The Durban University of Technology’s Department of International Education and Partnerships awarded certificates to 10 DUT students for the completion of the first Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) classroom on 5 June 2017.
COIL was founded in 2006 by the State University of New York Professor Jon Rubin, as a model for fostering cross-cultural student competence through the development of multicultural learning environments that link University or college classes in different countries online.
In the COIL model, students from different cultures enrol in shared courses with faculty members from each country co-teaching and managing coursework. The classes may be fully online or offered in blended formats with traditional face-to-face sessions taking place at both schools while collaborative student work takes place online.
The 10 Bachelor of Technology students from the DUT Department of Dental Technology who have successfully completed the programme were the first group to participate after it had been introduced to DUT by Dr Lavern Samuels, DUT IEP Director.
For six weeks the students were involved in a cross-cultural online learning experience with students from Monroe Community College in New York. The DUT students worked under the facilitation of Dr Anisa Vahed, DUT Dental Technology, who said although the experience was not easy, it was worth it.
One of the participants, Promise Nzuza, BTech Dental Technology, said the best part about the whole experience was the ability to communicate with an actual person from New York, a city she had only seen on television.
“The best part was realising that the students in New York are not any different from us. That in South Africa we are as capable as they are,” Nzuza said.
Pictured: Dr Anisa Vahed with the 10 DUT students with their COIL certificates.