calendar June 5, 2024
EPOKA University and TU Dresden Celebrate the Finalization of the “Smart City Tirana” Virtual Collaborative Learning Module
epoka students TU Dresden Smart City Tirana vcl
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EPOKA University's Department of Business Administration and TU Dresden's Chair of Information Management celebrated the successful conclusion of the “Smart City Tirana” Virtual Collaborative Learning Module, culminating in a series of events hosted by EPOKA University in Tirana, Albania.


After the kick-off at TU Dresden in early April, 40 students, 2 professors, 4 supporting staff, and 8 E-Tutors collaborated virtually for eight weeks to propose innovative solutions for smart city challenges. Finally, they met at EPOKA University from May 27-31, 2024, for their Final Project Pitches, showcasing results from their eight-week online collaboration, combined with further collaborative work and socio-cultural activities.


This innovative module integrated Dr. Esmir Demaj's Strategic Management course at EPOKA University with Prof. Dr. Eric Schoop's Virtual Collaborative Learning (VCL) module at TU Dresden. Under this year's theme, "Conceptualizing Tirana as a Smart City," students engaged in exploring Smart City concepts, cross-border virtual collaboration, and sustainable solutions to real-world challenges.
 

This vibrant week included:

 

  • Final Project Pitching: 6 mixed groups of students from both universities presented their refined and final project proposals in front of an 10-member Jury composed of academic staff and experts from 3 different countries. The jury selected TiranaLink, composed of seven students from EPOKA and TUD, as the best pitching group.
     
  • Workshops and Feedback Sessions: Interactive workshops provided students with
    valuable insights and constructive critiques.
     
  • Field Visits: Explorations of Tirana's infrastructure and Smart City initiatives. The
    Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy of Albania hosted a delegation including Prof.
    Michael Breidung, Head of Smart City Dresden, where good practices were shared and
    opportunities for further collaboration were discussed.
     
  • Cultural Excursions and Social Activities: Participants engaged in lectures about the
    Albanian history and culture, cultural excursions around Albania, enhancing their cross-
    cultural competencies and deepening their knowledge for the Albania’s rich heritage,
    including trips to Kruja Castle and Museum, Tirana City Tour, BunkArt, Dajti Mountain,
    Durres etc. Social Activities like Paintball, Voleyball Matches, Barbecues were organized
    too. 
     

The event concluded with a Farewell Dinner, celebrating the students' achievements and the collaborative spirit that defined the project. Wishes for the continuation of such collaboration
prevailed.

Supported by the COWEB project for the virtual component and funded by the KA171 Erasmus+ agreement for the physical exchange, this VCL module demonstrated the transformative power of international collaboration in fostering innovative pedagogical approaches and developing 21st-century skills among students.

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