Full Track Descriptions

Please review the following tracks and program categories listed below prior to submitting your proposal. Click on the (+) to expand each track to get a full description and list of possible keywords. Keywords represent emerging or accelerating themes and topics in the tracks and will be used to crowdsource knowledge and content from conference participation. The list the keyword(s) within your selected track can help you determine which track is the best fit. Please be sure to include keywords from these lists, or add your own key words in your submission.

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

Strong leaders must have the ability to recognize, understand, and navigate challenges and opportunities on a daily basis. To effectively lead, they must have a set of strategies at their fingertips to ensure success. These strategies may be in the form of innovation, globalization, collaboration, change in institutional culture, new marketing strategy, new retention techniques, and so on, depending on the institutional mission and objectives.

This track focuses on how leaders grow, build, and scale their institutions’ blended (or hybrid),  online, or distance programs using different strategies and leadership approaches. Possible areas might investigate or emphasize the following:

  • Establish new strategies to increase resources and opportunities to drive academic innovation
  • Activate cross-institutional teams to collaboratively transform the educational experience
  • Implement marketing, recruitment, and retention initiatives for the effective globalization of new or existing programs
  • Apply innovative strategies for the planning, alignment, and increased quality of academic initiatives
  • Engage key stakeholders around issues of organizational development and change

Keywords — Leadership and Institutional Strategies: accreditation; administration; alignment; best practices; big data; budget; change management; cloud computing; competency-based learning; compliance; cross-institutional teams; enrollment management; evidence of practice; faculty credentials; FERPA; globalization; governance; implementation; infrastructure; initiatives; institution; institutional change; institutional culture; institutional effectiveness; institutional mission; institutional strategies; integration; international; leadership; leverage; lowering costs; management; 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; student retention; student success; technologies; university policy; workload

Providing a variety of services and support is critical to a learner’s success for both online and blended learning. These services may provide additional guidance for students that may be struggling academically, have a disability, or simply wish to accelerate their progress to meet an educational goal. Each of these scenarios speak to the need for robust learner services and a support strategy at every institution.

This track focuses on issues and approaches to providing academic services and support, accessibility, and readiness preparation for those students who study at a distance. Possible areas might investigate or emphasize the following:

  • Implementation of strategies to support differently abled learners, or those with a unique set of needs (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy)
  • Showing improvements in and access to support services and resources (effective utilization of library resources, assigned materials, research materials, instructor support, reference services, information literacy instruction, etc.), Implementation of effective academic advising processes
  • Use of learning management  and related system-wide learning tools
  • Supplementary resources, tools and services on writing, researching, student readiness, exam prep, etc. that may be used as stand-alone or co-requisite support.

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

Innovative programs for professional development and support services are critical to an institution. Offering quality programs and support to all levels within the organization can provide necessary opportunities for employee growth, retention, and overall satisfaction. Often times, funding for these opportunities can come with limitations, thereby restricting the ability to send numerous individuals to external trainings. By offering a quality in-house program, you can offer continuous improvement to all levels of operations committed to academic quality and service.

This track 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
  • International models and themes relating to professional development

Keywords — Professional Development and Support: accessibility; blended; certification; competencies; continuous improvement; copyright; digital fluency; evaluation; faculty development; faculty well-being; governance; hybrid; instructor experience; instructors; leadership presence; mentor; models; national trends; OER; online; online community; online course development; pedagogy; professional development; project management; quality course design; quality instruction; rubrics; satisfaction; service learning; staff development; STEM; support; teaching; training; transformation; universal design (UDL); workload

This is a unique track at OLC Accelerate. While any of the previously listed tracks may include a research component, this is the only track dedicated to presenting formal research of completed or well-developed studies that relate to digital, online and/or blended learning. Proposals must contain sufficient information regarding the research problem, research question, methodology and potential results of the research conducted. Presenters are also strongly encouraged to submit their original research papers to OLC’s flagship journal, the Online Learning Journal. Please view the Online Learning Journal’s page for more information.

  • Focus on the research questions, methodologies, and results of empirical inquiries
  • Application of theory and/or data to inform new directions in teaching and learning
  • Provides opportunities for continued exploration of the topic presented
  • Opens new opportunities for collaborative inquiry

Keywords — Research: assessment; big data; business intelligence; cross-cultural; cross-institutional; dashboard; decision making; diversity; educational data mining; evaluation; formative and/or summative; leadership; learning analytics; methodology; models; multi-institutional; online and blended learning; paradigms; planning; qualitative; quantitative;  mixed-methods; reporting; student success

The need for continued exploration of effective theories, models, and methods that lead to successful learning outcomes has never been greater. Given the countless challenges that impact the educational process, it is imperative that faculty be equipped with evidence-based practices and proven strategies to successfully guide students. This is an opportunity to share your explorations, new applications, and discoveries within the context of teaching and learning.

This track encompasses practices that improve the teaching and learning process in online,  blended, and digital, formal and informal, learning environments to create a positive impact. Possible areas might investigate or emphasize the following:

  • Instructional design theories and models that support teaching and learning in the 21st Century
  • Rigorous design cases that offer rich representation of knowledge-in-practice
  • Application or creation of best practices of synchronous or asynchronous environments
  • Evidence of teaching and learning effectiveness in various online and blended learning contexts including K-12, higher education, corporate, government, maker spaces, museums, etc.
  • Interdisciplinary, country-specific, region-specific, or comparative studies on the effectiveness of blended, online, and digital learning initiatives
  • Best practices and institutional expectations for facilitating teaching and learning

Keywords — Teaching and Learning Effectiveness: active learning; adaptive learning; assessment; asynchronous; augmented reality; blended; civic engagement; collaboration; collaborative learning; community of inquiry; community of practice; competency-based education; content analysis; course development; cross-cultural; culture; digital badging; diversity; engagement, evaluation; experiential learning; game-based learning; gamification; group work; improvement; interaction; interactive media; interdisciplinary; knowledge construction; knowledge transfer; laboratory; learner interaction; learner preferences; learner-centered; learning analytics; learning management systems; learning outcomes; learning personalization; micro-credentials; mobile; motivation; online discussions; peer evaluation; persistence; 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; visual design

Proper and creative implementation of educational technology can enhance students’ learning experiences by increasing motivation and improving learning outcomes. The range of topics in this track is broad in scope and submissions may include sharing of original ideas or approaches to technology use. This is an opportunity to share your strategic approaches to design, instruction, and learning practices with a specific focus on tools and tech, new media, and innovative learning environments.

This track focuses on current trends, tools, and technologies within online, blended, and digital education. Possible areas might investigate or emphasize the following:

  • Application of technologies designed to improve learning effectiveness
  • Exploration of technologies for increasing student engagement
  • Tools that support the teaching and learning process
  • Emerging technological trends that hold significant potential to impact learning
  • Creative uses of technologies that transform the instructor/student dynamic
  • Tools that support the process of providing custom learning experiences
  • Successful implementations of custom technologies

Keywords — Tools and Technologies: accessibility; adaptive learning; assessment; augmented reality; authentic learning; badging; biometric; blended; blended learning; case-based learning; collaborative learning; community of inquiry; community of practice; competency-based education; credentialing; digital storytelling; e-portfolios; eLearning; emerging; engagement; flipped classrooms; gamification; immersive environments; infographics; instructional technology; knowledge management; learner achievement; learning analytics; learning environments; learning outcomes; learning scenarios; media; mobile learning; OER; online support; personalization; practice; problem-based learning; proctoring; robots; simulations; social presence; student perceptions; teams; technology applications; tools; video; virtual reality; virtual schools; web 2.0; web 3.0