Developing students as global citizens through COIL
Inter-cultural awareness is more important than before, given the number of recent global socio-political and health events. COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) is an effective pedagogical method of developing university students’ inter-cultural awareness and global citizenship skills (Lenkaitis and Lorancx-Paszylk, 2021). Technology plays a crucial role in that students and staff participate in online intercultural projects with an international partner (O’Dowd, 2020).
The authors participated in several COIL projects in the Faculty of Business and Law in the academic years 2020-22. We argue that COIL completely aligns with the LJMU values because firstly, learning through COIL is student focused. They actively learn through group projects to be responsible and informed global citizens. Secondly, COIL is inclusive and embraces participants from all countries. The team has collaborated with partners in India, Malaysia, America and South Africa. Thirdly, the team chose UN Sustainable Development Goals such as SGD 8 Decent work and economic growth: SDG 11 Sustainable cities and communities and SDG 13 Climate Change as project themes.
Through these SDG goals, students discovered how they can make a difference in their local communities and understand how their contributions can create impact globally. Finally, interaction between students and groupwork provide them the opportunity to speak up and be courageous, whilst respecting others’ views. In particular, students were encouraged to express their emotions through visual arts regarding the topic of sustainability. We found that art-based teaching engaged students from diverse background; improved their empathy and communication skills. We have recorded student feedback which we will use at the conference.
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