The International College of the Cayman Islands is launching a new online learning program, starting in July for students in its Bachelor of Business Administration Program.
The college’s president David Marshall said the program, which will feature video lectures and podcasts from staff at the college, would be extended to other courses, if successful.
Faculty will start training this week on how to record lectures, post to YouTube and Vimeo, produce podcasts and use communication tools like Skype and WhatsApp to stay in contact with students and engage them in academic content, he said
“Offering online classes will open the doors of opportunity for those otherwise unable to access a college education,” he said.
“This innovation is part of ICCI’s strong tradition of producing outstanding graduates for Cayman’s workforce for 44 years,” said Marshall.
The online class launch follows seven months of planning and surveying the student and alumni populations, he said.
“A majority of ICCI’s students are working adults who face barriers to earning a degree because of work, civic, or family obligations. These courses are designed specifically to benefit students who have difficulty commuting to the Newlands’ campus.”
Marshall says the online initiative allows students to attend virtual classes on their own schedules.
Last month, ICCI won permission from its U.S. accrediting body, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, to begin the pilot program. An ACICS accrediting team will also visit ICCI next year to ensure students are achieving the same learning outcomes as those in face-to-face courses.
“We know that students all over the world are already supplementing their classroom education with many online tools,” said Marshall. “Online learning is really the future for producing accessible, high quality and affordable education, especially in Cayman were very few can stop work altogether to pursue their education.”
Each online course typically will have a set of readings, recorded lectures, videos, podcasts, discussions, tests and collaborative group projects. The course will be led by a credentialed faculty member who will interact with students online about the course content each week and grade assignments.
The college is seeking approval from ACICS to add additional courses from other degree programs.