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Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL)

Building upon FIU’s deep experience creating hundreds of impactful global learning courses across the curriculum, FIU COIL utilizes technology and the Internet to connect students and faculty with their peers across national borders.

COIL (pioneered by SUNY) enables intercultural teams to develop meaningful collaborative projects that increase students’ and faculty members’ knowledge and help them better understand and empathize with other people’s perspectives. Since COIL is embedded within the curriculum, participating students gain access to the world and its diversity without incurring any additional cost.

What is COIL?

What do COIL projects look like?

COIL projects can be embedded in face-to-face, fully online, or hybrid (partly face-to-face, partly online) courses.

Projects can be embedded in courses covering complementary content:

Students in FIU professor Flavia Iuspa’s online course in Education, “Developing a Global Perspective,” and in an International Relations course taught by Alexis Paola Hernandez Pina at the Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua in Mexico collaboratively determined an issue affecting Mexico and the U.S. and proposed a solution to be enacted by an international private, government, or non-governmental institution.

Or COIL projects can be embedded in courses covering the same or similar content:

Students studying Writing Center processes in courses taught by FIU professor Glenn Hutchinson and Andrea Torres Perdigón at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Colombia collaboratively conducted research in English and Spanish and prepared conference proposals on effective writing tutoring in bilingual settings.

How does COIL impact students and faculty? 

COIL participants build:

  • intercultural knowledge
  • virtual teamwork skills
  • systems thinking mindsets

Which are all key competencies for effective global citizenship and employment.

COIL also motivates many students to travel—to engage in person with the people, places, challenges, and opportunities they explore with their partners abroad.

[O]ur collaboration with Bogotá has definitely widened my perspective . . . I remember how nervous I was before the [Skype] call. I was expecting a large cultural gap but even our humor was on the same page. It was a humbling experience. It helped bridge a gap between how I saw other countries as ‘foreign’ to simply people living in another location.
I learned that it is very important to be open when working with others. Personally, I improved my communication skills during this project. There is always room for improvement, and with such a long distance and different cultures between group members, I learned how to understand new suggestions, perspectives, and ideas.

International faculty

If you are an international faculty member who would like to develop a COIL project with FIU faculty, send us some information about yourself and we’ll try to help you find a partner! Click on the link below to share your interests.

FIU faculty

If you are an FIU faculty member who would like to develop a COIL project with international faculty, send us some information about yourself and we’ll try to help you find a partner! Click on the link below to share your interests.

Support for FIU faculty and partners

FIU COIL provides a variety of supports to faculty partners developing and implementing COILs across undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education curricula.

  1. COIL Design Workshops: Conducted throughout the academic year, this six module, fully online workshop enables cohorts of partnered faculty to design a COIL Module Plan for implementation in a subsequent term. The workshop involves asynchronous self-paced readings and resources and four 2-hour synchronous Zoom sessions for instructor-led training, partner brainstorming, and peer feedback. (20 hours)
  2. Coaching and mentorship: COIL partners will receive ongoing assistance with COIL design and instruction from FIU COIL, Media Technology Services, and experienced COIL faculty.
  3. Connections to other internationalized teaching, learning, research, and professional development opportunities: FIU COIL will connect you to a wide array of opportunities for you and your students to take global learning to the next level. Monthly COIL Faculty Hangouts will increase your connections within FIU and introduce you to resources and ideas that elevate your personal and professional success.

Contact us

FIU COIL also provides bilingual English and Spanish COIL training and consulting to institutions and networks worldwide. For more information on our offerings, contact us at coil@fiu.edu.