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Language assessment in virtual mobility initiatives at tertiary level – teachers’ beliefs, practices and perceptions

Project description

Virtual mobility in foreign language education

Technology has transformed the way people learn languages. Virtual mobility (VM) allows students to engage in online intercultural exchange projects around the world. For instance, students learning German at a Spanish university interact online with students learning Spanish at a German university. The EU-funded ASSESSnet project will assess VM projects in foreign language courses at the tertiary level. It will investigate the alignment between the tools, tasks and learning objectives. The findings will be used to formulate recommendations to improve VM projects in Europe and beyond. The results will be useful for teachers, researchers, trainers, curriculum designers and policymakers.


Virtual mobility (VM), also termed as telecollaborative or virtual exchange (VE), entails a situation, in which students interact and cooperate, and thus engage in intercultural exchange, with peers from partner institutions by means of online communication tools. VM is reported to have a positive impact on students’ personal growth, foreign language (FL) competences as well as intercultural and transversal skills. Being easily accessible to students from different cultural, geographical, linguistic and economic backgrounds, as well as to students with disabilities, VM promotes inclusive education and social equity. VM is a relatively new trend in education, which is reflected in the scarcity of publications and teacher education opportunities in this area. This project addresses the topic of assessment in virtual mobility projects in FL courses at tertiary level. In particular, this mixed-methods research aims to explore, both longitudinally and cross-sectionally, assessment practices as well as the FL teachers beliefs’ about the shape and the content of assessment in virtual contexts. Assessment tools and course syllabi used in virtual exchanges will be analysed to gain insight into the level of constructive alignment between the tools, tasks and learning objectives in VM projects. The data will be collected by means of both qualitative and quantitative instruments: a questionnaire, a online reflective journal, semi-structured interviews and a document analysis framework. The research findings will be used to formulate practical recommendations for improving assessment in VM projects and set up a collection of real-life examples of promising practices illustrating effective efforts of planning and administering assessment in virtual projects in Europe and beyond. The practical implications will be of relevance to stakeholders ranging from teachers, teacher educators, curriculum designers, researchers, to policy-makers.


Net EU contribution
€ 160 932,48
08193 Cerdanyola Del Valles

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Este Cataluña Barcelona
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 160 932,48