UMD: A Globally Connected University

The Growing Field of Virtual Exchange

The Growing Field of Virtual Exchange

UMD Faculty & Staff Published in Special Virtual Exchange Issue of Journal of International Students


College Park, Md–October 17, 2022: The University of Maryland (UMD) Office of International Affairs (OIA) announces the publication of a special issue of the Journal of International Students titled Virtual Exchange: Evidence and Analysis to Advance the Field

OIA ​Associate Director for Faculty Global Engagement/COE Assistant Clinical Professor of International Education Policy, Dr. Taylor Woodman, co-edited this special issue with two colleagues in an effort to use research to address the evolving field of virtual exchange. Dr. Woodman’s involvement in this special issue emerged from his work supporting UMD faculty in redesigning their courses in a Global Classrooms format. The issue features a wide range of research that identifies emerging themes related to access, outcomes, and programmatic concerns that Dr. Woodman plans to implement within OIA's global learning instructional support and services. These services highlight OIA’s commitment to supporting faculty as they seek to reimagine global learning to better address the grand challenges of our time. 

Two articles are authored by UMD faculty members and their international partners who have designed and implemented virtual exchange programs through OIA’s Global Classrooms initiative.

Greg Weaver and Genevieve Hiltebrand (both graduate students with the College of Education) along with their two colleagues in Hong Kong, Grace Ngai and Stephen Chan published, “Faculty Perceptions of Building Collaborative Teaching Capacities within a Transnational Virtual Exchange: A Collaborative Autoethnography.” These researchers note the impact that the lived experiences of educators have on their capacity for developing and leading virtual exchanges. 

Taryn Devereaux (Senior Faculty Specialist with UMD’s NASA Harvest Hub) and her partner in Liberia, Anna Glen, published “Transformational Learning Through Shifting Global Perspectives: The Impact of COVID-19 on a Global Classroom in the U.S. and Liberia.” Participants on both sides of the virtual exchange reported broadened perspectives and an increased sense of empowerment. 

JIS is currently the #1 open-access journal in higher education and the most cited journal in the field of international education.

“Virtual exchange has experienced enormous growth during the COVID-19 pandemic, however, as an emerging field, it remains largely under-researched,” says Raluca Nahorniac, Director of OIA’s Global Learning Initiatives office. “The publication of this volume, under the leadership of Dr. Woodman and his collaborators, elevates UMD’s presence and impact and provides recognition not only for our faculty’s extraordinary work within the Global Classrooms but also for their scholarship and thought leadership in the virtual exchange field.”

This news comes in the wake of OIA’s recent launch of its Global Learning Initiatives (GLI) Office to help advance the integration of global education for all students as part of their UMD experience. OIA is also the recipient of a 2022 Fearlessly Forward Reinventing Teaching & Learning Grant to design and pilot “Global Learning for All” modules within certain UMD schools and colleges.

To learn more about the virtual exchange issue of the Journal of International Students, click here.


About the Office of International Affairs: 

The University of Maryland’s Office of International Affairs works to create and sustain opportunities across the University that address global challenges, foster inclusivity, and bring out the best in humanity. OIA works to support international research collaborations, create project-based global learning opportunities, reimagine global engagement for the virtual space, and develop innovative programming for faculty and students.