Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL)

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What is COIL?

Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) refers to virtual learning opportunities designed and facilitated by faculty. Traditionally, COIL courses connect two accredited modules, located in different countries or cultural settings through an online platform. This rich global learning opportunity is facilitated by institutions of higher education by connecting their faculty to other instructors at partner institutions. However, once faculty are paired they have full discretion to modify their courses in conversation with their faculty partner to co-plan lectures, projects, grading etc.

COIL Course Key Elements:

The following COIL course components and information is featured on the SUNY COIL website. We highly encourage you to visit their website.

  • Can be created in any discipline; interdisciplinary collaborations work well
  • Encourage active student learning and teamwork
  • Include an emphasis on cross-cultural interactions and understanding
  • Can be 5-15 weeks long
  • Are a graded activity in each participating class
  • Can use any technology tools that serves the learning goals

As part of an existing class, the COIL component can take place throughout the entire course, or, more commonly, as a module that lasts for several weeks during the course. The minimum recommended length for a COIL module is 5 weeks. SUNY COIL website.

COIL Methodology:

According to SUNY COIL EDU, "COIL Collaborations are developed by partnering professors from different institutions who want to enrich their courses with student interaction and collaborative learning.  Professors work together to design and implement the COIL Collaboration, allowing COIL to be customized to meet the needs of any class, in any discipline.  It takes planning and careful attention to design to have a successful COIL Collaboration that benefits students, professors and institutions." SUNY COIL website.

Things to Consider:

  • Curriculum overlap (weeks, topics, etc.)
  • Language ability, access to resources and technology
  • Logistical challenges: time zones, academic terms, class size, number of faculty partners
  • Will you have synchronous or asynchronous content/meetings? 

To brainstorm with an LMU faculty or member of the Global-Local Affairs team contact Maria Melendrez at

  • Cross-cultural Learning
  • Develop & Implement Online International Courses
  • High-Impact Practices
  • Global Learning & Understanding 
  • Develop Collaborative Projects
  • Equitable Acess Across the Globe
  • Enhance Language Skills  
  •  Join Global Network of Faculty
  • Reach Beyond the Bluff