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Saturday, March 17 • 3:00pm - 3:30pm
Researching COIL across the Atlantic: 'If you want to learn to swim, jump into the water.'

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SUNY Oswego and the University of Antwerp decided to start a COIL project in 2013 in order to offer a joint course in “Intercultural communication”. Through the COIL co-operation both institutions can offer their students a unique opportunity for acquiring international learning experiences.
The COIL course on “Intercultural communication” includes six modules with different assignments which are identically communicated to the Oswego and Antwerp students by means of an online manual on Blackboard, email, Q&A sessions in class and updates on Facebook. The long-term Oswego-UAntwerp co-operation clearly shows that a COIL course is a work in progress struggling with several important issues: planning the interaction of students, assignments and deadlines, assessment methods etc.
Recent research on the added value of COIL with regard to students’ intercultural competences combined validated scales (e.g. on Intercultural Communication Anxiety and Multiculturalism) and self-evaluation in a questionnaire, administered to both Oswego and Antwerp student groups at the beginning and at the end of the semesters.
This research clearly shows a positive impact on students’ intercultural comptetences at both institutions. Although some students were not convinced of their progress in the area of cross-cultural insights, they stressed the benefits of the COIL course with regard to communication skills in a multilingual context. Oswego students tended to evaluate their learning effects even more positively than UAntwerp students. However, it should be taken into account that the language used between American students and Belgian students was English.
Overall the COIL initiative certainly was positive for both SUNY Oswego and the University of Antwerp because it better prepares the participants for a cross-cultural academic and professional environment. With further research and practice COIL can maintain its crucial function of offering an innovative and stimulating learning environment in which students can improve their intercultural competences.


Sabine De Vriendt

Co-ordinator (Department Of Education: LLL), University of Antwerp (Belgium)
Sabine De Vriendt, Antwerp University (Belgium), Department of Education. As a co-ordinator of the Life Long Learning programmes at Antwerp University (SUNY Global Partner Network) Sabine De Vriendt became involved in the COIL projects because of the opportunities for internationalisation@home... Read More →

Saturday March 17, 2018 3:00pm - 3:30pm EDT
Room 9 FIT Conference Center

Attendees (7)