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The Institute of Innovative Global Education (IIGE) based at Kansai University is the leader of Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) initiatives in Japan. The IIGE, through Kansai University, has received significant funding from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in Japan. This support is through the Inter-University Exchange Project Supporting Exchange with U.S. Universities Using COIL-style Education to develop, promote and support a range of COIL and virtual exchange (VE) projects involving global partners and collaborators.

One of the main founding goals of the IIGE was to promote exchange between students in Japan and the U.S. in order to further strengthen relations and build teaching and learning communities between the two countries. In addition, the COIL Plus program in Kansai University includes short visits abroad for students at partner universities.

The COIL method is a form of VE that enables educators and students to interact through a variety of interfaces with distant partners. COIL is usually embedded within traditional modes of teaching and learning, and COIL outcomes are in the form of collaborative student projects.

COIL can be undertaken over several weeks, can be embedded in short-term exchange programs, and has considerable flexibility with regard to how courses and programs can effectively utilize VE to enhance the student learning experience.

The IIGE acts as both facilitator and resource for COIL and VE undertakings to a number of diverse communities, including Kansai University educators and students, universities and affiliated institutions in Japan, international universities, and organizations interested in exploring COIL and VE for internship, practicum, and training purposes.

The IIGE has also taken the initiative to provide a COIL matching platform through ImmerseU and is at the forefront of COIL assessment and evaluation using psychometric assessment tools such as the BEVI.

The mission of the IIGE is to help identify, develop and facilitate learning communities in a variety of areas.

These include developing partnerships between educators and institutions around the world, sustaining meaningful student VE interactions, promoting exchange and collaboration within institutions, and fostering a sense of positivity towards the development of new and innovative teaching and learning methods.

Open Education Resource

The term "open educational resources" was first used in a forum held at UNESCO in 2002 titled "Impact of Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries". Open Educational Resources are educational resources that are free and open to everyone.

Community Sites where IIGE plays a role as a Global Moderator

Break the "ice"olation

This Forum was created for the Virtual Exchange (VE) community and is open and free for all VE practitioners. Here, you will be able to share your thoughts/questions related to VE with your peers as well as attein information useful for your VE practice. This forum is run by the VE community and maintained by Class2Class. If you are interested in becoming a part of VE community, please contact

Open Resource Sites

UNESCO Digital Library

The UNESCO Digital Library provides access to publications, documents and other materials either produced by UNESCO or relevant to UNESCO’s areas of competence. It is a source of information on UNESCO activities (in education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information), with more than 350,000 documents dating back to 1945.

Tell your story

In this space, people from the UNESCO Associated Schools Network share their stories on how they are learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. As schools begin to open in some parts of the world, UNESCO is asking people to share their experiences of resuming education in the COVID-19 era.

Stevens Initiative

"The Stevens Initiative is an international effort to build career and global competence skills for young people in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa by growing and enhancing the field of virtual exchange: online, international, and collaborative learning." Their response to the Coronavirus Pandemic includes three pathways (Fund, Training & Mentorship, Resources) to support various stakeholders as the pandemic impacts education.

American Council on Education

The American Council on Education (ACE) "is a membership organization that mobilizes the higher education community to shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practice." ACE has responded to COVID-19 by assembling various resources to help people in the higher education community make informed decisions about their needs.


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