About COIL

The SUNY Center for Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) is one of the leading international organizations focused on the emerging field of Globally Networked Learning (GNL); a teaching and learning methodology which provides innovative cost-effective internationalization strategies. Such programs foster faculty and student interaction with peers abroad through co-taught multicultural online and blended learning environments emphasizing experiential student collaboration. COIL was founded by Prof. Jon Rubin as a faculty-led initiative at SUNY's Purchase College with support from SUNY System Administration's Office of International Programs and the SUNY Learning Network. Now based in New York City, COIL has been a unit of SUNY Global since 2010.


COIL:  From the Latin Colligere and the Medieval French Coillir: "To Gather Together"

Our Mission:

To encourage and support the development and implementation of collaborative online international courses as a format for experiential cross-cultural learning at SUNY, across the U.S. and around the world. Thereby participating students are sensitized to the larger world by deepening their understanding of themselves, their culture, how they are perceived and how they perceive others. These globally networked courses also intensify disciplinary learning in fields where engaging other cultural perspectives is key. COIL seeks to build bridges between study abroad, instructional design and teaching faculty through team-taught courses, thereby promoting, integrating and enhancing international education experiences across the curriculum. The COIL Center also strives to help international programs offices better integrate technology into their workflow.


COIL has developed an approach to fostering cross-cultural student competence through development of multicultural learning environments that link university or college classes in different countries. In the COIL model, students from different cultures enroll in shared courses with faculty members from each country co-teaching and managing coursework. The COIL model does not merely promote courses where students from different nations co-habit an online classroom. Rather, we advocate creation of co-equal learning environments where instructors work together to generate a shared syllabus based on solid academic coursework emphasizing experiential and collaborative student learning. The classes may be fully online, or offered in blended formats with traditional face-to-face sessions taking place at both schools, while collaborative student work takes place online.

COIL is excited about the future, as we continue to develop projects and partnerships which reinforce SUNY's place as a leader in the field of globally networked learning. By broadening our reach from across the State of New York to the rest of the country and beyond, by opening dialogue between faculty, international programs offices and Instructional Design staff across traditional disciplinary, institutional and cultural boundaries, COIL embraces the new globally networked landscape of academia. This is in line with COIL’s goals to encourage and support collaborative online international learning as a means to internationalize curricula, build global partnerships, and help prepare globally competent students equipped for work and civic engagement in a global context.