18. December 2020 News
Bottrop / Mülheim an der Ruhr, 8 December 2020.
Learning in virtual space can be particularly exciting - and challenging - when it includes collaborative and international components. Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) is one such learning format that combines virtual, collaborative and international aspects. At Ruhr West (HRW), the interdiciplinary working group for Internationalisation, in which every faculty, the president and the International Office are represented, was successful with its application "HRW Goes COIL" in the "HAW International" funding programme of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Through this programme, the DAAD will provide Ruhr West with approximately 500,000 Euros for the project period of two years to develop and implement a total of twelve Collaborative Online International Learning projects.
COIL projects are teaching projects that are carried out virtually in cooperation with one or more international partner universities. In their blended-learning format, students get to know each other personally at the beginning and end of their project through mutual visits to the participating universities. For the duration of their seminar, they work on their assignments in internationally mixed and virtually connected teams.
This form of collaboration simulates work routine in a globalised business world and enables many students to gain their first international experience. It helps prepare students for the challenges of the globalised labour market. This is particularly valuable for students who, for a variety of reasons, cannot realise an entire semester abroad. COIL projects promote competences in the use of digital tools and media, foreign language skills and, of course, intercultural skills.
Through "HRW goes COIL", the International Office at Ruhr West will establish a competence centre for COIL projects, which will support the faculties with their international teaching projects. Each faculty will develop and implement at least one pilot project througout the project period. In addition, two further projects are planned for each faculty. „HRW Goes COIL" aims to create sustainable structures for the use of COIL projects in the curricula of Ruhr West’s degree programmes. Say Prof. Dr. Jan Pawlowski (Institute of Computer Science) and Prof. Dr. Karla Ohler-Martins (Institute of Economics) who are in charge of this interdisciplinary project: "The project will provide students and teachers from all faculties with many new experiences. For the internationalisation at Ruhr West, this is a big step."
The "HAW International" programme is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research through the DAAD and aims at strengthening the internationalisation of universities of applied sciences (HAW). Ruhr West’s application was submitted in Module A, which promotes the strategic development of internationalisation in conjunction with other strategic goals of the university, such as digitalisation and equal opportunities.
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