OLC Accelerate 2017: Accelerating Online Learning Worldwide

Photo Galleries     Contest Winners     Technology Test Kitchen Winners 

A Note from Frank Tomsic and Laurie Dringus, Conference Co-Chairs

Frank Tomsic, Oncourse Learning
Frank Tomsic,
Oncourse Learning
Laurie Dringus, Nova Southeastern University
Laurie Dringus,
Nova Southeastern University

OLC Accelerate 2017 was held November 15-17th in sunny Orlando at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort. We had close to 1800 onsite attendees from 24 countries and more than 1000 virtual participants learning together.

OLC Accelerate continues to be the premiere conference on online learning. This year was no exception!

The conference theme of storytelling was woven through the presentations, panel discussions, town halls and workshops to show us how to work together to achieve innovation, collaboration, and personal engagement in our communities of practice.

Our two keynote presenters, Matthew Luhn of Pixar and Dava Newman of MIT and NASA, gave imaginative and inspiring presentations about creating stories to attract learners, the benefits of active collaboration, the importance of STEAMd, and the wonder of innovation.

AC17 Field Guide ProgramThis year, we introduced the Field Guide Program which helped acclimate new Accelerate attendees to the conference and events. This program was FANTASTIC! Whether it was to show you where “Northern Hemisphere 6” was located or whom to dine with later in the evening, you always had a friend in a field guide – and they wore cool hats too!

Many thanks to the OLC Accelerate Steering Committee, Program Committee, OLC Board, and OLC Staff for helping to make the 2017 conference a must-attend and FUN learning event!

OLC Staff 2 AC17 Wednesday Reception 4 AC17 Wednesday Reception 2 Some of Our Favorite Friends of OLCConference Photos 1

We hope you will join us at OLC Innovate 2018 taking place April 18-20, in Nashville, TN AND OLC Accelerate 2018, taking place November 14-16 back in Orlando, FL. Sign up for email updates on these events.

Access to Recorded Sessions

The 100+ recordings are always free for registered attendees. If you were a registered attendee of the conference, you were sent instructions and the activation link before the conference, during the conference in daily update e-mails, and post-conference in the post-con/survey email. Please email conference@onlinelearning-c.org if you have any questions. If you would like to purchase access to the recordings, please contact sales@onlinelearning-c.org.

“The OLC Accelerate conference is always a great experience for me. I’m able to network with other professionals, as well as gain information and insight into new strategies and technology. This year was especially sweet as I was able to reconnect with a former colleague who was also attending the conference.”

– Tracie Campbell, Austin Peay State University

SAVE THE DATE! Join us in Orlando November 14-16, 2018 for OLC Accelerate. 

Keynote Speaker Matthew Uhn of Pixar Robbie Melton Ed Map at OLC AC`7 2 Stacey VanderHeiden Güney 

Sign up for conference updates to receive the latest information on Online Learning Consortium events.
Take a look at the excitement shared during the conference on social media: #OLCAccelerate 
Check out the Technology Test Kitchen Recipes!

“OLC Accelerate was a fabulous experience. The conference was well run with many excellent sessions – so many, in fact, that I had to make difficult choices about which ones to attend. The sessions that I attended were all directly relevant to my work and that of my team.”

– Meri Ellen Ellen Lynott, Instructional Designer, Ohio State University

Thank you to our generous sponsors for the prizes below!

contest image

Booth Raffle Winners

Dorothy Loftin from Oregon State University won an Echo Dot from OLC

Jason Reed from State College of Florida won Dre Beats headphones from PSI


Exhibit Hall Stamp Card Winners:

Winner’s Name Winner’s Institution
iPad Winner:
Jennifer Mansfield Arizona State University
Gift Card Winners:
Bre Andrew NC State University
Jennifer Obando Rutgers University
Cherie Dodd Indiana University Kokomo
Josh Chung William & Mary
Kia Dennis Georgetown University Law Center
Mariah Whitcomb Dartmouth College
Jennifer Klimek Utica College
Megan Kohler Pennsylvania State University
Abel Bult-Ito University of Alaska Fairbanks
Jamie Chaires University of North Florida
Kayla Collins – VoiceThread prize winner University of St. Augustine

Winners of the $25 Amazon gift cards for completing session evaluations:

Winner’s Name Winner’s Institution
Amy Brown UNCG
Jane Xiong University of Wisconsin River Falls
Lisa Ogonowski Wiley Education Services
Meret Burke Wilkes Community College
Peter Shapiro Florida State College at Jacksonville

Social Media Contest Winners:

Topic: Winning Post: Prize: Sponsor:
Best Fashion Statement @dr_kulp Apple iPad Mini Varafy Corporation
Most Impressive Notetaking @bethanyvsmith Amazon Echo Dot Skyepack
Best Technology Test Kitchen Takeaway @kmiffitt Learning Architect System for Course Innovation UCO Institute for Learning Environment Design
Best Virtual Post @ktstwrt $25 Amazon Gift Card OLC
Best Visual Representation of Just Desserts @mayaig $50.00 Amazon Gift Card Instructional Connections
Most Prolific Use of Social Media @ProfessorJReed Amazon Echo Dot (2nd generation) OR a Mini Fujifilm Instapix Camera with film package SmarterServices
Best eLearning Groupie Shot @BryanAlexander $400 in online products Dynamic Works Institute
Best Presentation Capture @jjjohnson01 $100 Amazon gift card Respondus
Most Impressive Loot @golffyz Polaroid Pop PSI
Best Conference Summation @dr_menn $25 Amazon Gift Card OLC

CONGRATULATIONS to our winners and THANK YOU to all who participated!

Winners of 2017 OLC Complimentary Conference Registration:

Winner: Institution: National Sponsor:
Lisa Bunkowski TAMUCT Canvas
Andrea Keener Barry University D2L
Alan Francis University of Maryland University College Mediasite
Hillary Gleason Laredo Community College Mirum Learning
Jason Abbitt Miami Ohio Proctor U
Sarah Peyre University of Rochester PSI
Matthea Marquart Columbia University The Chronicle of Higher Education


Announcement of 2017 OLC Fellows and Recipients of 2017 OLC Awards and Effective Practice Awards

2017 OLC Fellows

Recognition as an OLC Fellow is conferred by the OLC Board of Directors on those who have contributed to advancing quality, scale and breadth in online and blended education in areas represented by the OLC Pillars: learning effectiveness, access, faculty and student satisfaction and scale. Named to the 2017 class of OLC Fellows are:

  • Vickie Cook, Ph.D., Executive Director for Online Learning, Research and Service, University of Illinois Springfield
  • Laurie Dringus, Ph.D., Professor, Nova Southeastern University
  • Jill Buban, Ph.D., Senior Director of Research & Innovation, Online Learning Consortium

2017 OLC Awards, Recognizing Advances in Digital Learning

The OLC Awards recognize the tremendous advances in digital learning that result from the ideas and initiatives of individuals and colleges and universities around the world. The recipients of the 2017 OLC Awards are:

  • John R. Bourne Outstanding Online Program: University of Wisconsin, Platteville – Childcare Credential Program; and Purdue University – Online MS Communication Program
  • Excellence and Innovation in Online Teaching: John LaMaster, Senior Instructor, Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne
  • Excellence in Faculty Development for Online Teaching: Center for eLearning and Connected Environments, University of Central Oklahoma; and Sheryl Hathaway, Associate Director of Academic Engagement, University of California, Riverside
  • Online Learning Journal Outstanding Research Award in Online Education: Curtis Bonk, Professor, Indiana University; and Jennifer Richardson, Professor, Purdue University

2017 Effective Practice Awards, Recognizing Effective Practices in Digital Education presented at the OLC Accelerate:

  • “Improving the Online Testing Accommodation Process with Quiz Extensions” – John Raible and Matthew Emond, University of Central Florida
  • “3-D Virtual Reality Microscope” – Shannon Riggs, Oregon State University Ecampus
  • “Facilitating Student Success via Emergency Accessibility” – Christine Paige, Nathan Whitley-Grassi, Alena Rodick, Jennifer Nettleton, Shaun Hoppel, Allison Moreland, Antonia Jokelova, Andrea Piazza-Victor, SUNY Empire State College
  • “Affordability Counts” – Gus Roque, David-John Palmer, Florida International University
  • “Designing Personalized Online Learning” – Jason Rhode, Stephanie Richter, Tracy Miller, Northern Illinois University
  • “Learner Supports When and Where They Are Needed” – Mindy Sloan, Bridgepoint Education – Ashford University
  • “Using Digital Badges as a Framework to Support and Scale an Online Teaching and Learning Community” – Alexandra Pickett, Open SUNY Center for Online Teaching Excellence
  • “Academic Advising Group Advising Sessions” – Dawn Coder, Katie Gaines, Kate Elias, Andrea Woerman, Jeff Hill, Stephanie Vlajic, The Pennsylvania State University, World Campus
  • “Student Success Center: Supporting Graduate Students in an Online Learning Community” – Brian C. Wilson, Christine Yao, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Complete details about the OLC Fellows, OLC Awards and OLC Effective Practice Awards may be found here:

Award photo gallery.

DLIAward Winners Announced at OLC Accelerate 2017

The 2017 class of DLIAward recipients demonstrated innovative approaches in addressing important challenges and barriers, including: improving student outcomes; altering instructional approach and pedagogy; minimizing costs of textbooks and tuition; targeting bottleneck courses; improving learning efficiency; enhancing student support; and decreasing time to course credit and degree completion.

Accompanied by a $100,000 monetary reward, the “2017 OLC Digital Learning Innovation Award: Institution” has been awarded to the following three institutions:

  • National Louis University, for its use of Acrobatiq in its Harrison Professional Pathways Program, a research-driven, innovative bachelor’s degree program that provides access for all students, with an affordable price tag.
  • Southern New Hampshire University, for its collaboration with Soomo Learning and MindEdge in the development of four First Year Experience (FYE) courses.
  • Western Governors University, for its use of Acrobatiq in a specialized online course focusing on the development of affective skills for adult learner, undergraduate nursing students.

Accompanied by a $10,000 monetary reward, the “2017 OLC Digital Learning Innovation Award: Faculty-Led Team” has been awarded to 10 faculty-led teams from the following institutions:

  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona), for its use of McGraw-Hill’s Connect platform to enhance student success in a bottleneck engineering course using a flipped classroom pedagogy.
  • College of the Sequoias, for its use of REVEL to help increase assignment completion, comprehension of material and overall success of under-prepared students.
  • Glendale Community College, for its use of Smart Sparrow to improve academic persistence in first-generation community college students.
  • Merrimack College, for its use of Pearson’s MyMathLab in the redesign of a gateway mathematics course, in order to increase student success by making it more student-centered, personalized and cognizant of student learning preferences.
  • Oakton Community College, for its use of BioBeyond digital textbook program and a grant from Inspark/Smart Sparrow to provide affordable textbook access and increase student engagement for a high-enrollment gateway biology course.
  • Oakton Community College, for its use of Pearson’s MyMathLab in extensive course redesign of its ROAD Math developmental math program.
  • Quinnipiac University, for its use of Acrobatiq in an online Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program featuring personalized learning for increased degree completion outcomes.
  • Richard Bland College of William and Mary, for its use of ALEKS to improve student outcomes in developmental mathematics courses through individualized learning pathways.
  • Salt Lake Community College, for its use of OpenStax Tutor to help disadvantaged students improve their success in two important general education courses: Sociology and Biology.
  • University of New England, for its use of McGraw Hill’s Connect courseware and SmartBook/LearnSmart, Anatomy and Physiology Revealed and Physiology Interactive Lab Simulations to improve student learning outcomes and retention in a large restructured gateway Anatomy & Physiology course for Allied Health majors.

Detailed descriptions of the digital courseware initiatives of the 2017 OLC DLIAward honorees, as well as related press can be viewed here.

Award photo gallery.


OLC Accelerate 2017 Virtual Thought Leader Interviews

The interviews were be moderated by Inside Higher Ed Editor & Co-Founder Doug Lederman.

Shindig’s unique technology enabled online participants to discuss, network, and socialize privately with one another as if they were attendees at the OLC Accelerate Conference. Check back to see all of the interviews that will eventually be posted here.

Thought Leader Interview: Phil Hill of ‘eLiterate’
Thought Leader Interview: University of Phoenix’s Kelly Hermann and Michigan State’s Kate Sonka
Thought Leader Interview: Ed-Tech Efficacy

 Download Technology Test Kitchen Recipes.

Daily Design Challenge Winners:

Wednesday: Karen Wolford

TTK Winner Karen Wolford

Thursday: Liz Miller

TTK Winner Liz Miller

Friday: Miki Crawford

TTK Winner Miki Crawford

Iron Chef Battle Winners:

Winner of Iron Chef Battle Heat #1: Chicken of the Wood
Winning Recipe: Exploration YOU – Social, hiking-themed course with “trail buddies” (external partners) and adaptive formative assessment.
Team Members: Phylise Banner (Phylise Banner Consulting), Tamara Mitchell (Kennesaw State University), Amy Ostrom (UNCU), and Ryan Eash (Tech Smith)

Winner of Iron Chef Battle Heat #2: Tech Passion
Winning Recipe: Innovative, Stakeholder-Influenced, LMS-Compatible Proctoring Solution. 
Team Members: Alicia Cundell (Concordia University) and Jillian Wiseman (Examity)

Winner of Iron Chef Battle Heat #3: Red Hot Techie Peppers
Winning Recipe: hybrid, motivation-based training session to support online faculty development with 360 degree pre/post evaluation

Winner of Iron Chef Battle Heat #4: BlendEd
Winning Recipe: Comprehensive (3-year) and Scalable Universal Design Community Program

Winner of the Iron Chef Battle – Final Heat: BlendEd

Winning Recipe: Contextual and Technology-Rich Global Engagement Platform

Iron Chef Battle 2

Congrats to all winners!

Mediasite Events by Sonic Foundry Live Streams OLC Accelerate 2017

Mediasite by Sonic Foundry logo

OLC Accelerate is a wrap, but the conversations that began at the conference are still going strong. For the 10th consecutive year attendees can watch the sessions on demand via Mediasite, OLC’s conference webcasting platform and technology partner.

Mediasite Events streamed all conference sessions to the online audience, and the sessions are available on-demand for attendees to review. Powered by the award-winning Mediasite Video Platform, Mediasite Events’ team works with the world’s top educational conferences to stream the content to the world and engage attendees from any location.

Mediasite also demoed the latest academic video solutions at the show, including Mediasite Catch, an automated software capture solution for learning and training spaces with limited technology; an enhanced desktop capture software solution, My Mediasite, for faculty and students to record screencasts and videos; and a plug-and-play device, Mediasite RL Mini, for automated capture in an affordable device. It also showcased new student engagement features, such as quizzing, polls, annotations, customized video libraries and social video.

Trusted by more than 1,500 colleges and universities, the patented Mediasite webcasting and video content management system quickly and cost-effectively automates the capture, management, delivery and search of live and on-demand videos for campus events, lecture capture and flipped learning. Learn more at www.sonicfoundry.com/mediasite/.

Access to Recorded Sessions

The 100+ recordings are always free for registered attendees. If you were a registered attendee of the conference, you were sent instructions and the activation link before the conference, during the conference in the daily update e-mails and post conference in the post con/survey e-mail. Please e-mail conference@onlinelearning-c.org if you have any questions. If you would like to purchase access to the recordings, please contact sales@onlinelearning-c.org.




"Attending sessions on various topics to gain better insight on the latest trends in online learning and to learn more about the issues facing higher education."

Heather Ligrani, Online Program Coordinator, MSU Denver (OLC Accelerate 2016)