Online Training on Virtual Exchange and blended mobility integration

Aim: The ‘FRAMES Collaborative online Training on Virtual Exchange and blended mobility integration’ aims to develop the participants’ capacity to design, implement, assess and multiply relevant mobility schemes enriched by Virtual Exchange (VE). As such, the course is not meant to teach how to design and implement VE projects but rather on the opportunities linked to the integration and accreditation of this innovative pedagogy within the institutional strategies.

Duration: January 17 to February 13 2022 (4 weeks)

Workload: 4 hours per week (synchronous + asynchronous activities)

Weekly Synchronous meetings: 90-minute video meetings via Zoom, 2 options to choose from each week:

  • Thursday afternoon (Jan 20 & 27, Feb 3 & 10)  from 16.30 to 18.00 CET (UTC +1)
  • Friday morning from (Jan  21 & 28, Feb 4 & 11) 10.00 to 11.30 CET (UTC +1)

Target Audience: IRO staff and related offices (mobility officers, educational offer, career offices), IT staff, academic staff with responsibilities for internationalisation, management and educational leaders of any interested HEI

Language: English

Registration Form: here.

The course is open to 100 participants and registration is on a “first-come-first-served” basis. Please make sure to register asap, as registrations will be closed once the maximum number of participants has been reached.

Deadline to register: January 10th 2022.

Course Description

This course is designed for those who are interested in exploring how to successfully integrate and accredit blended mobility and VE within their institutions. Participants will develop an understanding of what virtual exchange entails through various scenarios, and of how a virtual dimension that focuses on intercultural learning and transversal skills can be successfully integrated into existing courses and curricula. Additionally, participants will explore how VE can also be developed as a standalone course in certain contexts. Tasks will take into consideration the challenges that the various stakeholders might encounter within their roles. By taking part in this training course, participants will gain experience in, and be asked to reflect upon, digital literacies through communicating and collaborating online via synchronous and asynchronous means, thereby getting a taste of Virtual Exchange with international colleagues firsthand. Finally, participants will be encouraged to bring their own experiences into the training and work on potential opportunities for the integration of VE at their institutions.

This is an interactive course. That is, you will engage with other participants and with our trainers via discussions, readings, and short activities in addition to the weekly synchronous meetings. You can expect to spend 4 hours per week on the course, including both the synchronous and asynchronous work.

This is not a course on implementing VE as such, but rather on the opportunities associated with the integration and accreditation of VE at HEI level.

Course Modules

There are four Modules in the course, i.e. one each week:

  1. Introduction to Virtual Exchange: what it is, what it is not, various models (class-to-class, ready-made) and why it differs from Virtual Mobility
  2. Integrating VE at HE level: challenges, strategies and guidelines
  3. Accrediting VE: Specific requirements and needs to consider, discussion about scenarios on VE accreditation (see O1)
  4. Practical work: Examples, cases from your institutions and  opportunities for the integration of VE based on a project plan.

Learning outcomes

By taking this course, you will:

  • improve your understanding of the VE rationale and opportunities to support (physical) mobility schemes
  • increase your awareness of the role of VE in supporting intercultural exchange and the development of transversal skills
  • understand how to support the development of  co-designed VEs or the participation in ready-made VEs
  • develop methods to ensure recognition of VE activities
  • understand how to support the coordination and promotion of VE activities effectively
  • enhance your teamwork & digital competences
  • design a VE integration plan


An Open Badge will be issued by UNICollaboration to participants satisfying the following requirements:

  • Attend at least 3 out of 4 synchronous sessions
  • Complete the module tasks required, including the submission of a VE integration plan at the end of the course


UNICollaboration is a cross-disciplinary professional organisation for telecollaboration and virtual exchange in Higher Education. The organisation was launched at the Second Conference on Telecollaboration in Higher Education at Trinity College, Dublin in April 2016.
UNICollaboration has two main objectives:
- to promote the development and integration of research and practice in telecollaboration and virtual exchange across all disciplines and subject areas in higher education
- to actively engage in awareness raising of telecollaboration and virtual exchange at institutional and policy making level

Relying on a wide international network of expert trainers, UNICollaboration has been a qualified VE training provider for the last few years.

Sharing Perspectives Foundation

Sharing Perspectives Foundation

The Sharing Perspectives Foundation is a not-for-profit offering contemporary online learning experiences for people to interact constructively across divides, whether national, cultural, social, or political. We use Virtual Exchange as an inclusive pedagogical approach offering people a meaningful international and cross-cultural experience.

SPFs Virtual Exchange programmes use a well researched and validated methodology with proven impact on participants’ development of transversal skills such as cross-cultural communication, empathy, critical thinking and self-esteem. Through a decade of practice, we have developed specific expertise on how to design, implement and facilitate constructive, interactive online engagement of young people with diverse backgrounds. We currently apply this expertise through training, workshops and as consultancy to support other organisations to engage people online in an interactive, meaningful and constructive way.

Ana Beaven

Ana Beaven


She teaches English as a Foreign Language at the University of Bologna (Italy) Language Centre. She was one of the lead UNICollaboration trainers with the Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange initiative. Her main areas of interest are intercultural language learning and teaching, virtual exchange, the use of technology for language learning, and Open Educational Resources. She is also a trained Dialogue Facilitator with Soliya. Together with Francesca Helm, she co-edited the open access book Designing and implementing virtual exchange – a collection of case studies (Research Publishing, 2020).

Sara Pittarello

Sara Pittarello


She is a Freelance Conference Interpreter and Expert in EU Higher Education and Training projects, and is currently Outreach Officer and Project Manager for UNICollaboration. She contributed to Outreach and Monitoring & Evaluation activities in the framework of the Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange initiative. She is also currently tutor of expert evaluators and has been Expert Evaluator of EU projects on Higher Education for the Italian National Agency since 2016. Sara has also been co-tutor for the eTandem E+VE project carried out by the Padova University Language Centre. She worked for the International Relations Office of the University of Padova for 10 years (2009-2019) as project manager and advisor in most of the EU programmes and initiatives. Sara Pittarello has recently participated as trainer and speaker on VE in major national and international events and taught EU project management and implementation at Master and Doctoral level and to teaching and administrative staff at the University of Padova.

Casper van der Heijden

Casper van der Heijden

Sharing Perspectives Foundation

He is the Executive Director of the Sharing Perspectives Foundation since its founding in 2012. In this role, he has initiated, designed, managed and evaluated various e-learning initiatives which were embedded in over 80 universities and have engaged more than 10.000 students in over 100 countries, including those experiencing conflict. Casper holds an MSc in Conflict Resolution from the Amsterdam Centre for Conflict Studies of the University of Amsterdam.

Juliet Mühlbauer

Juliet Mühlbauer

Sharing Perspectives Foundation

She is Training & Instructional Design Specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the development sector, peacebuilding and e-learning industry. She is a certified Trainer on Online Dialogue Facilitation and skilled in curriculum and multimedia development. Juliet holds a BSc. in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences (university of Amsterdam) and a MA in Conflict Studies & Human Rights (University of Utrecht).