Langara COIL-VE Fellows program: creating a community of practitioners

Langara College’s Centre for Intercultural Engagement recently established the Collaborative Online Intercultural Learning Virtual Exchange (COIL-VE) Fellows program to support and train faculty from Langara and partner institutions in the development of Collaborative Online Intercultural Learning (COIL) projects. The program was created as part of the College’s internationalization strategy with the goal to enhance learning and teaching in support of the development of global citizens.

“Global citizenship is one of the four pillars of the College’s internationalization strategy,” said Dr. Natasha Mrkic-Subotic, Intercultural Engagement Consultant, Centre for Intercultural Engagement, Langara College. “When we started to look at how we could grow global citizenship, COIL came to the forefront. It is the perfect steppingstone to internationalization and an amazing way to connect students and faculty to global opportunities regardless of a person’s or program’s financial situation.”

“COIL-VE gives us a chance to further increase the probability of our students being exposed to different people and different perspectives,” said Yue-Ching Cheng, Program Coordinator, Recreation Studies Department and COIL-VE Facilitator, Langara College. “I think students need more than just course learning outcomes to develop into highly functioning-critically thinking-global citizens. COIL can quantum leap the student experience from just writing papers and taking quizzes to demonstrating mastery of the course content.”

Langara’s COIL-VE Fellows program offers a series of five foundational workshops for faculty and staff interested in undertaking a COIL project. The goals are to help participants better understand the key elements of COIL; critically reflect on the equity and reciprocity of international partnerships; learn about technology tools available; connect with ideas for COIL assignments; explore evaluation methods and tools; and complete a course syllabus.

“The workshops have been really well received,” said Mrkic-Subotic. “So far, we’ve had over 40 faculty and staff from 12 countries attend. Everyone who completes the workshops is invited to join our virtual exchange network. We want to create a community of practice, a space where COIL practitioners from different countries, institutions, and economic backgrounds can connect, exchange ideas, and learn from each other. Our ultimate dream is to be able to offer COIL as part of all programs of study.”

The COIL-VE workshops are offered each term and are open to faculty members from any institution in BC and their COIL partners. To learn more, visit Langara’s Centre for Intercultural Engagement webpage.