International Center of Photography

Custom E-Learning System with Synchronous Learning

Personalizing Online Education

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To create a custom, synchronous online learning environment that supported and encouraged learning through one-to-one conversations and strong community bonds between students and instructors.


User Experience/Interface Design CMS Design Drupal Development



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MediaCombo designed a custom online learning platform for the International Center of Photography (ICP), the world renowned institution dedicated to photography and visual culture. ICP Online hosted hundreds of courses over its six year life span, from 2014 to 2020.

ICP’s brief to us was a challenge: to create an online environment that supported and encouraged learning through one to one conversations and strong community bonds between students and instructors. This kind of experience is key to the success of ICP’s physical school programs and it was critical to the online extension of the brand.

The result was a platform that offered professionals, amateurs and novices alike the opportunity for live, in-person instruction, coaching and encouragement from an expert, in the setting of their choice. In 2014 when we launched the platform there was nothing else like it.

ICP website screenshot.

Home page

The course home page was designed to give participants a quick overview of everything they need to know at a glance:  the course title and instructor;  the date and time of the next live webinar; and the next assignment due date.

The heart of the home page was the Recent Activity space, where people could see and respond to each others’ most recent comments and conversations about student work, assignments, etc.

Home page. Two ICP website screenshots.
Assignment Galleries. Two ICP website screenshots.

Assignment Galleries

In the Assignment Galleries students uploaded their homework for each assignment, via the CMS. Course participants could view images by each student and assignment, and discuss images in the comment section below each picture.

Course participants. ICP website screenshot.


The platform was designed in 2014 to provide synchronous learning through weekly webinars where instructors and students participated via live video sessions, reviewing and critiquing the assignments they’ve uploaded to the website.

The View Course Participants page was another feature that alleviates the sense of isolation that often came with online courses. This interactive version of the traditional class picture allowed students and instructors to read each other’s bios, view each others’ photos, access social media links, and message each other.

The Outcome

ICP used our custom platform to host over 100 courses after launching in 2014, serving thousands of students all over the world.


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