Full Strand Descriptions

For 2017, we continue to use “Strands”, following industry trends, and enabling us to use the language of “weaving strands together” to create a robust conference experience.

As you work through the proposal submission process, you will be asked to select associated tags within your proposed session strand. These tags will enable us to curate and showcase themes and trends through the proposal process as well as the virtual and on-site conference experiences. You will be able to select more than one tag option within each strand, and if need be, add a unique keyword to your proposal submission.

Please review the following strands and program categories listed below prior to submitting your proposal. Click on the (+) to expand each strand to get a full description and list of possible tags. Tags represent emerging or accelerating themes and topics in the strands and will be used to crowdsource knowledge and content from conference participation. Select from the list the tag(s) within your selected strand that best represents your content. You will also have an opportunity to add additional tags.

Both research and evidence-based proposals are encouraged for submission.  Please align submission to the session type as shown on the session detail page.

This strand focuses on current trends, innovations, tools, and technologies within online/blended education. Contributions are invited that bring fresh and passion-driven perspectives, ideas for innovations and creative uses of technologies. The range of “topics” of trends and innovations is a wide net, left up to your imagination and experience to share original and creative ideas. This strand is about sharing your teaching and learning practices with tools and tech, with new media and innovative learning environments.

Tags — Innovations, Tools and Technologies: adaptive learning; adult learners; assessment; augmented reality; authentic learning; badging; biometric; blended learning; case-based learning; collaborative learning; community of inquiry; community of practice; competency-based education; content; credentialing; digital storytelling; emerging; engagement; e-portfolios; flipped classrooms; game dynamics; gamification; gaming; immersive environments; infographics; innovative; instructional design; instructional technology; knowledge management; learner achievement; learning analytics; learning environments; learning outcomes; learning scenarios; media; mLearning; mobile devices; mobile games; mobile learning; online support; personalization; practice; problem-based learning; proctoring; robots; simulations; social presence; student perceptions; teams; technology; technology applications; tools; video; video collaboration; virtual reality; virtual schools; web 2.0; web 3.0

This strand focuses on how various institutions grow, build, and scale their online/distance programs using different institutional strategies.  These strategies may be in the form of innovation, globalization, change in institutional culture, competency based learning, new marketing strategy, new retention techniques, and so on, depending on the institutional mission and objectives.    

Contributors to this strand are encouraged to share evidence of practice through qualitative and/or quantitative approaches. Possible areas might investigate or emphasize the following:

  • Leveraging online strategies and technologies to reinvent, redefine, or innovate across the institution
  • Strategic planning and alignment
  • Effective scaling of innovation(s)
  • Creating a culture of academic innovation
  • Using cross-institutional teams to align student and faculty experiences
  • Globalizing programs and moving into new markets for growth
  • Leveraging the local economy and culture for strategic alignment
  • Operationalizing innovation
  • Marketing, recruitment, and retention initiatives

Tags — Institutional Strategies and Globalization: accreditation; administration; alignment; best practices; big data; change management; cloud computing; competency-based learning; compliance; cross-institutional teams; enrollment management; evidence of practice; faculty credentials; FERPA; globalization; governance; implementation; infrastructure; initiatives; innovate; institution; institutional change; institutional culture; institutional effectiveness; institutional mission; instructional design; integration; international; leadership; leverage; lowering costs; management; marketing; marketing; next generation of learners; online certification; online provider; organization; outsourcing; planning; platforms; privacy; program; program assessment; quality assurance; quality matters; quality score card; readiness; recruitment; reinvent; resistance to change; retention; scale; stakeholders; strategic change; strategic planning; strategy; student retention; student success; technologies; university policy; workload

Learners need services and support for online and blended learning — services and support that also advance, accelerate, and keep up with learners’ needs. What innovative ways are learners receiving services and support? At what rate (acceleration) should they be given services and support? Are learners satisfied with services and support they receive? This strand focuses on how support is key to successful implementation of online and blended learning modalities. Topics focus on issues and approaches to providing services, supports, accessibility, and readiness preparation for those students who study at a distance.

Tags — Learner Services and Support: academic advising/coaching; academic support; acceleration; accessibility; admissions and enrollment; career readiness; community; completion; counseling; disability services; ethics; help desk; international student services; IT; learner; learning analytics; learning communities; learning management systems; library; mentoring; new student orientation; online students; online tutoring; peer mentoring; persistence; personalization; retention; retention; social media; student activities; student affairs; student engagement; student orientation; student readiness; student services; student success; support; universal design; virtual assistant

Advances in technology accelerate the need for effective theories, models, and methods that lead to evidence-based successful learning outcomes. This strand encompasses research and practice that improves learning effectiveness in online and blended, formal and informal, learning spaces. Proposals of interest in this strand include but are not limited to the following:

  • Instructional design theories and models that support learning and learners in the 21st Century.
  • Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research studies that show evidence of learning effectiveness through improved student motivation, persistence, performance, and learning satisfaction.
  • Rigorous design cases that offer rich representation of knowledge-in-practice. 
  • Evidence of learning effectiveness in various online and blended learning contexts including K-12, higher education, corporate, government, maker spaces, museums, etc.
  • Application of technology innovations (e.g., simulations, virtual labs, augmented reality, virtual reality, mixed reality) designed to improve learning effectiveness.
  • Interdisciplinary, country-specific, region-specific, or comparative studies on the effectiveness of blended and online learning initiatives.

Tags — Learning Effectiveness: active learning; adaptive learning; assessment; asynchronous; augmented reality; blended; civic engagement; collaboration; collaborative learning; community; community; community of inquiry; community of practice; competency-based education; content; content analysis; course development; cross-cultural; culture; digital badging; diversity; efficacy; evaluation; experiential learning; game-based learning; games; gamification; group work; improvement; instructional design; interaction; interactive media; interdisciplinary; knowledge construction; knowledge transfer; laboratory; learner analysis; learner interaction; learner preferences; learner-centered; learners; learning; learning analytics; learning effectiveness; learning management systems; learning outcomes; learning outcomes; learning personalization; micro-credentials; mobile; motivation; online; online discussions; online environment; peer evaluation; persistence; qualitative; quantitative; research-based projects; retention; scaffolding; self-assessment; service learning; social network analysis; social presence; special education; STEM; student engagement; student participation; student satisfaction; student success; student-developed; synchronous; teaching; theory; validation; virtual reality; virtual teams; visual design

Innovative programs for professional development and support services are critical to continuous improvement in all levels of operations committed to academic quality and service. This strand focuses on topics concerning fully online or hybrid professional development courses, programs, and practices. Possible areas might investigate or emphasize the following:

  • Innovative programs and/or services for one or more stakeholders: faculty, administrators, instructional staff, instructional designers, technologists, and/or specific populations (e.g., military, other).
  • Innovative pedagogical models for professional development and training
  • Continuous improvement of professional development or learning communities 
  • Investigation of rigor and effectiveness of faculty/professional development programs, courses, practices or trends
  • International models and themes relating to professional development

Tags — Professional Development and Support:  accessibility; approaches; blended; certification; collaboration; competencies; copyright; effectiveness; engagement; faculty; faculty development; faculty roles; faculty well-being; governance; instructor experience; instructors; leadership presence; mentor; models; OER; online; online community; online course development; pedagogy; professional development; project management; quality instruction; rubrics; satisfaction; service learning; staff development; STEM; support; teaching; teaching presence; team teaching; training; transformation; universal design (UDL); workload

This strand provides the opportunity for researchers to present completed or well-developed studies that relate to online and/or blended learning. Proposals must contain sufficient information regarding the research problem, research question, methodology and potential results for the review committee to ascertain relevance to the conference program and to future practice or research with the corresponding track. We invite authors of original research studies to submit papers to OLC’s flagship journal, the Online Learning Journal. Please review OLJ submission guidelines.

Tags  — Research:  assessment; big data; business intelligence; cross-cultural; cross-institutional; decision making; diversity; educational data mining; engagement; valuation; formative and summative; global; innovations; learning analytics; methodology; models; multi-institutional; online and blended learning; paradigms; planning; reporting; student success