Academic Connections Worldwide

COIL Initiative

International Course Collaboration Using Technology

The COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) Initiative at UW Bothell aims to deepen global engagement of students in the classroom, without requiring travel abroad, by implementing online collaboration with international partners. Read more about our learning outcomes for COIL Courses at UW Bothell.

Video produced by Greg Tuke and Marc Studer

COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) is an approach to fostering global competence through development of a multicultural learning environment that links university classes in different countries. Using various communication technologies, students complete shared assignments and projects, with faculty members from each country co-teaching and managing coursework. The term COIL was coined by the State University of New York. UW Bothell's COIL Initiative has benefitted from the many resources available on the SUNY COIL Center website.

Since 2013, UW Bothell has conducted a series of professional development workshops for faculty, hosted Global Engagement through Technology symposia, and developed the COIL Fellows program, which supports UW faculty (on the Bothell and Tacoma campuses currently) in launching COIL courses. We are grateful for financial support from the Jackson School of International Studies to launch our initial efforts, and subsequent support from UWB Academic Affairs to continue the program. 

In October 2019, UW Bothell, along with UW Tacoma and several other institutions hosted the inaugural International Virtual Exchange Conference in Tacoma. IVEC 2019 brought together over 360 practitioners, professionals, and policy makers from 30 countries interested in technology, international education, and new pedagogies. During the pandemic, IVEC 2020 and IVEC 2021 have been online events, attracting 500 participants from around the world each.

Map showing where IVEC 2019 attendees came from

COIL Courses at the UW

Since 2014, over 25 COIL courses have been implemented in various departments on all three UW campuses, engaging over 700 students. Several more courses are under development. View the complete list here.

During the 2016-17 academic year, and again in 2019-20, the number of UWB students engaged in a COIL course surpassed the number of students studying abroad.


Interested in teaching a COIL course or launching a COIL initiative on your campus? Check out this page where we've compiled tools to help you move forward.

COIL Fellows

You can still join the 2023 cohort of COIL Fellows. Review the CFP and apply by Dec 21!

Contact Us

Natalia Dyba, Director, Global Initiatives

COIL in the News

Virtual Exchange: Connected Learning in the Digital Age. IIE Networker, Fall 2016.

“Initiating and Sustaining University-Wide COIL Programs: Steps to Success” by Natalia Dyba, Keiko Ikeda and Jon Rubin. IIE Networker, Fall 2016.

"Classrooms without borders". UW Innovators Among Us, October 1, 2015. 

"Virtual Study Abroad" by Alexandra Vollman. INSIGHT Into Diversity, June 2015.

"Teaching with Tech Across Borders" by Elizabeth Redden. Inside Higher Ed, July 9, 2014.

"New Windows on the World" by Christopher Connell. NAFSA International Educator, May/June 2014.