It is our pleasure to invite you to the 26th year of the Online Learning Consortium’s Accelerate Conference. This year’s conference theme is “20/20 Vision: Envisioning the Future of Online, Blended and Digital Learning”, which encourages us to reflect on the past, engage in the present, and envision a future dedicated to serving you, the members of our community.

As the world has pivoted to the online environment during the COVID-19 pandemic, educators have had to reimagine pathways for their students’ success within incredibly challenging contexts. As our institutions seek new ways to expand access to education, OLC Accelerate 2020 provides a path for those of all experience levels and backgrounds to share practices, address challenges, and respond to the challenges of serving an entire higher education community remotely. The OLC Accelerate 2020 program serves as a collective call for educators, administrators, and allies to engage in deeper thinking and a sharing of collective wisdom that helps us all learn from these experiences and identify strategies for the future.  

We invite you to join us in a newly reimagined version of OLC Accelerate 2020 that offers flexible pathways for educators in these challenging times. With onsite and virtual presenter options, we will come together to build and strengthen our global network of expertise, increase collaboration and engagement among researchers and practitioners, share and discover new and emerging effective practices, and test and evaluate technologies for teaching and learning online. Our community cannot thrive without you! Please consider submitting a proposal to present and participate in the conference onsite or virtually.

We are excited to announce two new tracks this year and a returning track.  New this year is the Equity, and Open Education track and an Instructional Design track. Returning this year and making a long-awaited comeback is the Blended Learning track! The Accelerate 2020 tracks, including some rebranded titles, includes:

  • Research, Evaluation, and Learning Analytics
  • NEW! Blended
  • Leadership and Institutional Strategies
  • Engaged and Effective Teaching and Learning
  • Technology and Future Trends
  • NEW! Instructional Design
  • NEW! Access, Equity, and Open Education

Additionally, we’ve changed the format of several session types to allow for deeper engagement across the onsite and virtual conference spaces:

  • NEW! Lightning Talks will give presenters to share big ideas in a compressed time frame, celebrating the power of brevity in compelling listeners to action 
  • NEW! Discovery Sessions are being moved to a fully virtual program using VoiceThread to allow for rich discussion and reflection in the time of social distancing

To accommodate our prospective presenters, we have modified and extended our Call for Proposals to allow for flexibility should difficulties from the COVID-19 crisis force individuals to change their plans. If there is a government shutdown of large group events in the fall, the onsite program will be moved to the virtual-to-virtual program and onsite registrations adjusted to the Full Virtual Package. Additionally, flexible cancellation policies help to ensure presenters will be able to participate at the level that works for them, and even cancel their registration without penalty should their situation change.

We look forward to you sharing your expertise. Now more than ever, the higher education online community needs to come together, to learn from one another and use these synergies to improve the online experiences and opportunities for all students. 

Kind Regards, 

The OLC Accelerate 2020 Program Co-Chairs

Tina Rettler-Pagel and Janet Smith

Tina Rettler-Pagel  

Program Chair

Tina Rettler-Pagel
Madison College

Janet Smith  

Program Chair

Janet Smith
University of Arizona