Award FAQs - Advancing Internationalization through Collaborative Online International Learning

Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions regarding the Advancing Internationalization through Collaborative Online International Learning Award. We will add additional questions as they are received throughout the application process. if you have a question or query that is not addressed below, please feel free to email us at COILInfo@suny.edu.

Award FAQs

About Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL):

  1. Are there any specific disciplines or types of courses which you are looking for from applicants? Or that are better candidates to become COIL courses?

  2. There are no specific discipline or course types that will receive preference for this award. Past COIL courses have been developed in a wide range of disciplinary contexts. This includes courses in the natural areas for internationally-focused content, such as the Humanities and Social Sciences. However, the courses have also been implemented in Science, Technology and other course contexts as well (e.g. Engineering, Sports Management). The key thing is not the discipline, or even a course that has an internationally-focused curriculum, but rather a course with content that lends itself well to students working collaboratively in multi-cultural groups. The intercultural experiences thus become an overlay to the existing course syllabus.

  3. Should the proposed courses for development be new or existing courses? Do the courses on each side of the international partnership need to be exact matches.

  4. In most cases COIL courses are developed based upon existing courses at each partner institution. This has the advantage of being able to be implemented more quickly than new courses which often must go through more in-depth approval processes (e.g. Curriculum Committee, Academic Senates, etc.). Nevertheless, applications can include new and/or existing courses to be internationalized with COIL’s support. COIL courses are usually closely matched in terms of content. However, there are also examples of courses have included an interesting inter-disciplinary structure. So please feel free to be creative in your proposal.

  5. Do students in COIL courses have to collaborate for the entire semester/term?

  6. No. In fact due to semester calendar differences between most countries, it is rare that a course can have a full 16-17 week student collaboration. Professors also often like to have course time with only their own students before and/or after the international collaboration. As a result, most COIL courses involve a collaborative portion which is 4-13 weeks in duration. We do not recommend less than 4 weeks as it does not allow enough time for students to get to know each other and to develop trust working together. Consequently courses proposed for this award should include a collaboration of at least 4 weeks.

  7. Are COIL courses totally online? Does the award have any preference for which teaching modalities are used?

  8. While some indeed are fully online courses, the majority are traditional in-person courses which take a blended learning approach. Such courses mix face-to-face sessions at each school with home students with collaborative work between students from the country(s) participating online or via videoconference. These courses also mix synchronous (i.e. real-time) or asynchronous (i.e. not real-time) communication strategies. We will consider both fully online and blended courses proposed for this award.

  9. Do COIL courses include any in-person student exchange? Would my institutions proposal be strengthened by this inclusion?

  10. In the most cases COIL courses only involve interactions where students meet and collaborate online. Some models do involve culminating experiences in which all or some students meet at the end of the collaboration for in-person course-related activities. However in many institutional or course contexts such mobility is not possible. Consequently, you are welcome to propose a course which blends online and in-person student interactions, but it will not strengthen or weaken a proposal to do so.

About the Award:

  1. What are the benefits if my institution is selected for this award?

    In addition to being recognized as an award recipient, selected institutions will receive the following benefits:
    • A $500 stipend per institution to support travel costs and waived conference registration fee for one person to attend and be recognized at the 6th COIL Conference to be held March 20-21, 2014 in NYC.
    • Ongoing training and support from the SUNY COIL Center, in collaboration with ACE, to develop two collaborative online international pilot courses with partner institution(s) abroad. This will include:
      • A campus specific institutional needs assessment and consultation for campus leadership
      • A face-to-face training workshop at the awardee's campus
      • Online meetings, video conferences, and support for faculty, and staff, including international partners to develop and implement their collaborative online international courses

  2. Where will the needs assessment visit and workshop be held?

  3. The in-person meetings and workshop will take place on the awardee’s campus at a mutually agreed upon date soon following the 2014 COIL Conference (March 20-21). Other project activities will take place primarily remotely by participants and the project’s staff utilizing online communication tools.

  4. How long is my institution eligible for COIL and ACE’s support through this award?

  5. Institutions will receive training and support from the SUNY COIL Center to launch the two pilot courses during a period of up to 14 months following the 2014 COIL Conference.

  6. Are there any costs associated with being selected as an award recipient?

    While there is no cost for the COIL/ACE training and support package, selected institutions will be responsible for the following expenses related to their participation in the project:
    • Travel costs above the $500 provided to attend the 2014 COIL Conference.
    • Costs for COIL and ACE staff (3 people) to travel once to your institution for the needs assessment visit and face-to-face workshop.
    • Travel costs for international partners to join the on-campus training workshop. The international partner institution can also be responsible for bearing the direct costs associated with their participation.
    • Possible support resources such as faculty stipends, course release, or travel funds for course development and implementation.
    • Travel costs to attend the 2015 COIL Conference.

About the Award Criteria:

The commitment should acknowledge that the courses proposed for development in the project are aligned with the institution's internationalization mission. As such, administration is agreeing to provide faculty and staff engaged in the project, the support, flexibility and resources required to participate fully. This includes the financial costs outlined in the call for applications. In addition, if an institution can further support the project by, for example, providing release time for faculty, this would indicate a high level of commitment that will be looked upon favorably when the application is reviewed. The campus is also agreeing that the institution will make the collaborative online international learning courses developed in the project available to students to enroll during the 2014-15 academic year.

Ideally, institutional support will come from the person who oversees the academic portfolio at the institution (e.g. President, Provost, Vice-President for Academic Affairs, etc.),or the support could also be provided by the office of international programs or a campus office for technology innovation.

  1. What is meant by institutional commitment?

    Institutional commitment means that the home institution is committed to providing the resources required for their campus, faculty, and staff to fully participate in the project.
  2. What commitment is required of the senior administrator providing institutional support?

    The commitment should acknowledge that the courses proposed for development in the project are aligned with the institution's internationalization mission. As such, administration is agreeing to provide faculty and staff engaged in the project, the support, flexibility and resources required to participate fully. This includes the financial costs outlined in the call for applications. In addition, if an institution can further support the project by, for example, providing release time for faculty, this would indicate a high level of commitment that will be looked upon favorably when the application is reviewed. The campus is also agreeing that the institution will make the collaborative online international learning courses developed in the project available to students to enroll during the 2014-15 academic year.
  3. Who can provide that institutional support?

    Ideally, institutional support will come from the person who oversees the academic portfolio at the institution (e.g. President, Provost, Vice-President for Academic Affairs, etc.).
  4. Is it expected that we identify two courses and faculty before submitting the award application, or would outlining how those courses/faculty will be chosen suffice?

  5. In order to be considered for the award, the two faculty, their courses, and ideally their international partners should be clearly identified in the proposal. However, it is not necessary to go into details about how those collaborative courses will be implemented. This is one of the first areas that COIL will assist your team in evaluating if your application is successful.

  6. Do the courses need to be in the same discipline, school, or department?

  7. While such linkages to the course can be beneficial to the institution, it is not necessary for the course to be from the same discipline or department to be considered for the award.

  8. What does an Instructional Designer do? How are they different from an IT person?

  9. An instructional designer typically has a Master’s degree in Instructional Technology; Educational Technology or Instructional Design. However, as this is relatively new field, many instructional designers are individuals with an IT background who support the teaching mandate of faculty. They help integrate technology in teaching by providing training and/or consulting with faculty on the pedagogical uses of technology.

  10. Who should provide support as an International Programs staff member or administrator?

  11. This person should be someone who is actively involved in the international activities at their home institution. This may include members of the Office of International Programs or similarly named department at the institution. However, we realize some institutions may not have such a department. As a result, we welcome applications with individuals providing such support, whose primary role is to facilitate the integration of more international elements at their institution, regardless of their actual departmental affiliation.

  12. My institution does not have a technology and instructional design support office/person and/or an International Programs office?  Will this be disadvantageous to our proposal? If we designate someone else at our institution to do this would this be acceptable?

  13. While these offices and their staff can be instrumental in the success and sustainability of COIL courses, we realize that not all institutions have such offices in place. Alternatively, these support roles can be filled by someone from a different department with adequate skills and background. We do welcome applications from campuses with all levels of instructional design and international programs support available. However, as this will be a reviewed criterion for applications, if your institution cannot put forward some system to provide this support, you application may be at a disadvantage pending the overall quality of the applicant pool.

  14. What countries can an international partner institution come from? Are there any preferred countries for this award?

  15. There are no preferred countries for this project, thus partner institutions can be located in any country. When selecting a partner, issues related to the appropriateness of the course content exchange and the resources and support at their university should be considered. However, if a particular cultural perspective could enhance the course content, then you could begin your search there. It may be easiest to partner with an institution with which your university already has a working relationship or where faculty have already collaborated on joint research projects.

  16. Can we propose projects with multiple international partners?

  17. While, we will consider applications that identify two different international institutions as partners, we recommend that both pilot courses are linked to a single international partner. Such a format is more likely to create a solid institutional linkage that will sustain and grow into larger scale collaborations in the future

About Eligibility:

  1. What institutions are eligible to apply for the award?

    Eligibility is limited to the 1500+ ACE member institutions in the U.S. The status of your institution’s membership can be found on the ACE website. Only individual institutions may apply for this award. Systems are eligible to apply in Category 1.

  2. Can institutions outside the U.S. apply for the award?

  3. While, we recognize that international partner institutions are key to achieving the goals of using technology to internationalize, only US-based institutions can apply for this award.

  4. Can my institution apply for both awards?

  5. No, institutions may only apply for one of the award categories.

About the Application:

  1. What is the role of the application contact?

    This individual will serve as the primary contact person for your application. All communications will go through this person, and it will be their responsibility to contact other stakeholders regarding the status of the application.

  2. What help is available for applicants?

    There are a number of resources available to applicants. These include:
    • FAQs: The page you are viewing could have answers to your questions. It will be continually updated as we receive new questions during the application process.
    • Faculty Guide for Collaborative Online International Learning Course Development: To help you better understand collaborative online international learning, we encourage you initially review the COIL Faculty Guide. Please email COILInfo@suny.edu to request a copy of the guide.
    • COIL Conference Archives: In order to allow individuals across the world to benefit from the many informative sessions on globally networked learning at our annual conference, we make a video archive of most conference sessions available. This provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about COIL courses and how they have been implemented in a variety of institutional contexts. The archives can be accessed on the agenda page for each year’s conference on the COIL website, including the 2013 conference videos.
    • Contact Us: If you still have questions about the application for this award, please email us at COILInfo@suny.edu.

About the Selection Process:

  1. How many awards will be given for Category 2: Advancing Internationalization through Collaborative Online International Learning

  2. A total of three institutions will be given the award and subsequent training, support and travel benefits.

  3. When will the award decisions be communicated to applicants?

    Recipients of the award will be notified by late January 2014 in order to allow them to plan their attendance at the 2014 COIL Conference on March 20-21.