Virtual Global Exchange

Virtual Global Exchange at USF

Overview

The Virtual Global Exchange Program at USF is designed to enhance student learning through instructional opportunities intentionally designed to connect USF students with their peers abroad. Intentionally designed shared experiences facilitate online intercultural exchange that is integrated into existing courses and curricula. Virtual exchange allows students to collaborate with peers from around the world on authentic tasks and challenges through a variety of learning opportunities that do not require international travel. These experiences also facilitate faculty professional development, deepen new and existing institutional collaborations, and provide the opportunity to network with colleagues from around the globe – mirroring the benefits to students.

Virtual global experiences are accessible to all students, thus enhancing diversity and inclusion in global learning. These experiences may be situated in any course at any level and combine the deep impact of intercultural dialogue and exchange with the broad reach of digital technology. They encourage interdisciplinary application of knowledge, enhance intercultural awareness and competency, and represent a high impact practice for teaching and learning. Faculty work in tandem with a partner(s) overseas to develop curriculum focused assignments and activities that reflect the intended learning outcomes of their courses. Students gain practical technical and intercultural communication skills by virtue of the virtual collaboration.

What does Virtual Global Exchange look like?

Key components of a virtual global exchange:
  • Technology-enabled people-to-people dialogues and collaboration facilitated as part of an academic course over a period of time not less than five weeks.
  • Use of technology and media platforms to enable deep, interactive learning.
  • Meaningful intercultural experiences between USF students and their peers abroad facilitated by faculty and instructors who receive training and support
Professors/Instructors work together to: 
  • Define student learning goals

  • Determine the length of the interaction

  • Design comparative and collaborative activities

  • Select methodology and technology

  • Monitor student work and learning

Students work together during the course(s) to:
  • Develop an effective international team

  • Discuss issues and course content

  • Complete a project-based assignment as part of their coursework

  • Reflect on both the academic content of the course and the intercultural exchange that takes place

The shared global project or component can/will:
  • Be any discipline; interdisciplinary pairs work well
  • Use any technology platform that serves the learning goals and is approved by the respective universities

  • Encourage active student learning and teamwork

  • Include an emphasis on cross-cultural interactions and understanding

  • Be any length between 3-15 weeks long

  • Are at least part of a graded activity in each participating class