Designing "Virtual Social Europe Days"—An International Collaborative Seminar across Closed Borders

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Patricia Arnold
Swapna Kumar


"Social Europe Days” is a collaborative four-day international seminar held yearly near Brussels, Belgium, by a network of ten European universities from eight different countries. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the seminar had to be offered virtually and redesigned. The final design included synchronous and asynchronous activities, informal and formal interactions, and a focus on empathy for the existential problems faced by participating students and faculty during the pandemic. This article describes the design challenges, the design choices and decisions that led to the virtual seminar design, and reflections based on lead faculty notes, member checking, and student evaluations.


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How to Cite
Arnold, P., & Kumar, S. (2021). Designing "Virtual Social Europe Days"—An International Collaborative Seminar across Closed Borders. International Journal of Designs for Learning, 12(1), 125–139.
Designing for Learning in a Pandemic
Author Biographies

Patricia Arnold, Hochschule München University of Applied Sciences, Germany

Patricia Arnold is an Associate Professor of Socio-Informatics at Hochschule München University of Applied Sciences, Germany. Currently, she is Vice-Dean of the Department for Applied Social Sciences, and in charge of an online degree program in social work. Her research and teaching focuses on educational designs for online learning, communities of practice and quality issues in online learning.

Swapna Kumar, University of Florida

Swapna Kumar is a Clinical Associate Professor of Educational Technology at the School of Teaching and Learning, University of Florida, USA. She directs the online doctorate in Educational Technology at the College of Education, and researches online learning in higher education. Swapna’s current research is focused on online mentoring/supervision in graduate education, online pedagogy, and quality assurance in online programs.