COIL Initiative

Global Learning through Virtual Exchange

The COIL Initiative at UW Bothell aims to deepen global engagement of students in the classroom without requiring travel abroad by implementing online collaboration with international partners. COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) is a pedagogy that fosters global competence through development of a multicultural learning environment that links university classes in different countries. Using various communication technologies, students complete shared assignments and projects, with faculty members from each country co-teaching and managing coursework. The term COIL was coined by the State University of New York. UW Bothell’s COIL Initiative has benefitted from the many resources available on the SUNY COIL Center website.

Since 2014, over 50 COIL courses have been implemented in various departments, connecting nearly 1,500 students with peers in different countries. During the 2016-17 academic year, and every year since 2019-20, the number of UWB students engaged in a COIL course has surpassed those studying abroad.

Video produced by Greg Tuke and Marc Studer

Resources for Developing COIL

Interested in developing a COIL course or launching a COIL initiative on your campus? Check out this page where we’ve compiled tools to help you move forward, including specific learning outcomes for COIL courses at UW Bothell.

COIL Fellows Program

The tri-campus UW COIL Fellows Program supports faculty in developing and implementing COIL modules in their courses with structured training, a community of practice and a stipend. The goal is to integrate COIL throughout the UW curriculum, and make this local form of global engagement, which doesn’t necessitate travel, a regular part of UW’s academic offerings. Faculty of all ranks and from all schools, who teach at the UW full-time and are interested in developing a course collaboration with an international partner during 2024 and/or 2025, are invited to apply for the 2024 cohort of COIL Fellows.

Contact Us

Natalia Dyba, Director, Global Initiatives

COIL in the News

Virtual Exchange: Connected Learning in the Digital Age. IIE Networker, Fall 2016.

“Initiating and Sustaining University-Wide COIL Programs: Steps to Success” by Natalia Dyba, Keiko Ikeda and Jon Rubin. IIE Networker, Fall 2016.

“Classrooms without borders”. UW Innovators Among Us, October 1, 2015.

“Virtual Study Abroad” by Alexandra Vollman. INSIGHT Into Diversity, June 2015.

“Teaching with Tech Across Borders” by Elizabeth Redden. Inside Higher Ed, July 9, 2014.

“New Windows on the World” by Christopher Connell. NAFSA International Educator, May/June 2014.