25 May 2024 marked a significant milestone for the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in Asia Pacific (AJCU-AP) as it hosted its Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) Training Workshop through the program’s Ateneo de Davao University secretariat. Held via Zoom from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM (GMT+8 PHST), this event brought together educators from diverse academic disciplines and cultural backgrounds across the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

The workshop aimed to equip participants with a deep understanding of COIL, tracing its evolution, current trends, and future potential within global education. In his opening remarks, Mr. Romulo Vinci Bueza extended a warm welcome to all participants, acknowledging their diverse backgrounds and the value they bring to this initiative.

The AJCU-AP COIL Training Workshop engaged seasoned COIL professors and coordinators from all over the world. It featured the work and legacy of Mr. Job Rubin himself, the founder of COIL Connect and the man whose work with many others fostered COIL in its inceptions from 2006, under the State University of New York (SUNY) System.

During Mr. Jon Rubin’s session, participants embarked on a journey through the evolution of COIL. From its inception to current trends and future possibilities, attendees gained insight into the historical development of COIL, tracing its milestones and influential moments. They explored recent innovations shaping COIL practices, identifying both opportunities for growth and challenges ahead. Mr. Rubin’s session sparked discussions on the future directions of COIL, providing educators and institutions with valuable foresight into the evolving landscape of global education.

The participants also benefited from yet another noteworthy champion of COIL in South America. Ms. Xóchitl León Oyarzabal joined the session from the Center of Internationalization, Languages and Cultures, of the Universidad Iberoamericana Torreón in Mexico. Her university has made strides towards training professors, aiding and capacitating them for the implementation of their COIL partnerships.

In Ms. Xóchitl León Oyarzabal’s session, participants focused on “Bridging Intercultural Classrooms: Introducing COIL to Students and Fostering Global Mindsets.” Practical strategies were shared for introducing COIL to students and fostering intercultural competence from the outset. It delved into anticipating and addressing common intercultural clashes that may arise during COIL projects, equipping COIL professors with conflict resolution skills to create a respectful and productive collaborative environment. Ultimately, her talk was an invitation to explore diverse perspectives that will aid students in enhancing their understanding of international issues and promoting effective collaboration across cultural boundaries.

Afterwards, in Dr. Daniel Nolan’s session on “Mastering COIL Co-Facilitation towards Maximizing Efficiency and Engagement,” participants delved into the intricacies of online facilitation and collaborative efforts between COIL partner professors. Dr. Nolan outlined best practices for utilizing online platforms to facilitate discussions and activities, emphasizing the importance of effective student engagement and collaboration. Dr. Nolan provided insights that drew from his experiences as the COIL Coordinator of the University of Minnesota Systemwide COIL Initiative for several years. With his help, attendees explored a variety of online tools tailored for COIL projects, with a focus on maximizing efficiency and enhancing student engagement. Furthermore, the session provided strategies for managing time and coordinating activities and deadlines between partner professors, ensuring the smooth execution of collaborative projects. Participants left the session equipped with practical insights to enhance their co-facilitation skills and maximize the effectiveness of their COIL initiatives.

The training workshop finished strong with Dr. Maria Teresa B. Isidor, Assistant Dean of the School of Education, and Dr. Maria Carmela S. Abay, Chairperson of the Teacher Education Department, both from Ateneo de Davao University in the Philippines, leading a session on “Designing the COIL Syllabus: Identifying Points of Interdisciplinary Convergence.” Participants gained insights into crafting COIL syllabi to promote student engagement and successful learning outcomes. The session explored strategies for identifying and incorporating points of interdisciplinary convergence, enriching the COIL experience through diverse academic perspectives. The COIL Champions received guidance on finalizing COIL syllabi to ensure they are cohesive, clear, and aligned with the collaborative goals of the program. Towards the end, the COIL Champions were able to present their syllabi, all poised for implementation.

The AJCU-AP COIL Training Workshop marks a significant step forward in promoting global education and intercultural competence through collaborative online learning. The comprehensive training provided empowered educators to implement effective COIL projects, fostering international collaboration and enriching the educational experiences of students across the globe. As the program progresses, the AJCU-AP looks forward to seeing the positive impact of these efforts on global education and the continued growth of the COIL community.