The COIL Center’s mission is to develop and implement online collaborative international courses at SUNY as a format for experiential cross-cultural learning, thereby sensitizing participating students to the larger world by deepening their understanding of themselves, their culture, how they are perceived and how they perceive others. These globally networked courses also intensify disciplinary learning in fields where engaging other cultural perspectives is key. COIL builds bridges between study abroad, instructional design and teaching faculty through team-taught courses, thereby promoting, integrating and enhancing international education experiences across the curriculum. The COIL Center also works with international programs offices, helping them to integrate technology into their workflow.
As Colleges and universities recognize their obligation to prepare students to live and work in a globally connected world, they struggle to find a way to internationalize the educational experiences they provide. Traditionally, this has meant ‘a semester abroad,’ but that is a privilege that only three percent of US students enjoy. SUNY Cortland is meeting this challenge head-on with an experimental grant incentive program that uses Internet technologies to explore another more efficient way of globalizing its curriculum.
Three faculty members from diverse disciplines have received grants to reshape their courses or course components with a collaborative online international learning (COIL) approach. Students from Cortland and partner institutions in China, Japan and Germany will study and learn together, without leaving their native countries, in online environments. The grant recipients are Margaret Anderson (Psychology) who is partnering with a faculty member from Capital Normal University in Beijing, China on an Advanced Educational Psychology course; Timothy Davis (Physical Education), who is working with a Japanese colleague in a course on Motor Development; and Kevin Heisey (Sport Management), who is developing a course component in his International Sport Enterprise class that will become an entirely co-taught course with his German partner.