Internationalising the Dental Curriculum Through Collaborative Online International Learning (Coil): A Nuanced Elearning and Blended Learning Environment.

Anisa Vahed*, Krista Rodriguez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book or Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Globally universities are promoting internationalisation of the curriculum, which triangulates academic programmes, students studying in these programmes and academics who design, deliver, and assess them. This prepares students to become lifelong learners in a globally engaging environment. In 2016 DUT became the first African institution to become a global network partner in the State University of New York (SUNY) Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) system. This system is a new teaching and learning paradigm that uses technology and international faculty collaboration to develop curricula that promote intercultural awareness across shared multi-cultural online learning environments. The SUNY educational system supports the “development of courses incorporating international collaboration which have a significant online component” (State University of New York 2017), and also encourages faculty to create inspiring cross-national courses, enhance development of hybrid teaching models and to be committed to online internet education. Prof. Krista Rodriguez from Monroe Community College (MCC - Dental Assisting Programme) in Rochester, New York and Dr Anisa Vahed (DUT - Dental Technology programme) in Durban, South Africa collaborated to design a cross-disciplinary COIL project (COILP) to enhance each of their programme’s curriculum. The COILP titled ‘A Multidisciplinary Approach to Understanding Cultural and Discipline Diversity amongst Student Clinicians and Technicians in Patient Treatment’ was initially implemented over a six-week period from mid-April to May 2017 and subsequently over a ten-week period from March to mid-May 2018. This case based COILP included didactic and intercultural components. Students were trained on technology that enabled virtual mobility through the COILP. Overall, this innovative project engages students on a global level and serves to develop and improve their online learning skills, enhances their abilities to make informed decisions, work collaboratively with international partners and communicate ideas from interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspectives.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication The 5th E-Learning Excellence Awards: An Anthology of Case Histories
EditorsDan Remenyi
Place of PublicationReading
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International Limited
Number of pages156
ISBN (Print)978-1-912764-48-
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • COIL
  • Collaborative learning
  • intercultural awareness and competencies
  • Interdisciplinary exchange
  • dental assisting
  • Dental technology education


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