About | Schedule | Pricing | Registration | Committee MembersHBCU Summit logo

Participants at the summit should register for INNOVATE 2019 and blend their participation in the summit with the rest of the OLC INNOVATE conference. There will be no additional fee for participation in the summit.

3rd Annual HBCU Affordable Learning Summit

Join us at the OLC/MERLOT INNOVATE Conference in April 2019

About the HBCU Summit:

The goals of the Summit include:

  1. Awareness, Opportunities, and Challenges of Open Education Resources (OERs) as ‘Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$)’ for addressing the high costs of textbooks and other student related learning materials,
  2. Research, demonstration, and presentations of OER-AL$ for enhancing teaching and improving learning,
  3. Utilization of OER-AL$ for SkillsCommons in supplementing workforce training and careers,
  4. Hands-on sessions to assist in developing strategic customized AL$ Campus Deployment Plans and
  5. Discussion sessions for recommending strategies to OLC and MERLOT in advancing and sustaining support for HBCUs and in their implementation of affordable learning solutions and online education.

The Summit is the 3rd annual meeting of HBCUs at INNOVATE where HBCUs will present and share their AL$ strategies and outcomes, along with other online education initiatives that emerge as priorities for HBCUs.  The Summit will be blended within the INNOVATE conference which will provide forums for informative and stimulating presentations and discussions on strategies that can assist in the creation of a sustainable partnerships in online learning environments, as well as explore issues related to faculty and student engagement and raising awareness about next generation courseware.

Leveraging HBCU Leadership:  

There are 105 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the United States, all of which are invited to participate in the symposium. California State University, and MERLOT will share practices, strategies, and resources for reducing the costs of instructional materials for students, making higher education more affordable for more students in Historically Black Universities (HBCUs) in the United States, as well as in Higher Education Institutions across the globe. Leaders from Tennessee State University, Southern University, and California State University/MERLOT will facilitate a series of leadership sessions, strategic planning, and hands-on workshops that will be embedded in the annual INNOVATE conference co-sponsored by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) and MERLOT in Denver, Colorado, April 2-5, 2019.

Note: Southern University System and Tennessee State University have recently launched their Affordable Learning Solutions initiative (www.suol4ed.org) and will share their strategies for planning and implementing this initiative with their fellow HBCU colleagues.

The Wednesday through Friday HBCU Summit is included in the cost of registration for OLC Innovate 2019.  

Summit optional add-on of Tuesday pre-conference workshop: Addressing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness (DEI) Goals with Open Education Resources (OER) 

There is a fee for this Pre-Conference Workshop: $225 Early Bird / $250 Full Price.  If you are interested in attending this deep-dive into piloting an OER program at your HBCU, please email Moustapha Diack, HBCU Summit Chair (elearning@subr.edu) or Robbie Melton, HBCU Summit Co-Chair (rkendal1@tnstate.edu) for more information. 


HBCU Summit Schedule:

9:00am - 4:00pm Addressing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness (DEI) Goals with Open Education Resources (OER)
Optional add-on Pre-conference workshop

There is a fee for this Pre-Conference Workshop: $225 Early Bird / $250 Full Price.
Cottonwood 10-11
HBCU AL$ Summit 2019: Reaching Back for Others as We are Reaching the Summit All HBCU Summit sessions take place in Maple 5 unless otherwise indicated.
8:30am - 9:10am Welcome to the HBCU AL$ Summit

As we begin the 3rd Annual HBCU Affordable Learning Solutions Summit, our focus will be on sharing the pioneering efforts of HBCU’s implementing their AL$ programs. Sharing lessons learned and enabling colleagues to incorporate exemplary practices into their own programs will help advance the HBCU communities goals. We will also share the innovations being explored and provide the social support for the campus leaders to be successful on their campus.
Moustapha Diack, Southern University System
Robbie Melton, Tennessee State University
Gerry Hanley, California State University, MERLOT, SkillsCommons
9:10am - 9:50am “Peak” the Interest of Your Faculty with Rock-Solid OER Professional Development

Recipients of the Hewlett Affordable Solutions Grant will form a panel to discuss OER professional development on their respective campuses and solicit ideas and suggestions from audience participants. In addition to professional development for faculty, training opportunities for involved staff will also be included. Examples of OER professional development are national training programs, incentive-based initiatives, training in course development, and quality assurance.
Tracy Barley, North Carolina Central
Jean-Jacques Medastin, Central State University
Karen Nichols, Xavier of Louisiana
Rona Tyger, Dillard University
9:50am - 10:05am Questions, answers and reflections on applying lessons learned
10:05am - 10:30am OLC Innovate Networking Break, Coffee/Beverages, Snacks Aurora Ballroom
10:30am - 11:15am Keynote Presentation: Powering The Digital Revolution: The State of Black America Report

The State of Black America 2018 Report: Powering the Digital Revolution, which is now available on a downloadable app and via this link http://soba.iamempowered.com/ is the National Urban League’s way of initiating a conversation, by way of information, regarding the “digital divide” and some of the ways the divide impacts communities of color, generally, and African Americans/Blacks. This presentation is an opportunity to provide a vehicle for identifying challenges, offering solutions (even if only partial solutions), and further spurring debate, discussion, strategizing and action
Mr. Ron Marlow, Vice-President of Workforce Development, National Urban League

Followed by discussion

Introduction by Moustapha Diack, Southern University System
11:15am - 11:50am Less Searching, More Finding: Using OER Search Engines to Find Your Best Fit

The availability of open educational resources (OER) has exponentially increased in the last decade. Over 100,000 OER exist in English alone. Learning which websites to use and searching them one after another is a laborious time-consuming process. Using newly created OER search engines can greatly simplify your search process, narrow your options to better quality resources, and save valuable time in class preparation. BYOD and learn in real time!
Johannah White, Xavier University of Louisiana
11:50am - 12:00pm Questions, answers and reflections on applying lessons learned
12:00pm - 1:00pm Lunch on own – we will make reservations at Gaylord locations
1:00pm - 1:15pm Lunchtime Reflections with Robbie Robbie Melton, Tennessee State University
1:15pm - 1:50pm Making Google G-Suite Work for Online Course Management

Time management and course notifications in virtual universities with significant student numbers has always been a real problem, especially in terms of designing automation of course scheduling and reminders targeting learners, facilitators and tutors. This is the case of the Virtual University of Senegal which has nearly 30,000 students, more than 1000 teachers and tutors, more than 100 different course schedules created and manually updated on a daily basis, then integrated into Moodle training platforms for download, and no automatic tool for managing its timetables and notification to teachers, tutors and students. We present a solution to these problems consisting of using Google Suite to help manage scheduling and notification processes within the Moodle Learning Management System.
El hadji Mamadou Nguer, Virtual University of Senegal
Oumar Demba Mbodji, Virtual University of Senegal
Alassane Diop, Virtual University of Senegal
Moustapha Diack, Southern University System of Louisiana - USA
1:50pm - 2:00pm Questions, answers and reflections on applying lessons learned
2:00pm - 2:45pm Whole group discussion: What’s missing from our support for your AL$ programs?

  • What recommendations do you have for our strategies to support HBCUs collective strategies for strengthening their collaborating on AL$ programs?
  • What principles should guide our HBCU community developing AL$ programs?
  • What services do we need to provide our HBCU community to encourage and support their engagement?
2:45pm - 3:30pm OLC Innovate Networking Break, Coffee/Beverages, Snacks Aurora Ballroom
3:30pm - 4:15pm Assessing the Impacts of OER on Student Academic Achievement and Student Satisfaction in Biology and Environmental Science Courses

General education science courses traditionally pose a strong challenge to students outside the sciences. Particularly freshmen students struggling to adapt to the campus experience and taking their first college-level lab course often don’t demonstrate their true academic strength and often fail to purchase the required textbook which is often due to financial limitations or the lack of motivation in non-major students purchasing a book for a course outside their disciplines. Providing Open Education Resources reduces the impact of financial stresses and mitigates the excuses from students unwilling to purchase a non-major textbook. Professors have tracked the impact of OER resources in Biology courses on multiple measures of student success including academic achievement and student satisfaction.
Shirma Ramroop-Butts, Bethune Cookman University
Sarah Krejci, Bethune Cookman University
4:30pm- 5:45pm OLC Innovate Keynote Address: Tressie McMillan Cottom Adams Ballroom
5:45pm - 7:00pm OLC Innovate Welcome Reception Aurora Ballroom
7:00pm Dinner on your own. We recommend you make dinner reservations in advance if eating at the hotel. Hotel shuttles available to train station for off-site dining.
9:00pm - 10:00pm Evening “Campfire” Gathering: IDEA Night - supporting the Women in Digital Learning Leadership Scholarships Adams Pre-function B & Terrace
7:30am - 8:30am OLC/MERLOT Community Breakfast Adams Ballroom
8:30am - 8:45am Warming up for the next climb to the summit
8:45am - 9:25am Creating Your Own OER? Consider Transparency in Learning and Teaching (TILT)

Studies show that just two instances of transparent instruction in a term significantly enhanced students' success, with even greater gains for first-generation, low-income and underrepresented college students. Transparent teaching methods help students understand how and why they are learning course content in particular ways. Participants are shown an overview of the TILT program. The Assignment Template is given to the participants with examples from various disciplines. The presenter discusses the positive impact of changing one assignment in her own online class. Additional resources as well as how to sign up for the research study are provided.
Karen Nichols, Xavier University of Louisiana
9:25am - 9:40am Questions, answers and reflections on applying lessons learned
9:40am - 10:15am Status Report: The HBCUs Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) Research

The HBCUs AL$ Research Network was initiated during the second Innovate conference, held in New Orleans, Louisiana, the City of Jazz. The network has grown to now include more than 25 HBCUs deploying affordable learning solutions within their institutions to make college more affordable to minority students. This presentation gives voices to AL$ Research Network Coordinators to report on the status of their AL$ implementation and success stories.
Robbie Melton, Tennessee State University
Moustapha Diack, Southern University System
10:15am - 10:30am HBCU-AL$ Leadership Organization and Taskforces: Launching and Joining
10:30am - 11:15am OLC Innovate Networking Break, Coffee/Beverages, Snacks Aurora Ballroom
11:15am - 11:50am Smart Approaches to Professional Development for Enabling College Affordability using Open Education Resources (OER)

The Southern University System of Louisiana is currently piloting a system-wide Professional Development Institute (PDI) enabling rapid adoption of Affordable Learning Solutions using OER. This presentation will discuss the PDI design, the implementation strategies and the lessons learned leading to the development of OER-based courses and programs.
Mary Adewunmi, Southern University System
Chrisena Brown, Southern University System
Moustapha Diack, Southern University System
11:50am - 12:00pm Questions, answers and reflections on applying lessons learned
12:00pm - 1:00pm Lunch on our own
1:15pm - 2:30pm AL$ Tools: MERLOT and SkillsCommons and your Customized AL$ Portal

Gerry Hanley, California State University, MERLOT, SkillsCommons
Leslie Kennedy, California State University, MERLOT, SkillsCommons
2:30pm - 3:00pm Rims, Wheels, and Tires: Customizing Your OER for a Smooth Ride

Interested in using OER for a class? Not sure how to start? Learn from an OER librarian about the steps to find, evaluate, and modify OER to work in your class environment and with your course outcomes. Preview the sources, evaluation rubrics, software, and licensing appropriate for your classroom situation. Bring your questions, course materials, ISBN numbers, etc.
Johannah White, Xavier University of Louisiana
Tanya Spilovoy, WCET
3:00pm - 3:30pm OLC Innovate Networking Break, Coffee/Beverages, Snacks Aurora Ballroom
3:30pm - 5:00pm OLC Innovate Keynote Address: Manoush Zomorodi Adams Ballroom
5:00pm - 6:30pm Post-Keynote event (all attendees) Adams Prefunction
7:30am - 9:30am OLC Innovate Continental Breakfast Adams Ballroom
8:30am - 9:30am OLC Innovate Keynote Address: Campfire Stories Adams Ballroom
9:45am - 10:15am OER & ePortfolio Best Practices

A well-designed and properly planned e-portfolio program can be an incredible tool for one’s institution. ePortfolios provide authentic assessments of student learning and promote deeper learning in our students. Faculty can also create their own ePortfolios to showcase the work they are doing in the area of OER. This presentation offers a generic approach to simple OER & ePortfolio utilization. Attendees along with the presenter will share ideas for ePortfolio creation and artifact building. Information can be useful for ANY OER and ePortfolio platform.
Denise Malloy, Southwest Tennessee Community College
10:15am - 11:00am Designing OER-Based Multi-Media Modular eBooks

Learn about the instructional design process for producing interactive OER ebooks with embedded videos and assessments. The modular aspect of this type of ebook allows students with limited internet access and low bandwidth connection to download smaller chunks of materials at a time. This has been a much-needed tool for the students in certain areas of Africa. The Virtual University of Senegal (VUS), a model in West Africa, has grown to almost 30,000 students in a few years. Integrating such eLearning innovations are essential in accommodating a growing population of students and collecting research data that can improve eLearning practices.
Abdou Khadre Pouye, Virtual University of Senegal
Alassane Diop, Virtual University of Senegal
Moustapha Diack, Southern University System of Louisiana - USA
11:00am - 11:30am Closing Comments, Sharing Reflections, Next Steps, Next Meeting at OLC Accelerate in November 19-22, 2019, Orlando, FL


The Wednesday through Friday HBCU Summit is included in the cost of registration for OLC Innovate 2019.  (The Tuesday pre-conference workshop is an additional fee.)

There is a special registration discount available for HBCU affiliates. Please contact us at conference@onlinelearning-c.org for more information or to request the discount code if you are an HBCU affiliate. You may also contact Ms. Reshonda Corley (reshonda_corley@subr.edu) for the registration code. 

HBCU Affiliate Onsite Attendee Options Price
HBCU Affiliate code required. $695
 Individual Virtual Attendee Options
HBCU Affiliate Individual Virtual Attendee $130
Group Virtual Attendee Packages
HBCU Affiliate Buy 2, Get 1 Free  $260
HBCU Affiliate Unlimited Group Package $1,045


Non-HBCU Affiliates are welcome to attend the HBCU Summit at the Innovate conference. Non-affiliates will pay OLC/MERLOT member or non-member rates as usual for the conference. There is no additional fee for the Wed-Fri HBCU Summit.

All attendees wishing to attend the HBCU Summit (HBCU Affiliate or not) should indicate that they plan to participate in the HBCU Summit when prompted during the registration process.


Registration Instructions for HBCU Affiliates

We are pleased you will be joining us in Denver.  The HBCU Summit at OLC Innovate 2019 includes special HBCU sessions throughout the conference. HBCU attendees are invited to attend HBCU-focused sessions or any regular Innovate program session as desired.  

Attendees from HBCU institutions may register following these instructions.  Note – there is a code that must be entered at checkout in order to receive a special HBCU rate of $695.

When you register to attend OLC Innovate 2019 and the HBCU Summit in Denver, please follow these steps:

Register Onsite Button

  • Complete required fields.  
  • Select Individual Attendee (Onsite) in Registration Type dropdown menu.
    • If you qualify for an ACADEMIC Affiliation, please register using your email ending in .edu
  • Select Full Conference – Onsite Attendee for your Registration ITEM

Session Registration Page:

  • Be sure to indicate you will be participating in the HBCU Summit

Cvent View

From Optional Items Page:

  • If you select any Optional Items such as a pre-conference workshop on Tuesday or an Awards Lunch ticket, you will be responsible for the cost of these at checkout

On the SUBMIT PAYMENT page, enter discount code in the box and APPLY:  IN19HBCU   (this code reduces the conference fee to $695)

Discount Code Field

Add your Payment Method


**Conference materials are accessible on the OLC Innovate website.  Attendees are granted permission with a user role that is linked to your registration.  You must have an OLC User Account in order to have this permission to view the recorded sessions (post-conference) and access any session materials uploaded by presenters.  Please be sure you have an OLC user account.  If you do not have an account, create one today –  a community membership is free.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact laurie.lulow@onlinelearning-c.org.

We look forward to seeing you in April!


Committee Members and Ambassadors

  • Moustapha Diack, Southern University System  (SUBR)
  • Karen N. Nichols, Xavier University of Louisiana
  • Sheila Bouie, Southwest Tennessee Community College
  • Arletha McSwain, Bethune Cookman University
  • Rona Tyger, Dillard University
  • Jean-Jacques Medastin, Central State University  
  • Hamilton Eldrie, Grambling State University
  • Tracy Barley, North Carolina Central University
  • Robbie Melton, Tennessee State University
  • Leslie Kennedy, California State University (CSU)
  • Gerry Hanley, California State University (CSU)
  • Alassane Diop, Senegal Virtual University – SENEGAL
  • Moussa Lo, Senegal Virtual University – SENEGAL
  • Tokesha Warner, Tennessee State University
  • Audie Black, Tennessee State University
  • Mary Adewunmi, Southern University in Baton Rouge (SUBR)
  • Mary Achilla, Southern University in Baton Rouge (SUBR)
  • Dr. Ray Belton, President/Chancellor
    Southern University System of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Louisiana – USA
  • Pr. Mary Teuw Niane, Ministry for Higher Education and Research
    Republic of Senegal, West Africa
  • Glenda Baskin Glover, Ph.D., J.D., CPA, President
    Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN
  • Dr. Kevin D. Rome, President,
    Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Dr. Hubert L. Grimes, President
    Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona Beach, Florida
  • Dr. Reynold Verret, Sixth President and Second Lay Leader 
    Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Ann McCall, Ph.D, Provost and Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs
    Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Dr. Robert Blaine, Associate Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, Dean of Undergraduate Study for Cyber Learning
    Jackson State University, Jackson, Mississippi
  • Mr. Mike Abbiatti, Executive Director
    WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET), Boulder, Colorado
  • Dr. Robert Ford, CEO
    DRF Industries, LLC