A needs assessment report on Virtual Collaborative Teaching and Learning in Albania

This report was created by partners on the VALEU-X project and lead by staff at the European University of Tirana with significant contributions made by all partners in the project. It aims at laying the scientific foundation for effective and innovative intervention complying with international best practices in virtual innovative teaching and learning using state of the art ICT-based environments and tools. This needs assessment report is based on the finding from different resources and used tools, specifically: desk research, baseline reports and online survey run at Albanian partner institutions.

This report is essential reading for anyone with an interest in international virtual collaborative teaching and learning, particularly in the Albanian higher education context. The first section of the report gives an overview of the VALEU-X project. The second section concentrate on desk research about e-learning and internationalization at home. The third part of the report gives information about e-learning perception and virtual internationalization development level in Albanian public and private universities. To achieve this purpose, a survey was developed and implemented among VALEU-X partner universities in Albania. The results of this survey are presented in the fourth section of the report.

The analysis provided important insight into the Albanian higher education context, and helped to shape the 23 recommendations made for the continued improvement of virtual collaborative learning in Albania. These recommendations were categorized under the following themes:

  • International exchange projects must become available to all staff members at Albanian universities and equal participation must be guaranteed by universities themselves.
  • More intensive partner acquisition and MoUs signature are needed so there will be more exchange opportunities for all staff members.
  • A more diversified digital learning resources portfolio in Albanian language is needed to improve the quality of online teaching and learning at Albanian universities.
  • More capacity building and awareness raising programs are needed to develop skills and competences of the educators and learners in Albania, as well as change their mindset towards online education.
  • A recognition system using the ECTS framework must be developed for online courses and classes.
  • Virtual exchange, virtual collaborative learning and internationalization at home must become part of the formal curricula for some of the study programs, as an alternative to face-to-face education.
  • More technical, didactical and pedagogical support is needed to boost the academic staff and learner’s ICT literacy in Albania.

For the next steps of the VALEU-X project we will make use of these recommendations to continue fostering the adoption and implementation of innovative virtual teaching and learning in the Albanian universities, and we are eager to hear comments from others with insight or interest in this area.

Download the full report (PDF)

Online event to celebrate the ErasmusDays 2020


Moving from emergency online teaching to virtual collaborative learning: the VALEU-X project


16 October 2020 at 11:30-12:30 CET and 13:00-15:00 CET

Registration Link


The event is displayed on the map of the Erasmus Days 2020 here.

Description of the event

From January 2020 six Albanian universities are working, in collaboration with European partners and with the support of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, in a project called VALEU-X, Virtual Albanian European Universities Exchange.

The project is adding a significant value to the teaching process in Albania by empowering academic staff with contemporary, digital teaching competencies to implement Virtual Collaborative Learning (VCL) as an everyday teaching practice, offering a chance to explore, implement, and disseminate Virtual Mobility and Internationalisation at Home practices. 

Since the spread of COVID-19, student mobility abruptly stopped in Albania, as well as globally, and most of the universities that moved education online incredibly quickly are now rethinking their digital education strategies, as well as exploring new and sustainable approaches to complement and reinforce traditional forms of mobility.

During this online event we will discuss the importance of VCL, and how its underpinning pedagogy can support the transition from emergency online teaching to sustainable forms of internationalisation at home. VCL can increase students’ and staff exposure to the European and international academic, economic, and societal context whereas student-centered learning within a high degree of self organisation is facilitated through VCL.

This online event has a two-fold objective:

  • introduce the project aims and activities and launch the report publication “Needs assessment report on Virtual Collaborative teaching and learning in Albania”;
  • offer hands-on training on Virtual Mobility, distance teaching & VCL. During this session participants will learn how to develop Virtual Collaborative Learning activities within their courses, offering a meaningful learning experience to their students.

Participation in the online event is free of charge. Sessions will be recorded and made available on the VALEU-X project website.

Target participants: Albanian university staff (international relation officers, teaching and learning units, professors), anyone interested in learning more about virtual collaborative learning methods, and digital education in Albania.


Morning session: Webinar

11:30-12:30 CET

Virtual Albanian European Universities Exchange

11:30 Welcome and introduction to the VALEU-X project

Mattis Altmann, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany

11:40 Virtual Collaborative teaching and learning in Albania

Ornela Vladi, European University of Tirana, Albania

12:00 Virtual Collaborative Learning as a strategy for internationalisation & Virtual Mobility

Eric Schoop, Mattis Altmann, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany

12:20 Q&A

12:30 End of Webinar

Afternoons session: Hands-on Training

13:00-15:00 CET

How to develop Virtual Collaborative Learning in your classroom

13.00 Introduction: virtual vs. analogue teaching 

Mattis Altmann, Alexander Clauss, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany

13:15 Spring Semester 2020 “experience & challenges” 

Esmir Demaj, EPOKA University, Albania

13:30 Hands-on Virtual Collaborative Learning

Mattis Altmann, Alexander Clauss, Anna Leichsenring, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany

14:15 Evaluation & quick wins

15:00 Final remarks and information for further events

Internal partners meeting

On May 13, 2020 an internal partner meeting was held to follow-up with the results of the First Expert Forum and plan the next phases of the project, namely the second Expert Forum and the training of trainers component.

Among the decisions taken, Partners will move the second Expert Forum to the autumn, while it was originally planned in July. This decision was taken to cope with the situation generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, but also to allow Partners to benefit from the feedbacks collected on the “Albanian Needs Assessment Report“ and to collect inputs on the core features of the Interactive online platform foreseen in the project.

First series of Virtual Expert Forums on “Innovative Virtual Teaching and Learning”

On May 12-13, 2020 we held our first Expert Forum on “Innovative Virtual Teaching and Learning” composed by three online sessions, arranged as a free room for discussion on topics that included, among others: Virtual Collaborative Learning; Technical and didactic learning practices; e-Learning environment and spaces; Students/staff digital literacy; Digital learning tools and platforms.

The event was originally planned to take place in Tirana, hosted by the European University of Tirana. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions it has been moved online on the same dates, moderated by the Technische Universität Dresden. Participants ranged between academic staff, students, national stakeholders and experts, aiming to set a common ground for discussion via informal exchange of practices and knowledge.

The Forum was a very fruitful space for discussion on the findings of the field study which analyzed the Albanian Higher Education system, with respect to virtual and collaborative learning. The Forum focused, among other things, on tackling systemic and technical challenges of the quick shift from on-campus to remote teaching and learning processes. Other issues raised by participants consisted on the need for technical and didactical trainings for the academic staff in improving digital literacy, and the need for further policy-making for integrating virtual components in the current curricula of Higher Education Institutions in Albania.

More information about the first Expert Forum is available here.

VCL: A framework for virtual mobility

VALEU-X kicks off in Dresden

On February 24-25, 2020 the Technische Universität of Dresden has organised and hosted the Kick-Off Meeting of the Project VALEU-X, Virtual Albanian European Universities Exchange.

The project VALEU-X, coordinated by the Technische Universität of Dresden (TUD) and co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, addresses the limited exposure of Albanian university students and academics to international experience. It proposes blending on-campus teaching activities with international Virtual Collaborative Learning (VCL) components as a Virtual Mobility element to introduce international perspectives in formal study programmes within a holistic approach of Internationalisation at Home.

The two-day event has seen the active participation of all the partners involved in the project.

The next project event will be the Expert Forum in Tirana on April 20, 2020. More information on how to participate will follow.

Have a look at the news published by TUD Dresden here!