Using Virtual Exchange (COIL) Programs to Provide Work Force Aligned Distance Collaboration Skills

Concurrent Session 1
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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

SUNY Oswego has been running Collaborative Online International Learning courses since 2014 which have US and foreign students working together on shared outcome projects as part of their normal course experience.  Proven experience gained utilizing distance communication technology to interact with foreign nationals is a major differentiator in today's market.


I have been an Instructional Designer for SUNY Oswego since 2008. Prior to this I worked in training and training design positions in higher education and business. I act as the designated Instructional Designer for all courses with a Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) component, and am the chair of the Committee on Intellectual Integrity. I have a graduate degree in Instructional Design, Development, and Evaluation, and undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises, all from Syracuse University. I a currently pursuing a Doctorate in Curriculum, Instruction, and the Science of Learning from SUNY Buffalo.

Extended Abstract

The idea of Virtual Exchange courses as a means of providing student with global experience without the traditional cost or barriers of studay aborad programs has become a popular idea both in the US and internationally.  One example of a Virtual Exchange program is the Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) Inititaitive begun by the State University of New York (SUNY).  SUNY Oswego was an early adopter of the program, and began runing COIL programs in 2014.  These programs pair a US (Oswego) class with a class from a foreign country to work on a project with a shared outcome for a period of no less that four weeks.  During this time students are expected to work, usually in small teams, with their international counterparts by utilizing a variety of distance communication and collaboration tools to complete their work.

After several years of running these programs, it is possible to show that these experience provide demonstrable, usable experience that aligns with the skills sets that companies that perform international collaborations find useful.  This presentation will look at some of the COIL programs Oswego has had with different countries, the outcomes, the successes, and occassionally the failures.  Attendees of the sessions can expect a good understanding of the pedagogical and technology basics of the program, and an initial understanding of how to launch their own programs.   Advanced resources for those who are interested in pursuing similiar programs will be made availabe.