COIL Collaborative Online Intercultural Learning

COIL: Collaborative Online Intercultural / International Learning

COIL is an innovation to pedagogy and curriculum that engages students online with students in another region or country.  The nature of the collaboration can take many forms. Forms of interaction include online discussion groups, videoconferences, class to class meetings, and online workgroup projects. Projects can vary in length and format, from semester length projects to projects lasting only a few weeks, and from synchronous to asynchronous or a combination.

Typically, COIL projects involve the co-development of a course module by two or more instructors from different countries or regions, each of whom recognize that a valuable kind of learning occurs when students from different places work together on a common area of focus. These projects are often interdisciplinary – so could involve business students in Canada working with nursing students in the Philippines to work on a solution for rural health care funding. Or a project might involve History students in Canada working with History students in Australia to explore similarities and differences in colonialism.  The possibilities are endless. 

COIL allows for a dynamic and inexpensive curricular innovation to engage students in online environments. COIL partnerships provide faculty members with opportunities to collaborate with colleagues outside of their institution with the potential to learn new teaching techniques and forge research partnerships.   

As a form of virtual mobility, COIL can allow students to collaborate with and learn from peers from different cultures, with different realities, and with different ways of approaching an issue. 

Benefits of COIL for student learning:

·      Increase intercultural awareness

·      Enhance communicative skills for working with non-native English speakers

·      Develop digital literacy skills for working in virtual teams

·      Learn about their discipline from another perspective

·      Engage in global problem solving


For more information about COIL, contact Kyra Garson or Catharine Dishke

COIL Resources
COIL Partnership Resources