- Nancy Ruther, EdD
Leap into Virtual Exchange with Gazelle International
You’re ready to try virtual exchange and don’t know where to start? Let us make it work for you. We’ve been connecting teachers with great global partners from our growing institutional network for six years. From training through the end of your CLICK project, our team empowers you to immerse your students in a global cross-cultural environment in your own classroom. For institutions, our turnkey CLICK system makes it easy to recruit and develop your first cohort of teachers to start CLICKing and showcase serious student results in two terms. Here is our CLICK system in a nutshell! Start with an infographic on how Gazelle International offers the best bang for your buck.
Training teachers. Even great teachers need support to thrive in this collaborative, experiential, virtual, cross-cultural teaching and learning environment. We split our training into three modules, building the teaching cohort much as CLICK projects create student learning teams:
Explore - Teachers from different countries start working across cultures themselves, contrasting learning goals as they “get on the same page” through our CLICK system.
Connect – We guide teachers in making a great match. We welcome creative interdisciplinary or disciplinary matches. We focus structured small group discussions on professional and personal compatibility to guide our clients in creating successful partners that culminate in “speed dating” to guide the actual matches and final partners. Typical partnership fairs often rely on same-discipline groupings and the teachers' networking skills to make connections with potential partners.
Design – Our last module is the most fun. The newly matched teaching partners are excited to start working together. It’s time to start building a project by taking a closer look at the goals of CLICK! We don’t lecture about Virtual Exchange, we tap past teacher designs and actual CLICK materials. We address the details of the project-designs-in-progress, the question of technology and share concerns with the cohort and facilitators in real time to find the way forward to a great shared design.
Support for running projects and knowing results: First time CLICK teachers are more likely to succeed and repeat when they have support through the first time running a collaborative project. To retain and grow support for CLICK programs, our clients need to know student and teacher results and we provide them. Good data also helps us keep improving our services with our clients.
Continued Individual Support – We don’t just train teachers and leave them to sink or swim when their CLICK projects begin. The same Virtual Learning Liaisons and CLICK Coaches who supported teachers through the training sessions continue to support teaching pairs throughout the running of their projects.
Assessment – Our pre- and post- project surveys with teachers and students allow us to measure the success of individual projects and our training approach. We analyze these surveys to make internal improvements and share anonymized results with teachers and campus administrators. Our surveys provide a base for comparing common student learning goals across projects and campuses and link these results to larger program building goals of internationalization through Virtual Exchange, mobility, and diversity and cultural programming.
Recognizing and celebrating a job well done. Imagine the first set of CLICK projects are complete. You all deserve to celebrate the students' and teachers' great results. And the growing Virtual Exchange professional community as well as the CLICK community of teachers will definitely benefit by continuing to share their lessons and challenges with each other.
Recognition on campus – At the end of CLICK projects, we recognize students and teachers with certificates recognizing their hard work and success with Virtual Exchange.
Recognition beyond campus - How will employers react to students' Virtual Exchange-CLICK experience? It's important to help students articulate those 21st century skills they've gained in completing the CLICK projects with an international team of peers as they look to apply them on the job market.
Professional development and dissemination. Club CLICK is our new CLICK Network, a private space that allows past, present, and future CLICKers to continue their own professional development by connecting and learning from each other. More and more CLICK teachers are also sharing their lessons with professional associations at conferences and within their own campus systems.
Spring 22 saw our largest set of projects in six years. We also had our largest single CLICK project to date with 138 students participating. Happily for our campus clients and individual teacher clients, our pricing is by teacher not by student. With us, the cost is the same regardless of how large or small your class is. Other VE providers may charge by the student, so this would have perhaps led to a cap on the course size for funding rather than perhaps a quality or pedagogic reason. And our pricing strategy also advantages the repeating teaching partners. The second running of their CLICK project would not incur additional per student costs but only the assessment, recognition and results costs for the teachers.
Eager to start? Visit our Workshops page for the fall dates of the Explore/Connect/Design Workshop series.
For those interested in learning more about CLICK/Virtual Exchange but not yet committed to finding a partner and designing a project, we also offer multiple free VE101 sessions that provide more information and can offer private dates for interested institutions.
Want to know about the turnkey system for your campus, contact our Founder, Nancy Ruther.
We can’t wait to connect with you and start CLICKing!
Emily Hathaway/Nancy Ruther
27 June 2022