Vancouver Island Program Head Finds Connection Through COIL Training

Moira McDonald initially heard about Collaborative International Online Learning (COIL) from a colleague at Royal Roads University (RRU). She was immediately intrigued and thought that her role as program head in the Bachelor of Arts in International Hotel Management program as well as school director for the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management at RRU put her in a great position to bring COIL to her students.

She enrolled in the Fall 2023 cohort of the UMAP-COIL Training Program, a three-week online introduction to COIL programs, offered by Keiko IKEDA, Professor and Vice-Director of Kansai University’s Institute for Innovative Global Education (IIGE), and affiliated training experts. The program was co-sponsored by the UMAP Canada National Secretariat and BCCIE.

Moira describes the training as, “Outstanding. It was everything I thought it would be, and more.”

This session gave participants like Moira a deeper understanding of what COIL is and how it is used. It was hosted on the ImmerseU virtual education platform, and provided the 88 attendees with an immersive experience in the tools and methodology of COIL.

The final component of the training program gave participants a chance to select partners amongst themselves and work together through a hands-on process of developing the outlines of an actual COIL course. This part of the training was led by Dr. Natasha Mrkic- Subotic, Capilano University. Moira noted the skill-level of the instructors and was particularly impressed by their ability to keep such a large group of participants engaged throughout the sessions.

“I’d like to see more members of my teaching team go through the UMAP training, there’s an immense global opportunity. COIL helps us as educators meet our responsibility to the Sustainable Development Goals, and I appreciate that very much,” says Moira.

Through the UMAP-COIL Training Program, Moira was able to create a connection with a partner at Lyceum of the Philippines University – Batangas, build a tangible project, and enhance her knowledge and skills in relation to COIL programs. She looks forward to implementing this and more COIL courses in the future.

“In our journey toward increasing inclusivity, equity, and access to international learning opportunities through UMAP, capacity building training serves as the tool. This supports faculty and staff at our member institutions to learn with and from each other. We are grateful to have COIL experts in the UMAP consortium, and we’re delighted that people like Moira have made global connections, fostering bridges that span continents and minds alike,” says Chelsey Laird, Director of the UMAP International Secretariat.

Join BCCIE & UMAP for a webinar about the Program for the Internationalization of the Curricula for the Americas (PIC-AMERICAS) on April 9. This program is designed to connect faculty across the Americas interested in COIL, offering them training and mentorship to design and implement impactful COIL courses. Find out more here