We are pleased to offer our Virtual Exchange Fellowship. AHEA is looking for uniquely qualified individuals to support our mission to promote and facilitate opportunities in higher education that advance the global learning experience.

Virtual Exchange


Virtual Exchange, also called Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL), Telecollaboration, and Globally Networked Learning (GNL), is an innovative teaching and learning model that relies on online technologies for students to develop cross-cultural skills and professional competencies through international team-taught learning environments.  Prior to teaching, instructors work together to develop a shared syllabus, plan experiential and collaborative student learning activities, and integrate technology into the lesson plans.  Virtual exchange affords students new global contextto ideas, activities, and texts while providing venues for developing cross-cultural communication skills.  It can be used in any subject area and classes may be fully online or offered in blended formats with face-to-face sessions in classrooms while students collaborate online. Virtual exchange has emerged as a valued component of comprehensive internationalization strategies in recent years.  

Research shows that interactive, experiential, and collaborative approaches to online classes provide for students opportunities to learn which are equivalent to or better than traditional face-to-face classes. Online learning is no longer the passive experience afforded by traditional eLearning or Learning Management Systems (LMS)These changes in teaching and learning are mirrored in the changing nature of work. The number of workers who are ‘remote’ or engaged in ‘telecommuting’ will continue to rise and many jobs of the future will require professionals to work in diverse virtual teams to collaborate on complex projects.  Virtual exchange inherently provides a learning experience that develops the very skills that students need to thrive in the work environments into which they graduate.  


AHEA Virtual Exchange Fellowship


The purpose of the AHEA Virtual Exchange Fellowship is to combine AHEA’s leadership in technology and software for internationalization with a high-impact, cross-cultural teaching and learning practice.  The goal is for AHEA to analyze processes of human-computer interaction in order to further develop the technology and software and to test learning science hypotheses on how to build and teach international, cross-cultural, collaborative classes with the InspirED technology platform.   


Fellow Responsibilities


The Fellow will commit to co-develop and co-teach virtual exchange course with an international collaborator using AHEA’s InspirED platform. The AHEA Virtual Exchange Fellow will:  

  •  Agree to co-develop and co-teach virtual exchange course with a collaborator from another higher education institution.  This virtual exchange course may be combined from one or both of the Fellows existing course teaching assignments, or be a new co-developed course  
  • Complete a faculty and institutional profile in the InspirED platform 
  • Agree to spend approximately (20) hours in the AHEA virtual exchange course development process in InspirED; to utilize and submit feedback on provided templates, identify, and build course information, subject-matter, student activities, and assessment plans 
  • Plan for using InspirED as the course Learning Management System (LMS) to deliver instruction, activities, and assessments for the co-taught course 
  • Agree to spend approximately (2) hours per week to participate in professional discussions and to contribute ideas and resources in InspirED 
  • Agree to a predetermined project schedule for using the InspirED platform and for reporting and feedback to AHEA regarding use of the InspirED platform.  This will include identifying best-practices and improvements for course development, teaching, and community building  
  • Coordinate with AHEA to submit a public conference proposal on virtual exchange and the InspirED platform  
  • Deliver a written and/or oral presentation on the AHEA Virtual Exchange Fellowship experience in a public forum at the Fellows’ home institution   
  • Coordinate with AHEA to complete a 3-8-page white paper on co-developing and co-teaching virtual exchange course using the InspirED platform 
  • Agree to serve as a point-of-contact for colleagues, AHEA representatives, and others interested in virtual exchange and the InspirED platform 
  • Agree to participate in other supplementary activities as requested including but not limited to webinars, case studies, and providing feedback on other elements of the InspirED platform                          
Fellowship Benefits


AHEA Virtual Exchange Fellows will receive the following support from AHEA in order to carry out their course development, teaching, and collaboration responsibilities.  AHEA will provide: 

  •  A stipend for the Fellow in the amount of 400 USD a month for a period of 4 months. 
  • Exclusive access to the InspirED technology platform 
  • Support and mentorship on instructional design and the virtual exchange course development process in InspirED.  Fellows will also receive instructional and administrative support for the InspirED learning management systems tools 
  • Professional development on virtual exchange course design and access to new research and teaching opportunities with international colleagues 
  • An opportunity to implement the virtual exchange course in 2021      
Institutional Responsibilities


The Fellow’s home institution will commit to undertaking activities that support the Fellow and the goals of the AHEA Fellowship.  The institution will: 

  • Identify an institutional Virtual Exchange Coordinator who will be the institutional liaison between AHEA, the partner institution, and contributing units on the home campus 
  • Provision campus-based IT/instructional support and resources for the project.  These requirements will be defined by the instructors in a pedagogically informed way during course development 
  • Nominate an education abroad professional to participate in the InspirED platform during course development (can be the same person as the Virtual Exchange Coordinator) 
  • Commit to the overall goal of integrating the InspirED technology platform and virtual exchange methodology into the institution’s academic and internationalization efforts 
  • Plan to co-teach and transcript the virtual education course as part of the university curriculum                                                                  
Institutional Benefits


The institution will receive the following support from AHEA in order to carry out the activities associated with AHEA Virtual Exchange Fellowship.  AHEA will provide: 

  • Exclusive access to the InspirED technology platform for finding and building new international partnerships for teaching, research, education abroad and other collaborative projects for 2 years 
  • Networking opportunities and support for the institution’s Virtual Exchange Coordinator and fellow in establishing meaningful internationalization partnerships
  • Access to virtual exchange professional development resources and inclusion in important communications about course development 
  • Invitations to the institution’s faculty and administrative personnel for using the InspirED technology platform at the end of the Fellowship  
  • Knowhow and ongoing support for faculty and staff on virtual exchange and the design and delivery of student-to-student collaborative learning programs                                                                 
Fellowship Timeline


The AHEA Virtual Exchange Fellowship shall begin in September and end in December 2020 In collaboration with AHEA staff the fellow will agree upon a schedule for reports and feedback and deadline for completion of milestones, including: 

  • schedule for weekly or bi-weekly situational reports on InspirED technology affordances, constraints, bugs, and successes during course-development and co-teaching work  
  • A schedule for monthly or bi-monthly InspirED technology testing sessions and demonstrations as scheduled by AHEA 
  • A conference proposal as determined in agreement between Fellows and AHEA 
  • The final white paper due in November 2020                                             
Eligibility Requirements


  • Fellows must work at an accredited institution of higher education that is an AHEA member or affiliated with an AHEA partner organization 
  • Fellows must hold their primary institutional appointment as a full-time or part-time faculty member (i.e. no full-time staff who are part-time faculty) 
  • Fellows must be scheduled to teach at least one credit-bearing online or in-person course during the Spring 2021 semester (January - May 2021) 
  • Fellows must possess a terminal degree in their field of expertise  
  • Fellows must obtain institutional approval and a commitment for institutional participation                                                                          
Application Materials


  • A Half-page abstract outlining why they would like to co-develop and co-teach a virtual exchange course and what they see as benefits of developing this course for students
  • [Optional] information including preference for projects that connect certain student populations (African Americans; 1st Generation Students, etc.) to relevant counterparts in another institution/country, a rationale for your desired co-teacher partnership match, and any other relevant information that will help AHEA evaluate your application
  • A Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • A letter of support from a relevant administrative authority (Department Chair, Dean, Director of Education Abroad) at the home institution                                                                                                         

For more information about AHEA’s Virtual Exchange Fellowship, please contact our Vice President of Institutional Relations, Clayton Harrington.