Skip to Main Content

Student COIL Libguide

Frequently Asked Questions

What is COIL?

Collaborative International Online Learning (COIL) projects virtually connect two or more classrooms across the globe. COIL aims to enhance dialogue and collaboration between people and classrooms. COIL provides peer to peer experiential learning opportunities with a focus on teamwork. COIL meets Sheridan’s goals to build students’ global outlook and fluency though curricula internationalization. It offers new modalities for international mobility that are more inclusive and accessible.

What are other names for COIL?

COIL is also called (or is similar to) Globally Networked Learning (GNL), Virtual Exchange, Virtual Mobility, Telecollaboration, Teletandem, and Global Learning Virtual Experience.

How does COIL work?

Two (or more) instructors based in different cultures and/or locations collaborate on the course design, development of materials, and shared learning outcomes with activities promoting interaction and collaboration between students. COIL projects are carefully designed to encourage students to work, collaborate and learn from and alongside each other. It is important to incorporate virtual social and cultural programming within a COIL project.

How long is a COIL project?

COIL projects vary in length from a module to a full course. However, it is recommended that a COIL project last between 4-8 weeks.

What are the benefits of COIL for students?
  • Engage in conversations with global peers.
  • Learn about their discipline from another perspective.
  • Develop digital literacy skills and competencies for working virtually.
  • Encourage appreciation of diversity and multiple viewpoints.
  • Prepare for physical mobility and/or increase interest in study abroad.
  • Offer an international experience to those who do not have the opportunity to go abroad.
  • Offer opportunities to develop rich cultural connections.
  • Develop skills to work internationally, virtually, and with diverse teams
How can we manage different time zones?

Communication between classrooms could be asynchronous, synchronous, and/or hybrid to accommodate different time zones. Click here to access the World Clock Meeting Planner to help you organize your team meetings. For more information on intercultural communication, visit the Intercultural Communication section of this guide.

How do students interact with each other? 

Students can use videoconferencing such as Teams or WebEx or any platform of their choice. They can also use chat platforms such as WhatsApp for group discussions. As for project collaboration, they can use Google Docs, Padlet and other platforms of their choice.