Academic Connections Worldwide

COIL Initiative

International Course Collaboration Using Technology

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.

Video produced by Greg Tuke and Marc Studer

COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) is an approach to fostering 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 2013, UW Bothell has conducted a series of professional development workshops for faculty, hosted Global Engagement through Technology symposia, and developed the UW COIL Fellows program, which supports UW faculty to launch COIL courses. We are grateful for financial support from the Jackson School of International Studies to launch our initial efforts, and subsequent support from UWB Academic Affairs to continue the program. UW Tacoma and several schools on the UW Seattle campus are creating similar professional development opportunities for their faculty.

In October 2019, UW Bothell, along with UW Tacoma and several other institutions hosted the inaugural International Virtual Exchange Conference. IVEC 2019 brought together over 360 practitioners, professionals, and policy makers from 30 countries interested in technology, international education, and new pedagogies. 

Map showing where IVEC 2019 attendees came from

COIL Courses at the UW

Since 2014, over 25 COIL courses have been implemented in various departments on all three UW campuses, engaging over 700 students. Several more courses are under development. View the complete list here.

During the 2016-17 academic year, the number of UWB students engaged in a COIL course surpassed the number of students studying abroad for the first time.

Intro Webinar

Watch the recording of our Intro to COIL Webinar, hosted in November 2016.


Interested in teaching a COIL course or launching a COIL initiative on your campus? Check out this page where we've compiled some tools to help you move forward.

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.