OLC Accelerate Field Guide Program - Navigating the Field Together

Engagement Maps  |  Power Hour 
 Join the Discussions  |  First Time Attendee FAQ


New to OLC Innovate? Attended previous OLC conferences and want to share your knowledge and expertise? Interested in connecting with others to discuss particular topics like instructional design, blended learning, faculty development, emerging technologies or digital literacy before, during, and after the conference? 

The OLC Field Guide Program is designed to enhance the conference experience for first-time conference attendees and anyone looking for additional networking opportunities at OLC conferences.

Join our volunteer Field Guides for the Field Guide Power Hours where they will help you plan your conference experiences based on your areas of interest. The Power Hours are also a great opportunity to ask any additional questions you may have about participating in the conference. Throughout the two-week conference in June, our Field Guides will be available through chat discussions to help answer your questions to help you navigate the online conference venue and resources.  


Engagement Maps

IN20 Engagement Map QR code

Engagement maps are designed to help you plan your conference experience based on your areas of interest. 

Scan this QR code to access the Engagement Maps on your mobile device. 

Red #TEACH Online Teaching and the Faculty Experience
Navy #ID Instructional Designers
Lime #OPEN OER and OCW
Burgundy #TRAIN Faculty and Staff Development
Yellow #LEARN Online Learning and the Student Experience
Orange #DATA Data, Analytics, & Research
Hot Pink #BLEND Hybrid, Flipped, & Blended
Turquoise #SVCS Student Services
Light Gray #GEEK EdTech Geeks
Kelly Green #LEAD Administrators & Emerging Leaders
Royal #UDL Equity, Inclusion, and UDL
Purple #CC Community and Two Year Colleges
Blue #N2O New to Online Learning












Field Guide Power Hours

Note: All times are listed in Eastern Time Zone

Week 1: Monday, June 15 9:00am – 9:45am US EDT

Week 2: Monday, June 22 12:00pm -12:45pm US EDT

Come join other conference attendees online and create an OLC Innovate game plan. During these power hour sessions, you’ll have the chance to organize your conference schedule and select presentations and activities you want to attend. The OLC Field Guides will be there to suggest interesting presentations and virtual social activities, train you on the use of the OLC Innovate Virtual conference venue and website, and point out Engagement Maps designed to help with your program planning. We’ll also discuss ways to participate in virtual chats during the conference.  Meet up with old friends, make new acquaintances, plan your schedule, while you grab breakfast in the comfort of your home.

Questions?  Contact us at conference@onlinelearning-c.org.

Considering all of my conference-going experiences, there is something unique about the ways in which the OLC welcomes participation from presenters in conference leadership opportunities. The Field Guide Program is a great example of this. On the surface, it might seem like you are just giving directions, but being an OLC Field Guide can be so much more than that; it is an opportunity to network, share your knowledge(s) and expertise, help others consider ways to strategically attend presentations for a more personalized conference experience, and engage with a great and supportive new team. I would definitely recommend to anyone who has not participated as a Field Guide that they take the chance and try it out.

Maddie Shellgren, Michigan State University

I initially took a chance on becoming an OLC Field Guide because I felt that it would be a good way to get to know a wider group of attendees, and to give back to a community that I value greatly. I appreciate the fact that the OLC offers all of us in the online education space two opportunities each year to see how the environment is evolving, and being able to offer my time to help others have a great experience is rewarding.

Andrew Rourke, DigitalEd

The Field Guide program was so welcoming last year with my first time attending! It helped to know I could ask these folks any question I might have as I wandered around such an amazing array of choices. I appreciated their help so much that I have volunteered to help be a Field Guide this year!

Laura Widenor, Kansas State University

The Field Guides were very friendly. The participants were sharing information. It was a great environment.

Anonymous OLC Innovate attendee

Please meet up with us on Slack! Slack is a “Team Communication Platform” (TCP), basically a chat client, but more expansive, since you can join “channels” or groups about various topics of interest, rather than just chat one-to-one. Slack can be used via a web browser, or as its own application on desktops, laptops, mobile phones, and tablets. For the uninitiated, please watch a short video demonstrating what Slack can do.  

We have set up a Slack team to be used before, during, and after #OLCInnovate. We highly recommend you download the Slack applications for iPhone, Android, Mac, Windows, etc.

Join the OLC INNOVATE Slack Team

Once you have set up your account login/password, you can visit https://olcinnovate.slack.com to sign in with your new credentials on any of your devices. (Please note that you will need to sign in to the team separately on every device on which you use Slack. So, if you sign in on a phone, that doesn’t mean you’ll also be signed up when you open up the application on your desktop. You’ll need to add the team (olcinnovate.slack.com) on each device, and sign in on that device to get started.)

Once you have signed in, you’ll see a few default channels you have been added to. To see what other channels are available to join, click the “Channels” link in the left navigation to browse all channels. (Channel names may not exactly match what you see in this image.)

You’ll find a list of channels you can join, channels you belong to, and the number of participants in each channel. You can join as many channels as interest you – and you can always leave and re-join channels later based on your needs. You can also configure different types of notifications for each channel so that you aren’t constantly inundated with notifications.

Here are a few of the default channels and how they might be used:

  • #announcements will only be usable by certain OLC staff or volunteers for making announcements to the entire team
  • #fieldguidecentral – Our primary channel for general Field Guide usage. This channel is not specific to a topic, such as accessibility or community college. Use this for field guide meetups or spontaneous get togethers at the event, general introductions, looking for a field guide for a specific purpose, etc.
  • #olcvirtual – specifically for our virtual participants
  • #firsttimers – a great channel for new conference attendees to ask questions
  • #hashtags – this channel is connected to Twitter. Every time somebody tweets about #OLCInnovate – the tweet is posted in this channel. (You may want to turn notifications off or leave this channel – it’s the busiest!)
OLC Accelerate Slack Channel view

You’ll also find channels for various personas or special interests in order to connect with like-minded folks, share ideas, and informally network (keep in mind some of these may be sparsely populated until we get close to the conference):

Specific channels have been created for things like HBCU Summit, Community College Summit, OLC Leadership Network, OLC Research Summit, Equity & Inclusion, and more. 

OLC Accelerate Slack Channel Browse

Once you have joined some channels – you can start by introducing yourself in a channel or two, perhaps posting a link to an interested or inspiring article or a question that is on the top of your mind. Share information about the conference, upcoming sessions, sessions you are excited to see, things you plan to do during the conference, etc. Just keep in mind that communication in Slack may be somewhat synchronous, but may be entirely asynchronous, too, depending on when others are online and participating. If you have other ideas for channels or connected apps, please let us know and we’ll see what we can do.

Some Slack Video Resources to get you started:

We are inviting everyone to start joining the Slack channels whenever you like leading up to the conference. You can share session tips, ask questions, plan meet ups and your conference schedule, etc.