side, Ruben Pulgarin Cruz was the initial force behind expanding the exchange in Colombia and now Omar Alexander Valderrama Espejo from SENA headquarters is greatly assisting.
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. Moodle headquarters has given us unlimited use of the app for free for which we are extremely grateful. 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 50 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, 29 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 50 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: Angola, Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Djibouti, Ecuador, Germany, India, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, Niger, North Macedonia, The Philippines, Poland, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, 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. We supply online tutorials to assist with this. They should also check that their students are posting/replying to the students in other countries. The forum report and analytics report assist teachers with this.
Teachers should also assign a grade for their students' participation in the exchange. A rubric can 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 Zoom or some other tool? Is it synchronous or asynchronous?
Students are not required to use Zoom 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 to date?
Aichi University and its Junior College, Akita University, Aoyama Gakuin University, Chiba University of Commerce, Chubu Gakuin University, Doshisha Women's College, Fukuoka University, Future University Hakodate, Hannan University, Hokkaido University of Science, Hokkaido Musashi Women's Junior College, Hokusei Gakuen University and its Junior College, Hosei University, Juntendo University, Kumamoto Gakuen University, Kanagawa University, Kanazawa Seiryo University Women's Junior College, Kitami Institute of Technology, Kindai University, Kyoto Sangyo University, Miyazaki International College, Miyazaki Municipal University, Muroran Institute of Technology, Nagano Prefectural College, Nagasaki International University, Nagasaki Junior College, Nayoro City University, Niigata Seiryo University, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinarian Medicine, Osaka Jogakuin College, Rikkyo University, Saga University, Sapporo Gakuin University, Sapporo University, Seinan Jo Gakuin University, Seiryo University, Seisen Jogakuin College, Shizuoka Institute of Science and Technology, Shizuoka University of Art and Culture, Shonan Institute of Technology, Sojo University, Takachiho University, Takasaki City University of Economics, University of Electro-Communications, University of Nagasaki, University of Shimane, University of Tsukuba, Yamagata University
In Colombia, the SENA.
Universidade Federal Fluminense
Universidad de Concepción, Universidad de Los Lagos,
Hangzhou Dianzi University, Beijing Sports University, Beijing Wuzi University, Hefei University, Tourism College of Zhejiang
In Costa Rica
Schools in the Ministerio de Educación
Universidad de Guayaquil
Hamm-Lippstadt U of Applied Sciences
Ballistic Learning, a Moodle partner in India, was exceptional helping us refine some of the forum reports - with close consultation between them and Thom Rawson of Nagasaki International University, an inaugural organizer of the IVEProject. We are eternally grateful for their assistance.
A.D. Joshi Junior College, Solapur, Dhruv Global School, Sangamner, IKSC Knowledge Bridge, Pune, Priyadarshani School and Junior College, Indrayaninagar, Sri Sankara Vidyalayaa Senior secondary school, Karur, Tamilnadu, Govt DIET Vikarabad, V.P.s New English Medium School, Vrikshaa International School, Tirupur, Tamilnadu, Vidya Pratishthan's New English Medium School,
Universitas Advent Indonesia, Universitas Negeri Semarang
Korea Polytechnic University, Kookmin University, Dongguk University - Gyeongju Campus
Escuela Normals: de Ixtlahuaca, de Sultepec, de Tlalnepantla, de Naucalpan, de Nezahualcyotl, de Nezahualcóyotl
University of Medicine, Magway
In North Macedonia
International Balkan University
I Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. T. Kościuszki w Koninie
In Saudi Arabia
Prince Sultan University
Imam Shafi University
University of Córdoba, Universitat de Girona
In Sri Lanka
NSBM Green University
Sudan International University, Al Fajr College for Science and Technology,
In the region of Taiwan
Sun Yat-sen University, Shu-Zen Junior College of Medicine and Management, National University of Tainan
King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Khon Kaen University, The Open University of Thailand, Kasetsart University
Çukurova University, Mersin University
In The Philippines
The Open University of the Philippines
In the UAE
Al Ghurair University
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 the IVEProject, 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.