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Virtual Education Experience in an Extended Nordic Context
Start date: Sep 1, 2016, End date: Aug 31, 2019 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The present project aims at the development, implementation and evaluation of an e-learning module in Swedish language for business relations in higher education for partnership members in Nordic and Baltic countries. The project also aims at producing a review of the use and practices of Swedish as a Nordic-Baltic business lingua franca which is an underexplored area of research. Swedish is used more and more frequently as a lingua franca but it is unexplored to what extent or under what conditions. The countries in the Nordic-Baltic region share affinity based on a common history ( Since many years, business relations between Sweden and partner member countries are intense and still increasing. A globalized economy implies changing demands in the workplace as it becomes more multicultural and more multilingual. The project will develop an e-learning module which fills a gap in existing course offerings in these countries and is in accordance with The Higher Education Modernisation Agenda 2011. The virtual e-learning module package will be available online for open access. The e-learning modules are based on an innovative pedagogy which relies on flexible learning and students’ cross-border cooperation in a cost-effective way. This will provide a competitive advantage for young people with Swedish language proficiency, integrate them to a wider labour market, promote free movement of labour in Northern Europe and thus diminish social marginalization and unemployment of young people. It will also provide a competitive advantage for enterprises, the use of Swedish in Nordic operating environment gives advantage in sales as successful sales benefit from communication in the customer’s language. This will enhance the capacity of labour market institutions (including public employment services) and regulations to match skills and jobs, and to promote graduate employment and enhance career guidance.The intellectual outputs of the present project consist of the virtual e-learning module course package (including, the virtual course material, the virtual learning game and the web portal where this will be available for open access), the knowledge of the use and practices of Swedish as business lingua franca in the Nordic-Baltic region. The transnational implementation of this project promotes the development of innovative educational practices and work methods and enables integration of a greater variety of learning modes (virtual, modular and peer learning) into higher education and enables learning in multicultural and multidisciplinary groups where students gain new perspectives on the topic studied in teaching conditions that are not available in a single institution.Having Swedish in focus Viedex will also promote European linguistic diversity and a greater use of languages and language management strategies by companies in their international trade in regions where Swedish is studied. This is a part of the current EU’s language policy ( project outcomes are adaptable to different levels of education, both formal, non-formal as well as continuing education and staff training in companies. In Sweden or the Swedish speaking areas in Finland they can also be used as a part of the immigrant/refugee language training after the basic knowledge of Swedish has been acquired. The cross-cultural communication skills are needed in all fields and segments of working life. This is why the results are easy to exploit and multiply – they benefit all managers and employees, students, teachers and policy makers.The project aims at strengthen the use of Swedish as business lingua franca in a Nordic-Baltic context. This will strengthen communicational possibilities in working life between the partner countries which in turn can increase the possibilities of even further flourishing business relations. In the long run, this can have an impact on the possibility to create healthy social and economic sustainability in the Nordic-Baltic region.

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