SIS News Archive
Wednesday Weekly Article
An Online Innovation in The IB Diploma
Mark Robertson-Jones, IB Coordinator
In keeping with our consistent focus on the pursuit of best educational practice, for the benefit of our students, SIS will be implementing some carefully selected online courses for our High School students to choose from beginning in the 2014-2015 academic year. Preparations have already been thoroughly made to pave the way for these options to be offered to our current Grade 10 students as they select their International Baccalaureate subject choices for their Grade 11 and 12 course of study.
Pamoja courses offer our students a greater scope of subject choice as well as provide the opportunity to acquire invaluable skills in the online learning environment. Students who elect to take an online course will have an allocated block in their schedule dedicated to the study of this subject- just as they would for in-house classes.
Pamoja Education’s mission is to support students in achieving their full potential through innovative teaching and learning within a global online community. Pamoja use online teaching methodologies to place the learner at the centre of the teaching and learning process. They provide online courses to promote self-management, creative and critical thinking and international understanding.
We encourage creative thinking and learning.
We aspire to innovate.
We strive to maintain high quality standards.
We act with integrity and show respect.
We demonstrate corporate social responsibility.
Approach to the course:
Pamoja online IB Diploma Program courses are developed in line with the IB’s priorities of the Learner Profile and approaches to teaching and learning. Pamoja collaborates with senior IB educators as Subject Matter Experts to develop each online course, and work with highly qualified IB teachers specially trained in online pedagogy.
In tandem with my role of IB Coordinator, I have undertaken training that qualifies me as the Pamoja Site Based Coordinator (SBC) for SIS. My role will be to liaise with both the students and the online tutor to ensure the courses run smoothly and that all assigned work is optimally managed by the student in preparation for their examinations.
Pamoja lessons feature weekly objectives to keep students on track, but provide flexibility so that they can complete them within the week at their own pace. Members of the Pamoja community will be available to assist students throughout their course. Students benefit from one-to-one contact with experienced IB teachers who are trained in online pedagogy. A trained Site-based Coordinator based at the student’s school will regularly monitor student progress and provide additional support for our teachers. Students’ results have the same status for university admissions as a course taught in a traditional face-to-face IB classroom.
Empowering the learner is a key feature of Pamoja online courses. In online classrooms of approximately 25 students from around the world, teachers introduce weekly lessons, guide discussion and provide feedback to stimulate critical thinking and promote “lifelong learning” habits. Online teachers instruct students in innovative ways: using written explanations, screencasts and live sessions, as well as engaging in group and private discussions.
Online IB Diploma Programme courses offer a truly international, interactive model of teaching and learning.