Organisation and conception of COIL projects

How do I organise a COIL project?

Adapted from

Once a suitable partner has been found, there are some organisational aspects to consider. The partners should exchange contact details so that they can easily reach each other by phone, email or virtually.

Furthermore, they should talk about the time frame of the COIL project and when and how often it should take place. The time difference should also not be forgotten if the partners are located in different time zones.

Regarding the language aspect, it should be determined in which language the students should communicate. Besides COILs in English, projects in German or in other languages are also conceivable.

As far as the course content is concerned, this will be discussed in more detail below under course conception.

The partners will also discuss which IT tools (Webex, Padlet, Miro etc.) and which learning management system (ILIAS, moodle etc.) they will use. In addition, it must be clarified whether guest access is possible.

Funding and programmes (e.g. from the DAAD) should also be kept in mind in order to get to know the partner personally. This can be done, for example, in advance to coordinate the project or for a joint kick-off or final event, where the students can also get to know each other on site.

If industry partners are to be involved in a COIL course, this should not only be taken into account in the conception of the course, but also in the organisation, because virtual company visits for the students or guest lectures by the practice partner may have to be organised.

How do I design a COIL project? 

When designing a COIL course, one should consider whether COIL should be integrated into an existing course or a new course should be established. If the latter, you need a name for the course.

In principle, it is possible to hold a COIL course in the same subject discipline or interdisciplinary. The latter is a bit more time-consuming, but it is worth the effort.

The teachers should also be clear in advance about the learning goals and which competences are to be imparted to the participating students.
It is also important to discuss in the conceptual phase teaching and learning methods to be used in the delivery of the course. The form of examination for the students must also be discussed, as well as the workload, the number of hours and the number of ECTS to be awarded on both sides.

The concrete content of the collaborative course must be discussed between the teachers, as well as whether the course will be held purely digitally or in a blended format. The ideal typical procedure for the implementation is described in more detail in the 3rd phase.

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