Transatlantic Virtual Academic Cooperation

In the project "Transatlantic Virtual Academic Cooperation", lecturers from the Intercultural LearningLab work together with lecturers from McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, to develop new digital collaboration formats and didactic concepts that promote the development of transversal competencies (critical and innovative thinking, intercultural understanding, digital skills, teamwork, communication skills). This will enable intercultural encounters and the development of competencies in collaborative, virtual, intercultural teaching and learning formats. The teaching format Virtual Exchange/COIL will be expanded and intensified through the bilateral transatlantic cooperation with McMaster University. The involvement of the partners complements the existing academic courses for students with the topics "Health & Culture" and "Global Health & Intercultural Teamwork". Students benefit from the transnational and interdisciplinary teaching projects and broaden their perspectives by testing, reflecting and expanding their ability to act in various virtual, intercultural contexts. Here, internationalisation is made directly tangible in concrete projects.

IVAC Conversations / Transatlantic Virtual Academic Cooperation: Opportunities of virtual exchange

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People involved in the project

Lydia Kapiriri, PhD - Project Partner (McMaster University, Canada)
Lydia Kapiriri is an associate professor in McMaster’s Department of Health, Aging and Society, teaching students on the interrelated topics of culture and health. She holds degrees in Medicine and Public Health from Makerere University, Uganda, and the Royal Tropical Institute. She earned her PhD at the University of Bergen, Norway, and was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto. Her research is focused mainly on health systems and global health research, including priority setting in health care at the different levels of decision making. She is also involved in research related to ethical issues in public health and global health, including international research ethics. She is excited about this virtual exchange as it provides her students with an authentic opportunity to experience cross-cultural communication and interdisciplinary planning in an international project – all very relevant for their future career in the public health sector.

Alexandra Schreiber - Project Manager (Georg-August-University Göttingen)
Alexandra Schreiber is a lecturer for intercultural competencies at the University of Goettingen and in charge of seminars, workshops and special events at the Intercultural LearningLab. She is enthusiastic about developing immersive learning experiences in cross-cultural, collaborative and experiential contexts and has been involved in intercultural, international project work since 2017. She obtained her MA in Intercultural Studies in Austria and connects theory and research with her experiences from living and working in various places and contexts, academic and professional, in the world. She is especially interested in interactive methodology which can foster connectedness in digital environments and in the complex dynamics of serious games and intercultural learning.

Johanna El Ouardy, BA - Project Manager (Georg-August-University Göttingen)
Johanna El Ouardy is a lecturer for the Intercultural LearningLab and is responsible for planning and implementing virtual exchange formats. In her studies of Social and Cultural Anthropology and Intercultural German Studies / German as a Foreign Language, she dealt with various aspects of intercultural encounters which in turn she now teaches students in order to prepare them for dealing constructively with intercultural situations, on site and in an international context. She is a certified trainer for intercultural qualifications at universities, and what particularly appeals to her about virtual exchange formats is that it offers a relevant, authentic context for the acquisition of intercultural skills, in which students work together across borders to solve global problems.

Lena Vollmers, BA - Project Support (Georg-August-University Göttingen)
Lena Vollmers studied Spanish and Values ​​and Norms (teacher education) as well as Intercultural German Studies / German as a Foreign Language at the University of Göttingen and lived in Spain for half a year during a stay abroad at the Universidad de Jaén. As a lecturer for German as a foreign language in the university and non-university sector, she has teaching experience in face-to-face and online contexts. She has been working in the Intercultural LearningLab since 2020, where she supports the DAAD IVAC project with McMaster University in Canada. What she is particularly enthusiastic about Virtual Exchange is the possibility of international and interdisciplinary collaboration on relevant and real-life issues, in which different perspectives and approaches to solutions meet and complement each other.