Please review the details below before submitting your presentation proposal. 

The session types are an important classification which guide the conference planning committee in the review and selection of proposals. Attendees also use this information to determine which session to attend during the actual conference. Detailed descriptions of each session type are provided below.

During the proposal submission process, you will be asked to identify which session type your presentation aligns with. Please be aware that selecting the incorrect session type may impact how your proposal is scored by the reviewers and possibly its likelihood of acceptance if incorrectly submitted.

Proposals that describe strategies for high levels of interactivity or engagement tend to receive higher peer review ratings during the Call For Proposals evaluation process. If you would like to explore strategies and technologies to support interactivity during your sessions, please visit the Presenter Services page. Coaching from Presenter Services is available to support you in meeting this goal.

All sessions are 45 minutes in length unless otherwise indicated.

Click on the (+) to expand each section to view full information on each topic.

Carefully review the session type descriptions below before submitting a proposal. 

1. Education Session** (Traditional – Lecture or Interview)

Education Sessions provide an opportunity for presenters to share their work, innovations, or new opportunities to the OLC community. The presenters are responsible for driving the conversation and encouraging deep thinking about a topic, sharing practical applications of their work, or providing new and varying perspectives. There are two primary formats for this session type: presentations and panel sessions. Although these are more traditional formats, the presenters/panelists should strive to make the sessions as engaging as possible through polls, audience discussions, and other forms of interaction.

Note: When submitting the proposal, the names and affiliations of the presenters, moderator(s) and panelists are required to be included. Please do not include names or institutions in the abstract in order to keep the review process double-blind. All individuals (presenters, moderators, and panelists) will need OLC user accounts and must be listed as presenters on the proposal. (Presenters/panelists cannot be proposed as TBD.)  

Key Features:

  • 45 minutes total. Time allotments may vary but each session should include approximately 5 minutes for introductions, 35 minutes for the main presentation, and 5 minutes for questions.
  • 1-4 individuals conducting the session (panel sessions must include a moderator).
  • Presentation style is similar to a lecture, while a panel session is similar to an interview.
  • Interactivity can range from simple to highly engaging. Uses strategies to engage the audience in active learning.
  • Accompanied by a slide presentation, which is important for accessibility purposes and for virtual audience viewing. Please see the Presenter Services page for more information.

2. Express Workshop (Exploration)

These sessions are designed to provide the attendees with an opportunity to explore a new skill, strategy, or technology. By offering practical, hands-on learning activities, participants are fully engaged in the learning process. Facilitators provide both group and 1-1 guidance as necessary during the session. Attendees should walk away from the session feeling as though they have acquired a new skill, have developed an action plan, or have gain significant insight into a new technology. Proposals must include measurable outcomes and activities.

Note: Presenters are responsible for providing all Express Workshop materials. Instructions for uploading materials will be provided to all accepted presenters. Presenters are also responsible for ensuring all attendees can actively engage in the session. Please see the Presenter Services site for resources on making the session fully accessible.  

Key Features: 

  • 45 minutes total; typically consists of 3-5 minutes of introductions, with the remaining time consisting of multiple explanations/demos and hands on activities.
  • 1-3 presenters facilitating a hands-on learning experience.
  • Presentation style is similar to an exploration in which the presenters engage the attendees in a “try it yourself” format.
  • Interactivity is high. The entire session is focused on activity based learning.
  • Facilitators are expected to provide any materials (instructions, worksheets, etc.)  to ensure a successful session.
  • If presenting virtually, be sure to think about how to incorporate group work and hands-on activities in a virtual environment.

3. Gamified Session (Interactive)

These sessions engage both the presenters and the attendees in a fun and unique OLC conference experience. Moving beyond traditional styles of presentations, attendees and presenters of this session type will have the ability to connect with the content and each other like never before. Presenters may draw upon well known games such as Jeopardy and Family Feud as example formats or inspiration. These sessions tend to draw large audiences, please be sure all attendees can be accommodated with the strategies used.

Key Features:

  • 45 minutes total; typically includes 5-10 minutes of introductions and 35-40 minutes of presenters or audience competing to provide the most valuable information to the discussion. (Attendees should be able to ask questions during the session or additional time may need to be allotted at the end for Q&A.)
  • 1-4 presenters facilitating highly active sessions with an emphasis on competition and interactivity.
  • Presentation style can vary, but must include elements of game based learning.
  • Interactivity is extremely high. Both presenters and attendees should be actively participating. Proposals must disclose the game format being used and how it will be implemented (Jeopardy, Family Feud, etc.).

4. Discovery Session (Online Conversation, Virtual Only)

With social distancing concerns top of mind, we are continuing our virtual to virtual format for Discovery Sessions at OLC Accelerate 2021. Discovery sessions will be fully virtual presentations that allow presenters to share their work, ideas, and innovations in a virtual presenter to virtual audience format. These sessions allow for a greater exchange of ideas and in-depth asynchronous conversations about important topics to the OLC community. These digital presentations can include works in progress, research ideas, collaboration opportunities, best practices and practical applications, or pilot projects.

Note: Each presenter will prepare a digital presentation and upload to PlayPosit. Each accepted presenter will register as a virtual attendee. If you are an onsite presenter, you can also present a Discovery Session in the virtual to virtual modality.

Key Features:

  • An asynchronous opportunity for virtual presenter to virtual audience. 
  • Typically 10-15 minutes of information sharing in a virtual, asynchronous format by the presenter allowing for attendees to view on-demand and contribute asynchronous comments and discussion. 
  • Presentation style is conversational, sharing concise but impactful information.
  • Allows opportunities for interaction using a presentation style that is conversational, sharing concise but impactful information in an online modality. 
  • Interactivity is personalized based on audience members visiting your asynchronous presentation. Allows for deeper connections and more detailed discussions.

5. Graduate Student Discovery Session (Online Conversation, Virtual Only)

Proposals may include works in progress or completed research results. Discovery Sessions provide an excellent opportunity to present your ideas to your peers in a community forum. 

We seek submissions by students currently enrolled in or recently graduated (within one year) from a Graduate (Master or Doctoral) program whose research is relevant to online teaching and learning. The proposal submission must follow the guidelines of the OLC Accelerate 2021 conference sessions.

Be sure to review the detailed Graduate Student Discovery Session page before submitting your proposal. 

Key Features:

  • An asynchronous opportunity for virtual presenter to virtual audience. 
  • Typically 10-15 minutes of information sharing in a virtual, asynchronous format by the presenter allowing for attendees to view on-demand and contribute asynchronous comments and discussion. 
  • Presentation style is conversational, sharing concise but impactful information.
  • Allows opportunities for interaction using a presentation style that is conversational, sharing concise but impactful information in an online modality. 
  • Interactivity is personalized based on audience members visiting your asynchronous presentation. Allows for deeper connections and more detailed discussions.

6. Workshop

Attendees should expect to be actively involved during Workshops.

Submissions for this session type should be interactive, 90-minute workshops that align with this year’s tracks and should seek to offer a more in depth exploration and activation of a topic than a shorter, regular conference session would allow. Workshops should be designed with 2-4 meaningful and measurable participant learning outcomes (LOs) with opportunities explicitly outlined by the presenters showcasing collaborative and/or interactive group activities​ that will be used during the session to achieve stated learning goals​. Interactive workshops that highlight effective practices are desired.

Proposals for workshops should clearly address the following questions for reviewers:

  • ​​​​What are the explicit participant learning outcomes for the workshop?
  • What types of collaboration or interactivity will occur during the workshop with the instructor-participants and within the participant-to-participant group themselves?​Please outline time allotments for any presentation vs. interactivity (i.e., 15 minute presentation; 65 minute interactive workshop; 10 minute Q & A).
  • How will workshop participants be able to apply the effective practices shared in the workshop at their home institution?
  • Who do you envision as the primary audience types who would get the most out of this session and why do you believe they will benefit?
  • What activities, take-aways, and/or activities will your workshop participants engage in that make your workshop unique, innovative, and relevant to the OLC Accelerate 2021 themes and track you have selected?
  • What materials are required for the presenters, and what materials are required of those in attendance? This must be clearly outlined within the proposal submission.

Presenters must provide an opportunity for questions, answers, and/or whole or small group discussion within the course of the workshop and must describe how this element will be used to best engage participants. Elements of the workshop may be flipped to extend the amount of time participants can engage with the workshop content. Sessions that​ ​offer the opportunity to earn a​ ​credential, badge, or certificate are encouraged.

Workshops are offered free to all participants on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that computers are not provided for this or any session at OLC Accelerate; therefore, all sessions are designated at BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Each presenter must use their own laptop/device and must specify in advance what device and/or software requirements (i.e., mobile device or laptop required for participation, required apps for full participation) are expected of participants attending the workshop. The program committee reserves the right to change a workshop’s proposed presentation type if another is deemed more appropriate for engagement and participation given its content.

Competition for workshop slots is highly competitive at Accelerate 2021. Please understand that you may be considered for an alternative format session instead of a workshop at the workshop chair’s discretion.

7. Lightning Talk (Short Provocation, Onsite Only)

These compressed, 15 minute sessions provide an opportunity for presenters to inspire and engage participants in thinking through compelling concepts and findings in a short amount of time.  Each talk will be arranged in a series of 2 15-minute talks within a 45 minute session block, allowing attendees to make connections and extensions across each of the individual talks within the session block. Because of the focused length, these sessions are great for sharing a driving question or provocation that attendees can continue to reflect upon well beyond the talk.

Key Features:

  • 15 minutes total. Time allotments may vary but each session should include approximately 1-2 minutes for introductions, 7-8 minutes for the main presentation, and 5 minutes for questions
  • Ideally only 1 presenter conducting the session
  • Presentation style is similar to a TED talk
  • Interactivity tends to be simple, with very limited external technology due to the short time frame
  • Accompanied by a slide presentation, which is important for accessibility purposes and for virtual audience viewing. Please see the Presenter Services page for more information.

The following rubric will be used to evaluate all proposals in the refereed proposal review process.

  • Do the title and abstract clearly describe the session?
  • Is the proposed topic timely and/or appropriate?
  • What are the session outcomes?
  • Will this session positively contribute to the conference and to the field?
  • Are the format and session type selected for the presentation the most appropriate to the topic and format of the presentation?
  • Is the session designed to be interactive and engage the audience?
  • Are you sharing research data or assessment information during the session?
  • Did you address the specific criteria outlined for each session type? 

Specific Criteria:

Presenters should include active engagement methodology during presentations to encourage audience/participants to ask questions. The CFP ratings are based on the following 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

During the review process, reviewers are also asked to indicate whether or not your proposal meets Effective Practice criteria and would be a good candidate for EP submission. We encourage, but do not require, Effective Practice submissions from conference presenters.  EP submissions from conference presenters will be eligible for Effective Practice Awards selection; awards will be presented onsite at the conference. With regard to effective practices, reviewers will consider proposals in light of this question:

  • Does this proposal include all 5 of the following elements: innovation, replicability, impact, evidence and scope?

If your proposal is accepted, you will be asked to:

  • Register for the conference and pay the published fees by the presenter registration deadline. 
  • Edit all materials used in your session.
  • Upload your PowerPoint Slides, Handout (PDF files), data charts, or other presentation materials to the conference repository by the deadline of September 10, 2021.
  • Submissions to the Research Track may be eligible to submit their full research manuscript for consideration for the OLC Online Learning Journal.
  • 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 10, 2021: Final date for presenters to upload presentation files

Onsite: The following standard audiovisual equipment will be provided in each room: data projector equipped with an HDMI cable to accommodate both PC and Macintosh platforms, an Internet connection, and a screen (16:9 slide ratio). (Note: Presenters should plan to provide their own computer equipment or other specialized equipment).  Microphones will be supplied as needed in larger rooms.

Virtual: Presenters must provide their own computers and technology (including a headset and microphone) for their virtual presentation. We encourage all presenters to either attend or review the recording of the presenter services webinars for more guidance on what to expect as a virtual presenter. 

If your presentation is accepted, you are strongly encouraged to post it as a link or a upload a pdf or PowerPoint file to the presentation repository by September 10, 2021. Doing so is important for attendees as an accessibility consideration. The contributions will remain online as part of the conference materials after the conference. The conference management team will provide instructions on how to upload your file(s) to your session page after acceptance of proposals. Session abstracts and information about the presenters also will be included on the site.

Companies and industry partners provide value to OLC Conferences through program presentations, exhibits and sponsorships.  Industry partners may submit presentations in any of the program tracks or presentation formats:

  1. Academic Presentations:
  • Companies and industry partners are encouraged to submit papers to the traditional academic presentation track for inclusion in the program, but are required to submit with an institutional lead partner. Please note: when submitting, please ensure that your institutional partner uses their institutional, or .edu, e-mail address. This e-mail address is how we will determine whether the partner is an institutional one.
  • Presentations must be non-commercial (i.e. no “sales pitches”), and focus specifically on a pedagogical topic related to the track themes. 
  • Presentations must contribute new knowledge to the field through the presentation of original research or applications, and should be submitted through the call for papers system to be evaluated by the conference committee as part of the regular review process.
  1. Exposition Foundry: 
  • The Exposition Foundry is a series of hands-on sessions where industry partners engage educators in dialogue and collaboration around topics related to prevalent challenges and prospective opportunities in our field with the goal of supporting authentic partnerships to support student success.
  • An alternative to academic presentations submitted to the CFP, sessions in the Exposition Foundry (or “The Foundry”) are created by companies and industry partners to bring together community members around topics related to innovation and change work in the field of online, blended and digital learning.
  • The Foundry is a place for planting seeds for new ideas, new collaborations, new points of engagement, and new opportunities for us to connect and build as a community. Importantly, the Exposition Foundry is also a place for conference attendees and community members to direct provocations toward you, resulting in a collection of different voices and perspectives from areas across the OLC community around the amazing work that you do and all that you contribute to education.
  • Presentations that center on sales and promotions, alone, are not appropriate for this session format. Rather, the Exposition Foundry is a space where we invite you to speak into the future of online and digital learning through interactive experiences you create and lead conference attendees through. This might mean:
    • Demos, dialogue and activities centered on the products and tools used across the work you do in supporting online and digital learning
    • Discussions and focus groups aimed at highlighting new research, collaborations and initiatives
    • Games, storytelling activities, facilitated design sprints, and other creative concepts that you design (or that you create with the OLC’s help!)
  • Companies and industry partners can design programming for the Exposition Foundry that can be offered either virtually or onsite:
    • Virtual Programming: Virtual Exposition Foundry sessions are interactive presentations, where presenters and participants can share provocations via recorded video sessions hosted on PlayPosit. Like the OLC Discovery Sessions, these fully-online, asynchronous presentations are accessible during and beyond the conference, and attendees and community members will have the continued opportunity to comment, provide feedback, and further the conversation well past a typical 45 minute session.
    • Onsite Programming: In the onsite environment the Exposition Foundry reimagines and transforms the transition Exhibition Hall experience into a collaborative community building and co-working space. It is up to presenters in the Foundry to coordinate their use of the physical spaces that they run in the Foundry based on the set of parameters given by the conference organizers (e.g. a select list of options for space configurations). These sessions are distinctly marked as Exposition Foundry presentations in conference materials including the program book, website and room signage.   
  • For more information about the Exposition Foundry, visit our page (coming soon) to learn more about the goals, opportunities, and support services the OLC will provide to ensure that this innovative new session format is a success.
  1. Industry Showcase Presentations:
  • Industry Showcase presentations are established as part of the conference program schedule to allow sponsors/exhibitors to make presentations on their products and services during the conference.
  • Industry Showcase presentations may include submissions to the CFP system that are moved from academic tracks in the CFP system to the Industry Showcase schedule at the discretion of the Program co-chairs.
  • Industry Showcase proposals from sponsors and exhibitors may be submitted through our Industry Showcase form as part of the sponsorship/exhibit process. Showcase proposals will be reviewed by the Senior Director, Conferences, and conference chairs for approval of content.
  • National sponsors are guaranteed an Industry Showcase presentation slot. Remaining Industry Showcase slots are assigned to sponsors by level, then to exhibitors in the order exhibit contracts were received on a space-available basis.
  • These sessions are distinctly marked as Industry Showcase presentations in conference materials including the program book, website and room signage.
  • Conference program materials include language that these presentations should be expected to include some sales promotional language in them. These sessions are clearly marked as sessions that have not been peer-reviewed.