Online learning at the International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) has been rolled out smoothly and embraced by a receptive student and staff community that feels supported through the process.
“We understand that change is difficult, but appreciate the willingness of ICMS students to embrace online learning at this challenging time in world history,” ICMS CEO and President Dr Dominic Szambowski said.
“At ICMS, we pride ourselves on our career-focused approach to higher education, and we believe that our swift and largely seamless transition to meaningful online learning has meant that ICMS students have lost nothing in their studies and may, in some areas, have gained from this experience. For example, through our thorough and supportive online experience, they will have gained confidence with technology and in the digital space, skills which will stand them in good stead in the business world of the future.”
Dr Szambowski added: “Staff have been supported in the transition to online delivery through extensive professional development and a suite of guidelines and resources available in the Learning & Teaching Hub. We’re exceedingly proud of the responsiveness and agility of our whole college community.”
The transition to online learning at ICMS was made last month due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, and will continue due to social distancing requirements and international travel restrictions affecting students.
Rolling out online learning with careful thought as to how it will affect students at the higher education institution appears to be working well, with the reception from students about the changes being very positive.
“So far it’s been good,” ICMS business student Nathanael Adamson said. “The teachers have been really supportive. Small classes transfer well into the virtual classrooms because we don’t lose personal interactions with the teachers, and they are always there to help us.”
By virtue of its size, as opposed to universities with a bigger student community, ICMS has been able to move all undergraduate and postgraduate courses online, offering small virtual interactive classes with 24/7 academic support. With an online student centre offering individual support, the continued focus on career coaching, and the continuation of industry training placement, ICMS students have embraced the necessary transition to online learning in light of COVID-19 limitations set out by the Australian government.
As ICMS Bachelor degree student Xiaolu Rao said, “The online courses are convenient and effective and save a lot of time.”
Dr Margot McNeill, ICMS Deputy Vice Chancellor: Learning and Teaching, explained that the ICMS ‘rapid deployment of online delivery’ was guided by the overall principals that learning should remain ‘career-focused, globalised, connected and empowering’, though accessing academic resources and lectures may have changed.
Assessment tasks were redesigned to demonstrate learning outcomes independent of a student’s location; content and activities were ‘backwards designed’ to scaffold student learning toward success in assessments in the new mode of delivery; and the delivery model itself was examined and modified to better suit online learning rather than face-to-face lectures and field trips. Engagement and building student confidence in the online space have been priorities in the early stages of learning to encourage students to persevere and to continue their studies with confidence.
“Online learning at ICMS is emotionally and virtually connected because while we don’t get to see people or communicate with them as much, you can always call someone, for example in your zoom meetings you can talk to a lecturer and you will always get help, so you know there’s always someone out there for you,” ICMS student Nishant Pinto said.
Fellow student Aliah McDonnell said: “For me, learning online has been really positive. It’s allowing us to learn for the future because I think business is heading online. If you look at the current climate and the way the world is heading, we have to be adaptive in the way we conduct business.”
With ICMS Online Learning, students receive the same career-focused education, achieve the same academic outcomes, and enjoy the same small classes and individual support as students on campus.
For more information on ICMS career-focused online delivery, click here: https://www.icms.edu.au/future-students/application-information/career-focused-online-degrees-icms