PARTNERSHIPS

Administrative Guidelines For Virtual Exchange Programs

The success of virtual exchange programs relies on the students and facilitators involved. As an administrator, you can coordinate your manpower to make sure that everything runs smoothly. What you’ll need are guidelines that you can follow to build a strong foundation for your programs.

Nov 8, 2021

The success of virtual exchange programs relies on the students and facilitators involved. As an administrator, you can coordinate your manpower to make sure that everything runs smoothly. What you’ll need are guidelines that you can follow to build a strong foundation for your programs.

And that’s what this article is about: how you, as an administrator, can coordinate a successful virtual exchange program with a basic set of guidelines for your administration efforts.

Three Basic Administrative Guidelines For Virtual Exchange Programs

1) Clear Communication


Communication is vital for every exchange program, but especially for virtual ones. As an administrator, you can play a vital role in keeping everyone informed.


  1. For your students, it’s going to be very important to have all the information available they need to succeed in your program. So for you, as an administrator, this means keeping your students clearly informed on what to expect for online meetings and activities. Some info that you definitely want to include are: what meetings they need to attend, the frequency of these meetings, what their contributions are, and how they will be graded.
  2. For your faculty, it’s vital that everyone is in the loop about the program and their tasks. So why not get all your faculty on regular check-in video meetings. You can host them before the program to ensure that everyone is prepared, and during the program to keep track of everyone’s progress.
  • Before the start of the program, you could conduct an orientation where you teach your faculty how to facilitate meaningful discussions. Encourage them to set expectations for their students, make their curriculum relevant, and create a safe space to discuss ideas.
  • During the program, you could set weekly meetings where facilitators can share the progress of their class. This will help you keep track of how the virtual exchange program is going - and give you the chance to address any issues early on.

For your students, it's going to be very important to have all the information available they need to succeed in your program. For your faculty, it’s vital that everyone is in the loop about the program and their tasks. For you, as an administrator, this means keeping your students and faculty clearly informed to ensure everyone is prepared, and to keep track of everyone's progress.

2) Prepare To Be Flexible


What do you do when unforeseen circumstances happen? How do you deal with cultural differences? Your administrative skills may be needed to make quick and creative decisions when it comes to providing solutions to these problems to continue providing students with the best experience.


  1. There will be lots of challenges that will land on your desk as an administrator. Save yourself the headache of not knowing how to respond by preparing for smaller and larger issues now. Some students may have slow internet connection, technical issues, or cultural problems. You could make special rules for cases like these, like allowing deadline extensions or excluding students from potential culturally-sensitive activities.
  2. The grading system may need adjusting for international students and courses with a significant amount of asynchronous engagement. Your institution might already have guidelines on how to calculate exchange students’ grades and you may need to apply these to your virtual exchange as well .


Administrators may face a lot of challenges during virtual exchange programs, but don’t let this hinder you from providing your staff and students with the best online class experience! It is best to prepare special rules for problems such as connection issues or cultural differences.

3) Faculty Training and Support


As we all know, virtual exchange programs are very different compared to classes that are done in person. The transition can be overwhelming, so your staff may need extra training and extra support.


  1. Make sure to provide sufficient training and access to sufficient resources for your staff and partners. This is to ensure that everyone is knowledgeable and comfortable in using the technology that you need for your program. For instance, before the program starts, you could arrange a short orientation about the basics of the virtual exchange program and the resources that are available for staff. 
  2. Also consider that courses made for face-to-face settings may need additional work to make them virtual-friendly. You may want to allocate additional time and budget. Virtual-friendly courses will greatly improve the experience of your students and ensure a better experience for everyone involved.


The quality of your program relies on the staff that deliver it. Thus, be sure to invest in the training and support of your faculty members.

Conclusion

As the administrator of a virtual exchange program, you have the opportunity to ensure that everything is in place for a successful program from the start. And with these three basic guidelines - to clearly communicate with your students and team, to plan in flexibility to address unforeseen issues, and to provide ample training and support to your staff - you’re definitely off to a good start for your entire program.

So, are you ready to start planning your virtual exchange program?

Ready to provide that extra support and resources to your students and staff? Get all your faculty and students collaborating on the same platform with ImmerseU. Click below to get started.

ACTIONABLE ADVICE

Connect your classroom to the world with ImmerseU. Bring your international courses to life with a network of collaborators that will make them happen. Plan your course with modules and activities, host courses that engage your students and foster cultural exchange. ImmerseU is your all-in-one platform to build and manage your international curriculum.


By Suzanne Orzech, Chief Marketing Officer of Class2Class™

Assessing COIL Projects
COIL Challenges & Solutions
Developing Your COIL Module

Unlock The Power Of Virtual Exchange!


Join the world's fastest growing learning platform for COIL instructors.

Find and Lift Your Voice through the Graduate Global Digital Academy. Learn techniques and tactics to help globalize your HBCU.