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Online collaboration makes teacher education more international

Online collaboration in teacher education is beneficial for all parties as it enhances intercultural awareness and intercultural competencies.


Liisa Vanhanen-Nuutinen

Haaga-Helia ammattikorkeakoulu

Published : 17.05.2021

The “online” plays a vital role nowadays in virtual internationalization and eases the process of collaborative sessions, seminars and workshops.

A much-needed call for establishing new international collaborations and projects was made through the New possibilities for international collaboration workshop that took place in late March 2021.

The workshop is arranged every second year in collaboration between Haaga-Helia School of Vocational Teacher Education and Europaseminar Giessen, Germany. It has always offered a great opportunity to discuss future projects, partnerships and in the same time a great place to network and share ideas and experiences.

This year we found ourselves under special circumstances as we had to organize and facilitate the workshop remotely. The virtual setting was not an impediment for us or for our German colleagues. We still learnt a lot from each other and exchanged pedagogical methods and approaches.

Last but not least, we introduced ourselves to new online applications that we used during our session.

Collaboration aim and future perspectives

The aim of our workshop that we facilitated together with our German colleagues, was to open doors for future collaborations and to broaden our perspective of our students.

We made plans to extend our curriculum and thus, create new opportunities for our students, the future teachers. Our students were able to observe and discover new pedagogical methods and at the same time meet our German colleagues.

It is extremely important for teachers of today to extend their digitalisation and intercultural competences. This new era has taken us to the stage where digital learning is playing a crucial role in the field of education. With the help of all the learning tools available, and a clear vision, it is now easy to implement and facilitate online courses with international partners acting as facilitators.

EU grants funding for mobility

The new Erasmus programme encourages and funds “blended mobilities”, which are a combination of physical mobility with a virtual component of facilitating a collaborative online learning exchange. The virtual component can bring learners together online from different countries to follow online courses or work collectively and simultaneously on assignments as part of their studies.

This new funding model is creating a great opportunity for our future students and opens doors for them to participate in short mobilities abroad. It also creates a great opportunity for us teachers to implement new blended intensive study programmes. Programmes that have to be developed and implemented by at least 3 higher education institutions representing at least three countries listed by the funding. This creates a great opportunity to find new, valuable partners and to extend existing networks.

Online collaboration is beneficial for all parties as it enhances intercultural awareness and intercultural competencies. Sharing experiences with international partners is relevant. We face the same challenges, after all.