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What is OIE?

Online International Exchange (OIE) is the term used by the University of Groningen to describe a form of computer-mediated learning in which students from geographically remote classes work together online (in pairs or small groups) on learning tasks developed by teachers and educational supporters from the participating institutions.

The interest of educational institutions worldwide in OIE is growing fast because of its potential for enhancing intercultural communicative competence, language proficiency, digital literacy, and discipline-specific or transversal collaboration skills (21st century skills).

OIE is also known more generally as 'Virtual Exchange' (VE). Here is a short video which explains how VE works and how it may be used to enhance contemporary learning attributes in a university setting:

OIE offers a relatively low-cost, additional tool for internationalisation. From 2018 to 2020, the EU conducted a major initiative in this area, Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange (EVE). The results of this project have been integrated in the new Erasmus+ Programme 2021-27, for instance as part of Blended Intensive Programmes.  Professional organisations, such as COIL and UNICollaboration are organising conferences, training and support for teachers to meet the increasing demand for this form of learning. Finally NGOs and other not-for-profit organisations, are setting up facilitated online networks in which students from participating institutions exchange ideas and share perspectives on global problems and societal challenges (e.g. Sharing Perspectives and Soliya Connect).

OIE, in other words, is a rapidly evolving form of online learning which helps institutions to develop their strategic aims and pedagogical innovations. The University of Groningen coordinated a large-scale European project in this area, EVOLVE, and is now building on its results to implement OIE on a larger scale as part of strategy for teaching and learning innovation. 

The ENVOIE project has been set up to help faculties, departments and instructors implement this form of online learning across disciplines in international partnerships in which they are engaged. By involving instructors and students (and their international partners) in online training and helping them develop online exchanges, the project seeks to establish OIE as a more permanent, sustainable form of online learning in the UG.

Last modified:05 October 2021 2.03 p.m.