The Conference of Independent Schools eLearning Consortium (CISELC)
The Conference of Independent Schools eLearning Consortium (CISELC) is a cooperative not-for-profit organization in Canada mandated to deliver quality online curriculum for the benefit of students in K-12 member independent schools. Beginning in 2008, as an offshoot of the Conference of Independent Schools Ontario, the CISELC is now an independent organization with a Board of Directors and 16 member schools, who have worked together to formulate this model. Our schools recognize that eLearning must be embedded in our learning environment to continue to maintain our innovative edge in teaching and learning, and to provide our students with the experience and skills they need to be successful today and in the future.
The CISELC uses the Blackboard Learning Management System 9.1 and Blackboard Collaborate Virtual Classroom, IM and Voice Tools. Courses are group paced, highly interactive with many group activities, and actively use synchronous tools as well as asynchronous course material. One unique component is that each school provides the teachers who create and deliver the courses that are managed through the central organization. In addition, each school provides a site administrator, the “feet on the ground” so to speak, who support their students and provide a liaison between students, teachers and the Director. In this way, there is a unique “culture of care” in supporting students as they learn to use the new technology and pedagogies.
Partnerships are at the core of our organization, and an important partner is the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. All CISELC C teachers must take a 125-hour Ontario College of Teacher Additional Qualifications course (AQ): Teaching and Learning with E-Learning, in conjunction with the Faculty of Education at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, where they learn to both develop and deliver exemplary online curriculum. Presently offering more than 27 Ontario Credit, Advanced Placement and summer school courses, the CISELC is also actively developing online modules, (blended course components) for students in grades 4-8.
Collaboration is key to the success of CISELC, with member school academic heads, teachers, site administrators and information technology support staff meeting virtually and regularly throughout the school year on Blackboard to set policy, define curriculum and structure support networks for students and teachers.