Collaborative Online Intercultural Learning (COIL) at SJSU Expo

On October 1st and 2nd, San Jose State University (SJSU) held an Expo geared toward Innovation and Collaboration for Teaching and Learning.  Amethyst Aguilar, the Pakistan Distance Education Enhancement Program (PDEEP) Administrative Coordinator, showcased COIL in an effort to publicize its accomplishments and recruit more faculty members. Aguilar discussed how COIL is a teaching and learning activity that promotes the development of intercultural competence and web-based skills across shared, multicultural learning environments. COIL works by using internet-based tools (web conferencing and LMS) to link a SJSU class with another class abroad. Courses are taught by educators who collaborate to develop a shared unit or activity that is enriched by connecting with students from another country.

Professor Minna Holopainen also had an hour long session in which she discussed the impacts of COIL and its benefits such as ” (1) experiential, intercultural learning, (2) deeper understanding of oneself and others in a globalizing world, (3) broader disciplinary and interdisciplinary learning, (4) online (team)working skills, (5) intercultural communication skills, [and] (6) global networks for academics and professionals”.

While the event was successful in the number of people who signed up to learn more about COIL and potentially participate in a COIL activity, it was also successful in promoting the vision of COIL. This vision was put best by  Professor Holopainen when describing the effects of COIL and working with Allama Iqbal Open University,  “when you don’t know anyone from a certain group of people, you have to lean on stereotypes. These stereotypes are challenged and modified when you meet and learn about individuals from this group”.  

Pictured below is the COIL display which included sign up sheets, flyers, and a looped video that remained up for the entirety of the event. Also pictured is Administrative Coordinator, Amethyst Aguilar speaking with students and staff about COIL.

Amethyst at Innovation & Tech Expo 100115image2

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