Tel-Hai Magazine - Fall 2020

Internationalization at Home I ternat A new classroom has recently been inaugurated at Tel-Hai College – the WILLIAM classroom. WILLIAM is an Erasmus+ project, a collaborative initiative between 12 Israeli and European institutions, Tel-Hai College among them, that works to advance “internationalization at

home” within Israeli higher education institutions. The new classroom will be used as a virtual international classroom, as well as a studio for producing online courses, and was planned long before we even heard of the covid-19 pandemic.

“the classroom allows us to use innovative and advanced teaching technology in our courses, in line with the College’s strategy for 2030”

says Prof. Mooli Lahad, Ph.D, Head of the International Academic Affairs unit at Tel-Hai. “over the past year and a half, as partners in WILLIAM, we examined different models of virtual teaching and virtual classroom as a tool to promote internationalization, and learned from the experience of our partners in Israel and in Europe. With the assistance and input from our IT department and Excellence in Teaching unit at Tel-Hai, we designed the classroom and purchased the relevant equipment to match our current needs” adds Prof. Lahad. It was also decided to renovate the classroom at the same opportunity, to complete the learning and teaching experience. With the consultation of an interior designer specializing in learning spaces, we improved the classroom environment to the benefit of our faculty and students, as you can see in the photos.

The classroom has already been used for filming lectures for our International Bioinformatics workshop, which was offered online for the first time this summer, due to the pandemic. The workshop gathered 45 students from Israel and abroad for a high level and practical workshop in NGS data analysis. Another course offered these days is an international course in “Cultural Landscapes”, led by Dr. Gad Schaffer, in collaboration with Roskilde University in Denmark. This course is also part of the WILLIAM project, and is taught in parallel in Israel and Denmark. The students from both institutions have joint online tasks, while several classes in the course will be taught using the new classroom, with the students present in class while communicating with their fellow students in Denmark using the advanced classroom equipment. We hope that when the world returns to normal, these classroom capabilities will continue to engage faculty and students in international environments, without even having to even leave the campus. As the world faces a new era of uncertainty following the pandemic, and is forced to reconsider existing customs and methods of teaching, we choose to look at this time as a great opportunity for reinvention, involving creative solutions in every aspect of our lives. The next academic year will be very different than what we expected or ever imagined, but it is not necessarily for the worse. Initiatives such as WILLIAM especially in times like these, stimulate our creative thinking, and allow us to adapt quickly, at least in the higher education system.

Magazine, Fall 2020

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