From telecollaboration to virtual exchange: state-of-the‑art and the role of UNICollaboration in moving forward
Keywords:virtual exchange; telecollaboration; online intercultural exchange; computer mediated communication; intercultural communication; internationalisation
Telecollaboration, or ‘virtual exchange’, are terms used to refer to the engagement of groups of learners in online intercultural interactions and collaboration projects with partners from other cultural contexts or geographical locations as an integrated part of their educational programmes. In recent years, approaches to virtual exchange have evolved in different contexts and different areas of education, and these approaches have had, at times, very diverse organisational structures and pedagogical objectives. This article provides an overview of the different models and approaches to virtual exchange which are currently being used in higher education contexts. It also provides a short historical review of the major developments and trends in virtual exchange to date and describes the origins of the UNICollaboration organisation and the rationale behind this journal.
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