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Choice Courses: Global Online Academy

As some of you know, ISP is a member of the non profit Global Online Academy (GOA) consortium of schools.  GOA  has offered rigorous online courses for more than 10 years, with a mission to empower students and educators to thrive in a globally networked society

Since becoming members in January 2020, we have had students enroll in 27 semester courses, either during the academic year as one of their electives or during the summer holidays. While there is a wide range of course options, ISP students are looking for specific learning opportunities connected to their personal interests and aspirations that are not on offer here at ISP. 

As a member school, ISP expands elective course offerings available to our Upper School students and provides them with the opportunity to connect with other learners from around the world. 

ISP students’ course selections have included 

  • Entrepreneurship in a Global Context,
  • Computational Thinking, 
  • Architecture,
  • Abnormal Psychology, 
  • Introduction to Legal Thinking, 
  • Fiction Writing, 
  • Digital Photography, 
  • Computer Science, 
  • Medical Problem Solving, 
  • 9/11 in a Global context,
  • Climate Change and Global Inequality, 
  • International Relations, and
  • Genocide and Human Rights. 

We seek feedback at the end of semester, asking students to share highlights, course recommendations, and what ISP might learn from how these courses are taught. 

The following are a few quotes from students’ GOA course highlights:

  • “The entire course was amazing. The content that was taught was perfect and it was very engaging.”
  • “I really enjoyed the coursework overall because it was very different from any course I’d taken in the past both in topic and in format. I thought it was fascinating and a really good way to get an introduction into the legal world.”
  • “I really liked the fact that everyone in the course is joining in from around the world. They all had a diverse background and following the course using their own unique perspective is what made the course more interesting. I enjoyed the course so much, I’ve always wanted to learn in-depth about this topic.”
  • “Being able to learn from other writers.”
  • “Due to time zone differences, we only got to do this a few times, but I always enjoyed meeting other students in Zoom and having the chance to work and share with them.”

Students also shared ideas ISP might incorporate based on their GOA experience, such as . . .

  • “Canvas was incredibly well organized, and along with the usual assignments and agendas, there was also a lot of additional coursework such as short stories and writing prompts that were available to anybody who wanted to use them, which I absolutely loved. Although it might take a little work, I think it would be very useful to have that kind of extra material on Canvas for different classes for people to use, and it could be implemented for practically any subject.”
  • “I liked that our class had the Twist application and a chat within it where we could communicate very quickly and efficiently. It seemed better than sending emails and such. “
  • “I enjoyed the Catalyst Project alot. We got to choose our own topics that we’d be willing to do further research. I think if students at ISP got a chance to do this, it’d be great.” 
  • “During distance learning, ISP should consider more partner projects as it gets students involved in school.” 

We are excited that another six students will begin GOA Semester courses in September and we look forward to hearing their insights as to what they’re learning and why they feel that learning is significant.