Minute from CMG Jønkøping June 2008

VIRCLASS Consortium Management Group meeting 4-5 June 2008; Jönköbing, Sweden

Particpants: Ingrid Wegman (Chair CMG) and Remmelt Veenkamp (VIRCLASS Steering Commitee, VSC) from INHOLLAND  University of Applied Sciences, Haarlem; Ulla Törnig (CMG)from University of Applied Sciences, Mannheim; Manuel Serrano (CMG) and Andrés A Astray (VSC) from Complutence University, Madrid; Felipe Machado Joao (CMG) from Miguel Torga University College, Coimbra; Christina Ljungqvist (CMG) and Klas-Göran Olsson (VSC) School of Health Sciences, Jønkøping University; Knut Simonsen (CMG), Anne Karin Larsen (projectleader, VSC) and Grete Oline Hole (secretary) from Bergen University College.
Missing partners: University of Parma, and University of Applied Science Vorarlberg, Dornbirn

1: Agenda for the meeting

Ingrid Wegner welcomes all; with a special welcome to Felipe as a new member of CMC. The participants at the meeting presented themselves. The agenda for meeting were accepted.

2: Presentation of the VIRCLASS  Year report for 2007/2008.

Before the meeting a written year report for 2007/08 had been sent to the partners.
VIRCLASS rests on 3 pillars: Education, Development and Research
1 Education
Anne Karin Larsen presented to what extent VIRCLASS had met its objectives regarding education; with an overview over students applying for the course, intake and dropout. There are big dropout rates, as with all e-learning courses, and this year only 50% of the expected number of applicants started. It is important to address this problem and recruit more students.
There were 7 students from others than the partner- institutions, 6 within the frame of free-places for students from East-Europe and one student paid for the course.
The course is advertised through VIRCLASS web-pages, and through the EUSW-TN network. 
An e-pedagogy course is arranged spring 2008 to increase the number of teachers in VIRCLASS.
To the administration of the VIRCLASS Consortium: There have been 3 VSC meeting + 2 online meetings, as well as 2 online Teacher Meetings. A lot of work has been related to the new application for a SW-VirCamp under the EU’s LLL programme both during meetings and in between. The application was sent in the end of February with good help from the international offices both in Haarlem and in Bergen.

2 Development

Klas-Göran Olsson presented what has been done since decision was taken that “VIRCLASS goes world-wide” in September 2007 with an overview over meetings and actions since then.  
The new Community Work (CW) module will be a part of VIRCLASS, but stand on its own, - students can choose between M2A-C and CW.

3 Research

Andres Arias Astray presented an overview over the dissemination last year; with 6 papers in journals (3 international, 3 national), 2 book chapters and 13 presentations at conferences. It is important to seek further external and internal funding for VIRCLASS; and doing / presenting research might give us time resources for VIRCLASS. We also need support from partner institutions for presenting VIRCLASS at conferences, to support the dissemination.

Evaluation

Remmelt Veenkamp presented a summary of reflections from students; and the evaluation from the teachers.
Decision:
The VIRCLASS Consortium Management Group made a note of the VIRCLASS Year Report for 2007/08.

4: Presentation of the new application for the VIRCLASS SW-VirCamp

The Social Work – Virtual Campus (SW-VirCamp) application under the Life Long learning programme were sent in February 2008. The main points from the new application for grants were presented in a powerpoint by Anne Karin Larsen. The first results will be published by the Commission in the middle of June and the final decision will be taken in the end of July.
The discussion about the future where structured in two parts; what to do if we get the funding; or what to without.
Decision: see point 3

3: Intake of students and future organisation

Intake
The numbers of students are 75/85, which means 7-8 students/partner institution. Too many students drop out; it is important to reduce this number. Since the VIRCLASS Consortium will loose two partners, Fachhochschule Vorarlberg and University of Parma; more partners are needed to ensure the sustainability for VIRCLASS in the future.
Decision: Each partner institution set their own time for application, and promotes VIRCLASS in every way. They takes more responsibility toward electing students; will talk with the applicants and send a ranged overview to AKL before deadline for intake 22st September;  After then we know how many applicants every partners has, and can fill up the “spare places” to alumni or partners universities students.
 HiB will give Anne Karin some administrative assistance with the intake of students.
Each partner institution continues the work with integrating VIRCLASS as a part of their students BA.
Future organisation
The discussion showed that there was agreement about the need for future development, even though the application fails; to ensure further sustainability for VIRCLASS. But without the LLL programme funding there will be a slower development than planned.
Decision about future organisation:
At this moment; SW-VirCamp is one of the developments project for VSC. The leaders of all work-packages are from VIRCLASS.
  • If we get funding; a new SW-VirCamp Consortium agreement will be made at the kick-off meeting in Bergen 8-11 October (8 and 11 travel days). The CMG will offer membership in the VIRCLASS Consortium to the new partners in SW-VirCamp. The new members will have to agree to the Consortium Agreement. The membership will be offered from 2009/10 and must be settled before 1 February 2009.
  • If we do not get funding, the next CMG meeting will be in June 2009. VSC meetings are decided to take place online; and will continue to work with VirCamp in a slower speed than planned. The VSC will make plans and objectives for the future work and inform the board. There will be a consortium meeting in the electronic VITERO meeting room 26 November 2008 from 10:00-12:00.
The CMG will offer membership in the consortium to the new partners from the application for SW-VirCamp. The new members will have to agree to the Consortium Agreement. The membership will be offered from 2009/10 and must be settled before 1 February 2009.

6: The budget for 2008/09

The project leader presented the budget. Partners leaving the Consortium have to pay the partner fee for next year according to the Consortium Agreement §8.1.3. Parma has agreed to do this, and Anne Karin has made this clear also for the Austrian partner. 
The account for 2007/08 has been less than the calculated budget, related to fewer students, with a surplus of 4414. The VSC suggests using the surplus from 2007 to rent VITERO (Virtual Conference Room). A team- room for 13 persons in one year will cost 4030 Euro; with an addition for the moderator course of 2880 EURO for 8 participants.
The total administrative costs for VIRCLASS courses according to the budget for 2008/09 will be 27676 Euro. Devided on 8 partners the next year institutional fee will be: 3460 Euro
Decision: The surplus from the partner fee for 2007/08 will be used to rent a VITERO conference room for one year; from September2008.
The fee for the moderator course, 360 Euro for each partner, is put into the budget for VIRCLASS next year and will be included in the partnerfee. Parma & Voralberg are invited to join the moderator course, as they will pay their fee as partners. If they do not want to join, the new VirCamp partners will be invited to join, if they pay for the moderator course.
A booking calendar will be established via it’s learning for the use of the VITERO room. VIRCLASS activities will have preference for booking the room, but the room can also be used by partner institutions for other meetings.
More information about VITERO at their web-pages: http://www.vitero.de/english

5: Evaluation of the Consortium Agreement

After the presentation of the year report and following discussions partners have to decide their continuation in the VIRCLASS Consortium for the next year 2008 -2010.
Decision:
According to the regulations in the Consortium Agreement partners who announce their retreat from the Consortium before the Consortium meeting in June 2008 will be bounded by the agreements §8.1.3 and the decision will be executed from 2009/10.
University of Parma and University of Applied Science Vorarlberg has announced their retreat from 2009/10.

7. Election of members of the VIRCLASS Steering Committee

Last Consortium meeting in Haarlem in September 2007 stated that the VSC should be elected for one year. There has not been presented any suggestions for change in the VSC and a prolongation of the existing committee is suggested.
Decision:
The following persons will continue as members of the VIRCLASS Steering Committee for 2008/09:
Project leader: Anne Karin Larsen (HiB)
Leader of the Teacher Group: Remmelt Veenkamp, INHOLLAND University of Applied Sciences
Leader of the Development Group: Klas-Göran Olsson, Jønkøping University
Leader of the Research Group: Andres Arias Astray, Complutense University
Secretary from HiB: Grete Oline Hole (HiB)
Next year agreement related to teaching, research and development
As a result of the e-pedagogy course new teachers can be engaged as teachers in the VIRCLASS courses.
Decisions:
The educational staffs for 2008/09 are:
M1: Remmelt Veenkamp (INHOLLAND), David Alonso Gonzalez (Complutence), Eduardo Marques (Coimbra), Jochen Peter (Mannheim) and Carsten  Otte (former Mannheim)                                                     M2 A: Bob Sanders (Swansea), Andrés A Astray, (Complutence)
            M2 B: Remmelt Veenkam (INHOLLAND) and Fernando Lucas (Complutence)
   M2 C: Anne Karin Larsen (HiB), + one teacher from Mannheim or Jönköping?
Assessors for M1 and M2 2008/09
Internal assessors: M1: Eduardo Marques (Coimbra), Jochen Peter (Mannheim)
External assessors: M1: Bob Sanders (Swansea), Andrés A Astray (Complutence)
Internal assessors M2A: Bob Sanders (Swansea)
External Assessor M2A: Michael Knoph (Miguel Torga)
Internal assessor M2B: Fernando Lucas (Complutence)
External assessor M2B: Klas-Göran Olsson (Jönköping)
Internal assessor M2C: Anne Karin Larsen (HiB)
External assessor M2C: Maybe Ulrika ? from Jönköping, Christina will ask her
Teachers and assessors must be clear before start of September.
The research group
Continue their work for next year: writing international papers; develop the research program and look for funding. All partners are welcome to join the research group, -or get input to their own work from partners. Mannheim is currently doing some research work in CW; be interesting for our new projects.
The development group
Continue to work with the Curriculum Plan for CW; according to the decision made under point 4.

8: Questions for discussion about future involvement and development

There were several questions to be discussed related to the sustainability of the VIRCLASS courses in future; and a shared framework for a future virtual campus. The VIRCLASS partners agreed upon going for an international specialisation in the BA programme; were the students can take VIRCLASS Module 1 & 2 (or 3 CW), be abroad for 1 semester; as their practice replacement/study abroad, - and then write a thesis in English, within an international perspective.
Decision: VIRCLASS goes for an international profile in BA and partners will choose different ways of which international profile they offers their students.
There are some ideas of developing a master. For the next VIRCLASS Consortium  Meeting Spain and Portugal will make a note and share these ideas with the partners.
All partners must be aware of their commitments towards VIRCLASS; as partners now include the courses in their BA programme
All partners must be aware which work-packages; and deliverables they are involved in, if the funding of SW-VirCamp goes through.
Bergen will inform the partners when new information about the application is available from Brussel.

Question about Copyright

Copyright issues are addressed in point 7 in the VIRCLASS Consortium agreement; see §7.2 and §7.3. We need to discuss how to address these issues in the VirCamp Consortium agreement before we start to make new material.
Decision: HiB and INHOLLAND will make a draft for the new Consortium agreement; Manuel and Ulla will go though it before it is presented at the meeting in October.

Future meetings

The next VIRCLASS Consortium Board Meeting will be in Mannheim in 8- 9 June 2009.
Arrival for VSC members and teachers at Sunday 7th June. VSC will have a meeting in the afternoon the 7th and Teacher meeting will start the 8th in the morning. The CMG meeting will be on the 9th,.. Departure will be at Wednesday 10th.
Online CMG Board meeting: Wednesday 26th November at Vitero, 10:00- 12:00 o’clock. (Norwegian Time) 
Vitero moderator course
Monday 8 September; 14:30- 16:00
Friday 12 September 13:00- 15:00
Tuesday 16 September 14:30 -16:00
Friday 26 September 13:00-15:00
New Research Group, research within in CW: meeting in South Africa: week 46, 2008.

10: Evaluation of the CMG meeting

The group was satisfied with the meeting. The plenary discussion with the Swedish student where very OK, we might have this kind of extended teacher exchange more often, where many teachers lectures students about situation back home.  Klas-Göran used the VIRCLASS meeting to introduce the VIRCLASS teacher to his colleagues with the same interest in research. If we use the VIRCLASS network to strengthen international relations; VIRCLASS can be the core in a bigger network. It is important for the leaders to meet the VIRCLASS teachers, knowledge about what happens in VIRCLASS might influence work within campus/ own university.
It is important that we make student exchange agreement with all partners; to promote internationalisation.
Minute written by Grete Oline Hole