Last semester, January-April 2022, Riara University Business Ethics Class and Sheridan College Ethics, Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility Class from Canada had Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) experience.

COIL is an international experience that wrought in students from different nationalities to learn virtually thereby creating a fusion of inter-cultural learning experiences albeit online.  Students from both divides are able to transcend their restricted national borders to attend joint classes in both universities albeit online.

For the Riara University- Sheridan College experiences the Business Ethics classes were co-taught by Wayland Chau from Canada and Zephania T. Opati from Riara University.  While Professor Wayland engaged students on Loblaw/Joe Fresh Canadian Companies in the Bangladesh case study Mr. Opati delved into the ethical dilemma of the essence of Mobile loans in Kenya.  In both cases, students would be co-opted into groups (mixed from both countries) and studied through a flipped virtual class session and later had a virtual class discussion and submit a post-class memo for grading.

Professor Chau from Canada had this to say

Professor Chau

“This semester, I had the pleasure of participating in a collaborative online international learning (COIL) partnership with Professor Zephania Opati of Riara University in Nairobi, Kenya. Our undergraduate classes were combined to explore various ethical business issues. In the first COIL class, Kenyan and Canadian students shared their views on the ethics of corporations (and their consumers) taking advantage of low-cost labour in developing countries such as Kenya. Is this exploitation?  Or does it provide worthwhile economic benefits to workers in those developing countries?  In the second class, we examined the ethical issues arising from the use of artificial intelligence in mobile money lending apps.  These apps are widely used in Africa to provide credit to low-income people.  Most of these people would not otherwise have access to credit. These apps use AI to assess creditworthiness by analysing a person’s smartphone activities, including calls, texts, and social media activity.  Is this an unethical invasion of privacy? Is privacy a privilege that the poor cannot afford to have? On both of these topics, the Sheridan and Riara students were very engaged in sharing many thoughtful insights. It was fascinating and eye-opening to witness this cross-cultural exchange.  I want to thank Riara University and, especially, Professor Opati for their collaboration on this project.”

COIL classes are picking up around the world giving rare chances for students and professors together across cultures to learn, discuss and collaborate as part of their class. Even as Lecturers partner to design the experience, and students partner to complete the activities designed that enable both asynchronous and synchronous learning, the study gets something rare, a world class hosted virtual to open their minds on issues surrounding their course

Student experience on Sheridan Collaboration.

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