Vol. 32 No. 1 (2017)
Research Articles

Towards a Framework for Virtual Internationalization

Elisa Bruhn
Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
Published July 11, 2017
  • virtual internationalization,
  • theoretical framework,
  • digitalization,
  • higher education,
  • virtual mobility,
  • collaborative online international learning (COIL),
  • information and communications technology (ICT),
  • transnational education,
  • online distance education
  • ...More
How to Cite
Bruhn, E. (2017). Towards a Framework for Virtual Internationalization. International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education / Revue Internationale Du E-Learning Et La Formation à Distance, 32(1). Retrieved from https://www.ijede.ca/index.php/jde/article/view/1014


Internationalization and digitalization – how do these two higher education trends go together? Projects dealing with virtual mobility, collaborative online international learning (COIL), or virtual transnational education (TNE) have shown that the link between the international and the digital is not only a theoretical possibility, but already a reality in many higher education institutions. There is a considerable amount of literature about Open and Distance Education and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) crossing national borders, and about supporting students in gaining intercultural competence and global awareness with the help of virtual media. Still, there remains a gap in the literature when it comes to conceptualizing a framework encompassing the manifold ways in which information and communications technology (ICT) can be used to internationalize higher education. In order to address this gap, this paper proposes an approach of drafting a framework for virtual internationalization in higher education, by focusing on its global, intercultural, and international dimensions.



Internationalisation et numérisation – comment ces deux tendances de l’enseignement supérieur s’associent-elles ? Les projets traitant de la mobilité virtuelle, de l’apprentissage international collaboratif en ligne, ou de l’éducation virtuelle transnationale ont montré que le lien entre l’international et le numérique n’est pas seulement une possibilité théorique, mais déjà une réalité dans bon nombre d’institutions d’enseignement supérieur. Il existe une vaste littérature, qui dépasse les barrières nationales, concernant la Formation Ouverte et A Distance (FOAD) et les Cours en Ligne Ouverts et Massifs (CLOM) aussi bien que le soutien apporté aux étudiants pour développer une compétence interculturelle et une conscience planétaire à l’aide des médias virtuels. Pour autant, une lacune demeure dans la littérature quant à la conceptualisation d’un cadre englobant les multiples manières de prendre en compte les Technologies de l’Information et de la Communication (TIC) pour internationaliser l’enseignement supérieur. Afin de combler cette lacune, cet article propose une approche permettant d’esquisser un cadre pour l’internationalisation virtuelle dans l’enseignement supérieur en se centrant sur ses dimensions mondiales, interculturelles et internationales.


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