UM is awarded to participate in the ACE/IIGE Rapid Response Virtual Exchange/COIL Transformation Lab.

We are excited to announce the University of Montana, along with our partner in Japan, Sophia University, was recently named by the American Council on Education (ACE) as one of the fifteen awarded Universities to participate in the ACE/IIGE Rapid Response Virtual Exchange/COIL Transformation Lab.   

The ACE administered a competitive process for selecting U.S. colleges and universities​ to develop, deliver, and assess one or more COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) courses with Japanese partner institutions. We are pleased that the UM and Sophia University’s joint participation in the COIL Lab will provide opportunities for students and faculty at both institutions. The resulting course will increase students’ understanding of the other, sharpen cultural competency skills, and better prepare students for the 21st century workforce.

The COIL method—also referred to as virtual exchange—is a cost-effective, accessible, and scalable method of expanding global learning opportunities for greater numbers of U.S. higher education students. COIL is an innovative pedagogy involving collaborative teaching and learning in two or more countries facilitated by online communication that has been developed and promoted by the State University of New York (SUNY) COIL Center​. For over a decade, ACE has recognized the COIL model as a cost-effective, accessible method for delivering global learning and intercultural experience to greater numbers of U.S. students, particularly the 90 percent of U.S. undergraduates who do not participate in education abroad.

The faculty from the UM will collaborate with their Japanese counterpart at Sophia University to develop a joint syllabus, and students in the two countries will then work together to complete assignments that meet shared learning objectives. The UM team consists of Dr. Alessia Carpoca (Theatre Faculty), Jeanie Castillo (Instructional Designer), and Marja Unkuri-Chaudhry (International Programs and Partnerships Administrator). The resulting COIL courses will be delivered during the Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 academic semesters.

​The U.S.-Japan COIL Initiative is a program support​ed through a grant from the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and coordinated in partnership with Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT)​.​