Un(COIL)ing the Pandemic: Active and Affective Learning in Times of COVID-19
By Violeta Cotoman, Annabel Davies, Coventry University, Nanako Kawagoe, Hana Niihashi, Hosei University, Aisha Rahman, Coventry University, Yuki Tomita, Hosei University, Atsuko Watanabe, Kanazawa University and Felix Rösch, Coventry University,
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a global effect on higher education. Overnight, entire degree programs had to be moved online. Whereas this meant that teaching and learning in political science and international relations also went into “emergency e-learning” mode, as a recent teacher spotlight in PS: Political Science & Politics termed it, moving online also offered opportunities. One opportunity is collaborative online international learning (COIL) that enables students from universities in different countries to work on a common project. This article argues that working together collaboratively online not only mitigates the pandemic’s physical restrictions and sustains a global space of learning; it also provides for a particular active and affective learning in an intercultural virtual environment that substantiates classroom experiences even in post-pandemic higher education. To support this argument, this article reflects on the experiences of a British–Japanese COIL project that investigated political responses to COVID-19.