Telcollaborative teacher training project

In this task sequence
teacher trainees develop media competence and teaching competences by designing tasks for telecollaborative learning environments. One focus is on integrating technology into the task design, another is the development of intercultural communicative competence. The task sequence is made up of three tasks or steps. Students work in international teams with 1-2 students representing the different institutions in each team. After a getting-to-know task (task 1) they design an intercultural activity
(task 2) that allows their learners to learn more about their partners in a telecollaborative project. In a final task (task 3) teacher trainees design a technology-based task to allow learners develop multiliteracy. While groups work with various media in all three tasks (for example presentation tools, such as glogster, prezi or sliderocket or cooperative writing tools such as storybird), they use weebly – a tool for website design – in their last task to design and then present their tasks in class.


Gosia Kurek (Wyższa Szkoła Lingwistyczna), Andreas Müller-Hartmann (University of Education, Heidelberg)


Creating a group identity
Designing an intercultural activity
Designing technology-based tasks


Target Group:

language teacher

Language of task instruction:





Teacher training

Estimated Duration:

5 – 10 sessions


teacher training
intercultural learning
technology-based task
task design



Languages that can be used:


Language Configurations:

Lingua Franca

Target Competences:

Intercultural skills
Online communication skills
Teaching skills
Media literacy

Instructions for the task sequence:

Task 1: Getting to know each other

Task type: INFORMATION EXCHANGE – Creating a group identity


In this icebreaker task students working in international teams create a group identity at the outset of a project by creating a multimodal presentation using a presentation tool such as glogster or prezi.

Suggested resources

The instructor encourages the participants to react to each other’ s post.

Task 2: Designing an intercultural activity

Task type: Collaborative task


Teacher trainees design an intercultural activity that allows their learners to learn more about their partners in a telecollaborative project. In groups they design a practice task, choose a task by another group, do it, and evaluate it.

Suggested resources

Students get a list of online tools they are supposed to choose from and integrate into their task design

Task 3: Designing a technology-based task

Task type: Collaborative task


Having practiced task design in task 2, students now create a more complex technology-based task to help learners develop multiliteracy. The groups use weebly – a tool for website design – to design and then present their tasks in class.

Suggested resources

Students get a list of online tools they are supposed to choose from and integrate into their task design

Criteria for Completion:

Students worked on a portfolio which integated parts of the INTENT e-portfolio.

Portfolio Requirements

A portfolio demonstrates to you, student teachers, and to me, the course instructor, the efforts, progress, and achievements you have made in the course of a seminar.

The portfolio consists of five parts:

  1. After each task (there are three) check the descriptors for the four domains of the telecollaborative effective person (TEP à see guidelines for Eportfolio in the moodle, pages 4-10). Decide on two domains that you consider especially pertinent to the task you have just gone through and set your goals based on the descriptors for your future development. For an example see the guidelines of the Eportfolio on page 15.

To support your argument you need to document your development by collecting examples of your thoughts, ideas and reflections during the exchange. This is best done in a personal reflection diary (see guidelines à personal reflection diary page 1). Here you continuously collect data in text form in for example word, but you can also use other data collection tools, such as Penzu ( The questions on page 2 of the guidelines will help you to get your reflection started.

  1. Evaluate the collaboration with your team partners

3.1 Local Teams: PHH students

How did you organize your working process? Positive / negative experiences? Why? What could we need to change to make your work in a group of four more effective?

3.2 Local Teams: WSL students

In what way (if any) did cooperation with your partners differ from your previous experiences with group work? Which strategies were
most useful to you?

  1. HD-WSL Teams

The purpose of including an evaluation of your virtual exchange is two-fold:

  1. It is to find out in what way the exchange with your partners contributed to your professional development.

  1. A reflection of your personal experience with virtual exchanges helps you to identify criteria to consider when you will initiate, support and evaluate e-mail projects with your prospective classes (learn from our mistakes J ).

Reflecting on virtual exchanges may refer to:

  • your and / or your partners’ ICC,
  • your target language competence (fluency, correctness, politeness conventions etc.),
  • your learner roles (autonomy, co-operation, sensitivity, commitment), the communication channels you prefer and why you prefer them,
  • the way your organized the work for the task in your groups (distributing work, dealing with the different phases of a task etc)
  • and any other features you consider relevant.

Again try to support your argument with data from your personal reflection diary that you consider relevant and to say why you find them relevant (for an example, see guidelines, page 16). Make sure that during the exchange you write down your reflections, impressions, and thoughts related to the exchange, to your partner, the use of tools or the communication situation in your diary. Remember: You can both learn from pleasant or unpleasant experiences (‘ critical incidents’ ).

  1. Choose one of the tasks that you have designed or worked with in the course and explain why you consider it especially well designed. For your argument also refer to the literature we have used in the seminar.

  1. At the beginning of the seminar you have made suggestions for teaching competences teachers need to be able to help their learners learn the language and become telecollaborative effective persons themselves.

Please evaluate what you have learned during the seminar and to what extent you developed these or other teaching competences. To do so, refer to

What you have learned while designing telecollaborative tasks with your partners (What did you find easy / difficult to do? What was new to you? What surprised you?). In how far did this seminar contribute to your professional development as an EFL school teacher engaging in telecollaborative projects?

Comment and give examples.

  1. Finally evaluate the quality of the seminar and the role of course organizers

Say what you appreciated and suggest what we could change. Say why. Do not formulate unrealistic demands (i.e. stick to the time-frame given).

Your portfolio should be approx. 15 pages long.

Comments and suggestions: