The Guide to COIL Virtual Exchange

Co-Authors and Co-Editors
Jon Rubin was Founder and Director of the SUNY COIL Center from 2006-2017. He directed the National Endowment for the Humanities funded: COIL Institute for Globally Networked Learning in the Humanities (2010-13), which COILed 47 U.S. and international universities. He also led the COIL Center’s award program with the American Council for Education (2013-14) and directed the Center’s Stevens Initiative project (2015-17). He is presently Director of COIL Consulting ( which supports university COIL initiatives worldwide.

Sarah Guth teaches English as a foreign language (EFL) at the University of Padova, Italy. She was the Program Coordinator at the SUNY COIL Center from February 2013 to June 2014. Her research focuses on telecollaboration, intercultural communication, and the normalization of virtual exchange in higher education. She is the President of the UNICollaboration Organisation and project manager for UNICollaboration’s participation in the consortium that is leading the European Commission’s pilot project Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on language learning and testing, computer-mediated communication, intercultural competence, and culture learning and works as an independent contractor to support Virtual Exchange initiatives.

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The Guide to COIL Virtual Exchange is presently being co-written and co-edited by Jon Rubin and Sarah Guth. This book is designed to provide detailed guidance for professors, administrators, students and other institutional stakeholders who wish to develop or participate in COIL virtual exchange programs and/or courses. A number of experienced COIL practitioners are contributing chapters and case studies to the book, which will be published by Stylus Publishing and has an expected January 2022 release date.

To gather rich data around these topics to accurately describe the state of the COIL Virtual Exchange field and highlight good practices for developing successful programs, the authors undertook a broad institutional survey between October 2018 and July 2019, receiving over 160 responses. The data from this survey will be integrated into the book.

Case Studies (Submissions due September 18, 2020)

The authors seek case studies from COIL practitioners and experienced students. Two calls for submissions have been put forward and guidelines for each can be found below.

1. Student writing about COIL Virtual Exchange

Students who have in the past, or are presently participating in COIL Virtual Exchanges have the opportunity to share their experiences with a wider audience. To enable this, we are reaching out to identify students who would be interested in writing a thoughtful essay describing and analyzing their experience in one or more COIL Virtual Exchange courses. To reach such active and engaged students we ask their teachers to pass along this call. Please download these Guidelines below:

2. Instructor or facilitator writing about COIL Virtual Exchange

We also seek case studies from those teaching or managing COIL virtual exchange courses. In particular, we are seeking narratives about interesting and/or provocative COIL Virtual Exchanges that illustrate intercultural engagements or conflicts with or without clear resolutions, and which present difficult management issues that may or may not have been resolved in a timely fashion. While we are interested in sharing positive course outcomes, we are also interested in receiving essays about meltdowns and outright failures. Please download these Guidelines below: