Virtual Exchanges, or Collaborative Online International Learning (COILs), can be used in teaching to bring together students who are geographically separated and/or from different cultural backgrounds with the aim of enhancing the students’ learning experience. Students will, in fact, collaborate across cultures to complete set learning activities on shared subjects: this increases their understanding of the studied materials, whilst contributing to the development of a global citizenship mindset.
In June, the Centre for Learning & Teaching hosted a guest lecture from Virtual Exchange pioneer Dr Robert O’Dowd, followed by discussions with staff and students in the University’s Foreign Languages Centre and School of Management, Princess Sumaya University for Technology, Amman, and Stellenbosch University. All have led different forms of virtual exchanges. A recording of this event can be viewed here. In a series of videos, members of staff involved in virtual exchanges also explain their experiences of running such initiatives.
We are keen to work with academic staff who would like to pilot a Virtual Exchange, or COIL, within one of their existing units in semester two, 2021-22. We can provide support and advice, training materials and can help identify colleagues from our international partner institutions who would like to collaborate.
If you would like to get involved, or find out more please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.