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Report on Participation in COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) Class


From 8:30 am to 9:15 am JST on October 30, 2020, Ochanomizu University conducted a collaborative online international learning (COIL) class via Zoom with Sophia University and Loyola Marymount University in the US. The theme of the class was educational challenges in developing countries during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. After the Ochanomizu University representatives had made their presentation a group discussion took place, and this was followed by feedback from the professors serving as facilitators.

The COIL class took place on Zoom

The presentation was titled “Educational Support in Cambodia during the COVID-19 Pandemic,” and consisted of three parts: 1. Current issues, 2. The “Think! Think!” approach, and 3. Issues still to be addressed. We were able to critique and further our understanding of the current state of education in Cambodia, issues, and approaches, which provided good experience. Based on reports on the Advanced Lecture of International Cooperation Theory and the study tour to Cambodia that Ochanomizu University conducted last year, which Ms. Yokoyama also took part in, we were able to reflect valuable real-world views in our presentation. We are very grateful for the prompt and detailed feedback provided by Professor Konaka on the presentation materials. Thank you so much.

Presentation by Ochanomizu University students

For the group discussion, it was very useful to have prepared by watching a short video and summarizing our views in advance. I felt that even with inadequate English skills, we were able to communicate our opinions with preparation and to understand the views expressed by others to some extent.
As an example of topics covered in the group discussion, Ms. Kakuno’s group talked about challenges facing refugees in developing countries. Countries with limited resources, such as Jordan, lack infrastructure and are vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19. According to a survey conducted by World Vision, education is third on the list of things currently required by Syrian refugees in Jordan, after funding and goods. In other words, education is the top priority after survival. Online education is the first example that springs to mind of a solution to the educational issues such refugees face, but it is difficult to produce the same learning outcomes as face-to-face classes. It is not easy to maintain student motivation with one-way online education that simply shows them state-run broadcasts or similar material. In reality, interaction between teachers and students and forums for discussion among students are crucial to encouraging children to focus on online education. Another serious challenge remaining is the burden of expenses and facilities to provide online education.

(Sayaka Kakuno, Madoka Yokoyama, 2nd year student,
Global Studies for Inter-Cultural Cooperation, Faculty of Letters and Education)

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