Crossing Boundaries through Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) during Covid-19: A Participatory Case Study in China


  • Yidan Zhu Texas State University
  • Yun Xia
  • Yu Yan
  • Yufei He



Collaborative online international learning, Covid-19, online teaching and learning, Chinese higher education, Interculturalism


Due to the impact of Covid-19, collaborative online international learning (COIL) increasingly plays an important role in the internationalization of higher education. Based on a participatory case study of a COIL program given at Shanghai University (SHU), this paper explores how students, foreign professors, and professors in China prepare, understand, and experience online teaching, learning, and assessment in a COIL program. Three findings include 1). Organizing COIL Programs with a Global Perspective; 2). Enhancing Teaching and Learning through Intercultural Communication; and 3). The Barriers of COIL in Chinese Universities. Taking insiders’ perspectives, we argue that a cultural gap regarding teaching and learning styles can affect COIL programs in Chinese universities, posing challenges for both students and teachers. We suggest that program organizers should focus on the cultural gaps affecting these programs, and provide additional opportunities for intercultural communication to address the cultural gaps.


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How to Cite

Zhu, Y., Xia, Y., Yan, Y. ., & He, Y. (2023). Crossing Boundaries through Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) during Covid-19: A Participatory Case Study in China. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 15(3), 98–108.



Empirical Article