Learner skills in open virtual mobility
Internationalisation has been a key theme in higher education (HE) for decades. Multiple initiatives across the world have contributed to creating offerings of high-quality online education, with collaborations across national borders. Two of the concepts that have proved to be influential are Virtual Mobility (VM) and Open Education (OE). Virtual mobility refers to study activities that students enrolled in HE in one country undertake online in other countries without physically moving. Such activities are certified and mutually acknowledged by participating institutions. Open education covers global initiatives increasing access to free online quality education, without or with alternative forms of certification.
The research presented in this article identifies the learner skills and competences that are supported by Open Virtual Mobility (OpenVM), a new trend in online education that builds upon these two concepts. A group concept mapping study based on the contributions of experts in both VM and OE resulted in defining seven learner skills and competence areas including: intercultural skills and attitudes; networked learning; active self-regulated learner skills; media and digital literacy; autonomy-driven learning, interactive and collaborative learning in an authentic international environment and open-mindedness. The study provided input for further conceptualising of OpenVM as a bridge between VM and OE.
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