Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL)

Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) is an approach in which students are brought together across borders and countries to tackle an assignment in teams. This form of virtual collaboration fosters digital and methodological skills for both students and teachers, and further promotes cultural insight and mutual understanding.

Internationalisation at Home

Working in virtual teams of international and interdisciplinary composition has become an indispensable part of our work enviroments in a globalised economy. Our COIL courses are specifically aimed at students, who so far weren’t able to participate in conventional exchange programmes, be it for personal or financial reasons. Participating in a COIL programme allows these students to gain experience in intercultural exchange and to network internationally from home. Such courses also offer extensive practice with digital tools and virtual platforms of collaboration and can also serve as encouragement for further physical mobility.

Advantages of COIL at a glance

  • teachers develop (further) didactic, methodological, and digital skills. They can take advantage of the varied perspectives offered by the "international classroom"
  • strengthening of international and intercultural skills
  • extension of international outreach and networks
  • opportunities for non-mobile students to gain intercultural experience
  • practical experience in virtual collaborations and group work as an essential part of a digitized work environment
  • a varied setting for teaching and learning (e.g. flexibility in length and intensity of courses)

How to plan and execute a COIL course

The responsibilities regarding conceptualization, implementation, and admission of a COIL course lie with the participating universities. The extent of the cooperation can vary from a single session up to a full semester course including a final assignment — depending on the subject matter of the course and the experience of the participating teachers. The core element of any COIL course is the collaboration in mixed groups of international students. The International Office gladly supports you in your COIL ventures!