Presented by project leader Anne Karin Larsen
Education. 2
Social Work in Europe - an overview of intake and circulation of students. 2
Teachers involved in Social Work in Europe. 3
E-pedagogy course for teachers in HEI 4
Research. 5
Small research grants from Bergen University College will give a possibility to arrange a meeting in South Africa in the second week of November 2008. 5
Productions. 5
Dissemination. 7
Development 8
Community Work/Community Development 8
E-pedagogy course. 8
SW-VirCamp. 8
Meetings. 9
Finance. 10


This year the main activities in VIRCLASS have focused on the three pillars:
Education, Research and Development. This report will give an overview of the work related to these activities


The educational programme has been administrated from Bergen University College also this year. Coordinator for the programme has been Anne Karin Larsen.
The two modules in the VIRCLASS courses Social Work in Europe have continued for the third time. New from this year is the start of an E-pedagogy course for teachers in HEI in Social Work Educations in Europe.
This paragraph will give an overview of number of students applying and circulated through the courses and the teachers involved.

Social Work in Europe - an overview of intake and circulation of students

The study Social Work in Europe started the 8 October 2007 with a prestart week and module 1 ended 17 December 2007. The next module started 21 January 2008 and ended 13 May 2008.
By application deadline in September 2007, 48 students had applied for the course Social Work in Europe. This was 2/3 of the number of students we were expecting.

Students who applied came from the following countries and institutions:
1 from Lithuania - Vytautas Magnus University
6 from Germany  - University of Applied Sciences Mannheim,
3 from Austria - Fachhochschule Vorarlberg
+ 5 in Austria – Fachhochschule Vorarlberg – exchange students from other countries in M2
9 from Spain - Complutense University College
1 from Spain – University of Barcelona
1 from France - ENSP Ecole nationale de la santé publique
6 from Norway – Bergen University College
10 from The Netherlands – INHOLLAND University of Applied Science
1 from Portugal - Cascais Municipality - Lisbon Metropolitan Area
1 from Portugal – University of Lusofona (phd student)
1 from Portugal - Instituto Superior Miguel Torga
1 from Latvia - University of Latvia
2 from Sweden - School of Health Sciences, Jönköping University
1 from Sweden - Jonkoping municipality (former student at Jonkoping)
1 from Macedonia - St.Kiril and Metodij; Faculty of philosophy
2 fromItaly - University of Parma
1 from Bangladesh

46 students applied for Module 1, 38 students applied for both modules. In addition 5 exchange students applied from Vorarlberg university of Applied Science for Module 2. These came from  Turkey (1), Italy (1), Germany (1), Czech Republic (2). 2 students had participated and fulfilled module 1 and 2 last year and wanted to continue with another theme in module 2 this year (student from Sweden and from Portugal).
45 students started in Module 1. The student from Bangladesh was not accepted.

Out of  45 students starting with module 1, 29 students delivered their final assignment. Students who took exam in module 1, came from: Spain (7), Netherland (8), Germany (4), Norway (1), Macedonia (1), Italy (2), Sweden (2), Portugal (1), Lithuania (1), Austria (2).
After Module 1, 30 students (including the newcomers) started in module 2; 17 students in module 2A and 13 students in module 2B.

4 students applied for module 2C but because of low number of students we decided not to start this course and students were asked to choose the two other courses which they did.

In module 2A students came from Spain (5) Germany (1), Czech Republic (2 both exchange students in Austria), Austria (1), Spain (5), Netherlands (2), Italy (3, including one exchange students in Austria), Portugal (1), Lithuania (1), Macedonia (1).
In module 2B came from Sweden (2), Spain (2), Netherlands (2), Portugal (1), Germany (2, including one exchange student in Austria), Turkey (1 – exchange student in Austria)

Students who delivered their final assignment in module 2A (11) came from: Spain (4), Netherlands (1),  Austria (1), Czech Republic (2), Lithuania (1), Portugal (1), Germany (1).

Students who delivered their final assignment in Module 2B (8) came from: Spain (2), Sweden (2), Germany (2 – one exchange student in Austria), Netherlands (1), Turkey (1 – exchange student in Austria).
Out of 30 students starting in Module 2, 19 students delivered their final assignment.

Table 1: Number of students in the VIRCLASS courses 2007/08

Took exam

Table 2: Students marks after fulfilling Module 1 and module 2 in 2007/08


Teachers involved in Social Work in Europe

The leader for the teacher group has been Remmelt Veenkamp.

In Module 1, four groups were established and the following teachers had responsibility for one group each: Remmelt Veenkamp (INHOLLAND), Carten Otte (representing Mannheim), Answin Weissenborn (Vorarlberg). Eduardo Marques (Miguel Torga) and Klas-Göran Olsson (Jönköping) cooperated with one group and Anne Karin Larsen (Bergen) was the main teacher for the whole course.

External assessors in Module 1 were:
Susanne Rasch and Jochen Peter (Mannheim)
Internal assessors in Module 1 were:
Answin Weissenborn, Fachhochschule Vorarlberg,
Eduardo Marques, Miquel Torga university College,
Carsten Otte, Fachhochschule Mannheim,
Anne Karin Larsen, Bergen University College assessment coordinator

External assessors in Module 2 were:
Eduardo Marques and Anne Karin Larsen “external” assessors) for module 2A.
Carsten Otte was the external for module 2B
Internal assessors in Module 2 were
Andres Astray (Complutense) for M2A,
Remmelt Veenkamp (Inholland) for M2B

In module 1 the external assessors assessed approximately 25% of the students. In Module 2 because of few students only 2 students were assessed by one assessor.

E-pedagogy course for teachers in HEI

Spring 2008 VIRCLASS started to offer e-pedagogy course for teachers in HEI of 7,5 ECTS credits. The objective for this course is to increase the e-teaching competences among teachers in social work educations in Europe and to recruit new competent e-teachers for VIRCLASS. The course is task-centred and the final assignment will be production of new e-learning courses.
We received 8 applications and all applicants have started. 5 students came from the partner institutions, Complutense, Inholland and Mannheim. 3 students came from other universities in Spain and Germany and one from South Africa.

Teachers involved in the course:
Anne Karin Larsen (main teacher) – Norway
Grete Oline Hole – Norway
Jon Hoem – Norway
Xavier Bonete – Norway
Aasmund Kvamme - Norway
Klas-Göran Olsson – Sweden
Assessors for the e-pedagogy course:

Anne Karin Larsen & Grete Oline Hole

The course started 21 April with e-learning and introduction to the it’s learning platform, and continued with one week in Bergen at Bergen University College. After this students continue as e-learning students. Because of summer holidays starting at different times the final assignment will be delivered from 7 July - 15 August.

Before the Campus week in Bergen from 5 – 10 May, students and teachers were invited to a weekend seminar at Skjerjehamn north of Bergen, where they presented themes of interests and themes they wanted to develop as e-learning courses. This was also a very good way of starting socializing.


The research group has been lead by Andres Astray. Participants in the research group are
Bob Sanders, Grete Oline Hole and Anne Karin Larsen.
Focus for the research group has been both written productions and dissemination at conferences. Dissemination has also been done by other VIRCLASS partners.

Small research grants from Bergen University College will give a possibility to arrange a meeting in South Africa in the second week of November 2008.


Five papers have been published about different aspect of the VIRCLASS project during 2007. In addition to these one other article has been submitted and accepted for publication in Social Work Education and will be published in September 2008. This is written by Larsen, AK., Sanders, R., Astray, A., Hole, GO., with the title: E-teacher challenges and competences in International Comparative Social Work Courses.
The last paper that was published is presented in the electronic journal
Larsen,AK., Hole, GO., Fahlvik,M. (2007): Developing a Virtual Book – Material for Virtual Learning environments. vol 3, issue 3.The future of the Learning Management System
This is an interactive article with a short video introduction and with short flash demonstrations in the paper, giving the reader some glimpse into the Virtual Book.
This article describes the process of, and considerations taken when Virtual Learning Materials were developed for an international study in Comparative Social Work arranged by the VIRCLASS project. The steps taken and the elements included in the Virtual Book – A Guide to Social Work in Europe are presented in details to inform others who are planning to make virtual learning materials. Students from 11 countries in Europe participated, and their reception of this material and learning outcomes from using it are analysed and presented. Furthermore; the article discuss how the learning material contributes to students’ learning, how a common understanding of practice enhances knowledge-building and in what way audio-visual learning material can contribute to good learning in e-learning courses. The results are discussed in relation to theories about composite texts and community of inquiry, and outlines some challenges for e-teachers’ competences.
Larsen, AK., Hole, GO. (2007): Arranging Digital studies in an International Learning Community. The VIRCLASS project. Gunnar Myklebost og Olav Skare (edr) Om re-mediering av undervisning - og læring gjennom samarbeid. (About re-mediation of teaching and learning through collaboration) Norgesuniversitetet/Norway Opening Universities  Report 2/2007 chapter 10

This article will focus on how to arrange a virtual classroom that will enhance collaboration and learning among the participants from all over Europe. It is based on a single case study The VIRCLASS project – The Virtual Classroom for Social Work in Europe, which is a project that has developed e-learning courses for social work students with an international group of teachers. The research data are descriptive and based on both quantitative and qualitative data collected over a two years period and within a pragmatic approach. The article highlights factors that influence the learning environment and the “special” challenges when arranging a collaborative learning environment within an international community of e-learning.
On the background of a social-cultural learning perspective and theories about good learning, the experience and practice in the VIRCLASS project is analysed and discussed.  
Larsen, AK. (2007) ODL Open Distance Learning as instrument for teaching and learning and learning social work in a changing Europe. Paper presented at the NVU conference in Bergen 13 – 14 March 2007. In Ida Knutsen et al (ed) Digitale Utfordringer – hvordan fremme læring gjennom fellesskap på nett? (Digital Challenges – how to enhance learning through collaboration on Internet? Report no 6/2007 Høgskolen I Bergen. (
Larsen, AK., Hole, GO (2007): The role of the Virtual Classroom in opening up the European Curriculum. In Frost., Freitas & Campanini (2007): Social Work Education in Europe. EUSW book III, chapter 4, pp 73-88. Carocci Editore, Rome, August 2007

This chapter focuses upon the reflections of students regarding their participation in the e-learning courses organized through the VIRCLASS project. By examining further the students’ own reflections, our desire is to make improvements to any future courses we offer. How can e-learning courses in social work contributes to the development of professional competences?
The concepts of learning which underlie the e-learning courses in VIRCLASS are presented, and then a brief overview of the research process follows. The presentation of data will relate directly to the central themes which emerged through the examination of students’ reflections upon e-learning. The chapter ends with us deliberating on both the students’ reflections on learning and the actual significance of reflecting upon learning in social work.
Hole, GO., Larsen, AK (2007): VIRCLASS: the Virtual Classroom for Social Work in Europe - a toolkit for innovation? EURODL (European Journal of Open Distance and E-learning) 1/2007

Through a student-centred virtual learning environment students and teachers in Europe cooperate, exchange information of social work in their own country, and increase their digital literacy. In VIRCLASS students from 15 countries collaborated in their learning process by sharing knowledge with peer-students. Teachers from eight European countries were involved in the course. With a common curriculum, a study-program rewarded with 15 ECTS credits and using A-F marks many of the elements from the Bologna-process are met.
The research group will continue to focus on research on learning in e-learning and social work and are from the autumn 2008 planning to start research projects in collaboration with other partners directed on community work and community development which will be related to development of new modules.


During 2007 and spring 2008 the following presentations at international/ national conferences (with abstract/ paper) have been done. In addition to these, abstract for the EDEN conference in Lisbon in June 2008 (Marques/Astray/Larsen) and another paper for the IASSW conference in Durban in July 2008 (Olsson/Henriksbø/Larsen) has been accepted.
Arias Astray, A. (2008). “VIRCLASS, Trabajo Social en Europa: nuevas tecnologías para el Trabajo Social”. Seminario Interuniversitario: Intervención Social en Inmigración, Violencia y Género. Especial referencia a las TIC’S. Salamanca University. 7-8 March. Salamanca. Spain
English translation: “VIRCLASS, Social Work in Europe: new technologies for Social Work”. Inter-university seminar: social intervention in immigration, violence and gender. Special reference to ICT. )
Olsson, Klas-Göran: Det virtuella klassrummet för "Social Work in Europe". Ett verktyg för utveckling av socialt arbete i Europa. Presentasjon og Poster på Vetenskapens Dag, Hälsohögskolan i Jönköping. 5.March 2008
(English translation: The Virtual Classroom for “Social Work in Europe”. A toolkit for development of social work in Europe. Presentation and poster at The Day of Science)
Veenkamp, R: VIRCLASS presentation at HBO-raad - national teachers conference, Haarlem.
Veenkamp,R: VIRCLASS presentation at the Haagse Hogeschool, Teachers conference, 8 November 2007, Haarlem
Larsen, AK: Learning and Teaching Practice in EUSW. VIRCLASS e-learning courses. EUSW 3rd annual meeting, Seville Spain October 2007    
Larsen, AK/ Olsson, K-G: VIRCLASS goes World Wide. Presentation at NOMA conference, Bodø, Norway. August 2007
Sanders,R./Larsen, AK: VIRCLASS - Social Work Education - sans Frontieres. Presentation at 9th UK Joint Social Work Education Conference, 1st UK Social Work Research Conference, July 2007, Swansea, UK. 
Larsen, AK/ Hole, GO/Fahlvik,M: Will Mrs K and her Family trigger the learning in European Social Work? Presentation at DIVERSE07, Lillehammer, June 2007  
Olsson, K-G: VIRCLASS Det Virtuella Klassrummet för ”Social Work in Europe”: ett verktyg för utveckling av socialt arbete i Europa Presentation at Seminarion, Högskolan i Jönköbing, May 2007
 Marques,E.: Social Work Contributions to Promote Diversity and Equality – The VIRCLASS example. Presentation at the 7th Congresso da Cercilei – Liberdade condicionada pela diferenca. Leira, Portugal, April 2007     
Larsen, AK: Presentation of the use of it's learning in an international classroom and development and use of a digital learning material in e-learning courses. Invited presenter at a national e-learning Conference, NVU, Bergen March 2007
Olsson, K-G/Larsen, AK/Veenkamp,R: VIRCLASS . The Virtual Classroom for Social Work in Europe - a toolkit for developing social work in Europe. Presentation at European Association of Social Work Conference, Parma Italy, March 2007


The leader for the development of VIRCLASS is Klas-Göran Olsson.
The developmental work this year has been focusing on development of a new module in E-pedagogy, making preparations for development of a new module in Community Work and Community Development, developing a new application for grants from EU for a Virtual Campus.

Community Work/Community Development

Participating in the developmental work for new module in Community Work and Community Development has so far been Klas-Göran Olsson, Kjell Henriksbø (HiB) and Anne Karin Larsen. There is a plan for including more partners in this work which is related to the new application for grants from the EU-Erasmus programme for Life Long Learning which was sent from Bergen University College in February 2008.

E-pedagogy course

Participating in the development of the e-pedagogy course has been Anne Karin Larsen, Morten Fahlvik (the Media Centre at HiB (MCH)), Grete Oline Hole (HiB) and other staff from the MCH. Klas-Göran Olsson participates as part time teacher in the course.


Participating in writing and constructing the new application for EU- LLL Programme have been the Steering Committee with strong and very important contributions from International leader Tjerk Busstra from Inholland and also international coordinator for Erasmus programmes at HiB, Merete Hermansen Jonvik.
Several meetings and many hours of work was necessary to complete this application.
There is expected response from the Commission in the middle of June 2008 and after that we will know if the application will be submitted for the second selection. The final response will come in the end of July.
The project we applied for is called: Social Work – Virtual Campus (SW-VirCamp). 12 partners are supporting this application, represented by :
Bergen University College (coordinating institution)
Inholland University of Applied Science
University of Complutense
Jönköping University
Miguel Torga University College
Mannheim University of Applied Sciences
Swansea University
Mittweida University of Applied Sciences
Liapaija University
Bodø University College
Lusofona University
Kempen University of Applied Science
This application is aiming towards development of an international specialisation in social work and is a step towards the objective of developing an international BA in comparative social work.



Since April 2007 VIRCLASS has been organized as a Consortium with a Consortium Agreement and regulations for partnership, activities and finance.
The VIRCLASS Consortium was constituted at the meeting in Haarlem 12 – 13 September 2007.
The VIRCLASS Steering Committee has had 3 meetings since September 2007. One meetings in Bergen 10-12 January 2008 for preparing the EU application where also Tjerk Busstra, Merete Jonvik, Grete Oline Hole participated, and a similar meeting in Haarlem 6-8 February with the same participants. During that meeting there was also a meeting with the Ingrid Wegman as the leader of the CMG.

A short VSC meeting were held during lunchtime during the e-pedagogy course in Bergen. In addition to this two short online meetings have been arranged 3 November 2007 and 24 April 2008. Minutes from the online meetings have been sent to CMG leader and the VSC.
A teacher meeting was arranged before the Consortium Meeting in September 2007. Two online teacher meetings have been arranged, one in October 2007 and the next in April 2008.


The VIRCLASS Consortium Agreement and Annex 1 present the calculations for administrative costs for running the VIRCLASS courses for 2007/08.
In the Agreement the number of students were calculated with 75/85, and students coming from none partner institutions should pay a course fee. This year 1 students paid course fee for module 2. Other students coming from none partner institution were either from East European countries (grants) or were accepted by partner institution because of low number of students. All partners have paid the administrative fee.

The account for 2007/08 VIRCLASS administrative costs is this:

 VIRCLASS 2007/2008 Consortium
Cost overview
 1 EURO is app.       8 NOK
  Price per hour
 320 NOK
Administration of assessment
0,75 hour per student (including certificate)[1]
Module 1 (30 students)
22,5 hours
Module 2 (20 students)
15 hours
Postage of certificates
Marketing (printing brochures)
Project leadership
200 hours
Budgets, financial work
30 hours
Administrative expenses[2]
130 hours
Admissions work (0,5 hr. per stud.)
37,5 hours
It's learning (0,25 hr. per stud., 30 stud)
7,5 hours
Mediesenteret (web-application)
Total cost
From each partner institution
Course fee (1 student)
Total income

[1]  30 minute administration of assessment + 15 minute certificate and postage/student
[2]  130 hours is calculated (including webmastering/report and arrangement of  meetings, course operating etc.