2015 Pre-Conference Workshops

Pre-Conference Workshop Descriptions

We are again offering pre-conference workshops at the 2015 COIL Conference. These will take place on Thursday March 19, 2015 from 9am to 12pm. The fee for the workshops is $100 for those attending from SUNY and $150 for those from other institutions.

More information on this year’s workshops as well as the leaders for each session can be found below. Those registered for the conference can add a pre-conference workshop to their registration at http://www.cvent.com/d/n4qh01. Click on "Already Registered" in the upper right hand corner, and then enter your email address and confirmation number to access and modify your conference registration to include a workshop.

Both of the workshops below will be interactive. So we request that you please bring a laptop to the workshop. Alternatively a tablet may work for some of the planned activities.


Building Community through Synchronous Sessions

How can you use synchronous sessions to create community and increase instructor and social presence? How should you go about designing sessions that lead to increased engagement and interaction? This workshop will cover the wide range of ways synchronous sessions can be used to in our course collaborations. Participants will work in groups to identify how and why they might use a synchronous session; the support needed; assessing technological needs and potential barriers to success.

Extended Description:

In today's world most of us are already interacting with technology on a daily basis. Most of us have either led or been a participant in a webinar. Think a webinar where you felt really engaged and one where you didn’t. What were the differences? It’s not enough to simply have everyone log in at the same time. What things do you need to consider? How do you design an effective experience?

Workshop Outline:

  • The Synchronous Environment
  • Benefits of synchronous sessions
  • Designing activities to:
    • Building community
    • Increase Instructor and social presence
    • Increase Engagement
  • Tools
  • Accessibility Awareness
  • Assessment
  • Student Orientation
  • Best Practices
  • Examples

The workshop will begin with a brief overview of our research study: methodology, results and a
discussion of participant experiences. After a discussion of the synchronous environment, how
to design activities and available tools participants will work individually and in small teams
designing activities including logistical considerations. Participants will share with the larger
group. We will have participants go through a technology “needs assessment” and discuss
pros and cons of several common options. We will discuss challenges and obstacles faced.
A Twitter hashtag will be used for backchanneling during the workshop and to continue the
conversation. A Google Doc will be created as a place for participants to share ideas, best
practices, questions and comments.

Workshop Leaders

Dr. Patrice Torcivia Prusko works as production and support lead for MOOCs, SPOCs and Digital Initiatives at Cornell University. She was co-PI for “Virtual Study Abroad” and “Cross-Cultural Experiential Learning Toolkit” grant funded studies. She’s frequently invited to speak about her experiences teaching in blended learning environments in Latin America. Patrice holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering and MBA from Union College and a Ph.D. from University at Albany in Educational Theory.

Lorette Pellettiere Calix is an instructor and director of SUNY/Empire State College Programs in Latin America. She was principal investigator for the 2012 Tier 2 IIT grant for the project “Virtual Study Abroad” Using Meeting and Mobile Tools to Promote Student Engagement & International Interaction through which she documented best practices for synchronous sessions.


Pedagogies, Technologies and Digital Worlds


This workshop will provide 3 complete activities, including both the tools and supplemental materials, that support core components of a COIL experience. These activities can be implemented within a COIL course with minimal customization. Further, participants will get an in-depth look at how each tool is used in fields outside of education, allowing both instructors and their students to have a better understanding of how in-course activities translate to the “real world.”

Extended Description:

The digital world of the 21st century has become super-saturated with tools that can be used for education. Within a standard classroom setting the selection of appropriate tools and pedagogies to support course objectives is daunting on its own. When adding in the complexity of connecting foreign cultures and driving the intercultural exchanges that are inherent to a COIL experience, it can become overwhelming. As such it is possible to overlook the larger implications of the technology and skills that students are using, which brings up a big question for students; how do these tools help me outside of the classroom, in the “real world?”

In this workshop participants will be shown three Learning Management agnostic tools. They will then use each of the tools in an activity which supports a core component of a COIL experience: driving initial student interaction, forming a functioning team, and collaborating internationally. After each activity, commentaries of how the tools are used in applications beyond higher education will be offered, and time for a conversation between the class and presenters will be provided.

The goal of this workshop is for participant to leave with several complete activities, including both the tools, pedagogy explanation, and supporting materials, that can be implemented in COIL courses with minimal customization/ They will also have an understanding of how the tools used will aid their students not only in succeeding within the course, but in the world beyond.

Workshop Objectives:

  1. Leave with the ability to implement up to three activities in support of a COIL experience with minimal customization.
  2. Leave with a deep(er) understanding of the tools being demonstrated, and how they are used outside of higher education.
  3. An ability to analyze future tools not just for how they will support course material, but for how they will support learners beyond the classroom.

Workshop Leaders

Amy McHugh is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at SUNY Oswego who specializes in intercultural communication. Amy earned her bachelors in communication studies from Marist College, and her masters in international communication from Macquarie University in Australia. Amy created and ran a COIL course last year in conjunction with a colleague at the University of Antwerp in Belgiumand has just completed a second collaboration with a colleague from Kansai University in Japan.

Douglas Hemphill - Instructional Designer, Division of Extended Learning, SUNY Oswego. Mr. Hemphill has a Master’s in Instructional Design Development and Evaluation, and a Bachelor’s in Aerospace Engineering.  He currently works at SUNY Oswego as an Instructional Designer and has previous held positions at Sensis-Saab Corporation and Syracuse University.  He has been the Instructional Designer for Oswego’s COIL program since its inception in 2012.


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