What is COIL?

Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) is an innovative way to engage in dialogue about global challenges. The purpose of COIL is to promote international online learning opportunities for students at the University of Minnesota campuses. COIL is an emerging practice that can potentially advance the University of Minnesota's international strategy, which includes internationalizing the curriculum.  

COILing a class involves partnerships between faculty and institutions with the goal of internationalized and intercultural learning outcomes. Typically, faculty from two different universities, from two different countries, co-create a technology-enhanced learning environment where their students interact with and learn from each other. Through assignments and learning activities, students achieve both course objectives and benefit from an intercultural experience. A class may be COILed for varying lengths of time (e.g., 4 weeks, or an entire semester), may have synchronous as well as asynchronous components, and may result in a variety of collaborative projects  (e.g. blogs, discussions, essays, digital stories).

COILed courses can better prepare students to function effectively in a global environment and can strengthen international partnerships between institutions. Faculty and students alike can be energized and challenged as they engage with those whose perspectives and context may differ from their own. COIL is relevant to the grand challenges of society such as disease, poverty and world hunger. Grand challenges cross national borders.

How can I get started?

COIL takes collaborative professional support. Faculty who wish to COIL a course will be supported by a team of individuals from the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance, Center for Educational Innovation, Academic Technology Support Services, and Information Technical Services & Systems (UMD). For more information about about COIL at UMD, visit their website.

Email coil@umn.edu to receive support for your COILed course or to simply ask questions about COIL.

Note:  the term Collaborative Online International Learning is associated with SUNY.