Main highlights and achievements:
- A Needs assessment report on Virtual Collaborative Teaching and Learning in Albania. The 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. The 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.
Virtual Collaborative Learning Case Study. Albanian HEIs selected a module at Master’s level (preferabily) to re-design the course for a pilot VCL implementation. The case study design is the outcome of an intense job-shadowing series. The case study contains the complete case study, Reflection material, the call for participation, and Feedback explanations for E-Tutors.
- Impact and evaluation reports of VCL courses. The Albanian partners led by the European University of Tirana facilitated impact and evaluation studies of the proposed VCL courses (local and international modules).
Staff training material Virtual Collaborative Learning, Virtual Mobility and Internationalization at home. 3 MS Teams Trainings on the design and implementation of teaching, teaching materials and assignments in a ICT based virtual and collaborative learning environment – 1 staff training raise awareness on the importance of international exchange and Virtual Mobility regarding academic staff at partner institutions – 1 staff training “hands on VCL” where the VCL concept is introduced as a best practice teaching and learning practice. Further best practices for the implementation of interactive teaching and learning methods in an ICT environment have been shared with the participants. – 1 staff training for VCL case design & learning analytics – 1 staff training for publishing and applying in international projects – 1 staff training for Quality Assurance in Virtual Mobility activities
- International pilot VCL: Albania’s next Unicorn. Students from six Albanian, one Slovenian and one German universities worked together in mixed groups of six to eight people on a start-up idea to be presented in front of a jury of professors from the eight partner institutions. For the first time in the history of VCL, the course was accompanied by e-tutor tandems who offered professional-pedagogical support for team members and monitored the groups within the whole project and provided a formative assessment. In addition to the international and interdisciplinary learning experience in Virtual Mobility, the students have also received study credits at their respective home institutions.
- 3 Expert Forums as occasions for discussion, to provide more advanced expertise about Virtual Collaborative Learning, digitalization and innovative pedagogical practices, Internationalization at home and Virtual Mobility, for all stakeholders at Albanian universities. These events were animated by all VALEU-X project partners and relevant stakeholders outside the consortium were invited to attend, including academics, administrative and students at Albanian universities. The first Expert Forum was conducted online on 12-13 May 2020, the second Expert Forum was held in Durres on 23-27 September 2021, the third Expert Forum was held in Elbasan on 27-29 April 2022.
- An E-Tutors series of qualification workshops for Albanian students conducted online from April 23 to June 25, 2021. A short except of the participants’ reflections on their learning experience can be watched here.
- E-Tutor Qualification Material. The aim of the training was to qualify students to become E-Tutors and virtual community managers with a deep understanding of the dynamics and facilitation of technology-mediated teamwork for effective virtual collaboration in communities of inquiry (students) and communities of practice (professionals).
- An Observation visit & Job shadowing activity organised by TU Dresden online on 6-8 December 2021
- An Observation visit organised by UNIMED in Rome on 19-20 September 2021
- The opening of the VALEU-X Centres, equipped to allow Albanian HEIs to achieve high quality ICT-based internationalisation at home activities, and implement VCL courses.
- The signature of a Memorandum of Understanding among the VALUE-X Partners to express their commitment to collaborate and facilitate academic cooperation. The MoU signing ceremony was held at Epoka in September 2021 with representatives from all the consortium partners.
- Final Conference “Virtual Balkans. Virtual Collaborative Learning in Higher Education” organised on November 30, 2022, hosted by EPOKA and organised on-site, with both hybrid and fully online sessions. The conference was co-organised by EPOKA University and UNIMED, Mediterranean Universities Union, with the contribution of all the project consortium partners. While organising the Conference, Partners invited researchers and practitioners to submit research abstracts to join the event. Many contributions addressing different aspects related to virtual collaborative learning, internationalisation and home, virtual mobility and more have been received. Many authors sent their original contributions of empirical, conceptual, or experimental research work in the broad area of virtual collaborative learning. The abstracts are collected in the Conference proceeding, namely the Book of Abstracts of the VALEU-X International Conference, published in 2022 by ToKnowPress.
- Dissemination and Exploitation plan. The aim of the plan was to establish and run the visibility and communication infrastructure of the project, so that all activities carried out during the project lifetime were widely known with the highest possible visibility. In addition, a strategy for exploitation of project results after termination is defined as a valorization strategy, aiming to fulfil the goal of sustainability.
- Impact Audit Report. The document provides a recap of the dissemination strategy and tools adopted by the project, and an overview on the impact of the dissemination activities undertaken, in terms of outreach to and engagement of relevant stakeholders and target groups.
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