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 open a full description and guiding information for that track.

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

Submissions to this track should focus on addressing issues and solutions related to equity, access, diversity, and social justice in education including social and economic factors, culturally responsive teaching, anti-ism practices and pedagogy, LGBTQ+ issues, and more to ensure equitable outcomes and opportunities for all.

Topics in this track might include:

  • Open ed, resources, and pedagogy
  • Equity and Inclusion
  • Initiatives, processes, policies, or efforts to increase access through learner services and support
  • Topics and issues specific to unique student populations
  • Inclusive curricula, learning climates, or instructional practices
  • Universal Design for Learning
  • Affordability and cost containment
  • Access to technology and broadband
  • Addressing access in times of emergency remote teaching

Submissions to this track should focus on blended course/program models and design(s), with an emphasis on research-based best practices, effectiveness, efficiencies, innovation, and scalability.

Topics in this track might include:

  • Methods and resources for redesigning courses for the blended format
  • Strategies for engaging students online to prepare them for face-to-face activities
  • Discipline-specific approaches for blended courses/programs
  • Non-traditional assessments that motivate and engage blended learners
  • Intersections of flipped and blended approaches
  • Microlearning models that support flipped classroom activities
  • Teaching condensed or accelerated blended courses
  • Research methods and theories of innovation in blended teaching and learning
  • Faculty development, training, and support for blended teaching and learning
  • Institutional practices, policies, and approaches to blended programming

Submissions to this track should focus on explorations, new applications, and discoveries within the context of online and hybrid teaching and learning.

Topics in this track might include:

  • Initiatives, processes, policies, or efforts that improve learning
  • Approaches to professional development and support for faculty that help to improve teaching and learning
  • Best practices and institutional expectations for facilitating teaching and learning
  • Instructional strategies promoting engagement
  • Practices supporting engaging classroom climate
  • Promoting broadly engaged participation and discussion
  • Classroom-based engagement activities
  • Accelerated Online Strategies or Compressed Online Methods
  • Lessons learned from planning for emergency remote instruction 

Submissions to this track should focus on the ID profession and its critical role in the design, development, and assessment of quality online, blended, and digital learning experiences.

Topics in this track might include:

  • Instructional design and pedagogical/andragogical theory and practice models that support teaching and learning in the 21st Century
  • Processes instructional designers follow to design and develop quality online courses. 
  • Learner-centered course design
  • The changing role of the instructional designer
  • Strategies that support rigor, outcomes, and alignment
  • Approaches for designing quality courses, including course quality benchmarks
  • Approaches to professional development and support for instructional designers
  • Professional development models for course development team members (faculty, librarians, multimedia experts, and educational technologists)
  • Designing for emergency remote Instruction and other crisis responses

Submissions to this track should focus on how leaders grow, build, and scale their institutions’ blended (or hybrid), online, or distance programs using different strategies and leadership approaches.

Topics in this track might include:

  • Organizational Leadership
  • Crisis Management, Online Learning, & Institutional Leadership (e.g., COVID-19)
  • Partnerships, collaborative models, vendor relationships, or cross-institutional teams
  • Strategies to increase resources and opportunities to drive academic innovation
  • Marketing, recruitment, and retention initiatives for the effective globalization of new or existing programs
  • Planning, alignment, and increased quality of academic initiatives
  • Engagement of key stakeholders around issues of change and growth
  • Institutional approaches, strategies, or best practices for professional development and support 
  • Accountability approaches (i.e. certification, accreditation, regulation, SARA)
  • Leading academic transformation

Submissions to this track should focus on formal research of completed or well-developed studies that relate to digital, online and/or blended learning or the collection and use of data for improvement or accountability in online and blended learning. Presenters submitting formal research are strongly encouraged to submit extended versions of original research papers to OLC’s flagship journal, the Online Learning Journal.

Topics in this track might include:

  • Data or learning analytics
  • Challenge to quality research
  • Application of theory and/or data to inform new directions in teaching and learning
  • Evidence-based practices
  • Research methodologies involving big data, business, intelligence, or data mining
  • Interdisciplinary, country-specific, region-specific, or comparative studies on the effectiveness of blended, online, and digital learning initiatives
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

Submissions to this track should focus on emerging technology, digital innovations, and tools or technologies used within online, blended, and digital education.

Topics in this track might include:

  • Adaptive learning
  • Application or creation of best practices of synchronous or asynchronous environments
  • Groundbreaking or innovative practices
  • 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, such as virtual reality or artificial intelligence
  • Creative uses of technologies that transform the instructor/student dynamic
  • Tools that support the process of providing custom learning experiences
  • Successful implementations of custom and emerging technologies
  • Innovations in instructional technology