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Adding synchronous sessions to asynchronous virtual exchange: Insights from the IVEProject
The International Virtual Exchange Project (IVEProject) has been connecting students across multiple countries through asynchronous forums on a large scale since 2015. However, considering the variety of virtual exchange methods and the advantages they bring to the field of foreign language learning, there is an increased need to explore the pedagogical possibilities of combining asynchronous and synchronous modalities, particularly across multiple institutions and countries. This short article reports on a pedagogical innovation which involved adding synchronous sessions conducted over Zoom to the asynchronous IVEProject forums. The authors arranged eight weekly Zoom meetings in which students from China, India, Japan, Jordan, Palestine, Türkiye and Syria participated in May–July, 2021. After the final session, a survey was administered to participating students and their teachers to explore their experiences. The results show that the majority of students appreciated and benefitted from the opportunity to communicate synchronously with peers from other countries. The paper also reflects on the benefits and challenges of combining synchronous sessions alongside the asynchronous IVEProject forums, aiming to derive lessons learned from this project in the hope that this will aid future EFL instructors in creating engaging virtual exchange projects which involve participants from multiple cultures and countries.
Suggested citationAdam Roarty, Hülya Tuncer, Liqing Tang. (2023). Adding synchronous sessions to asynchronous virtual exchange: Insights from the IVEProject. Intercultural Communication Education, 6(1), 19–32. https://doi.org/10.29140/ice.v6n1.760