With Dr. Irene Duranczyk of the University of Minnesota and Dr. Schiro Withanachchi of Queens College, CUNY, Guttman Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies Dr. Grace Pai co-hosted “Globalizing Curriculums with Data: COIL Energizes the Learning Environment,” an installment in the 2021 American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC) Webinar Series sponsored by McGraw-Hill. The presenters explained Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL), a high-impact pedagogical practice widely used in disciplines like language learning, cultural studies, and health studies. The objective of COIL is to connect classes from institutions in different countries in working together virtually on a common project, sometimes across disciplines.
Despite the success of the virtual exchange in promoting cross-cultural awareness, communication, and collaboration, it remains underutilized in math courses, where the pressure of covering a breadth of content tends to prevail over experiential learning opportunities. Dr. Pai and her co-hosts guided the webinar’s audience on the implementation of COIL in college-level math courses. They described their experiences, including student testimonies on how participating in COIL projects has helped them adjust to learning in a virtual environment, rise to the challenges of groupwork, and negotiate cultural differences.
At Guttman, Dr. Pai primarily teaches mathematics and statistics courses while serving as the Faculty Coordinator of International Education and Co-Advisor of the College’s Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society chapter. In addition to having been a high school math teacher in New York City, Dr. Pai worked as Senior Research Associate at the New York City Department of Education prior to joining Guttman. She also has experience doing international development work in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Dr. Pai holds a Ph.D. in International Education from New York University, with a concentration in applied statistics; an M.Ed. in Secondary School Mathematics from Brooklyn College, CUNY; an Ed.M. in Prevention Science and Practice from the Harvard Graduate School of Education; and a B.S. in Management and International Business from the Stern School of Business at New York University. She is an active member of the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC), Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), and American Educational Research Association (AERA).