Practice Reports

Global BEEHIVE: developing good practice for multilateral, scalable, and sustainable virtual exchange




virtual exchange, telecollaboration, global education, intercultural competence, global partnerships


In preparing students for life beyond the university, higher education must develop graduates who are culturally competent and understanding of the world beyond their own region. An appropriate context to address this area of need is Virtual Exchange (VE). Following the Global Partners in Education (GPE) model, this practice report presents the process used by a collaborative international project design team to develop two ‘Global Understandings’ (GU) courses; one in business and one in education. It further presents an extension of an established general education multilateral (more than two international partners) VE GU course by using it as a model to develop topic specific VE courses in high interest and high capacity areas within the partner institutions. After undertaking the initial steps for developing topic specific VE courses in business and education, program designers found that planning workshops, team leadership, clear organizational documents and processes, clear communication policies, logistical support, and faculty enthusiasm and buy-in were key factors in effective course design and implementation in the initial project stages. In addition to sharing the project design process, this practice report also presents the lessons learned along with considerations for future implementation.

Author Biographies

Allen Guidry, East Carolina University

Dr. Allen Guidry is Assistant Dean for Planning and Global Engagement and Associate Professor in the College of Education at East Carolina University. His research focuses on global engagement activities (IVE, study abroad, etc.) and the development of cultural competence and culturally responsive teaching practices among pre-service teacher candidates.

Jami Leibowitz, East Carolina University

Dr. Jami Leibowitz is Associate Director for Global Affairs and Director of Global Academic Initiatives at East Carolina University. She serves as the administrative leader of Virtual Exchange for both ECU and Global Partners in Education, a consortium of universities committed to offering students international education opportunities through virtual exchange.

Tope Adeyemi-Bello, East Carolina University

Dr. Tope Bello is a Professor of Management at East Carolina University whose specialty is International Business with focus on the effects of cross-cultural values and attitudes on employees and their jobs.  Dr. Bello is also responsible for the development and implementation of the College of Business’ study abroad programs.





Practice Reports