Global Engagement > Partnerships > Programs for Partner Institutions > Virtual Exchange, Online Collaboration, Global Learning Experience

Getting Involved with Virtual Exchange

Virtual Exchange-Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL)

Virtual Exchange- COIL  refers to the practice of learning experiences that:

  • are embedded in existing, credit bearing courses or modules in higher education programs
  • are intentionally designed and implemented by two (or more) instructors who are teaching the courses involved in the experience
  • are technology mediated,
  • involve learners who are geographically separated and/or coming from different cultural settings,
  • implement multiple opportunities for sustained communication and/or collaboration among learners,
  • are focused on collaborative projects conducted by learners in mixed groups
  • have clearly identified learning outcomes that include explicit outcomes in the area of both intercultural awareness and/or competency and the content of the courses involved

DePaul GLE: An Award-Winning Leader in the Field 

Maps DePaul University launched its Virtual Exchange-COIL program, named the Global Learning Experience (GLE), in 2013. Since then, DePaul has established itself as one of the leaders in the virtual exchange field around the globe, with hundreds of projects  implemented with partners from nations/territories all over the world , reaching thousands of students. 

DePaul hosted a Global Learning Conference devoted to virtual exchange in 2018 and is one of the founding institutions of IVEC, the International Virtual Exchange Conference, the premiere annual event of the field. The DePaul GLE team has also helped other institutions around the world start/expand their current VE programs/project offerings.  In 2019, the professional development workshop that is part of the GLE program won The Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Innovation Award and in 2020, GLE was awarded one of  NAFSA’s Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Awards, which recognize U.S. institutions’ innovative and creative approaches toward comprehensive internationalization.

DePaul University Resources for Institutions Interested in VE-COIL

The DePaul GLE team has vast experience in assisting  other institutions around the world in starting/expanding their VE-COIL programs. Regardless of where you and your institution are in the development of VE-COIL projects or institutional infrastructure, DePaul can help you.  In particular, we offer:






Introduction to VE Session

Professors or Administrators (or mixed audience)

1 hour

Synchronous (via Zoom)


Workshop on VE Design and Implementation

Professors/ Instructors

3 weeks

Mostly asynchronous (with 3 synchronous meetings via Zoom)

$1200* USD

*discounted pricing available

Introduction to VE for Administrators/Staff: Structures and Resources

University Leadership/ Administrators/ Staff

1.5 hours

Synchronous (via Zoom)

$750 USD

Interactive Workshop: Introduction to VE for professors

Professors/ Instructors

2 hours

Synchronous (via Zoom)

$1000 USD

Other customized trainings/workshops


Download a brochure HERE.

Contact Us

For additional professional development opportunities or further questions, please contact or Rosi León, Director of Virtual Exchange and Online Learning at

Additional information about some of our offerings can be found below. 

Introductory Meeting

If your institution is interested in starting a new virtual exchange-COIL program or would like to expand your existing program, members of the DePaul GLE team are happy to meet with you virtually to discuss the individual needs of your institution, determine goals and/or areas of growth, and offer suggestions for best next steps.  

Introduction to Virtual Exchange Session
a cell phone held up in front of a screen
DePaul University/Randall Spriggs

This hour-long session is designed as a first introduction to the concept of VE-COIL for professors and/or administrators. It covers the definition of VE-COIL, its essential components, several concrete examples, an overview of DePaul’s VE program, with ample time for questions and answers with the audience.

Workshop on Virtual Exchange Design and Implementation

As an in-depth faculty training opportunity, DePaul University offers a formal professional development workshop aimed at training professors interested in implementing virtual exchange projects in their classes. The VE training workshop takes place online and lasts three weeks. Participants must commit to a series of online, asynchronous activities, including readings and discussions. Activities are structured in four modules, requiring an overall time commitment of approximately twenty hours. Participants must also be able to attend three synchronous, 2-hour long meetings, usually scheduled for Friday mornings (US Central Time). The workshop is offered twice a year, once in February and once in October. Exact dates, registration deadlines,  pricing information and discount for particular groups of institutions, visit

-These words describe everything about the training: helpful, concrete, practical. Also I felt that there was real magic in the interactions with other group members. ~Elizbeth A.

-In some ways I learned important new perspectives, and in others it was so comforting to feel that the course I'm about to begin is on the right track already. ~Jan B. 

-I enjoyed most of the modules and thought that they were relevant. In fact, some of them made us aware of our own predispositions and stereotypes as well. So it was also a strong self-reflection process. ~Emel O.

-The workshops and the materials are top notch and very helpful for building [virtual exchange] courses. ~Michele M.


Introduction to VE-COIL for Administrators/Staff: Structures and Resources

This 1.5 hour-long session is designed for administrators and staff who are planning to implement an institutional initiative around VE-COIL. After the definition of VE-COIL and a few examples, the sessions delves into the needed administrative structures and human and financial resources for a successful implementation. Typical audiences consist of staff and leadership from the international office/global engagement, centers for teaching and learning or other professional development teams, instructional designers, and leadership of academic units.

Interactive Workshop: Introduction to VE-COIL for professors

This 2 hour-long interactive session provides professors/instructors with hands-on activities in terms of defining and analyzing what virtual exchange is, as well as practice designing specific learning outcomes for their VE projects. Participants also complete a vision-setting activity aimed at helping them imagine a VE-COIL project in one of their courses/modules. Ample time for questions and answers with the audience is reserved at the end of the session.

Global Teaching Workshop
DePaul University/Randall Spriggs

Customized Workshops

Based on each institution's needs, DePaul University offers customized introductory workshops for professors and administrators. Pricing can vary based on length and format. Common topics include: VE definitions/terminology, projects' macro-structure, detailed examples and analysis, strategic rationales for VE, evidence of efficacy (survey data), interactive exercises, and others. Workshops for administrators/university leadership may also include topics on university-wide planning and implementation, alignment with strategic priorities, exploration of available resources, local structures and processes for VE initiative launch, among others. Workshops for faculty focus more directly on aspects of the pedagogy and on lessons learned.