Encyclopedia of International Higher Education Systems and Institutions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pedro Teixeira (Editor-in-Chief), Jung Cheol Shin (Editor-in-Chief)

Collaborative Online International Learning in Higher Education

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9553-1_234-1



Collaborative online international learning (COIL) is an online learning in an international setting, with interactive involvement of students and faculty from different international and intercultural backgrounds in and outside the classroom.

Online international learning is mostly associated with distance education and massive open online courses (MOOCs). However, a more gradual digital addition to international teaching and learning is taking place with less attention. A survey by the European University Association (Gaebel et al. 2014) among European universities showed a strong interest in e-learning, in particular MOOCS, but joint inter-institutional collaboration in e-learning received limited attention. Only 8% (p. 47) said that e-learning was an opportunity to internationalize the curriculum.

This ignores the important contribution that “virtual mobility,” “virtual exchange,” or “online intercultural exchange,” as it is...


Online Intercultural Exchange Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) Virtual Mobility Physical Mobility International Learning Experience 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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  1. De Wit, Hans. 2013. COIL – virtual mobility without commercialization. University World News, Issue 274, 1 June 2013.Google Scholar
  2. De Wit, Hans. 2016. Internationalisation and the role of online intercultural exchange. 2016. In Online intercultural exchange: Policy, pedagogy, practice, ed. Robert O’Dowd and Tim Lewis, 69–82. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
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  4. Gaebel, M., V. Kupriyanova, R. Morais, and E. Colucci. 2014. E-learning in European higher education institutions. Results of a mapping survey conducted in October-December 2013. Brussels: European University Association.Google Scholar
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  6. UNI Collaboration. 2014. Position paper: Virtual exchange in the European Higher Education area, 2014. Retrieved from http://revistas.usc.es/export/sites/default/gcompostela/en/descargas/COIL._Position_paper.pdf.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for International Higher EducationBoston CollegeChestnut HillUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Hans de Wit
    • 1
  • Laura E. Rumbley
    • 2
  • Fiona Hunter
    • 3
  • Lisa Unangst
    • 4
  • Edward Choi
    • 5
  1. 1.Center for International Higher EducationBoston CollegeBostonUSA
  2. 2.Center for International Higher EducationBoston CollegeChestnut HillUSA
  3. 3.Centre for Higher Education InternationalisationUniversità Cattolica del Sacro CuoreMilanoItaly
  4. 4.Center for International Higher EducationBoston CollegeChestnut HillU.S.A.
  5. 5.Center for International Higher EducationBoston CollegeChestnut HillU.S.A.