Intercultural Reflection on Teaching (IntRef)


The quality and professionalisation of teaching in higher education is of increasing concern, while academic development provision varies considerably between countries, institutions, disciplines and departments. The importance of reflection for the enhancement of teaching is well documented. This project provides academics with transnational professional development opportunities and academic developers/managers with innovative intercultural methods they can use to enhance approaches to reflection. This is done by developing practical resources, tools and networks. By doing so, the project aims to make a contribution to the internationalisation of academic development which has a tendency to focus on national and institutional concerns, while academics have to be increasingly mobile. Its innovation lies in the intercultural and transnational dimension.


  1. To enhance and internationalise academic development by implementing and evaluating a range of innovative methods for reflecting on teaching which incorporate an intercultural dimension
  2. To enhance teaching quality in higher education by supporting academics to transfer insights gained from the reflective activities to develop their teaching practice
  3. To develop international collaborative networks by linking academics and academic developers across national, institutional, departmental and disciplinary boundaries

Based on Erasmus mobility and a successful pilot, the project builds on the team’s expertise in reflective methods which it develops further by incorporating an intercultural dimension. Academics will be involved in transnational virtual meetings during which they reflect on teaching, facilitated by video-conferencing, film and other digital tools.  The intercultural element intends to compel them to make explicit what they normally take for granted, consider alternative perspectives and gain insight into approaches and practices used in different national, institutional, departmental and disciplinary cultures.

The following methods will be developed:

  1. Intercultural Reflecting Team applies models of collegial co-supervision. Academics provide problems encountered during teaching which are discussed by a transnational group facilitated by video-conferencing. The ‘provider’ of the situation learns from observing others discussing their problem.
  2. Intercultural Teaching Process recall is based on principles of action learning and self-assessment. Academics film and review their own teaching and share an excerpt during a mutually supportive transnational meeting facilitated by video-conferencing. The ‘recaller’ takes ownership of the discussion, during which the other participants help them to reflect rather than making judgments.
  3. Intercultural Peer Observation takes its lead from classroom observation practices. Academics film their own teaching and form transnational pairs in which recordings are shared and disused in a one-to-one synchronous virtual chat.

These methods will be embedded in local contexts. Initially they will be trialled between the partners, with each taking responsibility for one method, implemented bi-nationally first, then tri-nationally, resulting in a technological toolkit and a walk-through guide/manual. These will be used at national events during which academic developers/managers are trained in using the methods and helped to establish transnational partnerships. The project team will support the partnerships to implement the methods, whilst continuing to use them with each other as well as additional external collaborators. Case studies will investigate implementation of the methods; teaching practices and problems discussed during the reflective activities will be captured in a learning resource which will offer a snapshot of university teaching from around the world. The project will culminate in an international event to disseminate all outputs and establish a sustainable ‘Intercultural Community of Reflective Practice’. This will build on existing partnerships, create new links and contribute to the project’s sustainability.

Target groups are academic developers/managers responsible for teaching enhancement and academics from any discipline. Locally 150 academics are estimated to participate in intercultural reflective activities.  Nationally 150 academic developers/managers will be trained and supported to use the methods in their own institutions, thus increasing the projected number of participating academics by 450+. Five Associated Partners have already committed to piloting the methods, including one that supports Syrian academics in exile.

The project will enhance participating academics’ intercultural competence, self-efficacy and teaching skills. Academic developers will expand their methodological repertoire and access to transnational partnerships. Overall the project will impact on teaching quality and the internationalisation of approaches to academic development.

Projektdaten und Kontakt:

Laufzeit: 01.10.2018 – 31.09.2021

Drittmittelgeber: Europäische Union

Förderlinie: Erasmus+ Key Action 2 - Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of Good Practices: Key Action 203 - Strategic Partnerships for higher education



Internationale Kooperationspartner*innen: