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Sunday 23 June 2024
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CETL Tips of the Week – 3 apps to support your COIL

3 apps to support your COIL

Collaborative Online International Learning, or COIL, is a learning and teaching methodology based on interaction and collaboration through online technology. Here are three apps you can use for your COIL activities:

GatherTown (https://www.gather.town/) is a web-based virtual meeting platform that allows users to interact in a 2D, zoomable map environment. Users can move around the map, chat with others, and join breakout rooms for more focused discussions. GatherTown is often used for remote events, such as conferences and workshops, as well as for synchronous classes and virtual office hours.

Fostering communication and collaboration in an online environment can be challenging. Online platforms such as Miro (https://miro.com) provide opportunities to break down these barriers. Miro is an online collaborative whiteboard application that allows students and teachers to collaborate and communicate across multiple platforms simultaneously.

Perusall (https://www.perusall.com/) is a free web-based social learning platform to promote learner engagement as students read collaboratively and interact with texts. Perusall can facilitate various synchronous and asynchronous learning tasks such as collaborative lesson planning, peer feedback, textual and material analyses, discussion on assignment exemplars, video annotations, and many others.


  • Lai, N. (2022, November 1). Gather Together [Seminar]. 3rd HKU Teaching and Learning Festival: TDG Workshop 4, Exploring various technology-enhanced learning apps for your TDG.
  • Gonda, D. (2021, March 11). It’s a MIRO-cle! Using Miro as a Tool to Enhance Communication and Collaboration in Online Teaching [Workshop]. CiC Digital Skills Workshop. https://da-dev.talic.hku.hk/sem20210311/
  • Tavares, N.J. (2022, December 14). Using Perusall as a Platform to Engage Readers, Unite Students as an Active Learning community and Leverage their learning experience [Workshop]. TEL Series: Leveraging technology to innovate your course. https://da-dev.talic.hku.hk/2022telseries/