COIL Project Features

What does a COIL-enhanced course look like?

Review of COIL Characteristics

  • Two different institutions from different countries and/or cultures
  • Embedded into existing classes
  • Educators co-design activities and discussions to meet agreed upon learning outcomes
  • Students are empowered to be active learners
  • Professors facilitate cross cultural interactions
  • No prescribed platform or content
  • All disciplines can be COILed
  • Interdisciplinary pairs encouraged

One of the key features of success in COIL teaching and learning begins with the partnership between professors. Depending on where in the world your COIL teaching partner is located, as a pair you will need to consider a variety of factors that will impact the work that your students will do together. The COIL Center provides a framework to help professors identify and share information related to the following areas of consideration:

    • Issues of Time (time zones, academic calendars, holiday schedules, etc.)
    • Issues of Language (language of instruction/collaboration, translation needs and possibilities, language learning, etc.)
    • Issues of Culture (backgrounds of teaching partners/students, norms and expectations, intercultural learning goals, etc.)
    • Course Content (goals of the collaboration, shared learning goals, shared resources, etc.)
    • Assessment of Learning (grading, shared rubrics, evaluation of the COIL experience)
    • Issues of Technology (online tool selection, bandwidth and data use, instructional design support, etc.)
    • Institutional Cultures and Expectations (in/out of class workload, teaching styles, etc.)
    • Support (available resources at your institution, mentors, etc.)

You’ll work on this framework with your teaching partner during the online COIL Academy.

COIL Sample Syllabi

Below are links to several syllabi for COIL modules that have been taught in recent years. Please review the syllabi and note your initial reaction.  Are the learning goals clear?  Do the activities align with the desired goals?  Does it seem complicated or easy to implement?

Review one or two of the syllabi again with a specific eye for the considerations listed above. Is it apparent that these considerations have been taken into account by the professors? Are there areas where you feel the professors and students may run into issues that are not addressed in the syllabus?

Post your reactions and/or questions under Module 3 in our Intro to COIL Padlet.

Data Collection and Analysis on Physics and Biology Research

Collaborating and Educating in English through Digital Media

Successful Veterinary Business

Management and Cultural Influences

Design your first COIL activity

One of the first steps to ensuring that your students have a successful COIL experience with their peers is the Icebreaker activity. The Icebreaker allows students to begin to get to know their global learning partners and to develop trust before embarking on the academic project that is the core element of their COIL module. You will notice in the sample syllabi that many professors ask their students to post photos or videos similar to those that you created for your COIL profile to introduce themselves, their communities, and their day-to-day lives.  

Icebreaker activities form the base for the team building necessary for a successful collaboration. Consider the COIL module you will design, your overall learning goals for this experience and what kinds of activities you may want your students to do. What type of Icebreaker activity might work? Consider some of the dimensions we looked at above – time, language, disciplines, cultural backgrounds, etc.  How will these impact the type of icebreaker you design?   

Share your idea for an icebreaker activity, including the goals you want it to meet, under the Module 3, Icebreaker Activity column.  You can use whatever format you like – text, video, voice – be creative!  Once you have posted your activity, review and comment on others’ ideas for icebreakers.  We would like everyone to receive at least two comments on their icebreaker idea from their peers.

If you have any questions or comments, please post them under the Questions column on our Intro to COIL Padlet.