Reflection and evaluation of COILs

What went well, what went badly and why?

After a COIL event, teachers will usually find that some things went better than expected, but others may have gone worse. For example, there may have been challenges in the area of intercultural communication, team conflicts or technical problems. In this case, it is important to reflect together on why this happened.

Understanding the causes and reasons can be used to make the next event even more productive. Guiding questions that could be asked are: What is positive about this problem? Who or what can help us solve the problem? How can the situation be improved? What can we learn from this for another COIL project?

In addition to a joint reflection (e.g. on the quality of teaching, on student activity, on the acquisition of competences by the students, on the time and technical framework conditions), each of the teachers can also reflect on their own role. In this self-reflection, one's own thinking, feeling and acting in relation to the COIL project should be questioned and analysed. Here, one should constantly continue to try things out and also allow for mistakes. This is the only way to constantly improve the quality of teaching.

What do the students think about COIL? What effects does COIL have on them?

Student feedback can be obtained through a teaching evaluation of the COIL project. For this purpose, it is important to survey the student groups of both COIL partners. The results of the mostly anonymous surveys allow conclusions to be drawn for the teachers and help to further optimise the next COIL event if necessary.

Basically, COIL partners should be clear about the following points:

  • What is the aim of the evaluation?
  • Which aspects exactly should be evaluated?
  • When should the evaluation take place?
  • Who will evaluate?
  • How will the evaluation be conducted (online survey, interviews, individually or in groups)?

Most universities already have ready-made questionnaires for teaching evaluation. These are standardised questions (e.g. on the structure and process of the course), which can be supplemented with some individual questions on COIL (e.g. on the digital tools used). But higher-level questions can also be incorporated, such as whether the COIL course had an impact on students' physical mobility or whether specific competences (e.g. linguistic, digital or intercultural) could be developed.

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