Skip to main content


Website launched for Cork-Cologne Twinning Project

23 Feb 2016

Intercultural Learning Through Digital Skills: The Virtual Irish-German Classroom

UCC-Department of German meets Cologne University of Applied Sciences in an online classroom

As part of a twinning project, funded by Cork City Council, between the colleges in 2015- 2016 two student groups came together and worked throughout a semester in a virtual Irish-German Classroom. The aim was to develop intercultural learning skills through the use of digital skills and by completing an on-line intercultural exchange project.

Visit the project's website here:

Working synchronously and virtually, students in Cork and Cologne first received input from experts in their fields, both Irish (Dr C. O’Reilly, G. Cotter, M.A.) and German (Professor S. Stumpf, S. Gruttauer, M.A.), in the areas of intercultural learning and intercultural communication, working in teams, living and studying abroad and digital skills in the humanities, before being assigned to groups with members from both Cork and Cologne to undertake a group project.

The projects captured students’ experiences as well as their views on their cities, their places of study and other areas such as food, and the Arts, both in written and digital format. Students worked in one of seven teams and thematically the projects covered the following lines of inquiry:

34 students took part [18 Irish students and 16 German students].

Students were encouraged by means of reflective learning assignments to reflect on a deep level about their own learning, both explicitly and implicitly. The journals showed that students gained knowledge across a disciplinary spread and from an intercultural, a digital, a project management and a linguistic perspective.

Students met face to face in February, when the students from Cologne visited UCC. A special launch ceremony was organised by Dr Claire O'Reilly on February 12 and the students were presented with their certificates in their project teams by the Vice President for Teaching and Learning, Professor John O'Halloran, who also funded a reception in UCC's Staff Common Room.

A special highlight was a visit to the Mayor's Rooms in City Hall, where the Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork received both Cork and Cologne students and their teachers and welcomed them in a reception.


The Lord Mayor of Cork and all students Staff from Cork and Cologne

Lord Mayor and Professor John O'Halloran

Lord Mayor of Cork and Claire O'Reilly

(c) Photos by Tomas Tyner, UCC.

Department of German


First Floor, O' Rahilly Building, UCC