Collaborative Online International Learning

Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) is a teaching method that emerged from the State University of New York (SUNY) System. The COIL method partners students in U.S. classrooms with students in classrooms in other countries thereby allowing them to work collaboratively to complete academic tasks that have been designed (also collaboratively) by their course instructors. Given that just under 10% of U.S. undergraduates study abroad before graduating in four years, the COIL method makes it possible to deliver a global-learning experience to the 90% of undergraduates who cannot study abroad. At GSC these numbers are even more stark: 99% of graduates do NOT study abroad.

GSC COIL ParticipantsIn 2014 Glenville State College was selected as one of three national winners of the SUNY-ACE Internationalization Through Technology Award. Due to historical and cultural ties to Asturias, Spain, GSC partnered with the University of Oviedo. In Spring of 2015, Dr. Gibbons and Dr. De Matteo launched two pilot courses. These courses now regularly include a COIL module and, fortunately, several new COIL modules and partnerships have been developed. GSC students currently have the opportunity to COIL with students in Malaysia, Mexico and Spain. In Fall of 2016 seventy five GSC students participated in COILed courses as compared to zero study abroad participants.

Due to the success of the GSC pilot program, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission has embraced the COIL method as one of the pillars of its internationalization efforts in the state of West Virginia. Dr. Gibbons provides training to faculty throughout the state in her role as COIL Coordinator for the WVHEPC, and she is conducting research related to COIL and the development of intercultural competencies.

GSC Faculty who have COILed:

  • Art DeMatteo (HIST 208)
  • Rico Gazal (NRMT 201)
  • Megan Gibbons (SPAN 170 and SPAN 308)
  • Marisha Lecea (POSC 401)
  • Shelly Ratliff (READ 318)
  • Leslie Ward (CSCI 305)
  • Melody Wise (ENG 102).

So What's It Like

Another thing that I find really important is that we have learned a lot about the educational system in the USA, having the opportunity to hear the point of view of the students is not that common, and we have been really lucky. We have also learned quite a lot about your state, and it really looks amazing, and not very different from our Asturias, which I think is amazing. I would really love to visit some day in the (near) future.

-Paloma, UO

I'm so glad that I got to work with a COIL group this semester at school. I wish I could continue with COIL into other classes so I could have the outside eyes helping me think about things in different ways.

-Randy, GSC

The COIL coursework actually caused me to focus more in the class because I enjoyed hearing others’ opinions. I am not much of a reader and actually enjoyed reading this text as well as the short texts that we discussed. I feel as if I have a better understanding on what the Spanish immigrants went through to get to West Virginia thanks to the drive to read that this program gave me.

-Michael, GSC



Dr. Dwight W. Heaster 
Director of International Programs
229 Louis Bennett Hall 
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