Implementation of a collaborative online international learning program in nursing education: protocol for a mixed methods study

D. Kiegaldie, A. Pepe, L. Shaw, T. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: An essential component of becoming a professional nurse is a perspective of global health issues and an awareness of diverse populations. Collaborative online international learning (COIL) using digital technologies, offers meaningful and rewarding opportunities to develop international partnerships between nurses from other countries, without economic, organisational or geographical barriers. Despite reported advantages of using COIL, few COIL interventions have been identified in the nursing literature. The aims of this study are to develop, implement and evaluate a COIL program between Australian and Canadian pre-registration nursing students. Methods: The study will utilize a mixed methods approach incorporating pre and post-test surveys, focus groups, and semi-structured interviews of key stakeholders. The design will adhere to The State University of New York (SUNY) COIL’s criteria for intercultural/international learning opportunities. Participants will be recruited from nursing programs at an Australian Training and Further Education Institute and a Canadian college. Bennett’s stages of intercultural competence will provide the theoretical framework for the research. Four specific research interventions will be developed for this project. For students, there will be an online virtual community to allow students and teachers to communicate, socially connect and share resources with each other. Virtual reality simulations will be employed within a virtual global classroom to promote collaborative, intercultural learning. For faculty, a virtual community of practice will provide a platform for faculty to share education and research ideas and participate in collaborate research opportunities. Discussion: This study will evaluate the outcomes of a nursing COIL program. It will measure participants’ views on COIL, its contribution to student learning, changes in cultural awareness, organisational impact and research productivity. It will provide nursing students with the opportunity to become global leaders in nursing care and for faculty to develop international research skills and outputs. The findings from the study will allow further refinement of future nursing COIL programs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number252
Number of pages8
JournalBMC Nursing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • COIL
  • Collaborative online learning
  • Cultural awareness
  • Education
  • Nursing
  • Simulation
  • Virtual reality

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