Collaborative Online International Learning Programme

Nowadays, we are constantly in connection with others all around the world. Imagine using that connection in your teaching by bringing students from different cultures and institutes together in one (virtual) classroom. Or in other words: Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL). Interested in this subject? To implement COIL in your teaching you can join the COIL programme of the Centre for Academic Teaching and Learning.

During this programme, each participant will create or redesign (a part of) a course, module or project so that it is suited for collaborative online international learning (COIL). COIL courses have four key principles:

  1. It involves collaboration or interaction with students from different backgrounds and cultures;
  2. Students must engage in some sort of online interaction, whether it is asynchronous or synchronous;
  3. It must be driven by a set of internationalised learning outcomes aimed at developing global perspectives and/or fostering students’ intercultural competences;
  4. There must be a reflective component that helps students think critically about such interactions.

To help as much as possible with incorporating these principles, this programme for lecturers gives you support by providing lectures and workshops from experts on COIL topics such as collaborative learning and intercultural skills, but also practical issues such as governance are discussed. Throughout the programme, there is room to connect and exchange with your fellow lecturers.

For whom?

The course is designed for lecturers at UU, UCU, UCR or UMCU who want to design and teach a COIL course, or redesign an existing course to a COIL course.

When and where?

The programme consists of six sessions at the Utrecht Science Park.

  • Thursday, 10 October 2024, 9:00 – 12.30
  • Thursday, 14 November 2024, 9:00 – 12:30
  • Thursday, 12 December 2024, 9:00 – 12:30
  • Thursday, 16 January 2025, 9:00 – 12:30
  • Thursday, 20 February 2025, 9:00 – 12:30
  • Thursday, 20 March 2025, 13:30 – 17:00

Why relevant?

  • Your students will gain intercultural awareness and work on their intercultural competencies;
  • You further develop your own intercultural awareness, of which reflection is an important part;
  • You can develop new institutional partnerships or make use of your already existing partnerships;
  • Your students will be better prepared for international teams and more oriented to study abroad;
  • It will create a dynamic and low-cost curricular internationalisation opportunity on our campus;
  • Your students can learn about the field they are studying from a different perspective;
  • Your students will gain digital literacy skills and be better prepared to work in virtual teams;
  • COIL improves your students' English communication skills by working with (other) students who speak English.

Time investment

Participation in this course will require approximately 50 hours. Those hours are spent attending six sessions (half a day each), preparing for the sessions, and designing the COIL course.

Practical information

  • The programme is free of charge to UU teachers, but participants are expected to invest time in this course and participate in all sessions.
  • There is room for a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 18 teachers.
  • Would you like to (re)design the course with a colleague? Then sign up both of you. You can also sign up with your teaching team.
  • The language of instruction at the programme is English.
  • Participation requires a letter of motivation as to why you want to participate, and a signature from your supervisor.
  • At the end of the course, you will receive a certificate if you participated in all sessions.

What do you need to bring as a participant?

As a participant, you must have a suitable course to (re)design, and an international collaboration partner. Prior to the session, it is possible to attend a meeting to help you find a partner. Please let us know your need for this when you register.


Sign up no later than Tuesday 3 September 2024. Would you like to (re)design the course with a colleague? Then both of you need to sign up. Please note: full is full. The intake interviews will take place on Monday 16 September and Thursday 19 September and will last 20 minutes.

To the registration form

Want to know more about COIL?

  • Appiah-Kubi, P., & Annan, E. (2020). A Review of a Collaborative Online International Learning. International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy, 10(1): pp. 109–124. 10.3991/ijep.v10i1.11678
  • Naicker, A., Singh, E. & van Genugten, T. (2021). Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL): Preparedness and experiences of South African students. Innovations in Education and Teaching International10.1080/14703297.2021.1895867
  • Villar-Onrubia, D. & Rajpal, B. (2016). Online international learning. Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education, 20(2-3): pp. 75-82. 10.1080/13603108.2015.1067652