About COIL

What is COIL | How Does UAlbany COIL | Why Should I COIL | How Can I COIL

What is COIL

COIL stands for Collaborative Online International Learning, which is SUNY's flagship approach to international Virtual Exchange or VE

VE is known by many names, including globally networked learning, telecollaboration, global classrooms, mirror classrooms, and even CLICK (Collaborative Learning for International Capabilities and Knowledge), practiced in French at UAlbany long before COIL. As explained by SUNY COIL Center Founding Director Jon Rubin, "If Virtual Exchange is sports, then COIL is Basketball, one type of VE." 

COIL is initiated by faculty, separated by geography and time zones, united by their common purpose of revolutionizing learning spaces, communities, and outcomes. But COIL is truly for and by students. Some COIL projects involve collaboration with communities and organizations like NGOs and start-ups, with COIL projects akin to virtual internships! 

COIL reflects SUNY's mission of Global Learning for All. Despite "digital divides," COIL delivers unprecedented access to global classrooms, knowledge, and communities. COIL is a unique intervention in or enhancement to learning, not virtual study abroad. COIL modules are embedded into existing courses by partnered professors, with students registering at their own universities. Therefore, the only extras involved in COIL are time, effort, and returns, such as cultural humility, global engagement, capacity and skill-building.  

COIL leverages online, applied, accessible, inclusive, innovative, project, and team-based learning all in one! 


  • is hosted on free online learning and social media platforms.
  • engages via authentic project-based learning (PBL) on global teams. 
  • transforms subject matter and intercultural learning, as well as professional development, including digital literacy skills.
  • crosses boundaries of subject area, course level, language, and many more... 

How Does UAlbany COIL?

Click here to watch a brief slide show on UAlbany's approach to COIL.

At UAlbany, COIL is about Classroom Communities Connecting Across Nations. UAlbany CAN COIL and how! 


  • leads among SUNY university centers engaged in COIL, with an active Community of Practice and Research
  • COILs across disciplines: anthropology, business, education, electrical and environmental engineering/sciences, languages, literatures, and cultures, law, leadership, and public health. 
  • COILs across nations: Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, and Venezuela... 
  • engages and partners widely on virtual exchange advocacy, grant, assessment, global goals, and social justice initiatives.  

Why Should I COIL?

As a Professor or Student

  • COIL is about Intercultural and Global Learning!
    • • Students produce cross/transcultural knowledge as peer global citizens
    • • Students' communities, experiences, and voices are valued
    • • Everyone confronts some biases about the world, selves, and others
  • COIL is about Engaging!
    • • Active and applied learning
    • • Authentic projects and interactions
    • • Collective decision-making and problem-solving with a purpose
  • COIL is about Student Success!
    • • Students leverage global team and project-based learning (TBL, PBL)
    • • Students practice critical digital literacy, conflict, and time management
    • • Students develop 21st century global workforce skills and global citizenship

There are many reasons and ways to COIL. What will yours be?

How Can I COIL?



Isn't it about time that we COIL together?