Friday, November 14, 2008 COIL Conference

Collaborations in Online International Learning Environments – How to Make them Work!

For many faculty members, the internationalization of their classes has been a goal that has been hard to achieve. However, since its inception in 2006, COIL has been working with faculty to enhance their courses by embedding online collaborations with international partners into their classrooms. At this event we will present new developments in the field of international online education, and will hold a series of focused workshops and discussions to tackle issues specific to teaching collaborative international courses. 

Missed the Conference? Look at Streaming Videos of the Conference Sessions!


Tentative Conference Schedule Snapshot

 8:30      Coffee, and Continental Breakfast

 9:30      Greetings and Welcome by Provost Damian Fernandez & Jon Rubin, COIL Director, Purchase College

10:00      Morning Plenary Sessions

12:00      Lunch

 1:15      Afternoon Break-out Sessions

 4:15      Where do we go from Here? - A discussion of next steps

 5:30      Conference Closing 



Cross-Boundary Knowledge-Making in Globally Networked Learning Environments  - Doreen Starke-Meyerring, McGill University

Designed to prepare learners for global work and citizenship, Globally Networked Learning Environments provide opportunities for learners to develop new ways of knowledge-making across traditional boundaries. This presentation offers principles, processes, and examples to guide the development of new pedagogies that facilitate these new ways of cross-boundary knowledge-making and is an extension of the ideas presented in Prof.Starke-Meyerring's recently published book: Designing Globally Networked Learning Environments.  

This presentation offers principles, processes, and examples to guide the development of new pedagogies designed to facilitate these new ways of cross-boundary knowledge-making. Instead of being limited to local classrooms, Globally Networked Learning Environments (GNLEs) connect students with peers, instructors, and communities across traditional institutional, national, and other boundaries. In this way, GNLEs allow students to develop new ways of knowledge making in a more deeply diverse world; to question their own habitual, normalized, and locally bounded ways of knowing; to negotiate diverse ways of knowing; and to learn how to build shared learning and knowledge cultures across traditional boundaries. GNLEs are thus learning environments that can prepare learners for the kind of cross-boundary knowledge making they will need to develop as professionals and as citizens in a globally networked world.

The Multi-Faceted Focus of International Collaborations - Sarah Guth, University of Padua, Italy

One of the most common mistakes educators make when embarking on international collaborative exchanges for students is assuming that the exchange will have a sole focus and that that focus will be course content. Although finding a partner class is very often the first major hurdle, the second one is then agreeing on what students in both classes are supposed to get out of the exchange. Course content may often serve as the contents of the actual exchanges, be they text, audio or video, synchronous or asynchronous, but educators must also consider two other mutually dependent issues: collaboration and culture. It is a false assumption to think that students naturally know how to collaborate, particularly online and with people from another culture: the impact of culture on style of collaboration is often significant. Therefore, international collaborations should also focus on developing students' ability to collaborate as well as students' intercultural communicative competence (ICC). 

This presentation will focus on why it is important to integrate learning how to collaborate and learning to communicate with people from other cultures into international collaborations. Based on the experiences of the presenter, an American EFL teacher in Italy, with American partners, it will provide practical examples of steps that can be taken when planning the exchange and during the exchange to make the project a success and to avoid common pitfalls. The presentation will demonstrate how contents, collaboration skills and ICC development can be integrated to lead to a truly effective learning experience for teachers and students alike.  

Experience the Real in the Virtual - Bryan Carter, University of Central Missouri 
(teleporting from Paris)

This session explores how collaborative activities within a virtual space lead to rather unexpected consequences between students and faculty. Students who are grouped in virtual environments, based on our experience, not only demonstrate an interesting curiosity about those with whom they are interacting but also have expressed a keen interest in visiting the locations where their counterparts live. We've found the same to be true with faculty who meet and collaborate in virtual space, eventually visiting or collaboratively presenting with one another in real life. Virtual environments can serve as a wonderful springboard for real life interaction.

Break-Outs - all  conference registrants will be able to attend two sessions

Intro to Distance Learning - Dr. Keith Landa, SUNY Purchase & Hope Windle, SUNY Ulster

This session is for participants who have never taught online. It will be an orientation to working with a Learning Management System emphasizing approaches to course design and methods of online interaction and collaboration that are appropriate to an international course. Sample course templates will be presented.

Partnering - Dr. Katherine Krebs, SUNY Binghamton & Dr. Richard Cattabiani, SUNY Ulster

This session will explore different avenues for developing international faculty-to-faculty and institutional partnerships upon which collaborative courses can be built, emphasizing the role that campus international programs offices can play. We will also offer an overview of how faculty members who have already taught COIL courses found their partners.

Learning with Strangers - Dr. Betsy Hansel, AFS International & Dr. Valery Chukhlomin, ESC

This session will explore ways in which culturally varied teaching and learning styles reveal themselves in the classroom and how these modalities can contribute to or interfere with collaborative learning. We will view videos demonstrating cultural mis-communication in a traditional classroom and try to understand how the online environment differs.

Shaping the Experience - Dr. Craig Little, SUNY Cortland & Dr. Doreen Starke-Meyerring, McGill University

This session will explore the different options available to faculty who want to explore collaborative international learning - from the simple guest lecture, to the shared module to a fully online multi-cultural course to a blended course where students also meet face-to-face on their home campus. What's issues does each scenario bring up and how do different disciplines fit into these models?

Cross-Cultural 2.0 - Sara Guth, University of Padua & Clark Shah-Nelson, SUNY Delhi

When working with multicultural groups, especially when English is not the native language of all participating students, Web 2.0 Tools (Wikis, Ning, Flikr, FlashMeeting) can enhance the communicative experience. We will demonstrate the use of these tools and explore other collaborative techniques that enhance the international online classroom and build upon the LMS.

Teaching With One Foot Outside the Frame: Second Life & International Courses - Dr. Jason Pine, Purchase College

Online virtual worlds provide unique opportunities and challenges as learning environments. Distance learners and instructors have immersive virtual classroom experiences and opportunities for real-time collaboration, but unfamiliar glitches and forms of mediation can disrupt "traditional" learning modalities such as lectures, group exercises and discussions and the experience itself becomes the concrete material of highly stimulating object lessons. This session presents examples of Second Life learning practices, glitches and their application in international courses.


A Conference on Computing in the Disciplines

Sponsored by FACT with funding from SUNY Learning Environments in the Office of the Provost and Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs.