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Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL)

The Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) program is a partnership between Holmesglen Institute in Victoria and Northwestern Polytechnic.

Over the course of the project, partners will work to create multiple online virtual communities that:

  • facilitate collaborative research,
  • provide access to resources,
  • enable nursing students to work together regardless of their global location, and
  • enhance the future nursing workforce.

COIL will also focus on establishing an international community of practice for faculty supporting students.

The Project

Three teams from Canada and Australia will work together to fulfil the objectives of each project. The partnership will adopt the recommended steps put forward by the State University of New York COIL Centre.

Project 1: Through a collaborative content development process, a sophisticated, highly functional, and authentic virtual reality simulated learning program will be created and tested across both organizations. Students from Australia and Canada will participate in four previously developed online virtual reality simulations and meet in a Virtual Global Classroom to debrief and share their learnings.

These four modules include:

  • An aggressive patient
  • A patient who is cognitively impaired
  • A deteriorating patient and
  • A patient at the end of life

In addition to implementing the four virtual simulations, two brand new virtual simulations will be developed focusing on Global Health and Indigenous Health concepts. Canadians and Australians will work together to develop scenarios that impact nursing students on a global level.

Project 2: An Online Virtual Community will be established for students from Canada and Australia and evaluated. It will provide a common learning environment where students can work collaboratively and participate in peer learning exchanges.

Project 3: A faculty Virtual Community of Practice will be implemented and evaluated. It will provide a platform for faculty and researchers to share goals, develop international relationships, and plan for future education and research activity.


COIL is sponsored through a Study Melbourne Research Partnerships Program Grant supported by Veski and will help grow student's collaborative international learning capabilities. Veski is funded by the State Government of Victoria in Australia with the aim to build partnerships and collaborations in business, academic, and philanthropic organizations.


This suite of research projects will provide a platform to facilitate ongoing research collaboration between the Holmesglen Institute and Northwestern Polytechnic. Results from the evaluation of these projects will serve as an evidence-based template for the design and delivery of COIL and other collaborative research projects into the future.


In 2015, a partnership was created between the two organizations for student and staff exchanges. This study formalizes a research collaboration between the two organizations, resulting in reportable research outcomes and tangible products that can be profiled across the international nursing and simulation communities.

Ethical Clearance

This study has been reviewed and received ethics clearance through the NWP Research Ethics Board. If you have questions regarding the ethics review of this study, please contact the Research Ethics Board at

Do you have any more questions?

If you have any questions regarding this study or would like additional information, please contact Northwestern Polytechnic's COIL Project Lead:

Teresa Evans
Instructor, Nursing Education & Health Studies
Evans, Teresa
Office: HEC341