Skip to main content


COIL's Impact in the Classroom

Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) is an accessible way for students to develop global and intercultural skills for a diverse workplace by engaging with other students from different parts of the world during a course and collaborating on a task or project. At UD, the COIL Fellows Program faculty have made a commitment to advancing intercultural skills with their courses. The Fellows have implemented their projects in a number of innovative ways. Read on to hear about some current faculty projects. 

Tracey Jaffe, from the Department of History, partnered with Isidora Lira Brown, from Universidad de Desarrollo, in Chile. The focus of their COIL project was American and Chilean perspectives on the Cold War. After interviewing family members or friends old enough to remember the Cold War, the American and Chilean students worked together in groups to compare and contrast the different historical memories of this period.  Each group created a video about what they learned from their interviews, making connections to the history studied in their respective courses. UD students reflected that they were able to increase their intercultural competence and their ability to engage across diverse groups in open, effective, and socially responsible ways as a result of this unique collaboration with the Chilean students.  The COIL experience gave students “a sense of community across the planet,” says Jaffe, and “a stronger desire to stay up to date on the political events of Latin America and elsewhere in the world.”   As one student exclaimed, “The experience was really cool. How many people get to say that they worked with students from another country?”

Diana Cuy Castellanos (Department of Health and Sport Sciences) and Karen Schlosser Montes (Universidad de Francisco Marroquin, Guatemala) collaborated on a COIL project focused on health, diet, and their relation to community.  Students from UD were paired with students from UFM into groups, which met over Zoom and answered questions around diet, nutrition, and community.  Later in the course, Castellanos brought students back to the topic of global nutrition and discussed the Sustainable Development Goals and used Guatemala as an example as students had some context for the country. Castellanos noted that the experiential learning opportunity was beneficial and helped to enhance student global nutrition knowledge and awareness, as well as their cultural humility.

COILing a marketing course was the goal of Yue Pan’s collaboration with Azzouz Essamri, from Coventry University in the U.K. The 55 students in their Advertising and Brand Management courses worked in groups to investigate, explore, and be creative in their approach to research and the final formatting of a tangible piece of communication that could be in a format of their choice: poster, TV ad, Instagram, Tik Tok, billboard, etc. Students were encouraged to apply what they learned in the class (e.g., what makes a great ad, basic design and layout principles) to the development of their marketing communication material. The COIL project concluded with a final presentation, where students shared the results of their creative work. Pan shares that from her perspective, “This COIL project gave students a taste of collaboration with people from different cultural backgrounds, something they would likely experience in their future career in a global business environment.” 

School of Business Administration’s Hamed Zolbanin partnered with Jongtae Yu from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Saudi Arabia on a 4-week COIL project. Zolbanin and Yu asked students to collaborate in groups of 3 to design a model using Entity-Relationship (ER) Modeling. In a survey after the conclusion of the project, most UD students described the project as successful in improving critical thinking skills by working on an experiential learning project and by learning from peers, practicing virtual collaboration skills, developing project management skills, and expanding personal communication skills.  Zolbanin notes, “I asked my students whether such projects should be done in future, and the response was a resounding yes. Therefore, I will try to find new COIL partners not only for MIS 385 but also for other courses.”

Haozhou Pu, from the Department of Health and Sport Sciences, partnered with Geoffery Kohe, from the University of Kent, in the United Kingdom. Students involved in this class were recruited from sport management programs at both universities. The students were paired into groups and were assigned to perform a comparative analysis on a topic of shared interest related to sport business and policy between the U.S. and the U.K. Specifically, one group chose to analyze and compare the growth and  challenges of women’s sports, while the other group drew the comparison on the professionalization and commercialization of basketball between the UK and the US (i.e., NBA  and NBL). Through interactions with peers from different countries, students learned to navigate cultural differences,  sensitivity, and communication across cultural boundaries. The COIL project also exposed the students to diverse perspectives and worldviews and enabled  them to acquire a broader understanding of knowledge and issues related to their profession.

Working with a faculty colleague at Beijing Language and Culture University, Xiaoli Li, from the Department of English, COILed a course in Business and Professional Writing. During the COIL experience, Li was assigned to focus on cross-cultural communication training and professional writing training, while her colleague, Han, was responsible for leading students to learn how to create a prototype, how to create a relational database, and how to program with PHP and HTML.  The 21 students in the course were excited to collaborate interculturally and learn from each other, and Li and Han hope to run the course again in the near future. 

Lissa Cupp (Management and Marketing) partnered with Daniela Acquati from ESE – The European School of Economics and University of Chichester in Milan, Italy. Their COIL project took place in MKT 435 – New Product Development, over two semesters. UD students collaborated with students in Italy to discuss, research, and evaluate cultural differences and market factors to describe how a proposed product might need to be adapted for a new market. Students reported really enjoying the international COIL component to their team projects. They shared in person, in their COIL evaluations, and their SETs that the COIL aspect was one of their favorite aspects of MKT 435. Students learned about different cultures and buying behaviors of consumers in the Italian market. Students made contacts with peers their age in other countries, and many of them shared information and stayed in touch long after the program concluded.

Tam Nguyen, faculty in Computer Science, partnered with John Von Neumann Institute (JVN), Vietnam National University HCMC, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on his COIL project, which involved implementing an Augmented Reality (AR) application to visualize city data of Dayton and Ho Chi Minh City. Groups of students from both universities then presented their projects in person and via Zoom. Nguyen noted that the project was a great success: “I believe COIL project provided great experience to students and instructors from both institutes. I will check with my faculty partners to have an opportunity to offer COILed courses for both sides. I would love to apply it to various courses such as Programming and Data Structures!”

Interested in learning more about COIL? See more information and how to apply to the COIL Fellows Program by October 2, 2023,  on our website (UD login required). 

Previous Post

What are you looking forward to this fall?

We asked faculty and staff to share what they're looking forward to this fall. See what they had to say!
Read More
Next Post

Caring for the whole person: ISSS and UDG Student Services

ISSS and UDG Student Services help International Students navigate their academic journey with ease. Hear from some of the dedicated staff members in these offices.
Read More