Innovations in Online Education | FAQ
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Frequently Asked Questions
Accountability: How do we know the student is doing the work on the computer?

IOE offers a unique opportunity to substantiate accountability.  Each lesson is archived as an electronically retrievable file. This is primarily offered as a study aid to the student. In addition, school administrators may request to review any session at any time.  The teacher is constantly checking in on the students – prompting them to respond using emoticons, answering via the microphone or the chat box.  Because students may open another window on the computer and play a computer game, etc. we have trained our online teachers to constantly be certain of students‘ engagement by pulling them into the lesson through question and answer.  They will call on reticent students to make certain they are paying attention. Students are invited to post answers on the whiteboard, to problem solve on the whiteboard, and to give presentations grounded in academic research.

Teachers will assess students’ performance through quizzes, take-home exams, homework, projects, presentations. Unlike other online models, this is live (in real time) instruction with a trained and certified NJ content area specialist. This is the hallmark of an IOE online educational program

What about support materials? Books? Resources for the course? Cost of these?

The district provides the hard copy textbooks (or passwords from publishers for electronic copies of the texts) for students and instructor. Resources are also culled from the online environment.  Teachers will select appropriate academic websites to supplement instruction – these sites can be accessed during the lesson via the online platform.  We do not charge for books or resources as the district provides the books and our resources are accessed through the Internet.

Is there a parent/student orientation besides the online demo?

IOE could provide an online parent/student orientation in the virtual classroom at a scheduled date has yet to be determined. We would provide links to the classroom to students and parents and provide a tour of the virtual environment and answer questions concerning content instruction.

As an innovator in this cutting edge medium, IOE welcomes transparency and seeks to inform the district (educators, students and parents) of the differences and nuances of a quality online learning program.

Students are used to having a person to help them with tech support. How does your tech support work? Is there a person to talk to or is it through e-mail?

IOE’s administrator is on duty while classes are running. The administrator checks in on the first session of the course to make certain students are logging on without difficulty.  Students may call or e-mail the administrator at any time.  All level one incidents are usually solved within fifteen minutes. Finally, a platform tech expert is available 24/7 to respond to Level 2 problems. IOE seeks to support your students’ success academically and technically. Our motto: “21st century tools for 21st century students equal 21st century skills.”

Have schools used grant money to pay for the students' costs of the course(s)?

We are not always aware of what funds schools use to finance programs.  As we have highly qualified content specialists (NJ certified teachers) and as your school district is awarding the credits, it seems grant money would be applicable in remediating at- risk students. IOE is registered and incorporated in the state of New Jersey and is authorized to provide services to New Jersey school districts by NJDOE.

Does IOE Reach the Population We are Trying to Reach? (unmotivated students)

IOE was created with the “at risk” student in mind. Our founder, NYU Professor Laura DeSena, whose background includes two decades of adjunct teaching, including online courses – both synchronous and asynchronous courses — is currently assessing online courses for NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies.  This experience in developing excellence in online instruction and assessing the effectiveness of online instruction provides the framework for our program. She is also a New Jersey certified high school instructor, and has worked with high school students at all academic levels. She synthesized her experiences to develop an online program to best serve the at-risk student.  Content delivery is not text-based and it is not guided distance learning as delivered in pre-packaged online programs.  Instead, in IOE’s online program, the teacher facilitates and inspires learning through constant engagement with her/his students.  The reticent student is often more vocal and takes more academic risks in this seemingly anonymous environment.  In addition, this is an environment the students feel at home in, consider themselves to be “experts” in – this confidence can be extended and ultimately guided toward academic confidence. The teacher can transition from whiteboard to website in a matter of seconds.  Students communicate in a variety of ways: chatbox, emoticons, and microphone.  It is an educationally stimulating environment.

IOE has been tested by districts with their most challenging student assignments – students who have missed coursework due to medical issues (physical and emotional) and behavior issues.  Although we cannot claim a perfect success rate with every student, we have succeeded where other approaches failed for these students.  What makes us stand out from our online competitors is that there is a caring human being, a dedicated professional, a NJ certified content specialist, live in the virtual classroom with the students.  This is not a prepackaged course – there is spontaneity and rapport and nurturing and content expertise that allows for inquiry based learning in an IOE online course.  We are a New Jersey based company and we are available to address any concerns if they were to arise. Finally your district will be able to offer unmotivated students content instruction and 21st century skills. They will be better prepared for post secondary education and the changing world ahead. Again, unlike our online competitors, technology serves education – rather than education serving technology.

Through state of the art technology IOE has been able to reach several students whose outcome we directly impacted. Examples of our success:

“I just wanted to thank you guys for giving me a chance to pass my junior year and given me so many chances to catch up. I really enjoyed the whole online classroom experience and I wish all schooling was done like this.  I really loved my teachers because they were lively and easy to understand even though I never got to see them. I think that’s what makes a wonderful teacher:  the fact that they can make learning fun even when I‘m not directly looking at them or sitting down in the same room as them. Again, thank you very much! My parents are thankful too.”

In addition to this example, another student, a senior, was assigned to IOE because she missed a required course for graduation. We were able to provide a Digital Multi-Media course for this student and she was able to graduate on time with her peers.