“COIL is the most powerful teaching model I have utilized to serve the NCCU student. With this hybrid course delivery, my students experience learning with international student peers and faculty; the curriculum is globalized through a learning environment that fosters intercultural competence and development of skills for global citizenship.”—Assistant Professor, Lenora Helm Hammonds (2015 NCCU Award for Teaching Excellence recipient)
Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) is a format of offering courses in globally networked classrooms with cohorts of students and faculty in international geographic locations. In September 2012, NCCU published the Global Education Plan, charging the university faculty, staff and administration with developing activities “to prepare students academically and professionally to become leaders prepared to advance the consciousness of social responsibility in a diverse, global society.” The COIL courses at NCCU began in Fall 2012 with Associate Professor Lenora Helm Hammonds as lead-fellow of a 12-person international team of faculty, instructional technologists and staff between NCCU, University of Pretoria, South Africa (UNISA), and Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus, Denmark (RAMA).
The inaugural course was "Jazz! Born in America, Created Internationally," and the NCCU-based team eventually added two more successful courses: "Composing, Arranging and Songwriting in a Global Network," and "Global Guitar." The NCCU COIL courses are offered as a music course, MUSL 1300 OL, a GEC course that can be used as one of the Arts and Humanities required courses. However, the COIL model posits that the course subjects can be any course subject of interest for faculty and students. The course content is a lens for examining culture and developing intercultural competence.
Professor Hammonds (PI), Dr. Emmanuel Oritsejafor (Co-PI) and the team from NCCU’s international cohort were selected in a competitive grant process to create the courses and were afforded comprehensive training sponsored by State University of New York’s (SUNY) COIL Institute. This original organization, COIL Institute for Globally Networked Learning @ SUNY, was a leading international organization focused on the emerging field of globally networked learning (GNL), a teaching and learning methodology that provides innovative, cost-effective internationalization strategies. Such programs foster faculty and student interaction with peers abroad through co-taught multicultural online and blended learning environments emphasizing experiential student collaboration. The COIL program founder, Jon Rubin, had a compelling vision for COIL. It was deemed a method for universities to promote interactive shared coursework, emphasizing experiential learning and giving collaborating students a chance to get to know each other while developing meaningful projects together. COIL broadens and deepens understanding of course content while building cross-cultural communicative capacity through academic and personal engagement with the perspectives of global peers.
Professor Hammonds continues to teach the NCCU COIL course "Composing, Arranging and Songwriting in a Global Network" and most recently taught segments of the global studies course "Global Inequality, Culture and Power" with University of Pretoria, South Africa. Two book chapters, numerous conference presentations, and student research awards are the publications resulting from the COIL teaching methodology, documenting the work of the COIL cohort situated at NCCU. Professor Hammond's dissertation research, "A Jazz Orientation of the Three-Dimensional Developmental Trajectory of the Intercultural Maturity Model," was gleaned from the genesis of the COIL work.