Getting Started

A COIL Road Map for Professors

1. Reflect on COIL as Pedagogy

  • Model: Visit the SUNY COIL Center’s Intro to COIL and new websites, and UAlbany’s COIL websites
  • Goals: There are many reasons and approaches to COIL. What do you want a COIL intervention to do for student learning outcomes (SLOs), teaching, research, curriculum, and departmental priorities?
  • Time: COIL often consists of 5-8 weeks of project-based learning on global teams, incorporating icebreakers, timely evaluation and reflection. What time do you have in your course? What is manageable and will make an impact? Academic Calendars vary widely so be prepared for that. 
  • Communication and Flexibility: Professors model engaging and equitable interactions for their students. Enter the process open to your partner’s COIL goals and ideas, and their student and institutional cultures. Much is gained by navigating vs. avoiding this diversity. Inter-disciplinary course pairings (vs. seeking exact matches of course topic, level, and size) lead to great success. 

2. Ask for Help

  • Request a consultation from UAlbany’s COIL Coordinators at [email protected]
    • Reach out for support ASAP, ideally a semester or a few months before your collaboration.
  • UAlbany’s COIL Coordinators provide on demand "just in time” support, including with
    • Logistics: instructional technology, course attribute coding, and onboarding students
    • Coaching: student learning outcomes (SLOs), intercultural learning, troubleshooting   
  • Additional support can be found on the Tools and Resources page.

3. Find a Partner

  • Do you already have a colleague in mind for your COIL partner? If so, great! If not, let us help!
    • There are many partnering sources: research collaborators, university bilateral exchanges, the global COIL network, grant initiatives, and virtual exchange conferences and workshops
    • Start off any partnership with a firm foundation: Finding and Building Strong Partnerships
  • Meet up (bi)weekly leading up to the collaboration semester and throughout the semester.   

4. Design the COIL Module

  • Your exciting task is to jointly create a shared online module to insert in your courses and syllabi.
  • Engage in backwards design, discussing your individual and collective SLO goals (disciplinary and intercultural learning) for transforming knowledge, skills, and attitudes.
  • Questions to consider:
    • What meaningful activities will students engage in?
    • What icebreaker, teamwork, and reflection exercises work best for this collaboration?  
    • How will students know what is expected of them?
    • How will guidance and feedback be provided?
    • How will student teams be formed and coached?
    • Where, how, and when will students connect online?
    • How much creative autonomy and professional responsibility will students enjoy? 
  • Your COIL Coordinators can provide sample syllabi and resources for aligning your approaches.
  • Think that you are ready to COIL? Read this first: COIL Readiness Self Assessment

5. Prepare Students

  • Students need to know that they will COIL (via the Schedule of Classes and syllabi) and why.  
  • Visit Information for Students for academic, professional, and personal development benefits.
  • Consult your COIL Coordinators on strategies for student orientation and onboarding, securing informed consent, and building excitement for COIL process, projects, and products.