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All about

the VALIANT project

<- UAB Team

<- Who?

<- UAB Timeline

<- Aims?

<- Workpackages

<- What is it?

VALIANT stands for Virtual Innovation and Support Networks for Teachers

It is an Erasmus+ KA3 European Policy Experimentation project (626134-EPP-1-2020-2-ESEPPKA3-PIPOLICY).

It runs from February 2021 till March 2024.

Bring together teachers, student teachers and educational experts to learn about and co-construct virtual innovation and support networks to:

1) test the efficiency of Virtual Innovation and Support Networks as a means to overcome teachers’ sense of isolation and low motivation in rural areas and isolated contexts;

2) develop teachers’ ability to operate effectively in online international networks of professional collaboration;

3) test the efficiency of Virtual Exchange for providing students of Initial Teacher Education with access to the realities of the teaching profession through regular interaction with in-service teachers.

The consortium is comprised of public authorities and universities:

Public Authorities:

Consejería de Educación, La Junta De Castilla Y León,Spain

Directorate-General for School Administration of theMinistry of Education, Portugal

Ministry of Science, Research and Arts Baden-Württemberg

Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, Slovenia

Consellería de Educación, Universidade e FP, Galicia,Spain

Ministry of Education and Research, Norway


Universidad de León, Spain (Project leader)

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain

Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco, Portugal

University of Oslo, Norway

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain

Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus

Maribor University, Slovenia

Pädagogische Hochschule Weingarten, Germany

Pädagogische Hochschule Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany

University of the Arts, London, UK

Dr. Melinda Dooly (local coordinator), Dr. Dolors Masats, Maria Mont, Dr. Emilee Moore, Cèlia Pratginestós, Claudia Vallejo and Dr. Xavier Fontich

Stage 1: Planning

WP1: Design and planning of pilot modules

WP2: Research design

Expected output from WPs 1 & 2

  • Design and Content of Virtual Networks
  • Training course in moderating Virtual Communities of Practice for future facilitators of the Virtual Networks
  • Detailed description of research protocol and tools are published on the project website
  • Development and Publication on project website of the models of Virtual Innovation and Support Networks

Stage 2: Implementation

WP 3: Running of 2 cycles of virtual networks

Expected output from WP 3

  • All modules of Virtual Innovation and Support Networks (i.e. the field trials) take place during both semesters as timetabled
  • Modules are refined and improved if necessary following the first semester of the experimentation.
  • Collection of data from treatment and control groups.
  • Collection of the quantitative and qualitative information from the field-trials by the researchers.

Stage 3: Evaluation

WP 4: Analysis of the data from the Virtual Networks field trials & writing up evaluation report of field trials.

Expected output from WP 4

  • Analysis and interpretation of findings in collaboration with public authorities to establish the level of impact of Virtual Innovation and Support Networks on the development of the specified competences.
  • In collaboration with public authorities, authoring and publication of findings of EPE.

Stage 4: Upscaling & sustainability

WP 5: facilitate the transferability and scalability of successful Virtual Innovation and Support Networks education programmes in partner countries

Expected output from WP 5

  • Introduction and trialling of Virtual Innovation and Support Networks in other ITE institutions and schools in the participating regions/countries.
  • Specific recommendations for participation in Virtual Innovation and Support Networks are published in Public Authorities’ publications on ITE training and policy.
  • Specific mention of experience of virtual professional networks in European Diploma Supplement of trainee teachers who participated in the EPE.
  • Specific forms of recommendation for in-service teachers who took part in Virtual Innovation and Support Networks
    Training workshops held in each of the participating countries to ‘train the trainers’ to use Virtual Innovation and Support Networks in ITE.
  • Funding applications are made to various national and European agencies to ensure the continuation of the networks after the lifetime of the project.
  • Calls for new rounds of Virtual Innovation and Support Networks are published online.

Stage 5: Dissemination

WP 6: Ensure dissemination of results to policymakers at national and EU level.

Expected output from WP 6

  • Presentations on Virtual Innovation and Support Networks and of project deliverables to university network general assemblies and academic and educational conferences.
  • Holding an international conference on Virtual Innovation and Support Networks to launch the network and disseminate the activity.
  • Publication of academic articles based on the EPE
  • Establishment of an Academic Network for Virtual Innovation and Support Networks
  • Recommendation document for educational policy makers on introducing Virtual Innovation and Support Networks.
  • Short online video presentations of Virtual Innovation and Support Networks and its role in teacher support and education.
  • Regular 6-monthly updates on project deliverables and activities.
  • Brochure on the project and how the activity of Virtual Innovation and Support Networks can support international learning at university and school level.

Stage 6: Management & Quality control (UAB leader)

WPs 7 & 8: Ensure the internal management and fluid development of the project throughout its duration

UAB will: 1) establish project steering group for quality control - including research ethics review; 2) provide evaluation reports on each work meetings held by the project partnership; 3) provide evaluation report on the running of the field trials and data collection; 4) provide intermediate and final quality reports.

Expected output from WPs 7 & 8:

  • Mid-term and final reports to the Agency
  • Mid-term and final quality control reports
  • Reports on project meetings
  • Four project meetings

UAB Timeline of events

Local meeting

UAB team met on 23 March for update on project outline. Attending: M. Dooly, X. Fontich, M. Mont & C. Vallejo

First outline of survey for WP 7 was discussed.

Meeting w/Cyprus team

April 19th - first brainstorming session with Cyprus team for module on 'Teachers as Mentors'

Attending for UAB: M. Dooly

Together we came up with the outline for a pilot module that will partner inservice and preservice teachers for 'in-the-moment' decision making.

Description: Trans-national mentoring sessions involving in-service teachers in virtual exchange with practicum students of Initial Teacher Education who are completing their teaching practice to provide just-in-time teaching and mentoring in response to problems or challenges that arise in their classes.

Participants: In-service teachers (mentors) from participating countries and practicum students of ITE (mentees)

Organisation of participants:They meet and collaborate in four working groups of 6 practicum students of ITE (mentees) + 2 in-service teachers (mentors). The exchange includes stages where the practicum students of ITE and in-service teachers work separately and others where they work together.

Theme of Virtual Exchange:

Overarching theme: In-service teachers provide just-in-time mentoring to practicum students of ITE in response to challenges related to classroom management.

Subthemes: Subthemes will emerge as ITE students describe the specific challenges they face in their practicum classes during the exchange.

Duration: 7 weeks

Number of synchronous (videoconference sessions): 3 (one every two weeks)

Number of ‘off-line’ working hours for in-service teachers: 10 hours

Number of ‘off-line’ working hours for practicum students of ITE: 10 hours

Learning aims:

  • Practicum students of ITE (mentees) learn about strategies of classroom management and receive just-in-time teaching and mentoring about challenges they face in their practicum classes.

  • In-service teachers (mentors) receive training in mentoring from experts. They also work with practicum students of ITE towards working out solutions to common problems/challenges that arise in their classes. OPTIONALLY: THIS CAN BE THE ONLY FOCUS AND WE ONLY WORK WITH INSERVICE TEACHERS. WE WILL DECIDE ACCORDING TO PRELIMINARY DEMAND

Digital tools:

  • Zoom for synchronous video conference sessions, Moodle Forum for asynchronous interaction, Google Drive for collaborative task completion, Flipgrid/Loom for reflection


24 Practicum Students of Initial Teacher Education (Mentees)

8 In-service Teachers (Mentors)

2 Experts in Classroom Management


(Week 1)

Pre-activities (1 hour video conference + 2 offline working hours)

Introduction and Training phase:

1.1. Practicum students of ITE are introduced to the module and the platform (Zoom session).

1.2. Practicum students receive training by experts in mentoring. Training could be in the form of pre-recorded presentations by experts and relevant readings (asynchronous).

Introduction and Training phase:

1.1. In-service teachers are introduced to the module and the platform (Zoom session).

1.2. In-service teachers receive training by experts in mentoring. Training could be in the form of pre-recorded presentations by experts and relevant readings (asynchronous).


(Week 2)

(1 offline working hour + 1 hour video conference)

‘Getting to know you’ phase between classes of practicum students of ITE (mentees):

2.1. Practicum students of ITE create 2 minute long video presentations to introduce themselves (asynchronous).

2.2. Practicum students of ITE join in a videoconferencing session in working groups of 6 practicum students and one in-service teacher and participate in ice-breaking activities (Zoom session).

‘Getting to know you’ phase’ between in-service teachers (mentors):

2.1. In-service teachers create their profile and upload it on the platform (asynchronous).

2.2. In-service teachers join in a videoconferencing session in working groups of 6 practicum students and one in-service teacher and participate in ice-breaking activities (Zoom session).


(Week 3)

(2 offline working hours)

Exchange of ideas phase:

Practicum students of ITE exchange ideas on the discussion forum:

3.1. Practicum students discuss the challenges they face in their classrooms while on practicum (asynchronous).

3.2. Practicum students compose and upload questions (in text or short video) addressed to in-service teachers about the best ways to deal with a specific challenge they are facing in their classrooms while on practicum (asynchronous).

Exchange of ideas phase:

In-service teachers exchange ideas on the discussion forum:

3.1. In-service teachers discuss their experiences with mentoring practicum students of ITE (asynchronous).

3.2. In-service teachers respond (in text or short video) to the practicum students’ questions individually (asynchronous).


(Week 4)

(1 hour video conference + 1 offline working hour)

Information exchange phase:

4.1. Practicum students and in-service teachers meet in break-out groups (6 practicum students +2 in-service per group) and discuss the practicum students’ questions and the in-service teachers’ responses (Zoom session).

4.2. Practicum students write a report summarising best strategies to deal with classroom management issues and they upload it in Moodle. In-service teachers provide feedback on these reports (asynchronous).


(Week 5)

(2 offline hours)

Collaboration phase:

5.1. Practicum students work in groups of 6 and follow a problem-solving methodology towards composing a problem solving report about the case-based scenarios provided by the in-service teachers. They receive mentoring asynchronously in the discussion forum (asynchronous).

Collaboration phase:

5.1. In-service teachers design and present to practicum students case-based real-life scenarios of classroom management challenges that they face in their classes. They provide asynchronous mentoring to practicum students in the discussion forum (asynchronous).


(Week 6)

(1 offline hour to view presentations + 1 video conference)

Presentations and feedback phase:

6.1. Practicum students create ppt presentations/audio/short film of their problem-solving reports and upload them on the platform. In-service teachers view presentations (asynchronous).

6.2. Practicum students and in-service teachers meet in Zoom and discuss the presentations. In-service teachers provide feedback drawing from their real-life classroom experiences (Zoom session).


(Week 7)

(1 offline hour)

Wrap up and reflection phase:

7.1. Practicum students reflect on a) similarities and differences in the experiences of the practicum students between different countries and b) on what they have learnt from the 6-week virtual exchange that will be useful for them in their future practice. Reflections could be written on the discussion forum or oral with Flipgrid or Loom (asynchronous).

Wrap up and reflection phase:

7.1. In-service teachers reflect on a) similarities and differences in the experiences of the in-service teachers as mentors between different counties and b) on what they have learnt from the 6-week virtual exchange that will be useful for them in their future practice. Reflections could be written on the discussion forum or oral with Flipgrid or Loom (asynchronous).

Survey 1

Summary of results (internal quality control)

Part 1. All

Part 2. (non-attendees)

If you answered other, can you please elaborate on your answer? (4 responses)

  • I was in class with my students, but another colleague (Margarita Vinagre) attended the meeting and kept me informed about everything. I hope I will be able to attend the next meeting.
  • I attended in part as I had other obligations. Those parts that I could attend, I found very informative, well organized and very appreciative of everyone's contributions.
  • Had another meeting that could not be postponed or moved to another time
  • As a coordinator of the Degree in English Studies, I had a meeting at the same time.

Part 3. (attendees)

Were there any issues you felt should be discussed that were not included in the agenda/meeting?

  • No
  • No.
  • Yes, but the google document for further questions solved this problem
  • Not really
  • The budget and the funding to each institution - don't know what the outcome will be in comparison with what was applied for.
  • no
  • Not at this point
  • Work on the work packages
  • I think all important issues were covered.
  • Nothing to comment. There was not much more that could be discussed in 2 hours.

Do you have any suggestions with regard to the content or organization of the next meeting(s)?

  • No
  • More time needs to be allocated when working in small groups in order to have meaningful discussions
  • I think it was excellent
  • It was a very good first meeting, so we can have a similar meeting next time. It was good that we took a short break because it is impossible to stay focused on zoom for 2 hours.
  • no
  • For an all partner meeting we could have a meeting (if on-line of course) divided into three of four days, each day an hour and a half. It's easier to fit into ones schedule and more content can be reviewed.
  • No: I quite agree with the set and members of the future working groups.
  • it should be longer ;-) or several ones
  • Regular meetings with smaller working groups.
  • No.
  • For administrative/technical support - to explain how we should report co-financing in more detail.
  • Smaller groups working so we get to know each other better

Do you have any suggestions or comments on how to improve future events?

  • No
  • I believe working in groups as already planned will make meetings more effective
  • Keep up the good job
  • Ask all participants to use the renaming function in Zoom to add their respective affiliation after their name. Makes it easier to grasp who's from where etc.
  • no
  • As written above
  • split groups up according to work packages
  • No.
  • No.
  • It would be nice to add technology like padlet for when we brainstorm ideas

Any other comment or observation?

  • No
  • None
  • I'm concerned that, with so many participants from such different backgrounds, some of the project's goals might not be applicable to all and that other contexts may have to be included (i.e teachers in other situations in addition to those in isolates areas).
  • It feels wonderful to be part of this project and Rob's leadership skills are outstanding.
  • Congratulations to Robert ODowd as he is doing a great job managing this network composed of HEIs and Ministries.
  • Not at this time.
  • my evaluation was rather negative because of the short duration of the event, in general it was the best you could get out of 2 hours. I would have wished it had taken place earlier though. I also would have like the working groups to meet earlier.
  • No.
  • Nice meeting you all.
  • It was a wonderful event, thank you for making best of what we can do at present.

Kick-off meeting

Due to the current travel restrictions, the kick off meeting was held online. Full agenda!

Melinda Dooly & Xavier Fontich attending for UAB

  • Welcome by the Vice-rector for Internalization of the University of León.
  • Partner presentations and background (One person from each institution made a brief (3 minutes maximum) oral presentation about: 1) their organisation 2) the participating colleagues and their roles in the organisation and 3) their reason for being interested in this project.)
  • Introductory overview of the project by leader Robert O’Dowd (U. of León)
  • Break-out groups for participants to get to know a small number of their colleagues.
  • Presentation and discussion on internal communication tools (project logo, website contents, online newsletter, mailing lists).
  • Presentation of dissemination activities.
  • Short presentation on administrative issues by Rafael de Paz and the International Project Office team at ULE.
    Pilar Garcés from the Regional Government of Castilla y León discusses the role of the ministries in the project.

Announcement to local teachers

In her capacity as director of English Language support for Centre de Recursos Pedagògics del Vallès Oriental IV, team member Maria Mont sent out the announcement for the VALIANT pilot projects. Several teachers from Catalunya have signed up.

2nd consortium meeting

As with the first meeting, due to the current travel restrictions, the 2nd meeting was held online. Once more, a lot to cover.

Melinda Dooly, Maria Mont & Dolors Masats attending for UAB. Potential PhD student Xiaoting Yu also attended.

Notes from the meeting.

Overview of project progress by project leader, Robert O'Dowd.
Report on our survey of teachers.

Good news: We have collected data from more than 1000 teachers from 31 different countries.

Bad news: Most of the participants are from Portugal, due to the fact that there is a national authority involved in the process of disseminating the questionnaires, which could lead to bias in the results since too many participants are from the same country.

Some results:

  1. Most teachers disagree that they are working in rural area (60% and more)

  2. Most teachers disagree that they are in isolation.

  3. For those who feel isolated, they feel it because they feel lack of time/human contact/support from others (whether it’s from individuals or communities)/feedback.

  4. Participants report they were more confident using videoconferencing, than word processing platforms (google doc etc.), then LMS like Moodels, then video editing.

  5. Participants are more interested in working with other teachers, than experts in workshops, then student teachers. But the difference is not really significant.

  6. Most participants (56.3%) prefer to spend 1-2 hours on VE every week.

  7. Although many participants would attend this project voluntarily, there are some participants who say they would like to demand some kind of payment (e.g. promotion credit, credit for training, money, etc.)

  1. Presentation of VE modules to be piloted in autumn 2021

    1. Modules and themes at present

    2. A need for shorter modules for some partner universities?

    3. Need participants for pilot study.

    4. How can these modules be sustainable?

    5. Can students who are not ITE participate in the study? (yes but only in pilot study)

    6. Is it possible that we recruit participants from disciplines other than language teaching?

    7. Is it possible that we work or collaborate with institutions like eTwinning? (contacted eTwinning but they have not been really positive about the collaboration)

    8. What to be done next: develop task sheets for the modules.

  1. Presentation of quantitative survey to be piloted in autumn 2021

Good news: The quantitative questionnaires have already been launched.

Bad news: It is a little bit hard for us to get feedback from in-service teachers and student teachers.


  1. More clear instruction is needed.

  2. We should make it clear to the participants which kind of data we are collecting: we want to know their general status or pandemic status.

  3. Is it convenient for participants to use sliding bars for the questionnaire?

  4. We may want to add a demographic questionnaire.

  5. We may want to add a progressing bar.

  6. We may want to add a work-readiness questionnaire.

  7. For collecting feedback, we can add some open-ended questions at the end of each section and ask if the participants have anything to say about the section. These questions should not be mandatory.

  8. Feedback from group members should be sent to Dr. O’Dowd who will later send them to Dr. Rogaten.

  1. Presentation of planned VE exchanges for pilot study in autumn 2021 by Robert O’Dowd. (Includes update on virtual platforms to be used.)

Zoom & Moodle: for we have plenty of funding, and these two platforms would be the least challenging for participants and researchers.

  1. Presentation of dissemination activities

  1. A dissemination sheet was offered to all universities and institutions involved in VALIANT, which should be filled out.

  2. Dr. Soule shows some data based on the sheet filled out by UAM, which is quite inspiring.

  3. What to be done: video describing the project, and afterwards a video for recruiting participants would be made.

Survey 2

Summary of results (internal quality control)


24 total: 5 did NOT attend the meeting; 19 attended.

Reasons given for NOT attending:

Ticked responses:

I had other responsibilities (2)

Another team member attended (2)

More specific answers (open-ended):

  • I have 3 children to take care of
  • I had an overlapping meeting
  • My role is related to management, and this was not on the meeting agenda.

Answers to questions from those who attended:

Vy useful


Quite useful

Not useful

No opinion




Expectations met/not met according to points in the agenda:

Vy informative & Important


Somewhat informative

Not informative

No opinion





Survey report



Presentation VE modules



Presentation Quantitative survey




Presentation planned exchanges





Presentation dissemination





Any issues that were not included in the agenda and should have been discussed?

  • No

Were there any activities that you felt should have been included to help advance the project development?

  • (Most responses were no).
  • More information on the modules
  • The results in the survey were not as expected. In the end the results were partial, most answers came from Portugal and not transversally from the other partner countries.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on how to improve the meeting organization?

(Most responses were none).

  • I have no suggestions. I think the whole team is doing very well.
  • Less mails, feedback on survey through collaborative tools.
  • The meeting was well scheduled
  • Any other comment or observation?
  • It was very well organized and timed. Thank you.
  • No, everything is fine.
  • Great work organisation team!
  • No, everything seems to be going accordingly.
  • Very happy with everything, great effort from everyone involved.
  • I don't understand why there are so many researcher listed from several universities (WP1, WP2) when they have not been involved at all so far.
  • Just that the project is developing very fast (too fast?) so there is not much time to really enjoy the cooperation with colleagues. I feel like we are running, instead of thinking through what we are doing, how we should do things etc. It is more about meeting deadlines rather than carefully thinking through the project. Also, the amounts of emails can be quite high often with short response deadlines.

Local meeting

Thursday 3rd June: Short meeting between M. Dooly & D. Masats to discuss ideas for module on mentoring.

3rd consortium meeting

Third (and final meeting) for the summer. Again online.

Melinda Dooly attending for UAB.

Notes from the meeting.

  1. Overview of project progress: by Robert

a) recruitment video is finished; b) Moodel is set up, and please sign up for it and contact Dr. O’Dowd about which topics you are interested in after signing up.

What remains to be done before July: WP1: Task sheet for each VE. WP2: Qualitative questionnaire for the pilot study. WP3: recruitment of the participants.

  1. Update on WP1

There will be another meeting held on June 24th, since some of the task sheets are still incomplete.

Common ground rules for participants will be used.

  1. Update on the quantitative and qualitative study instruments

All three parts of the quantitative questionnaire are completed

What remains to be done: all three parts of the diary entries, which would be the qualitative instrument of the studies.

Question for quantitative instruments:

  1. Is it possible that we reduce the number of items? Do we want to test it before the pilot study so that we could make reductions?

  2. Introduction test for quantitative instruments (which should include consent form).

  3. Accessibility of the survey now for other groups.

  4. How can we identify people from different VEs? - Add an item asking participants to report their topics and tutors. Also, we may want to ask for their names/give a code and emails in case we have to reach out to them for deeper interviews. The problem is, if asking for a name, it could cause ethical issues, but by only giving a code, it could be possible that participants forget their code and thus lose contact. In the pilot studies, codes would be given to participants so that we could see if it is reliable or not.

  1. Update on planned pilot studies for autumn 2021

Need more participants from Slovenia, Germany, Norway, Italy… Currently we have enough participants from Spain and Portugal.

To promote the recruitment, we could use social media and contact the government for help.

We want to recruit 120 participants for all VEs at most, but considering the possibility that participants might drop out, we want to reach as many people as we can.

Participants can sign up for multiple topics and VEs.

Message everyone can use for disseminating the VALIANT exchanges among in-service school teachers

Researchers: Create an account for the Moodle courses here: https://valiant.moodlecloud.com/login/index.php

  1. Update on dissemination activities and tools

Eurocall / IVEC conferences...

Not much progress has been made since the last meeting. Need to fill out the dissemination of your university so that people could keep track of what is going on.

  1. Update on plans for project meeting in Portugal on 9-10 September by Fernando and Lilia

No accommodation is provided due to different rules of travel in different universities.

Recommendation of hotels nearby would be offered so that people who come could have activities after the meeting.

This meeting would also allow people to join online.

However, since the covid situation has not been extremely clear by now, by the end of July, more information about the meeting will be offered. If the situation gets really bad, this meeting might be cancelled and held online.

  1. Update on timesheets / signing bilateral contracts bt Rafael de Paz (International Project’s Office, León, r.depaz@unileon.e)

Please send the signed agreement as soon as possible, or you will not get paid for your work done for VALIANT.

Send the timesheet and justification document before July 31st. A general timesheet would be sent by Dr. O’Dowd to the group.

Survey 3 sent

Sent out 21 June 2021

It was agreed with the project leader to create a shorter feedback after the third meeting and right before the summer break (to avoid survey burnout).

How has your experience with the project been thus far?

Any suggestions as we move forward?

Conference submission

June 18, 2021

Melinda Dooly & Dolors Masats have submitted an abstract to present the VALIANT project at the ICERI Seville 2021 Conference.

Hopefully it will be accepted AND that we will be able to attend IN PERSON!

2nd meeting w/Cyprus team

June 22, 2021

UAB team and Cyprus team are racing to get their module task sheet done before the Thursday 24th meeting (UAB won't attend as it is a holiday in Barcelona). Anna & Melinda met for a productive session. The task sequence is coming together although there is still a lot of work to be done! Time is never on our side! But it looks like Anna can time travel (or at least space travel)!

3rd meeting w/Cyprus team

June 29, 2021

UAB team and Cyprus team met again to discuss their module task sheet following the Thursday 24th meeting. We are refining the main points and the module is gaining more coherence with each work sessions but there is still a lot of work to do so we've agreed to meet again on Thursday.

4th meeting w/Cyprus team

July 1st, 2021

Smiling faces after 3 and half hours of intensive, hands-on work! We are satisified with the shape the module has taken and especially excited about the final output and event (virtual 'launch' of collaboratively elaborated OER e-book on strategies for dealing with teaching challenges that emerge in the classroom. Based on just-in-time mentoring, these ideas will be

discussed and assessed by cohorts of teachers with varying degrees of expertise, along with invited external experts. Final output will be presented to representatives from the Ministries involved in the project.

Now we just need to wait for feedback from project colleagues and then begin transferring the materials to the moodle. Onwards!

Survey 3 results

Results collated 1 July 2021

The survey has not been closed to participants yet, but for the moment, the report indicates that everyone is quite satisfied with the way the project is progressing. The suggestions for change are minimal and mostly have to do with the work pace and slight organizational shifts.

Open-ended survey consisting of 2 questions.

  • How has your experience with the project been thus far?
  • Any suggestions as we move forward?


19 total


The survey has not been closed to participants yet, but for the moment, the report indicates that everyone is quite satisfied with the way the project is progressing. The suggestions for change are minimal and mostly have to do with the work pace and slight organizational shifts.

Q1: How has your experience with the project been thus far? (19 responses)

  • Interesting but time-demanding.
  • Excellent! Everything is well organized and moving smoothly and all partners are engaged and make a valuable contribution.
  • Excellent!
  • Excellent. Thanks to the project coordinator everything flows smoothly.
  • Very positive. Meetings are concise and well prepared. Tasks are progressing well.
  • Really positive
  • Both good and bad. Good: Getting to know people, interesting project etc. Robert is supportive, and so is Shannon. Others too. Bad: The tempo has been too high at times. It is frustrating not knowing who people are/where they work. This situation makes project work difficult, especially when one is in a position where one has to rely on other's work, or have to ask others to work. I don't think everybody is on the same page when it comes to the road map and deadlines, which also makes work a bit difficult.
  • I am satisfied with communication and organization. The team is great. I like that the comments and suggestions of all participants are taken into account.
  • I am utterly impressed and humbled by the scale, the work and the progress of the project so far.
  • Profitable, broadening my views, sometimes difficult to coordinate in terms of scheduling.
  • It has been regular, but somewhat frustrating given that the consortium is very big and collaboration has been kept among those who already know each other. There has been no time investment in getting to know one another and Zoom meetings hfurther complicate that.
  • Personally, I am very happy to participate in the project. Although there has been a lot of work to do and many meetings to attend and, with so many classes, exams, assignments, etc., it is difficult to combine everything, I think that from September it will be easier to do it if the health situation allows us to return to The normality.
  • It is a very promising project, and I would like to go on with it further.
  • We are happy to be in the project, it is well coordinated and hope to learn and achieve knowledge on the subject.
  • It has been quick work but from my perspective, a lot has been accomplished in a short time.
  • A bit intense since I'm participating in two WP, 1 and 2, whose work is concentrated in these first months of the project. Everything is well organized, though, and WP leaders are doing a great job.
  • I have no comments on the work on the project. The work goes smoothly, communication is good, we work well with other partners. I think a good group has been formed.
  • Good experience, but I feel that we are always rushing against time, which can be very stressful. I also think that some people are very engaged and working hard, but others haven't really got into the project yet.
  • It has been very insightful and helpful.

Q2: Any suggestions as we move forward? (16 responses)

  • None.
  • When meetings are schedule, can they be sent as an invite with the agenda and a zoom link to keep it organised. It is hard to keep track of all that is going on and all the links in the emails.
  • Limit the time for discussion about technical/administrative matters (e.g. timesheets) during full consortium meetings. There are specific people from each partner designated as administrative staff to deal with those issues. Some of those issues need a lot of time to be discussed/clarified, so technical meetings should be separate and more frequent.
  • There's an imbalance in partner participation, some partipate a lot more than others, although I guess this is difficult to solve.
  • I think more people than myself needs to learn how to use and navigate using google docs. I would appreciate a list of all names and affiliations plus emails (listed based on WPs).
  • No.
  • It was difficult to be present in all the meetings as my schedule is highly irregular. It would have been very helpful if the Valiant day for meeting is decided already now for the coming term, so I may have a chance to alter my other engagements.
  • Create meetings and time for consortium partners to really get to know each other and collaborate beyond previous knowledge and work they may have done together.
  • Actually, I don't have many suggestions to make because I think the project is very well organized and the people in charge of the project do a great job to make everything easier for others. If anything, I would propose that, after each meeting and each phase of the project, they send us an email summarizing the tasks to be carried out by each group because sometimes it is not possible for us to attend the meetings.
  • Not really.
  • I hope everyone can find time to take a break during their summer holidays to come back refreshed for the autumn.
  • Not really. Have a nice holiday!
  • Since we are working on several different projects, it would be desirable to write VALIANT in the subject first in each email we write and then all the rest of the text. This way, all participants could immediately know which project it is.
  • I think it would be good to remind people again of their roles and make sure those who are working hard do not feel demotivated and frustrated, or overwhelmed.
  • So far, everything is going well.

Next page
(timeline continues)

UAB Timeline of events (ii)

2 work meetings

2 more productive meetings with the Cyprus team! This time we were joined by our PhD researcher, Xiaoting Yuyu.

Wednesday 27th September & Thursday 7th October 2021

  • Revision of the tasks - discussion of participants and profiles.
  • UAB provided template for OER booklet.
  • Division of tasks
  • Initial transferral from tasksheet to moodle (Cyprus - hired assistant to do this)
  • Editing of instructions and language use (UAB to do this)
  • Adding members to module (assume facilitators do this - will need to be confirmed).
  • Agreed to meet again right before the launching of the module.

Meeting to set up research frame

Discussion of research agenda with Xiaoting. Overview of her proposal:

The VALIANT project is a virtual exchange program for telecollaborative teacher education that aims to overcome teacher isolation and low motivation, improve teachers' telecollaboration skills; and provide students teachers the opportunity for practical exposure to the teaching profession that will benefit their professional development. In her research project Xiaoting will closely observe the entire process of running the program in a virtual learning community and explore models for the telecollaborative teachers’ education. It is important to note that in this paper, virtual learning community refers to a learning exchange space. She will also request permission to take part in the research workpackage (the UAB has few hours in this WP).

A second phase of the project will be, after having identified key features of teachers' virtual learning education, to apply it to the context of isolated Chinese language teachers to identify if the sociocultural factors of this model will fit or, if not, how they must be adapted to this particular environment.

Paper accepted for publication

September 3rd, 2021: Research article accepted for publication

The co-authored paper (with Vincenza Tudini) entitled '"We should google that", The dynamics of knowledge-in-interaction in an online student-teacher meeting has been accepted for publication in the journal Classroom Discourse.


This paper takes a multimodal conversation analytic approach to explore knowledge-in-interaction (Bateman and Church 2017) in a technology-mediated online environment (Skype videoconference) during a meeting between eight university students studying to become language teachers. The analysis considers the ways in which the student-teachers demonstrate their knowledge or understanding (Koole 2010) of telecollaborative project-based language learning while taking part in a telecollaborative exchange themselves. Given the growing predominance of online teaching and learning, it is increasingly relevant to have a deep understanding of the ongoing learner interaction that takes place in these environments; particularly considering that interaction that can be understood as a trajectory of knowledge building (Heritage 2012). The study examines how the student-teachers’ make use of the different technological features of a videoconferencing platform to manage the assigned task, which is to complete a collaborative exam. These features include camera, shared links, parallel text chats and editing tools. Findings imply that the student-teachers sequentially organize their knowledge synthesis and co-construction of pedagogical understanding through technologically-supported mutually coordinated interaction. Although the analysis is contextually bound, the task-focused interaction that is highlighted is relevant to higher education teachers in a variety of contexts, apart from teacher education.

Consortium meeting

Consortium meeting to discuss the final planning before the launch of the pilots (first week of November) was held on October 25th. Things are beginning to look very polished.

Prepping for the pilot

Anna, Melinda, Victoria and Xiaoting have been very busy populating the module for our VALIANT kick off next week. While there are still some things to do, we are feeling more and more confident that this will be very successful.

Survey 4 designed & sent

Design & sent 28th October.

Survey 4 questions are designed more specifically to each group and their break out sessions (Ministries and Academic team running and researching Pilot studies). The questions are:

Part 1: Break-out sessions

How useful did you find the break-out session meeting?

Were there any issues you felt should be discussed that were not included in the session?

Do you have any suggestions or comments on how to improve the meeting organization?

Any other comment or observation?

Part 2: On-going progress

How would you describe the progress towards your specific objectives (e.g. Ministries - recognition; Academic teams - piloting of modules/research parameters; data compilation plans)?

Do you have any suggestions or comments on how to improve the workflow?

Any other comment or observation?

Another question added by the IP of the project (Robert O'Dowd):

Do you have any overall concerns or problems which you would like to see discussed?

Week 1 Pilot

Week 1: November 1st-5th

We launched the Pilot of our Module with an online meet-and-greet on November 2nd.

Survey results

Results of the Pre-pilot online meeting survey have been compiled on November 3rd and sent to the PI.

Survey Results (online pre-pilot meeting, 25 October 2021)

VALIANT meeting

Valiant Project

Quality Control


17 total: 4 persons from Ministries; 13 persons from academic institutions running pilots.

Answers Part 1 (Break-out session):

Usefulness of the break-out session meeting:

Vy useful


Quite useful

Not useful

No opinion





Any issues that were not included in the session?

All covered

No response

Provided comments






  • The discussion went well and we covered all issues. The fact that we had attended the facilitators workshop a week earlier helped us move quickly through the topics in the BO room.
  • As I am planning the Vein the next run, I felt everything was relevant and a learning opportunity.

Suggestions or comments on how to improve the meeting organization:

No suggestions

No response

Provided comments





Suggestions or comments:

  • Maybe we could find a way to also have short breakout sessions with the ministry representatives of our own countries and then provide feedback with open questions and possible solutions to the whole group. Otherwise we have to organise other meetings with the ministries and it's always difficult to find a time that suits everyone. Too many meetings.
  • Perhaps in the meetings it would be useful to briefly update the overall view of the whole timeline/tasks of the project for the different partners. Some of us partners still need to reinforce this general view and tasks prior to focusing on the concrete object of the meeting.
  • I think the meeting was well organized and all concerns clarified.
  • Everything is OK.
  • It was efficient

Any other comment or observation?

  • I keep being utterly blown away by the organisation: you are able to make such a large and disparate group effectively achieve the set goals in the span of just a short meeting each time.
  • it is good that the agenda is followed and only little additional is discussed, if at all
  • Those meetings are very important for project progress.
  • This was well-structured and focused.

Thank you.

Answers Part 2 (On-going progress):

How would you describe the progress towards your specific objectives (e.g. Ministries - recognition; Academic teams - piloting of modules/research parameters; data compilation plans)?

Complete and very satisfactorily done

Almost complete

The basic planning is there

Sporadic, a lot left to plan still

No opinion





Suggestions or comments on how to improve the workflow:

  • The first round in the spring 2021 was very caotic and hectic and now I have learnt that my "partner" in the module development is not participating in the project anymore. In the spring things happened VERY quickly and it wasn´t easy to dedicate the time needed in thinking through content etc. Luckily the module is not going to be piloted in autumn 2021 anyway.
  • Coordination is going soft and smooth with evident hard and good work, as a comment I would only insist that some of us partners need to reinforce the overall timeline tasks of the whole project and a general short introduction would be well received.
  • Maybe a little space for exchange between the respective VE partners (academic teams) during the meetings, e.g. in a short breakout session.
  • No, I think we're working well together and making good progress
  • Section for ministries in the moodle platform
  • I am too new in this to comment

Do you have any overall concerns or problems which you would like to see discussed in the next meeting?

  • How to set up a structured discussion process/workflow between the ministries
  • As we start the VE questions might come up

Any other comment or observation?

  • Just some gerenal thoughts. I truly love the idea behind the project and appreciate highly to be a part of this great group of competent colleagues within teacher ed. Still, it is quite challenging to get into the core of the project when you have not been working together with the group in the previous project (something to think about when including new partners). This is of course a challenge as we haven´t been able to have a physical meeting yet due to Covid. I also find the focus on language quite high. This is probably due to many of the consortium members being language experts but that also narrows the content/focus of the exchanges. Finally, to our local situation. We do not seem to have the same flexibility as many of our colleagues in the consortium. Implementating exchanges or other new elements in the teach ed. programme takes long time. So having such a short time from project start to the first exchanges taking place makes it almost impossible to integrate them at our end.
  • An important factor is the strategy on how to find more teachers in real isolations to participate.
  • Meetings are very well organized.
  • Everything is going on the dot.

Weekly meeting

Work in progress ...

Weekly planning meeting for the pilot module (11 November 2021)

Attendees: Anna N., Melinda D., Xiaoting Y., Victoria S., & Saavi A.

Weekly meeting

Work in progress ...

Weekly planning meeting for the pilot module (16 November 2021)

Attendees: Anna N., Melinda D., Xiaoting Y., Victoria S., & Saavi A.

Mid-pilot modules

Checking in half way through the modules

All six modules were presented and discussed by the corresponding facilitators during an online meeting on the 22nd of November 2021.

In general, the feeling seems to be that everything is going quite well; there are some technical glitches, unforeseen problems and some interesting tweaks that have been added to each module. Onwards!

Finale of our module

We finalized our pilot module with a presentation of the e-booklet to invited guests

We rounded off our module with presentations from the 3 groups - each responsible for one chapter of the e-booklet on 10th of December 2021. The guests expressed their appreciation of the final output and even requested permission to use the e-booklet with their own practicum students!

Here is the link to the draft (final version to be published once the students have had a chance to revise one more time, based on the feedback from the guests) and here is the padlet with suggestions and comments from the guests.

Consortium meeting

Busy 2 days! Here's the agenda. 20-21 January 2022

From the UAB, Xiaoting Yu attended online.

  1. 09.30: Welcome and team presentations - what have been your experiences so far on the project? What would you like to focus on today and tomorrow?

  1. 10.00: State of the project by Robert O’Dowd. What should we have achieved by now? What have we achieved? (Includes short reports on each of the VEs from the pilot round)

  1. 10.30: Report and discussion on WP1 led by Pia Sundqvist:

    1. Finalisation and publication of output “Manual outlining content of modules for Virtual Innovation and Support Networks

    2. Discussion: Adaptation of VE models for next round of VEs?

  1. 11.00: Report and discussion on WP2 led by Euline Cutrim Schmid:

    1. Finalisation and publication of the research protocol for the field trials. This is the link to the current version of the document.

    2. Discussion: Data analysis methods haven’t been included yet. What methods should we use?

11.30-11.50: Coffee break

  1. 11.50: Presentation and review of findings from pilot round of VEs led by Robert and Jekaterina

    1. Initial results of pre-post test

  1. 12.30: Group work:

Group 1 (led by Pilar Garcés): Public authorities

Zoom breakout room

  1. Recognition of VEs in teacher careers (Creation of table of minimum requirements/info from ALL ministries for certification)

  2. Dissemination of new round of VEs among teachers and universities of teacher education

Group 2 (led by Marga Vinagre):

Zoom breakout room

  1. Adaptation of research tools (pre-post test items etc.)?

  2. Agreeing approach/timetable for organisation and analysis of qualitative data (open questions, portfolios, interviews etc.)

13.30-15.00 Lunch break

  1. 15.00: Continuation of working groups / reporting of outcomes of the working groups in plenary session

  1. 16.00: Presentation of VEs planned for Spring 2022 led by Shannon Sauro

    1. Working Draft of Table for the Spring Round with overview of next round of VEs - theme / coordinator / number of participants needed (Based on Posted VE Descriptions)

    2. Identifying numbers and profiles of participants (Current list of registrations here)

    3. Identifying dates for the VEs (Date ranges identified in December Recruitment report)

    4. Strategy for recruitment of participants

    5. Strategies for ensuring completion of surveys

Friday 21 January:

  1. 09.30: Review and discussion on administrative issues by Sara Fernandez and the International Project Office team at ULE.

  1. 10.00 Reviewing and reporting on our VEs

  1. 11.00: Presentation of dissemination activities with Anna Nicolaou.

    1. Second video of project

    2. Recording video of the project team?

    3. Conferences and other dissemination activities6

  1. 12.00-13.00: Next steps / deadlines:

    1. VE coordinators will work with Pia to finalise the content of our VE manual and publish online by 15 March. Template for review and comments on the different VE descriptions this week is here. Please offer your comments on the template by 28 January. Pia will then finalize the template for VE descriptions and share it, so that everybody can fill in relevant information about their specific VE.

    2. Euline will conclude the content of the research protocols document and publish by 15 March. She will ask colleagues for input when necessary.

    3. Anna in Malmo and Melinda in UAB will provide a first draft of interview guide to be used in all VEs by the end of January.

    4. Jekaterina will react to the questions which Rob has collected and begin to provide data from the pilot round.

    5. By Thursday 27 January everyone has to complete the information for the spring round of VEs. Add Notes for Recruitment if you have ideas for populations you work with or can contact.

    6. Research teams check again their chosen area of research in this table.

    7. Public authorities, led by Lilia, will provide a table outlining all necessary information about VEs and participants in order to ensure accreditation across all countries and regions.

    8. Anna Nicolaou has asked for materials for the video to be sent to her before 1 February

    9. Add your informal data from the pilot round of VEs to your VE folder here.

Next meetings:

Arrange a meeting of research team to agree on research methodology for analysing data.

Survey 5 designed & sent

Designed & sent 28th January.

Survey 5 questions are designed to collect information about those who attended (and their feedback according to modality) and those who did not (reasons for not attending. The questions are:


Why did you not attend the meeting?

Online attendees:

How accessible and easy to use were the link and online meeting features of the online meeting?

In-person attendees:

How organized was the overall event?

How safe did you feel regarding Covid 19 measures?

Content of meeting (answered only by attendees from both modalities):

Rating of the following items (from 'very useful' to 'no useful' and 'no opinion' as an additional option).

  • Welcome
  • State of the project (WPs presentations; pilots)
  • Group work (day 1)
  • Presentation of VEs for Spring
  • Administrative issues (day 2)
  • Reporting on VEs
  • Dissemination report
  • Wrap up (next steps)

Respondents could also add any additional observations they liked.

Survey results

Results of the Pre-pilot online meeting survey have been compiled on February 4th and sent to the PI.

Survey Results (online/in-person) 20-21 January 2022)

VALIANT meeting

Valiant Project

Quality Control

Part 1. All

Part 2. (non-attendees

If you answered other, can you please elaborate on your answer? (4 responses)

  • I had originally planned to come but with the rise of cases of Covid (Omicron), I had to take up extra teaching due to confinements. I think that this is a side of planning for meetings, and side effects of Covid, that might not be taken into consideration as much as the more visible impacts of issues with travel. I appreciate the difficulties of planning a meeting like this in these times. Kudos for the extra effort.
  • My parents are very elderly and have a delicate state of health.

Part 3. (attendees)

Those who attended in person (13 respondents):

Those who attended online (12 respondents):



17 very useful

2 useful

2 quite useful

4 no opinion

State of the project (WP presentations, pilots)

18 very useful

6 useful

2 no opinion

Group work (day 1)

13 very useful

6 useful

1 quite useful

5 no opinion

Presentation of VEs for Spring

15 very useful

9 useful

1 quite useful

Administrative issues (day 2)

12 very useful

4 useful

3 quite useful

6 no opinion

Reporting on VEs

9 very useful

9 useful

3 quite useful

Dissemination report

16 very useful

7 useful

1 quite useful

1 no opinion

Wrap up (next steps)

18 very useful

5 useful

2 no opinion

Were there any issues you felt should be discussed that were not included in the agenda/meeting?

  • No (5 respondents)
  • The time at our disposal, in the different countries, for working on and contributing to the VALIANT project. We seem to have ended up with very different conditions in terms of our expected work input into the project and the actual hours in our respective work plans in our home institutions. From my perspective, the demands of what I am expected to contribute with to the project and the time I have for doing this just don't add up. Although I enjoy being part of the project, the situation is difficult and it affects motivation.
  • More information on teachers participants in the project
  • We should have had some time to discuss the number of participating teachers from each country in the first round, and then discuss more strategies for recruiting teachers , with this specific information in mind. Time was an issue. Ideally we should have had two whole days, at least.
  • The final number of student teachers and in-service teachetrs involved in de VEs per country.
  • Administrative and financial info should have been given earlier. A reminder should have been sent out earlier that we have to hand in the 2nd report by 1st February. There was not enough time to discuss how the VEs went. Content discussion was not intensive and detailed enough.
  • The agenda was adequate for the meeting's purpose
  • Unfortunately I could not attend many meetings

Do you have any suggestions or comments on how to improve future events?

  • No (4 respondents)
  • Prepare COVID resources and guidelines in advance for those who need testing or other procedures due to their countries of origin. This will help with travel planning.
  • We need more days for the meeting. Perhaps 3 days.
  • It was actually a bit difficult to understand what people in León said at times when they had to where masks AND when the sound quality was poor. Fortunately, the quality was fine most of the time, so it worked out good enough. A break for 5-10 min each hour would have been helpful.
  • They did a great job
  • Not at this stage
  • Possibilities for further hybrid meetings.
  • Set aside time for working on the contents/outcome/planning of the VEs e.g. by creating a sub-group for this.
  • Everything was great. I hope that more participants will be able to take part in the future, if covid allows us to do so.

Any other comments?

  • I appreciate that this continued to happen in person and think it serves as a good model for future hybrid or in-person events during the pandemic. My thanks to the organizer.
  • I enjoyed the meeting. The teachers discussed many important issues and shared their opinions on things which are inspiring.
  • Thank you for a well organized and very enjoyable event - even online :)
  • Thank you for the organisation of the meeting!
  • This meeting was very successful in my point of view. It helped us to build a better team spirit. The Spanish team was extremely hospitable and we felt very welcomed and cared for.
  • Atmosphere was great.
  • I will try to join you in the next meeting. Sorry I could not make it this time
  • Thanks to the organisation!! Perhaps a working group could be set up to find a method to objectively evaluate the virtual exchanges and check that they have been successful, so that we would have more data and not just the individual perception of the participants.

1st meeting for 2nd pilot

Work begins on the modifications and enhancement of the module for the next iteration.

Online meeting on 9 February

UAB Timeline of events (ii)

Research team meeting

2 March 2022: Research team online meeting

The VALIANT project participants who will be analyzing the data from the pre- and post-test qualitative data (open-ended questions) met today to discuss frameworks for approaching the data. Marga Vinagre led the session, providing a clear overview of grounded theory and how to ensure inter-researcher reliability. It was an interesting opportunity to hear about different approaches to qualitative data and helped the smaller teams begin to focus on the approach that will best fit. It is still under debate regarding whether one framework (etic or emic) will be applied across the board for all the different items/competences to be included in the final report (format book). UAB members attending were Melinda Dooly and Xiaoting Yu.

The UAB team is working with Castelo Branco (Portugal), led by Üte Massler (Weingarten, Germany) in the analysis of teacher isolation. It was agreed to set up smaller online team meetings to being looking at the data (massive corpora) of the first pilot in order to look for emergent themes that will be tested with the second survey.

Launch of iteration 2 of module

Our 2nd interation the module begins this week (March 7th-11th)

We have 21 participants enrolled and are lucky enough to be working with the same wonderful Initial Teacher Trainer from Turkey as in the first iteration. This time around we also have a more international group of experienced teachers which promises new and global aspects. This round our module has been shortened by one week due to the overlap between Easter holidays (in plural: interesting intercultural 'new' knowledge - Easter dates are different according to the 'national religion' - Catholic in Spain, Orthodox in Cyprus!).

Consortium meeting

March 9th, 2022


  1. Overview of project progress by Robert O’Dowd

    1. Welcome to new consortium members -Kelly Arispe (Uni León / Boise State University, USA) and Valerie Rapp (PH Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany)

    2. Progress report due 30/04/2022. (See the template here.)

    3. Reminder of our next project meeting - Oslo, Norway 27&28 June 2022.

  1. Recruitment and start dates of the spring round of VEs by Shannon. (See the courses in Moodle here.)

  1. Update on finalisation of the VE Manual by Pia. (Document was published on 8 March.)

  1. Update by Euline on finalisation of Experimentation protocol. (Document to be published by 15 March.)

  1. Presentation of first draft of interview guide to be used in all VEs this semester by Anna Wärnsby and Melinda Dooly.

  1. Update by Ute and Gabriella on discussions about sustainability - VALIANT teacher platform etc.

  1. Update by Marga Vinagre on initial plans for qualitative data analysis. Discussion on timetable for publishing final report.

  1. Report by Lilia on accreditation requirements across all countries and regions. (See proposed certificate here.)

  1. Report by Anna Nicolaou on infographic, promotional video and planned conference presentations.

  1. AOB

Useful documents/links for our meeting

(Please add here any links relevant to your reports in the meeting):

  1. The ‘to do’ list agreed at the León meeting.

  2. The moodle site with overview of new VEs for this semester

Research team

22 March 2022: Research team (looking at teacher isolation). Our first online meeting

We have made some important decisions, including 1) Xiaoting will take the lead on the state-of-the-question review on teacher isolation. The rest of the team will be co-authors and we will present it as an article. 2) We will do the inter-rater reliability with specific questions, based on the thematic coding that Marga has begun. 3) We will have our first round of results ready by Wednesday 30th of March, for a data session on the 1st of April.