Culture plays a central role in the creative economy, not only in terms of developing creative products and services but also in terms of shaping the processes by which products are crafted. Among various pedagogical approaches for the development of creative products, Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) emerges as a promising vehicle. Educators can leverage audio, visual, and written communications technologies to connect learners from geographically distant cultures and place culture at the center of the creative product development processes. The University of Minnesota Duluth’s introductory class on cultural entrepreneurship, CUE 1001, hosted a semester-long COIL project with Ocean University of China’s Cultural Industries Management program to facilitate such innovation in cross-cultural teams. An ex-post evaluation of the project suggests that learners can appreciate the overall significance of culture when conceptualizing creative services and products. They develop an intercultural mindset and acquire the tools to work effectively in cross-cultural settings. Institutions of higher education can leverage COIL in a variety of domains, while studies comparing traditional and COIL-based approaches can further add to the body of knowledge regarding intercultural awareness and the internationalization of learning in higher education.
- collaborative online international learning (COIL)
- creative industries
- creative workforce
- intercultural awareness