About | Design Improv Sessions | Solutions StationLab Schedule | About the Lab Techs



Why Innovation Lab? 

Innovation for teaching and learning is born through our collaborations and interconnectedness as educators. In this spirit, the Innovation Lab is a dedicated space at the conference for you to explore the pervasive challenges we face in the classroom and to craft innovative approaches for better reaching our unique populations of learners.


What is the Innovation Lab?

OLC Innovate is not a passive conference experience! Join the “lab techs” of the Innovation Lab campsite for a series of campfire stories, live experimental sessions, design thinking challenges, groundbreaking demos, and more! This year, the innovation lab hosts a series of lab stations exploring storytelling around a campfire, design thinking among the stars, game design on your playing field, and orienteering through online learning in the solutions station. Make the Innovation Lab your hub and your home base at OLC Innovate 2018, using it as a space to recharge, network and reflect throughout the conference.


Welcome to “Whose Design is It Anyway?” – a series of sessions where everything is made up and the points don’t matter at all!

Improvisation and flexibility are hallmarks of innovation. In the Innovation Lab, we’re not only prepared to live that out – we want you to join in the fun too! Join us for our series of “Whose Design is it Anyway?” improv sessions, where we will incorporate Design Thinking and educational technology. Our audience and our contestants will collaborate to generate creative solutions and suggestions for incorporating technology into their teaching practices.

Check out the Innovation Lab schedule below for the schedule of “Whose Design Is It Anyway?” rounds (all during the networking coffee breaks), and make plans to join in the fun. If you’re looking for a great way to step out of your comfort zone and create solutions for others, plan to participate. You might even pick up a prize for your improvisational genius!



Solutions Station


We know that the challenges and problems we face in education in 2018 are not new or singular to our institution. And yet, their complex and layered nature is more often the norm than the exception. What’s more, each of us can readily scan our immediate priorities or future  horizons and find several of these kinds of challenges glaring right back at us. So what to do?  

At OLC Innovate 2018, we want to create a space where attendees can share their challenges and find that there are numerous fellow attendees who face the same issues. What’s more, we want to create the opportunity for people to network and collaboratively start to engage these challenges in hopes of using our collective expertise, wisdom and resources to make progress. Think of it as a working lab within a conference. We’re calling it Solutions Station, and would love to have you join us!


For the past three years, the Solution Design Summit (SDS) was a team-based design competition that ran concurrently within OLC Innovate. Teams submitted proposals to participate on an invite basis, worked over the course of the conference on their chosen challenge, and made “pitch” presentations for their solutions, where a winner was selected.

For Innovate 2018, we wanted to build on the energy and intrapreneurial spirit of the SDS in previous years, as well as add the inclusivity of gathering individuals who might have similar challenges but different institutional contexts to work in a similar process. The competitive element of the SDS won’t carry over into the Solution Station, but the energy and collaborative solution design will!


This is a space to bring your challenges and create pathways to solutions. We want to bring people together to gather and share fresh perspectives. Learn how other practitioner colleagues approach their similarly complex problems, focusing on asking the right questions and push toward resolving and improving dilemmas. 

This space is meant to be a place where you can take time to focus, reflect and chart a course of action.. It is also meant to be a space of “living challenges,” where other conference attendees have posted their progress on their challenges and are opening those up for feedback and support. (map analogies) Our aim is to use this space to foster dialogue among learners, educators, administrators, researchers, designers, and EdTech companies. This space will promote a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach towards the development of solutions for learning challenges.


This space will host cooperative design challenges throughout the conference, with topics that conference attendees submit. These challenges will be curated by Solution Station staff and posted for all to contribute toward throughout the conference. If there is a challenge that is particularly vexing to you, or if you have an idea that you’d like to collaborate on, come join like colleagues from other institutions to brainstorm and begin to think about next steps at your institution!

Submit an idea or challenge


Think of this space as a working think tank or idea lab, staffed by enthusiastic and optimistic professionals with experience in resolving wicked dilemmas. We will have wall space to work on design challenges – both that attendees submit and those that you bring with you – writing and capturing tools for analyzing your challenges and mapping  possible solutions, and inspirational tools and toys to help you generate new ideas. 

Connect with Us

Want to learn more about the Innovation Lab and how you can get involved? Ask us your questions on social media with the hashtag #OLCInnovationLab. We’re excited to start the conversation, and looking forward to innovating with you in person in Nashville.



Innovation Lab Sessions

8:00am - 9:30am Open Lab
9:15am - 10:00am Developing An Interactive Syllabus Eleri Syverson (Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship at Georgetown University)
Linda Lemus (Georgetown University)
11:15am - 12:00pm Open Professional Development Resources: An Open Sprint John Stewart (University of Oklahoma)
Keegan Long-Wheeler (University of Oklahoma)
1:00pm - 1:45pm Design Fail? Learning Environment Modeling (LEM) Can Help! Deborah Ezell (Harford Community College)
Richard Smith (Harford Community College)
2:00pm - 2:45pm Promoting And Supporting The Use Of Social Media And Digital Technology In English Composition Daniel Ward (New Jersey City University)
Audrey Fisch (New Jersey City University)
2:45pm - 3:30pm Networking Break
Whose Design Is It Anyway - Round 1
Ben Scragg (Arizona State University) - Moderator
Jessica Hill (University of Arizona)
Rick Franklin (Northern Virginia Community College)
3:30pm - 4:15pm Design Thinking For High Impact Learning: Rethinking The Academic Toolkit Adam Nemeroff (Dartmouth College)
Michael Goudzwaard (Dartmouth College)
8:45am - 9:30am From Accommodations To Inclusion: Shaping A Universal Design Mindset Adam Nemeroff (Dartmouth College)
Kate Sonka (Michigan State University)
10:30am - 11:15am Networking Break
Whose Design Is It Anyway - Round 2
Jessica Hill (University of Arizona)
Rick Franklin (Northern Virginia Community College)
11:15am - 12:00pm Report To The Bridge! Innovative Leadership And Teambuilding With Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator Michael Substelny (Lorain County Community College)
1:30pm - 2:15pm Inside the Excelsior OWL: Explore the Open Source Tools that Power the Excelsior College Online Writing Lab Mark Oppenneer (Excelsior College)
2:30pm - 3:15pm Telling Campfire Stories From Multiple Campgrounds: An Exploration Of Effective EMeeting Tools Susan Picard (Northern Virginia Community College)
Stephen Merlo (Northern Virginia Community College)
Rick Franklin (Northern Virginia Community College)
Alice Robertson (Northern Virginia Community College)
3:15pm - 4:00pm Networking Break
Whose Design Is It Anyway - Round 3
Jessica Hill (University of Arizona)
Rick Franklin (Northern Virginia Community College)
9:00am - 9:45am Meaningfully Engaging Learners Using Interactive Technologies Nigel Davies (University of Tennessee Health Science Center)
Samba Diop (University of Tennessee Health Science Center)
9:45am - 10:30am I Know OER, Now How Do I Implement It? The Nitty Gritty Of OER Implementation Jessica Egan (Bay Path University)
Mark Christensen) (Ed Map, Inc.)
Emily Thompson (Bay Path University)
10:30am - 11:15am Networking Break
Whose Design Is It Anyway - Final Round
Jessica Hill (University of Arizona)
Rick Franklin (Northern Virginia Community College)




About the Lab Technicians

Dan Cox, Old Dominion University

Dan Cox, Old Dominion University

Dan Cox creates weird digital projects on the Internet. He currently works for Old Dominion University in support of their ePortfolio initiative through leading professional development workshops, writing documentation, and creating custom software solutions for faculty needs. He also supports multiple interactive fiction communities, serves on the Twine committee, and is an editor on the open-source Twine Cookbook project hosted by the Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation. With eight years of game design experience, he has produced over 12 hours of weekly video content covering everything from creating visual novels to coding procedural generation algorithms on his YouTube channel for the last six years.

Matt Crosslin

Matt Crosslin, University of Texas at Arlington

I am the Learning Innovation Coordinator for The University of Texas at Arlington’s Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge (LINK) Research Lab. I have been involved in education since 1994. I created my first web page in 2000 – which I used to deliver supplemental materials to an 8th grade Science class I was teaching at that time. I have been involved in distance education in some way ever since then. In March 2007 I started EduGeek Journal, an online community promoting educational technology. I also regularly present at conferences, as well as lead instructional classes on different aspects of online learning and other issues.

My goal in education is to bring a deeper level of professionalism to online learning by increasing social interactions and raising the level of technology integration and innovation in every class I design or teach. Several classes that I have worked on have won awards from the U.S. Distance Learning Association for innovations in online learning.

Rick Franklin

Rick Franklin, Northern Virginia Community College

Rick is a Computer Operations Tech that also works as a Student Technology Support Specialist for the Extended Learning Institute of Northern Virginia Community College. Rick has over 30 years of customer service, training, voice and data experience. Rick also has over 30​ ​y​ea​rs of experience performing Acoustic Finger-style Blues with vocals.​ ​Feel free to ask RIck about use of PC, Mac, iPad, iPod, Android, Tele-Presence devices and applications used with Education Technology, Piedmont Blues style and technique, and Resophonic Guitars.

Dave Goodrich

Dave Goodrich, Michigan State University

Dave began working at Michigan State University in 2012 where he leverages effective active learning strategies while using emerging technologies. Dave works in The Hub for Innovation for Learning & Technology where he collaborates with faculty to develop new courses, redesign existing courses, and consult on instructional learning object projects. He also enjoys facilitating faculty workshops and being a guest instructor from time to time for MSU’s College of Education.

Dave began as an Instructional Designer in the Office of Academic Technology Spring Arbor University in 2008 where he was elected the Faculty Representative for the Staff-Administration Personnel Association. He also helped in the early stages of starting up the MyBlend program at Michigan Virtual University. Before this, he was a high school science and physical education teacher. He has a Masters degree in Education specializing in Instructional Design for Online Learning from Capella University.

Dave is a musician and photographer. He enjoys being active outdoors in his spare time. Dave and his wife live in Jackson, Michigan. Together they own Meadow Lace Photography and have three boys.

Jess Hill

Jess Hill, University of Arizona

Jessica Hill is the Associate Director of Leadership Programs in Student Engagement & Career Development at the University of Arizona where she creates and manages co-curricular and curricular leadership development experiences for undergraduate and distance learners. Jessica has also been a company member with the Tucson Improv Movement since 2013 where she serves as an improv instructor and plays on multiple long-form improv teams. She enjoys bridging her love of improv and leadership by sharing the valuable life lessons that can be learned by embracing a “Yes, and” life.

Amy Kitchens

Amy Kitchens, Arizona State University

Amy Kitchens is an instructional designer with Global Outreach & Extended Education within the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. She joined GOEE in May 2017 where she works with faculty to design or redesign their courses for online delivery, or work out a particular problem in teaching online or face-to-face. Before coming to ASU, she worked at the center for teaching and learning at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health for ten years where she worked as an audio editor, producer, instructional technologist, and finally instructional designer.

Annie Kurtin

Annie Kurtin, University of Arizona

Annie Kurtin joined the Student Engagement & Career Development department at the University of Arizona in 2017. As Associate Director, Student Engagement, Annie oversees the 100% Engagement Initiative – a campus-wide program that creates and connects undergraduates with opportunities for experiential learning, both within and beyond the classroom. In addition to 100% Engagement, Annie works across campus with academic partners to develop innovative skill-building programs to provide students with both hands-on technical and soft-skills applications. Prior to joining this Student Affairs unit, Annie was a Lecturer in the School of Architecture at the University of Arizona where she coordinated and developed curriculum for the First-Year Design Studio. In addition to teaching design studios, Annie also taught History/Theory and Design Communications courses, and served on both the College and School curriculum committees. Annie has a Masters in Architecture from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, and a Masters in Critical Theory and Visual Culture from Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Keegan Long-Wheeler

Keegan Long-Wheeler, University of Oklahoma

Keegan Long-Wheeler is an educational technologist in the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of Oklahoma. Keegan uses his background in science, pedagogy, and technical expertise to provide instructors with holistic solutions to their instructional and technological needs. Additionally, Keegan passionately creates open source professional development curriculum to engage faculty in digital literacy, experiential learning, game design, coding, and more! In particular, Keegan is currently immersed in his new curriculum tackling fake news and information literacy as well as his eXperience Play program.

Daniel Lynds

Daniel Lynds, Davidson College

Daniel Lynds is an Instructional Designer with a Bachelor of Fine Art and a Masters in Education Technology. Daniel collaborates with people on making their work as impactful and open as possible. His work centers around digital storytelling, social network analysis, open education, and cultural theory. As an editor at Hybrid Pedagogy, a critical journal/community/conversation/study, Daniel finds himself constantly engaged with scholarship from international voices focused on the connectedness of learning, teaching, and technology in culture. This work feeds his interests in collaboratively building sense making in the humanities and beyond. He believes in people and their ability to critically examine their paths in the ever complex landscape of knowledge abundance. Daniel is also an interdisciplinary artist and general noise maker. Many of his creations can be found at daniellynds.com.

Maggie Melo

Maggie Melo, University of Arizona

Maggie is a PhD candidate and American Association of University Women Fellow at the University of Arizona. She’s a serial maker. She co-founded and now helps manage the UA’s makerspace, the iSpace. She enjoys embedding circuits into things, additive and subtractive fabrication, dabbling with AI, digital world making, and more. She’s also super passionate about creating experiences like this and this. She is an incoming assistant professor of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Jen Nichols

Jen Nichols, University of Arizona

Jennifer Nichols is the Digital Scholarship Librarian and Interim Department Head for the Office of Digital Innovation and Stewardship at the University of Arizona Libraries, and Co-Director for the iSpace, the libraries’ innovation and maker space. She leads initiatives to connect faculty and students to new tools for digital scholarship, including Virtual Reality, and organizes multiple large events to network learners. She believes in the power of collective leadership, the strength of diverse teams, and the magic of peer-to-peer learning environments.

Nick Noel

Nick Noel, Michigan State University

Nick Noel has been an Instructional Designer with Michigan State University for two years. Prior to that he worked in a variety of jobs related to media production and classroom technology support. He recently graduated from the Master’s in Educational Technology Program at MSU.

 Chuck Pearson

Chuck Pearson, Tusculum College

Associate Professor of Natural Sciences at Tusculum College. Your geek at large. Science teaching and advising specialist. Current teaching focus in introductory chemistry, introductory physics, physical sciences for science literacy, and the odd biochemistry and physical chemistry course. Strong history in health professions advising, but will obsess over a college catalog with the best of them.

Ed-tech nerd (and raving Moodle fan, but facing the ethical challenges of technology and asking questions about opening the traditional and online classrooms). Education policy obsessive. Eclectic music listener. Native of the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp, adopted son of Central Appalachia.

Sundi Richard

Sundi Richard, Davidson College

Sundi works to create an innovative and supportive environment to promote student and faculty digital dexterity and advance thoughtful integration of technologies in teaching, learning, and scholarship at Davidson College. Interested in empowering students to be active citizens in their online and offline worlds, Sundi explores digital identity, networking, and online interaction. She is part of an ongoing conversation in higher education about digital citizenship #digciz.

Matt Romanoski

Matt Romanoski, University of Arizona

Matt is an Instructional Designer at the University of Arizona where he oversees UA Online’s General Education Academy. Working out of the Office of Digital Learning (ODL) Matt collaborates with faculty and ODL team members to develop new courses, redesign existing courses and provide general consultation on the effective use of instructional technologies. Matt has been an instructional designer at the university for five years and before that was a high school social studies teacher who also coached football and track. In addition to his current role with the university Matt was also recently appointed as an Emerging Scholar with the OLC’s Research Center. He is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in Leadership and Innovation at Arizona State University.

Matt and his wife Ashley live in Marana, AZ where they enjoy camping and hiking with their three children.

Janet Smith

Janet Smith, University of Arizona

Janet Smith serves as an Instructional Designer leading quality assurance initiatives at the University of Arizona with the Office of Digital Learning. She manages a multitiered and collaborative quality assurance process to ensure that courses developed for UA Online are designed for student success and engagement. Janet works with partners across campus to integrate best practices around course design, copyright, UDL, and accessibility into the instructional design process and leads the Quality Matters program for the university.

Alex Tabor

Alex Tabor, East Tennessee State University

Alex is a senior undergraduate student majoring in Communication Studies and minoring in Storytelling. A former HSAPQ freelance writer, he currently serves as a tournament director for Quizbowl events and brings his expertise to the Innovation Lab as a lead in the storytelling station alongside Chuck Pearson.

Patrice Torcivia Prusko

Patrice Torcivia, Cornell University & SUNY Empire State

Patrice is passionate about using technology to increase global access to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and enable all students to have a globally networked learning experience. She is an Instructional Designer at Cornell University and a Lecturer at SUNY Empire State College School for Graduate Studies. Her current research is focused on how the intersection of education and technology can increase engagement and persistence in STEM careers. She is currently working on two research projects: Using the Design Thinking methodology to better understand the professional development needs of K-8 teachers around teaching computer science – results of this study will be used to develop a professional development Massive Open Online Course (MOOC); and Experience of inclusiveness of first generation and underrepresented minority (URM) students in large gateway STEM courses. She holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from Union College and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from University at Albany.

Patrice was chair of the former Solution Design Summit and is very excited about this next iteration, the Solution Station.