Information about the IVEProject

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

  1. What is the International Virtual Exchange Project (IVEProject)?
  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 Zoom or some other tool? Is it synchronous or asynchronous?
  12. How are my students linked with other students?
  13. Which universities / schools have been participating?
  14. Dual Language Virtual Exchanges
  15. 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. 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 communication then takes place using forums. Teachers can see how their students are participating using a number of tools that show how many times each of their students post/reply. 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 have some forums for upper-intermediate/advanced students too. 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 developing countries' 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. Your students will also be able to interact with 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 need to 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 you can ask your students to do so. The main component of the exchange is done using this site and is asynchronous.

12. How are my students able to interact with other students?

The coordinator uploads your students into into the system with the students of other countries. Your students are also placed 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?

In Japan:

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.

    In Angola


    In Brazil

    Universidade Federal Fluminense

    In Chile

    Universidad de Concepción, Universidad de Los Lagos, 

    In China:

    Hangzhou Dianzi University, Beijing Sports University, Beijing Wuzi University, Hefei University, Tourism College of Zhejiang

    In Costa Rica

    Schools in the Ministerio de Educación

    In Ecuador

    Universidad de Guayaquil

    In Germany

    Hamm-Lippstadt U of Applied Sciences

    In India

    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,

    In Indonesia

    Universitas Advent Indonesia, Universitas Negeri Semarang

    In Korea

    Korea Polytechnic University, Kookmin University, Dongguk University - Gyeongju Campus

    In Mexico

    Escuela Normals: de Ixtlahuaca, de Sultepec, de Tlalnepantla, de Naucalpan, de Nezahualcyotl, de Nezahualcóyotl

    In Myanmar

    University of Medicine, Magway

    In Niger


    In North Macedonia

    International Balkan University

    In Poland

    I Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. T. Kościuszki w Koninie

    In Saudi Arabia

    Prince Sultan University

    In Somalia

    Imam Shafi University

    In Spain

    University of Córdoba, Universitat de Girona

    In Sri Lanka

    NSBM Green University

    In Sudan

    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

    In Thailand

    King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Khon Kaen University, The Open University of Thailand, Kasetsart University

    In Turkey,

    Çukurova University, Mersin University

    In The Philippines

    The Open University of the Philippines

    In the UAE

    Al Ghurair University

    In Vietnam

    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)

    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: Thursday, 2 March 2023, 1:47 PM