Online Education

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced educational institutions to close and send students home. This reality has forced a crash course for online learning plans and technology for students and faculty.
We are pleased to inform you that Icon college is one of the pioneering educational institutions who interpret and understand the situation wisely and shifts its curricula and whole educational system instantly online. Because future of our learners is first and utmost priority for us.
Too many schools can’t move curricula online, because there’s no, or not enough, infrastructure to do so. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, educational institutions face an unprecedented situation. Unable to meet in classrooms, learners and teachers have had to react to shifting circumstances and formulate strategies for alternatives but Icon college successfully meet all the challenges and within two weeks of lockdown we not only shift our whole system but also trained teachers and students for online system.

What is online education?

Online education is a form of education which is delivered and administered using the Internet. Twenty years ago it would have been difficult to imagine high-quality instruction delivered online. But today, in the digital age, it's become a reality. There are over 6 million students enrolled in post-secondary courses online. And that number continues to grow. Now online education or online learning is a broad term. Traditional education is considered to be on the opposite side of the spectrum. But in many cases elements of both can be integrated into a course. Let's take a look at some terms which represent the degree to which online resources are integrated. First, we have traditional face-to-face learning, in which there are no online components. Often, however, instructors in face-to-face courses will utilize the Internet to some degree to share resources and provide learning opportunities outside of the classroom. This is considered web-facilitated learning. Recently, a hybrid model has surfaced, which engage the students in a significant face-to-face component of the course, but also requires online instruction as well. This is known as blended learning. And then there is online learning, in which everything is done online and there's little to no face-to-face instruction. All aspects of the course are done online, including: the sharing of resources, discussions, accessing and submitting assignments, administering assessments and delivering feedback. In this course we'll be focusing on online instruction, although the principles within the course can apply to most of these models. Now, online education can be broken down further, for example, in the synchronous versus asynchronous learning Synchronous refers to the learning in which the instructor and students are interacting in real time. Obviously a face-to-face course is synchronous, but there are synchronous online courses as well, in which classes will meet through live chat or through videoconferencing. And then there is asynchronous learning, which is when the instructor and students do not meet in real time. Resources and activities are accessed and completed online, when is convenient for the individual who's taking the course. There are varying levels of asynchronous learning as well. For instance, this course that you're watching right now is completely asynchronous. We're not meeting face-to-face and there also isn't a time factor or time restriction. In other words, you don't have to complete certain chapters and assignments by certain due dates. Most online courses through a secondary or post-secondary program will not meet face-to-face but there will be set due dates and deadlines. Also there are often times in which a course maybe primarily asynchronous, however once in a while the instructor requires the students to meet together using a video-conference or a live discussion forum, making it slightly synchronous. Most online courses are asynchronous in nature, because this method maximizes the flexibility that online instruction provides. However, these are some of the factors you'll have to determine when creating your online course.

What Learning Mangment System (LMS)

A learning management system (LMS) is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, automation and delivery of educational courses, training programs, or learning and development programs.[1] The learning management system concept emerged directly from e-Learning. Although the first LMS appeared in the higher education sector, the majority of the LMSs today focus on the corporate market. Learning Management Systems make up the largest segment of the learning system market. The first introduction of the LMS was in the late 1990s.[2] Learning management systems were designed to identify training and learning gaps, utilizing analytical data and reporting. LMSs are focused on online learning delivery but support a range of uses, acting as a platform for online content, including courses, both asynchronous based and synchronous based. An LMS may offer classroom management for instructor-led training or a flipped classroom, used in higher education, but not in the corporate space. Modern LMSs include intelligent algorithms to make automated recommendations for courses based on a user's skill profile as well as extract meta-data from learning materials in order to make such recommendations even more accurate.

Benefits of online education

Online education has become very popular at the secondary and post-secondary levels as well as for professional development. This because it provides some important advantages. One of the main benefits is the convenience and flexibility that it provides. Learners can participate in an online course from home, work, the library, or anywhere they can access the Internet. They're not required to be at a specific place in order to participate. Online courses are also very flexible as they allow students to access and complete the materials when its convenient for them. This has revolutionized the way that people can access education because for most online courses you don't have to be present at a specific time. If you're someone who works during the day, that's fine, as you can access the course at a different time. If you're sick, you can still access all the content and activities, something that's difficult to overcome if you miss a face-to-face class. If you're on vacation, you can still access the course online and participate from wherever you are. Another benefit is the increased course options that learners have. Not that long ago, learners were restricted to taking courses that were offered in close proximity to where they live. Now through online learning, you can take a course being offered by someone thousands of miles away. This gives the learner more autonomy to choose a program of choice or to take a course that's only offered at a distant location. Another potential benefit is increased interactions. Now, this one sounds counterintuitive as it seems there would be more interaction in a face-to-face course but if fostered properly, there will likely be more student-to-instructor and student-to-student interactions online. The online environment works really well for this. And most people will feel empowered to ask questions, offer opinions, and contribute especially introverted students and those who need more time to think before they respond. Online education also helps students develop technical skills that they likely wouldn't have developed in a face-to-face class. The need to use technology for a number of reasons: uploading and downloading files, accessing web resources, troubleshooting technical issues, and more, will help students become more comfortable with technology. This is something that's growing increasingly important in the digital age and these are skills that the students will likely need in their futures. There are normally lower costs associated with online courses. On one hand, it's often cheaper to host online courses as they don't require the facilities, electricity, paper, desks, and other costs. For this reason and because students have the ability to shop around more, online courses and credits are often lower in cost for them as well. Another benefit is that students can avoid commuting, which is not only convenient but safer and cheaper. These along with other benefits make online learning a great option for many students. There are some negatives, however, including the lack of face-to-face communication, which is another skill that most students will need to develop. There's a much higher need for self-discipline and self-direction, both by the student and instructor. Most instructors feel that teaching an online course is more work, especially when you're teaching a course for the first time. Another potential negative is the quality of instruction. But this one isn't always true. Poor instruction is poor instruction, whether it's online or face-to-face. Online instruction is such a new concept that many online instructors who may have been excellent in the traditional environment, have struggled to transition to online teaching. For this reason, the perception of online education has been that, it's of lower quality. As we continue to learn more about online education, however, and as instructors continue to become more educated in the best practices for online instruction, online education can provide an equal, or even higher quality educational opportunity in many situations.