Blog: Indiana Online’s Investment in their Stakeholders

Featured Image for Stakeholder Blog.

We Educate Differently

Indiana Online is all about #EducatingDifferently, which means that we provide creative learning solutions. We support students in a variety of ways based on their unique situations—whether a student needs to catch up or get ahead, seeks courses not offered at their school of record, is traveling, or is a homebound/homeschooled learner.

As one of the largest online supplemental course providers in Indiana, Indiana Online offers full-time, year-round, and summer courses, meeting students and schools with the flexibility they need. Learn more about what Indiana Online offers with a detailed overview of the organization.

Kim Hendrick, Executive Director, and Kara Heichelbech, former Director of Student Learning, discussed the full-time Indiana Online Academy, the profile of an online learner, and the program’s teachers and tutors. They emphasize how the program builds strong relationships in the classroom, plus various ways the Student Services team supports our online learners.

Indiana Online has been a trusted partner in education since 2005—supporting students, counselors, teachers, and administrators. From humble beginnings serving over 400 enrollments to now serving over 33,000 enrollments, Indiana Online is here to support students in whichever season of life they are in.

Ready to offer more at your school? Learn more about partnerships here.

We Develop Quality Courses with Subject Matter Experts

Indiana Online sparks lots of curiosity among students, teachers, and parents. We’re here to clear the air and share exactly what makes our curriculum and course development high-quality. Instructional Design and Curriculum Manager, Laura Garmire, met with two Indiana Online teachers to discuss the process of creating engaging content that meets Indiana Standards from the perspective of a Subject Matter Expert.

There is a common fallacy that creating online content and assessments is “easy.” In reality, online course development requires hefty research, communication, revision, and attention to detail. Subject Matter Expert and English Teacher, Jordan Dever, shared that it can be challenging to pinpoint the scope of the course, and he often works backward to develop assessment questions from greater concepts. With a model student in mind, teachers must ensure that they are preparing students for the next step and incorporating skills needed down the road.

Indiana Online is proud to employ teachers who are Indiana certified, teach in their respective subject areas, and receive ongoing professional learning. Subject Matter Expert and Science Teacher, Nancy Coster, shared that she often pulls aspects of her in-person classes into her Indiana Online classes. She notes that although she has years of experience teaching both online and in-person, she is constantly learning from her students.

Nancy praised the help she’s received from Indiana Online’s Instructional Designers—who create the format of the course once the content is built. Having multiple eyes on the course content provides opportunities to clarify instruction to make it more digestible for online learners. Indiana Online also provides assignment templates to teachers so they don’t have to start lessons from scratch.

Indiana Online is a trusted partner in education, supporting both students and the Subject Area Experts who create our courses. Are you interested in becoming a teacher for Indiana Online? See our current opening on our careers page.

We Offer Programs Trusted by 300+ Partner Schools

Indiana Online helps more than just the students who make up more than 33,000 enrollments. As a leading partner in online education, Indiana Online is well-suited to support its partner schools, their administrators, and teachers. What exactly is the appeal of the partnership on the administrators’ end? Ed Beck, Assistant Principal at Lake Central High School, had some thoughts to share.

Kim Hendrick spoke with Assistant Principal Beck about their 14-year partnership, the online program’s ease of use, and the dependability it provides. Lake Central High School selectively chose to partner with Indiana Online after their transportation funding for summer school was cut, and they needed to find an alternative fast. What was most appealing to them was the flexibility that comes with online learning, as well as the strong communication between students and teachers.

Lake Central High School is one of the largest enrolling districts of Indiana Online, totaling 2,000 enrollments during the summer of 2022. Assistant Principal Beck explained that online learning is not only convenient for those with summer travel plans, but students also gain access to courses that their school of record does not offer—they can even earn college credit through the dual credit courses Indiana Online has available. More recently, Indiana Online has expanded its services to tutoring (for students) and FlexED (for administrators to fulfill teacher shortages or offer a school-specific course for students).

“The flexibility has become part of our district,” said Assistant Principal Beck. “Our counselors like that Indiana Online meets the needs of students, administrators enjoy the user-friendly platform, and parents favor the easy-to-follow registration process. If you’re interested in partnering with Indiana Online, know the needs of your school and assess if Indiana Online can help you accomplish the goals your school shouldn’t have to reach alone.”

Connect with us today to become a partner of Indiana Online.

We Support Our Indiana Online Teachers, So They Can Support All Students

Those who back the success of our programs are the Indiana Online teachers themselves. Our Instructional Leadership Manager, Melissa Bardack, chatted with two of our full-time teachers about all the ways they support their students—synchronously and asynchronously.

Tracy Meisberger, Indiana Online Business Teacher, shared that despite the remote classroom setting, she treats her role the same as if she was at a brick-and-mortar school. She affirmed that Indiana Online provides a lively way to teach online by providing regular one-on-one Zoom meetings with students, open office hours, and communicating via text, phone, or video calls. 

“What I enjoy most about teaching with Indiana Online is the diversity. I have the opportunity to teach students from all over the state, coming from different cultures. Some students live in rural areas, others live in cities,” said Indiana Online Math Teacher,  Joanna Johnson. “If it weren’t for Indiana Online, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet these students otherwise. It’s refreshing.”

Although leading online instruction can feel isolating at times, the teachers of Indiana Online have established a supportive community for their colleagues. Both Meisberger and Johnson have maintained solid communication with their equals regarding subject matter expertise, collaboration, and general questions. Through Slack communication, our teachers are readily available to help each other find solutions.

Indiana Online currently employs 19 full-time teachers and 13 part-time teachers. All our teachers are Indiana certified, teach in their respective subject areas, and receive ongoing professional learning. You can meet our teachers here.

We Provide Accommodations Best Fit for Our Students

Each student has unique needs, which is why we offer supplemental courses, summer courses, tutoring, and a full-time academy. Indiana Online Student Success Specialist, Allyssya Gossett, discussed the detailed support of our programs with Avon School Corporation Public Agency Representative Megan Erickson.

Erickson explained that there are a variety of reasons why Avon students learn with Indiana Online—potentially due to medical conditions, family dynamics, or homebound scenarios. Meanwhile, students enrolled in supplemental courses may need to catch up, get ahead, or take a course not offered by their school of record. She shared that the best part of their partnership is the thorough communication and the staff’s willingness to help. No questions are left unanswered, as the school of record’s representatives and administrators can access each student’s performance records at any time.

Overall, success in Indiana Online courses depends on a student’s independent study habits, time management skills, and comfort level with technology. We are here to support all students by providing creative solutions to best suit their individual needs.

Our approach to #EducatingDifferently provides students with the tools they need to reach success using a format that works for them. Interested in learning more? Learn about Indiana Online’s supplemental course offerings!

Indiana Online, a department of the Central Indiana Educational Service Center (CIESC), is one of the largest online supplemental course providers in the state, offering a wide variety of full-time, year-round, and summer courses online. Achieve your educational goals with Indiana Online. Get started today!