The Online Learning Consortium Thanks You for Your Submission 

We are so excited to welcome you to the community of scholarship and sharing that is the OLC Accelerate 2021 conference. The OLC Program Committee seeks proposals that reflect and showcase our vibrant community of practice — promoting theory, research, methodology and/or applied effective practices in online, blended, and digital teaching and learning. We invite you to submit a proposal (or more than one!) for OLC Accelerate 2021 – An Odyssey into the Future of Online, Digital, and Blended Learning. The OLC Accelerate conference will be held September 20-24 virtually and October 5-8 onsite at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Washington, DC.  

Given what you have shared about the  ongoing difficulties with the COVID-19 pandemic and our understanding of the uncertainties and challenges institutions are currently facing, OLC is pleased to announce that you will have a choice: to present onsite in Washington, DC, or in a fully virtual format. These experiences will be tied together in meaningful ways, ensuring that whether you choose to attend onsite, virtually, or both, your programmatic experience will be robust and meaningful. Further, all of our Discovery Sessions will now be completely virtual, and we have also added an onsite Lightning Talk session type, allowing you the opportunity to share big ideas in a compressed time frame.

Where you spend your professional development dollars matters, and your time is extremely valuable. We work hard to ensure that your efforts and opportunities are treated with the care they deserve, and want you to know that providing you with a meaningful, impactful, and enriching experience is our number one priority.


Timeline of Important Dates: 

  • April 26, 2021: Proposals due by 11:59pm ET (extended from April 19)
  • June 15, 2021: Notification of acceptance
  • June 30, 2021: Deadline for presenters to accept
  • July 21, 2021: Presentation schedule to be posted
  • August 11, 2021: Deadline for presenters to register
  • August 11, 2021: Final date for presenters to submit abstract edits
  • September 2, 2021: Final date to request Zoom polls or breakout rooms (for virtual and onsite streamed presenters)
  • September 10, 2021: Final date for presenters to upload presentation files and update conference presenter profile

Our goal is  to give you the confidence to submit your proposal to present and register for the conference, without the financial worry should the program change due to circumstances beyond our control.  We are excited about the fall conference and meeting again, whether it is onsite in Washington, DC or online in the virtual program! Here’s a little bit about what you can expect throughout the process:

  • Notifications are sent to all presenters listed on each submission. All submissions are sent notification emails, regardless of acceptance status. Please be sure that your email filters are set to accept messages from the domain. If you do not receive a notification email by June 18, please contact us at
  • For presenters submitting for onsite presentations, while the registration timelines remain, please know that if there is a government shutdown of large group gatherings this fall, the online program will be converted and added to the all-virtual program, with refund or credit (your choice) of the registration fee difference between onsite (Full Access Pass) and virtual (Full Virtual Pass).  In this case, the presenter will also be allowed to fully cancel their registration for refund or credit should they choose not to participate in the all-virtual program. 

Essential Information

Be sure to read through all of the information before you submit your proposal.  Ensuring alignment with submission requirements and guidelines will positively affect the quality of your proposal.

  • Presentations at OLC Accelerate 2021 require that at least one co-presenter per session be from an academic institution. Presenters from non-academic institutions are still welcome to participate as a part of the Exposition Foundry, but traditional presentation slots must have an academic institution represented. Feel free to review the information from OLC Accelerate 2020 to familiarize yourself with the goals and outcomes of the Exposition Foundry experience.
  • Align submission to the session type as shown on the Session Types and Details page. Be sure to align your abstract with any special requirements outlined in the session type requirements. 
  • Also pay close attention to the Selection Criteria located on this page. Presentations are selected according to ratings in five major categories:
    • Relevance to the conference
    • Clarity
    • Audience Appeal
    • Interactivity (Active Engagement methodology during presentations to encourage audience/participants to ask questions)
    • Alignment to Session Specific Criteria
  • Review the Track Descriptions to ensure your proposal aligns with the correct conference track.  We have updated a number of the tracks for Accelerate 2021, so you will want to carefully review the track descriptions and keywords before you ensure you submit your proposal to the correct track.
  • Review the Submission Checklist for proposal components, requirements and helpful tips.
  • Review the Presenter FAQs.
  • Note that each individual is limited to no more than three (3) submissions, including the roles of presenter, co-presenter, panelist, or workshop facilitator.


Step 1: Login or create an OLC user account. You need to be logged in to your OLC user account in order to submit a proposal. Once you have logged in to your OLC user account, select “Conference Profile” from the left-hand sidebar menu. You will be directed to the OLC Conference Management System to submit your proposal and update your conference profile. 
OLC Profile_Conference Profile Link

Step 2: Ask co-presenters ensure their OLC conference profile is complete. All additional co-presenters also need to have OLC conference user accounts and should be added to the proposal at the time of submission. Please keep in mind that once you have registered or submitted a paper, all conference-related information can be found here at the OLC Accelerate 2021 website.

Step 3. Navigate to the OLC conference management system. Proceed to the conference management system, you will be able to submit a proposal by clicking on “OLC Accelerate 2021” in the top menu navigation within the OLC conference management system.

Step 4: Select the Correct Conference.  Select “OLC Accelerate 2021 > Submit Proposal” to begin. Please note that you will need to be logged in to see the “Submit Proposal” button. If you do not see this button, please log into your OLC user account to begin.  

Step 5: Submit Your Proposal. Fill out the submission form. You may find our proposal planning template useful as you plan and gather your proposal information.

Step 6: Fill out/Update Your OLC Conference Profile. When submitting, please include as much information as possible in your OLC conference profile, including your biography, a profile picture, and most current contact information. (*Note: Your conference profile is housed in the conference management system and is separate from your OLC user profile at this time.) 

Step 7: Click “Save” to submit the submission form. Clicking save submits your proposal. Note: You may edit your proposal up until the submission deadline, after which all submissions are considered final.