A Brief History of the Illinois Online Network (ION)
With the advent of the World Wide Web in 1992, colleges and universities recognized the potential of the internet to deliver learning opportunities globally. In Illinois, the University of Illinois system built upon their expertise in computer assisted instruction to lead in the early deployment of courses online. By 1997, the Illinois General Assembly recognized this leadership by funding the Illinois Online Network to be administered by the university. The mission was to provide faculty development in emerging best practices and pedagogies in this new medium to public and private colleges and universities. Beginning with online workshops, ION expanded to sequences of online courses by 1999. In 2002, the Illinois Online Network was recognized nationally by the Sloan Consortium (funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation) with the award for Excellence in Asynchronous Learning Networks.
Online courses and certificates offered by the Illinois Online Network have come to set the standard for excellence in instruction for those who teach and administer online programs. Colleges and universities across the country and abroad subscribe to ION to receive the most timely and comprehensive instruction in the continuously-evolving practices, technologies and pedagogies in teaching and learning online. The Illinois Online Network is supported by the nationally-recognized, award-winning Center for Online Learning, Research and Service at the University of Illinois Springfield.