Pilot project explores student experiences of Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL)

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The University of Liverpool's Global Engagement and Partnerships recently coordinated an event showcasing pioneering work on Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) in the fields of Politics, Engineering, Management and Architecture, and institutional education leads are increasingly looking at COIL to understand its potential in the light of our broader strategic goals.

COIL presents clear opportunities for us to make an impact across a broad range of institutional goals, and through COIL we can imagine powerful ways to combine our efforts in relation to student experience, student outcomes, and expanded international partnerships.

Mr Jeremy Marshall and Dr Sujitha Subramanian (Liverpool Law School) recently launched a pilot project to examine the experience of law students undertaking a period of COIL activity with the Washington-based Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Policy (CAIDP). CAIDP is a civil society organisation whose goal is to shape national and international AI regulation and policy to minimise harm and to promote democratic values. CAIDP’s focus on value-based regulation, its global perspective on AI regulation, and its commitment to education, training, and public participation mean that it provides a unique opportunity for the School and for our students.

A group of seven current and former law students enrolled on CAIDP’s online collaborative ‘AI Policy Clinic’. Those students will join the CAIDP research group and will undertake CAIDP’s comprehensive training and certification course for a 12-week period. They will engage with leading researchers, policy analysts, and members of industry from across the globe. While this represents a great opportunity for our students, it also allows us to gain valuable insights into this new type of educational experience.

Speaking of the pilot study, Jeremy Marshall, Lecturer at the Liverpool Law School, shares:
“It is important for us to explore new opportunities for our students if we aim to deliver on Strategy 2031, and part of that will involve building up our own international partnerships, and learning how to identify, evaluate and foster those relationships. But it is also important to understand the impact of those experiences on our students. Strategy 2031 presents us with ambitious and worthy goals, but we need to listen to what students say about their relationship to those goals. In this research the Law School will specifically focus on how our students make sense of concepts like confidence and ‘global citizenship’ and how experiences like the CAIDP course shape their views.”

Julia Andrusiak, Liverpool Law graduate and CAIDP Research Fellow, said:
“I am so grateful that the University of Liverpool opened such an opportunity for me to be a part of CAIDP. Being in the same (virtual room) as world-renowned experts in AI and public policy improved my confidence in myself and my skills. Not only that, I now have experience differentiating me from other candidates, but I am also a part of the international alumni network exposing me to opportunities I have never thought existed. I am glad I undertook a Future of Legal Services module, which definitely already shaped my future career.”

The pilot study is expected to support the Liverpool Law School’s future evidence-based planning to incorporate effective COIL activities within our curricular, extra-curricular, and co-curricular offering for students at all levels.