Perspectives on COIL

COIL is a form of Virtual Exchange developed by the State University of New York (SUNY). The main features of COIL are described under the What is COIL tab. The SUNY COIL Center was founded in 2004 to engage students and professors across cultures to work together on collaborative projects and discussions, making international and intercultural experiences within reach of every student at every institution.

What is Virtual Exchange?

  • Technology-enabled people-to-people dialogues and collaboration sustained over a period of time
  • Use of new media platforms to enable deep, interactive social learning
  • Facilitated by teachers and/or trained facilitators
  • Meaningful intercultural experiences

Virtual exchange combines the deep impact of intercultural dialogue and exchange with the broad reach of digital technology. Virtual exchange experiences, such as COIL, may be situated in educational offerings across the curriculum in order to increase mutual understanding and global citizenship, as well as in informal education projects.

Additionally, virtual exchanges foster skills relevant for workforce development such as digital competence (the ability to communicate and collaborate effectively online), communication skills, team building, media literacy and the ability to work in diverse cultural contexts.

Student perspectives on Virtual Exchange

Watch the following two videos and consider the impact of virtual exchange, like COIL, on students:

Student Perspectives on Virtual Exchange, from Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange
What students have learned through Virtual Exchange, from Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange

Instructor perspectives on COIL

“The richness of the student experience is clear!” In this video clip, David Syring from the University of Minnesota Duluth, a professor who was trained by the SUNY COIL Center, talks about COIL. Watch the first part of the clip (up until 6:40 minutes into the recording) where David shares some general thoughts on the value of Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) and describes a COIL course he taught a few years ago.