What is Virtual Exchange/ COIL?

“…virtual exchange involves the engagement of groups of learners in extended periods of online intercultural interaction and collaboration with partners from other cultural contexts or geographical locations as an integrated part of their educational programmes and under the guidance of educators and/or expert facilitators.”   (O’Dowd, 2018, p. 5) O’Dowd provides this chart representing the different terms used to refer to VE:

O’Dowd, R. (2018). From telecollaboration to virtual exchange: state-of-the-art and the role of UNICollaboration in moving forward. Journal of Virtual Exchange, 1, 1-23. Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2018.jve.1

Why Integrate Virtual Exchange into Your Teaching

Virtual Exchange can be integrated into any subject area course…

  • Provides opportunity for learning through diverse perspectives
  • Offers an economical way to bring in content and practicing experts
  • Builds digital literacy
  • Develops cultural awareness and ability to negotiate and collaborate across borders
  • Serves as a stepping stone to physical mobility (study abroad)
  • Provides an alternative for those who cannot afford to study abroad
  • Builds networks for faculty across international institutions

Types of Projects

Virtual Exchange can take place at many different levels:

  • Virtual guests to interact with students on a topic (synchronous)
  • A class-to-class interaction among students on a select topic (synchronous)
  • A short course module with activities connecting students to another class through an online discussion forum about a specific topic/issue   (asynchronous)
  • Virtual interactions between students  (i.e., through LinguaMeeting students can receive language coaching from native speakers)
  • A completely team-taught course between faculty at two different institutions

Explore our catalog of virtual exchange projects and learn more about how UF faculty are implementing virtual exchange in their courses.

Support for Faculty at UF

Explore our virtual exchange trainings for UF faculty.