Getting Started

If you are interested in attempting a COIL exchange for the first time,or if you want to enhance past experiences, this section will offerguides on how to create and develop a successful course. From finding a suitable initial partner, through developing the aims and content of the course, to the use of suitable ICT tools to for communication and collaboration, below you will find a variety of helpful guides and tutorials that will help you gain a clear understanding of how to approach each individual issue.


Finding Partners

The process of finding partners is not as difficult as it may first seem. There are three main options available to do so:


First, you might choose to seek a partner whom you already know, perhaps someone in a similar field or with whom you have a steady past working relationship. In this case once you approach them yourself and decide upon the aims of your exchange you can contact us to help you take it further.


Another option is to use the COIL Network. This is a listing of teachers on a website hosted by the State University of New York’s COIL Program. The teachers there are also seeking partners in different fields for different types of exchanges and you can see if any there match the criteria you require for a partner.


Finally, you can always contact us directly, provide us with the details of what you hope to achieve and the type of partner you would prefer and we will use our own contacts to attempt to find a suitable match for you. Depending upon the number of requirements you have for a partner to meet, finding a good match may take some time so it is best to submit requests at the earliest possible stage.


Developing Courses

(coming soon)

ICT Tools

The tools you will use for a COIL exchange depend upon the targets of the course you have planned, i.e. whether you want to improve student’s communication, boost their digital skills, carry out collaborative research, etc. However, whatever task you wish to achieve there will be many options for you to choose from regarding computer tools and you will probably be able to find a software solution suitable for your needs and skill level. Some of the key areas, and examples of popular tools, are outlined below.



At the early stages of collaborative projects making use of online tools such as Padlet, WebWhiteboard or MindMeister are effective ways of sharing ideas and brainstorming regarding the direction a project might take. At a more advanced level software tools such as Trello or Slack allow students to learn proper project management skills such as scheduling, setting deadlines, and delegating tasks and activities.


Document Sharing

Both for exchanging materials and for working on shared files, two of the most popular solutions are Google Drive and Dropbox. Both allow users to exchange and collaborate on files.

作業でのファイル共有において、人気のあるツールは「Google Drive」と「Dropbox」があります。この2つのツールは1つのファイルでの共同作業を可能にします。

Social Communication

The use of Social Networking Services (SNS) can make the interaction between separate classes more informal and also easier to monitor. Application such as Facebook, or Weibo (Facebook for China) allow students to form groups where they can exchange introductions and social communication as well as coordinate file-sharing or other activities.


Direct Communication (Text)

Messaging services are invaluable for allowing students to communicate with partners quickly or at their own leisure. Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Line are all examples of popular applications that students are usually already familiar with. Others such as Snapchat (for exchanging photos) or Twitter (for sharing status or news updates to groups) can also be useful depending upon the project involved. These formats are especially useful when partners are in time zones which do not easily allow synchronous communication.

テキストメッセージ機能は授業外で学生の都合のよい時間に海外のパートナーとコミュニケーションをとることができます。例えば学生に身近な「Facebook Messenger」や「WhatsApp」「Line」などがあります。その他には、「Snapchat」(写真共有アプリ)「Twitter」(つぶやき共有アプリ)などをプロジェクトの内容によって利用することもできます。このテキストを用いたコミュニケーションは同じ時間帯にコミュニケーションをとることが難しいパートナーと協働作業するには便利です。

Direct Communication (Video)

When partner’s schedules overlaps sufficiently to allow direct communication tools such as Skype, Zoom or FaceTime can be used to create one-to-one or group video exchanges. While by no means necessary for a successful collaboration, the impact of direct face-to-face interaction can be a powerful tool for creating a bond between groups.


Video Recording and Distribution

Whether recording direct to camera, capturing computer screenshots, or archiving in-class presentations, video tools are useful ways of preserving and distributing the final output of many project types. Software such as Flashback Express and EZvid allow students to easily create and upload audio-visual recordings of their work.

動画作成ツールの例として、「Flashback Express」や「EZvid」のようなツールは学生がプロジェクトの動画を簡単に作成できたり、アップロードできたりします。


Beyond these, many other useful tools exist which fulfil specific needs. Examples include SurveyMonkey (for creating online questionnaires), Knovio and Prezi (for creating and sharing presentations), Wikispaces (for setting up information repositories), etc. Depending on the aims of your collaboration project there will likely be other tools that can also be useful for you and you can always contact us to receive our recommendations based upon your own specific goals.