Telecollaborative Foreign Language Networks in European Universities: A Report on Current Attitudes and Practices

Sarah Guth, Francesca Helm, Robert O'Dowd

Abstract

This paper reports on a survey which sought to identify the state of the art in the practice of telecollaboration in Europe. It was the first large scale survey carried out on the practice of telecollaboration in Europe and was carried out as part of the European Commission funded project, INTENT - Integrating Telecollaborative Networks into Foreign Language Higher Education. Also known as Online Intercultural Exchange (OIE), telecollaboration engages groups of foreign language learners in virtual intercultural interaction and exchange with partner classes in geographically distant locations. Much research has been carried out on telecollaboration, though this comprises largely of small-scale studies on single telecollaboration projects. The aim of this paper is to discuss the findings from the final report on the survey, provide recommendations for decision-makers and teachers based on these findings and present the UniCollaboration website that was developed largely on the basis of the findings. The paper ends with a brief comparison of the INTENT survey results to findings from two other OIE projects: eTwinning and the COIL Institute for Globally Networked Learning in the Humanities. 

 

Keywords

Telecollaboration, Foreign Language Teaching, Higher Education, Online Intercultural Exchange (OIE), virtual intercultural interaction and exchange

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