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