"Virtual Exchange--COIL" 37 posts Sort by created date Sort by defined ordering View as a grid View as a list

Zoom in, Zoom out

I have used this activity for years in language and linguistics classrooms (face to face) and have found it very useful for getting learners to a more complex understanding of culture when their minds automatically jump to differences at the level of national culture. It translates extremely well to the online context, either synchronous or asynchronous, and would be perfect for preparation for COIL because it gets people beyond thinking of nations as monolithic wholes represented by their peer counterparts.

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Counter-Storytelling

This is a great activity for learners who need to know more about micro-aggressions (specifically those encountered by Asians and Asian-Americans in a higher education context) and how to counter them. I did it recently online with staff, but it could easily be used for students as well. It is a great mix of theory and practice, includes multimedia, and ends with a useful discussion of cultural humility.

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Video of Forum EA 2020 Conference Session

Big thanks to the Forum on EA for helping us (myself and Drs. Jennifer Wiley and Carine Ullom) make this recent conference presentation available to the public. 

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Forum EA's Guide to Online Global Learning

Just out from the Forum on Education Abroad is this introductory guide for international education professionals and faculty interested in COIL, virtual exchange, and other forms of online global learning. I was happy to contribute content to this guide and am excited to see it available to the public now!

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Kris Acheson-Clair onto Virtual Exchange--COIL

Looking for evidence of COIL effectiveness?

Carine Ullom, a colleague at the University of Ottawa, sent me the link to this recent large scale longitudinal study that documents the impact of virtual exchange on learner development in teacher education programs in Europe. 

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Virtual Options for Intercultural Learning

I recently created this table to encourage Purdue faculty and staff to explore virtual alternatives to more traditional ways they may have previously engaged students in intercultural learning. I hope it is inspiring!

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Looking to embed existing modules into your course?

I highly recommend the modules offered by CoreCollaborative International in collaboration with Crossing Borders Education. They use an innovative method and evidence-based best practices and have been demonstrated with research at Glasgow University to be highly effective in engaging students (increasing retention of elective course participants from 40-95%). 

Some excerpts from student comments in the Glasgow study:

  • The group that I was allocated to were from different backgrounds. We shared our fears, goals and we even opened up and talked about our daily issues. I felt as if I knew the other students before.

  • The workshop yesterday was particularly emotional, as every participant in my group was able to open up its heart, to share its deepest feelings, fears and hopes without fear of being judged. Furthermore, the topics addressed offered an opportunity to reflect and practice immediately, offering a new perspective on things: for example, much has been said about women feeling unsafe around men at times, which made me reflect on how my behaviour could have, at times, been misinterpreted as “threatening” or “source of anxiety”. 

As is obvious from these student comments, through these modules, learners share in meaningful peer learning across difference. The modules use an innovative patent-pending methodology that encourages participants to engage interactively with peers in transformative learning activities and discussions. The "Virtual Fishbowl Process" is based on a four-step Modeling-Reflection-Dialogue-Debriefing paradigm. 

Embedding this module within existing courses supports campus comprehensive internationalization and campus climate improvement initiatives, as it connects students of different backgrounds both locally and abroad. The intercultural learning material is relevant across many disciplines, with content that is applicable to courses on many different topics. Group sizes are flexible, and instructors can facilitate the content themselves or outsource that mentoring to highly skilled facilitators.

The duration of the stereotypes module is 10 hours (3 weeks of micro-lessons and facilitated small group meetings). The cost, which can be covered by an institution or passed on to students as a "textbook" or "lab" fee, is $75 per student. 

The link above takes you to a contact form for more information. See also:

https:/crossingborders.education

http://corecollaborative.com 

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Virtual Exchange presentation at Forum on Education Abroad 2020

Here are the slides from my recent Forum on Education Abroad presentation with Jen Wiley (James Madison University) and Carine Ullom (Ottawa University). 

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Resources for Virtual Exchange

This link sends you to a Google Doc compiled by Dr. Carine Ullom, Associate Dean of Instructional Innovation at Ottawa University that contains a very comprehensive and well-organized list of resources for COIL/VE/GCTL. She kindly shared this with the public at a recent presentation I did with her at the virtual Forum on Education Abroad conference. 

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Forum on Education Abroad Webinar on Virtual Exchange

Mary Lou Forward, Executive Director of the SUNY COIL center, and I recently (April 2, 2020) facilitated a webinar on Virtual Exchange for the Forum on Education Abroad's free "Response to COVID-19" series.  The video and slides are both permanently available free from the Forum website: www.forumea.org/webinars. This presentation gives a basic intro to virtual exchange, provides three models of virtual exchange along with examples of each, discusses the process of developing a VE, and links to a wealth of training opportunities and resources. 

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Intentionality with Social Presence

One of the challenges of COIL is to support connection and relationships between participants. Like intercultural competence development, we can't count on it to happen on its own naturally without careful planning. I found the tips on fostering social presence and interaction on Brigham Young University's site helpful for the Virtual Exchange context. Starting with icebreakers to help learners get to know each other and continuing throughout the course with best practices in relationship development and maintenance, social presence should be a constant in COIL instructor course design!

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Florida International University resource page for Global Learning

Stephanie Dorscher at FIU has put together a useful resource page for faculty engaging in COIL or Virtual Exchange. She has posted sample activities, recommended strategies, sources of information, and more.

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YouTube Ethnography Project

While it was originally designed for study abroad pre-departure courses, Anthony Ogden's YouTube Ethnography Project is easily adaptable to a COIL context. Here is what I would do: 

1. Put COIL students in diverse pairs or small groups. 

2. Have them complete Step 1, creating their own videos. Alternately, they could find existing videos that represent their own culture(s). 

3. Instead of framing their ethnographic research on YouTube as trying to under their host culture, have them search for and analyze videos related to the culture of their diverse teammates, including the videos those learners have already posted. 

4. Team members can serve as cultural informants for each other, responding to conclusions drawn in the ethnographies when they are presented to the group.

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Interviewing Siri

This activity is a fun way to engage the digital native generation in critical thinking. It could easily be done asynchronously in a virtual exchange or COIL setting - simply give the instructions, have learners complete the activity alone or in pairs and write reflections on their findings, and then debrief in a discussion board. The debriefing could occur in a synchronous discussion if you prefer. 

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Annette Benson's collection of Tools for Online Learning

HubICL manager Annette Benson has created a very robust (nearly a hundred posts, last time I looked) collection of activities that translate well to virtual platforms. For those of you overwhelmed by the number of options in the HubICL toolbox or in need of guidance about what works/doesn't work online rather than in person, this is a great starting point to find appropriate tools. Don't forget to always align your choices with your intended learning outcomes! 

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Katherine Yngve's collection of online intercultural 'courses'

If you are looking for a self-contained program of study out there that you could send learners to or incorporate into a course or training program of your own, Katherine Yngve has some suggestions for you in a HubICL collection called Online Intercultural Learning Curriculum Options.

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Prepping English-speakers for English-medium interactions with non-native speakers

Many COIL experiences use English as the medium of instruction, with a mix of native and non-native English speakers participating. In some cases, it's a good idea to prepare the native English-speakers for these interactions by helping them to understand what non-native speakers may be experiencing. Redundancia is a very effective (though not free) empathy-building activity that is a great way to make native speakers more aware of the power dynamics that privilege their own contributions to discussions and more willing to be accommodating listeners in COIL/international virtual education interactions with non-native speakers. Another option - and this can be done with the whole group, not just the native speakers - is to watch a relevant film clip from the Crossing Borders Education film, "The Dialogue" (#3 of the list of clips linked above - "On speaking a foreign language") and extract lessons from it in a debriefing discussion.

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Encouraging students to be open to "hard-to-pronounce" names of their counterparts in COIL

CILMAR Intercultural Learning Specialist Florence Adibu has recommended this reading to prep students for interacting with others whose names they may perceive to be "hard". She writes (in a review of the Name Game activity):

Consider reading this article about the importance of having an attitude of curiosity when learning unfamiliar names. "Names That Are Unfamiliar to You Aren't "Hard," They're "Unpracticed": "It's time to change the conversation around 'difficult' names."

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Perspective taking - before, during, or after COIL

Imaginative discussion activities such as "If I woke up tomorrow" make great reflective tools for empathy building and the development of capacity for perspective taking. I can see this particular activity being useful before a COIL/international virtual education experience (or in preparation for study abroad), during a program or course - for example when a critical incident occurs that students need help processing - or after an experience such as in a reentry course or debriefing. For COIL, you should probably tailor the activity so that students are perspective taking relevant to other cultural groups involved in the program. For study abroad, target various subgroups of the host culture.

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Guidance for students as they get to know one another

This set of questions might be a good way for pairs or small groups to get to know each other in a COIL/international virtual education experience. I would encourage the use of synchronous meeting platforms so students can talk through their responses with each other. Note that there is the original version with 25 questions and a "mini" activity with only 5, so you have some options in terms of how much time you want to devote to the activity. If asynchronous communication is your only option, consider choosing 1-2 questions a week to jumpstart other discussions, so that group relationships deepen over time.

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