Between 7th – 13th October 2019, Following successful observation visits to Coventry and student training in Dresden , Katherine Wimpenny, Alun DeWinter and Arinola Adefila visited Jordan as part of the JOVITAL project, which focusses on capacity building Virtual Collaborative Learning in Jordan.  

Based primarily in Amman, the GLEA staff visit had three purposes; to present on JOVITAL research findings to date, to conduct research focus groups with trained E-tutors and to take part in a consortium partner meeting. Also accompanying the team for the conference activity were colleagues from TU Dresden  , who presented on learner analytics within VCL environments.  

The conference element was a resounding success, with networking opportunities opening up avenues for potential future collaborations within the JOVITAL project and beyond.  The conference itself was attended by 175 delegates from over 15 countries. A particular highlight was a spectacular opening ceremony at PSUT, which was hosted outside on the campus and featured Jordanian music, food and drink.

The busy trip also included visits to consortium universities JUST, PSUT and GJU as well as a scoping presentation at Al Al-Bayt university, with approximately 60 students from low income and refugee backgrounds.  Invaluable data was collected from these visits, which offered insights into how VCL e-tutors perceived their roles and to find out their views on how the training went.

Although it was not possible for all consortium members to be present for the partner meeting, those present (including colleagues who joined us digitally) engaged in a very productive meeting, with clear visions and deadlines for the upcoming months on JOVITAL.

Although the week was action-packed, the GLEA team had a rare opportunity to visit Petra, before a 2am flight home. Alun even got to wear a Keffiyeh to protect his head from the sun!