What is ION?The Illinois Online Network (ION) is a faculty development initiative that provides comprehensive professional development opportunities in the area of online teaching and learning to faculty and staff from higher education institutions in Illinois and beyond.
ION is one of the few statewide faculty development initiatives in the United States that has a direct, positive impact on the attitudes, skills, and knowledge of thousands of faculty members regarding online teaching and learning.
ION Mission and GoalsThe goals of the ION program are not only to help faculty to develop and deliver courses in a completely online format, but also to produce online courses that incorporate best practices for engaging students in discussion and critical thinking. The ION staff believes that unless an online course has been redesigned to take advantage of the communicative nature of online learning, the resulting course is not likely to engage students. Because of the emphasis on interaction, faculty that have received training from ION report high levels of satisfaction in their online teaching.
Additional goals of the ION initiative include:
- Increasing faculty interest in and receptiveness to the benefits of online learning as a means of achieving improved learning outcomes
- Producing faculty members skilled in and knowledgeable about facilitating high quality online courses that incorporate active and collaborative learning
- Assisting member institutions in the support of online academic programming
- Identifying and sharing of best practices related to online teaching and learning