The SUNY Center for Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) is one of the leading international organizations focused on the emerging field of Globally Networked Learning (GNL); a teaching and learning methodology which provides innovative cost-effective internationalization strategies. Such programs foster faculty and student interaction with peers abroad through co-taught multicultural online and blended learning environments emphasizing experiential student collaboration. COIL was founded by Prof. Jon Rubin as a faculty-led initiative at SUNY's Purchase College with support from SUNY System Administration's Office of International Programs and the SUNY Learning Network. Now based in Albany, NY, COIL has been a unit of SUNY Office of Global Affairs since 2010.
COIL: From the Latin Colligere and the Medieval French Coillir: "To Gather Together"
The SUNY COIL center envisions a future in which universities and colleges throughout SUNY develop and devote resources for making collaborative online international learning available for all students. The SUNY COIL Center will continue to lead the COIL movement.
The COIL model is uniquely positioned to support the internationalization strategy at all SUNY universities and colleges as presented in the phrase “Global Learning for All” students. By generating sustainable revenue, the COIL Center will provide SUNY with professional networks, IT infrastructure, and professional development to leverage its position in system administration so that SUNY universities and colleges can achieve this goal. The COIL Center will lead the effort to normalize and scale COIL in the international education field among institutions in the US and around the world. To this end, the COIL Center’s specific goals include generating stable revenue streams from inside and outside of SUNY by providing COIL services and resources. To enhance institutional relationships, the COIL Center will make strategic efforts to expand and reconfigure the SUNY Nodal Network and to extend our Global Partner Network to include geographically underrepresented regions. We believe that an inter-institutional organization must emerge for the COIL modality to become widely adopted in the field.
COIL has developed an approach to fostering cross-cultural student competence through development of multicultural learning environments that link university or college classes in different countries. In the COIL model, students from different cultures enroll in shared courses with faculty members from each country co-teaching and managing coursework. The COIL model does not merely promote courses where students from different nations co-habit an online classroom. Rather, we advocate creation of co-equal learning environments where instructors work together to generate a shared syllabus based on solid academic coursework emphasizing experiential and collaborative student learning. The classes may be fully online, or offered in blended formats with traditional face-to-face sessions taking place at both schools, while collaborative student work takes place online.