General Conference FAQ  |  Virtual Conference FAQ  |  Presenter FAQ

General Conference Questions

For detailed information about the conference, please visit the 2021 schedule page. The pages under the Program tab will be updated regularly as more information becomes available.

If you have any questions that are not addressed on the Web site, please send an e-mail to

From “Register” tab on the conference website, please select the “Register Now” button and follow the prompts. You must register using our website; we are unable to accept paper or email registrations.

If you are not able to attend, you may substitute another individual in your place (one time) at no additional fee before the start of the conference. The name and email address of the substitute must be emailed to The Online Learning Consortium. Refunds will be made to the original form of payment for the event when possible (i.e., credit memo, credit card, or check). If you do not attend the program and do not submit a written refund or credit memo request, The Online Learning Consortium will retain all fees. The Online Learning Consortium is not responsible for any change/cancellation charges assessed by airlines, travel agents, hotels or other similar vendors. Email all cancellation requests, substitutions, and registration questions to Please review our full refund and cancelation policy on the Register page.

If you are an active OLC member, your member discount is automatically applied to your registration when you are logged in to your OLC user account and are correctly affiliated with your institution within our system. 

The registration fee does not include accommodations. All conference sessions will be held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland (just outside Washington, DC). Rooms can be reserved from the Accelerate Travel page.

Rooms are available at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center for a special OLC conference rate. Attendees of the conference must book their hotel room through the conference website no later than Monday, September 13, 2021 in order to receive discounted rates starting at $269.00 per night plus applicable state and local taxes (6%).. The special conference rate also applies for three days prior to and three days after the conclusion of the conference.

The Online Learning Consortium is committed to ensuring OLC Accelerate attendees’ safety. We’re working closely with the conference venue to meet CDC, state, and local COVID-19 guidelines during the event. For specific questions or accommodations, please contact

A sponsor and exhibitor prospectus is available for interested industry partners. Questions on exhibit and sponsorship opportunities may be addressed to Brenda Weiss-Pesta at

In an effort to be as “green” as possible, we do not hand out participant packages. A basic list of sessions in a spreadsheet format will be available for download/printing. We encourage attendees to make use of the OLC Conference website schedule. We also strongly encourage presenters to post presentation and any support materials to the conference proceedings repository.

A basic list of sessions in a spreadsheet format will be available for download/printing. We encourage attendees to make use of the OLC Conference website schedule. Full program information will be available on the website (see the Program pages) in July, so you can start to plan which sessions you’d like to attend. The OLC Conference venue website will be mobile responsive.

We do not provide “Letters of Invitation” for international attendees to attend our events. Conference participants from other countries must obtain a tourist or student visa on their own merit and not be dependent upon Letters of Invitation from OLC to acknowledge or sponsor their attendance. It is up to the applicant, and the applicant alone, to demonstrate his or her desire and compelling plans to return to their home country after a brief visit in order to qualify for a visa.

Press Passes are available for a very limited number of press by invitation only. For more information or questions contact us at

Tickets for the Thursday evening special event, Monuments by Moonlight, may be purchased directly from the tour provider. Additional details and a purchase link can be found on our “What to Do Around Town” page

  • Write down your objectives. What will a successful conference experience look like for you? Take a few minutes before the conference to brainstorm and jot down any goals that come to mind. Whatever your objectives may be, you’ll be setting yourself up for success by beginning with the end in mind. Some sample objectives may include: 
    • Seek out the main conversations during the conference (could mean attending the keynotes, OLC Live Sessions, Networking Break – Coffee Talks, etc.).
    • Meet instructional designers from small institutions (could mean attending speed networking and evening activities).
    • Participate in one or more summits or workshops for a deeper dive into subjects of interest. OLC offers extended workshops throughout the conference, as well as three different summits:  Instructional Design, Leadership Network, and Research. Check the general schedule for details.
  • Read the conference emails. The best way to stay informed leading up to the conference is by reading the emails you receive. Watch for key reminders, updates, and other tips about the conference. It is especially important to read the Update emails you will receive throughout the conference.
  • Customize your schedule ahead of time. This will help tremendously when you join the meeting to make sure you don’t miss important sessions you want to attend. Make use of the Engagement Maps to help you plan your conference experience. 
  • Consider balancing your schedule with those presenters that you are very interested in seeing with some core sessions geared to your research, professional interests, and professional work needs. Remember – attendees have access not only to the live webcast sessions, but to on-demand recordings to all sessions for one (1) year post-conference. There is plenty of time for you to go back and watch sessions you may have missed. Also, with a conference that extends over both a virtual week and an onsite week, you will need to find small moments to rejuvenate! Be sure to visit onsite or virtual Sanctuary Room at any time before, during or after the conference for a quiet, reflective space to relax and recharge.
  • Join us for a Field Guide Power Hour. Come join other conference attendees and create an OLC Accelerate game plan. During this power hour session, 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 engagement activities, train you on the use of the 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, and plan your schedule for an optimal conference experience. 
  • Sign up for an Innovation Crew. Joining an Innovation Crew will be a great opportunity to meet new people and build community with others around shared interests. Innovation Crews will support co-constructed learning through asynchronous engagement and dialogue in Slack, as well as engaging in collaborative note-taking. They will also be meeting by way of Field Guide Gatherings throughout the conference for additional small group networking and community building. To join, complete the Innovation Crew Sign-Up Form when that is posted.
  • Equity and inclusion is important to us! OLC is committed to making participation in our conference simple, accessible and inclusive. All virtual sessions will be live captioned, with captioning and transcripts included in the on-demand recordings.  Presenters will be provided best practices and encouraged to follow our slide design guide. Please also attend our conference sessions with special focus on equity, inclusion, accessibility and diversity. Review our Equity and Inclusion engagement map for details.

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. Field Guides are here to welcome you to the OLC community, answer your questions, guide you to resources available, and help you engage with other attendees.

It’s never too early to make connections online. Take time now to engage on social media by following @OLCToday and #OLCAccelerate or on Slack by joining the different channels. Several opportunities exist to engage virtually with conference attendees, including participating in the Field Guide Program, Innovation Crew Gatherings, Evening Social Events, Speed Networking Lounge sessions, workshops and summits, OLC Live sessions, among other informal opportunities. Chat with other attendees and presenters during sessions, and join in informal chats on topics of interest.

OLC Staff is happy to help! If you find you need help, email us at There will be an OLC Staff Zoom Room Manager in every virtual session, so feel free to ask us questions there.

The Effective Practice Awards webpage will be updated to reflect the current selection round. EP recipients will be asked to present their award-winning session during OLC Accelerate.

Virtual Conference FAQ

General Virtual Attendance/Streaming Questions

This section will be updated with more specific access instructions for our virtual conference platform as the conference approaches.

Access OLC Accelerate virtual sessions starts Monday, September 20 (pre-conference master classes will take place on Friday, September 17). All times are listed in US Eastern Time zone. All recordings may be accessed for 1 year post-conference. 

Prior to the start of the Virtual Conference:

Most importantly, you should test your system prior to the start of the conference so that you don’t miss the first session due to access issues! It is important that you test the setup of any and all computers you will use to access the virtual conference BEFORE the conference sessions begin. Don’t assume that your computer will work or that if one computer works, a different computer on a different network will work as well.

  • You need to be logged into using your free user account that was required when you registered for this virtual conference.
  • Virtual to virtual conference sessions will be held in Zoom. The current version of Zoom for Windows is 5.7.8. The current version of Zoom for Mac is 5.7.6.
  • Session times are listed in the US EASTERN TIME ZONE.
  • Plan Ahead: Know which sessions you want to attend and when they are happening. Enter the session up to 10 minutes early so that you don’t miss anything. You will get the most out of your conference experience if you actively participate! Introduce yourself when you enter a session so that the on-site session chair knows you’re there.
  • Day of the conference, join links will be active 10-15 minutes before the schedule start time of the session. 

Session times are listed in US Eastern Time Zone

To access the virtual conference venue, please refer to our Access Page: 

If you have additional questions, please view the rest of our Virtual Conference FAQs or email
We hope you enjoy this virtual event! 

When a virtual attendee registration is complete (paid for) you will receive an email with access instructions. Reminder emails with access instructions will be sent to all attendees as the conference approaches. 

You need to be logged into using your free user account (this was required when you registered as a virtual attendee for this conference). Step 2: We will use Zoom for all virtual-to-virtual sessions. You can test your system’s compatibility with Zoom using their “test meeting”: The current version of Zoom for Windows is 5.7.8. The current version of Zoom for Mac is 5.7.6.

We recommend you use Chrome as your browser to optimize your virtual conference experience. 

Visit the Virtual Experience page for step-by-step instructions to access our conference event delivery platform. 

If something we are experiencing technical difficulty with the stream, please know that it is still being recorded. If the stream isn’t back after a couple minutes, we recommend switching to watch a different session and watching the recording of the interrupted session at another time. Recordings will be available within 24 hours of sessions ending and you will have access to them for one year. If you have concerns about a particular session, please email

All times listed will follow the US Eastern Time Zone. OLC Accelerate 2021 is being planned as a two-part event. The first part will be a fully virtual conference week with virtual presenter-to-virtual audience sessions only, taking place September 20-24, 2021. The second portion will take place onsite in Washington, DC October 5-8, 2021. The presentation schedule will be finalized in July.  These will be two unique programs; the onsite version will not be a repeat of the virtual program. 

Yes, all of the live streamed sessions will be recorded and made available for viewing with 24 hours of the presentation. On-demand recordings will be available for up to one (1) year post-conference. Asynchronous sessions are available for on-demand viewing at any time.

Please contact for technical help. First be sure that you are logged in to the OLC conference website with your free user account. You will see in the upper right hand corner of your screen “You are logged in as username.” Please be sure that your internet connection is working. We recommend you use Chrome as your browser to optimize your virtual conference experience. If you still need technical assistance, please email us as stated above.

Each synchronous virtual presentation will have a dedicated OLC staff member and a volunteer session chair who will help introduce and facilitate the discussion with the presenter(s). The session chair will introduce herself/himself to the virtual audience at the beginning of the session. If you have a question or comment, write it in the chat window. Your session chair will relay it to the presenter, either at the end during the Q&A portion, or when/if the presenter pauses to take questions. If you need further clarification, let your session chair know, and s/he will be happy to help.

Member Discount Questions

Please be sure that you are correctly affiliated with your institution in your OLC user account profile. Please contact for assistance.

Please visit the OLC website, JOIN, and check to be sure your Institution is a Member by selecting: “INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIP”. Next, select: Check to see if my institution is already a member.
Once that is verified, please be sure you are affiliated with your institution in our system. In order to become affiliated with the institutional membership your organization purchased, you must first create a community account on our website if you do not currently have an account with us. The community account is free. When you complete the form, please be sure to enter the name of your college where indicated on the form. Our database will automatically affiliate your account with the membership.
If you currently have an OLC account, please update your profile to include the name of your organization. Again, once that has been done, our database will automatically affiliate your account with the membership.

Group Virtual Package Questions

With a Virtual Group Package you may choose the package that best suits your group’s needs. The options for group packages are outlined on the Register page. 
The Group Manager will register for the appropriate Group Package level. Upon completion of the order (completion means payment by credit card, a check is received, or an institution’s Purchase Order is received), the group manager will receive an email confirmation that includes instructions for registering your group participants. Each group will be assigned a unique link to share with intended registrants. Each individual that intends to participate in the conference must register to have access to the conference content. If the group manager intends to participate, they must also register as an individual using one of the allotted seats in their package. An Unlimited Group Full Virtual Pass applies to only a single campus. For system pricing, please contact us at for a custom package. More details can be found on the Register page.

From the Register page on our website, select “Register Now.” Your Group Manager should register for the Group Virtual Package. When this order has been completed (paid by credit card or after a check or official purchase order has been received), the group manager will receive a confirmation email with instructions and a unique link to register the rest of their participants. The Group Manager will distribute registration instructions to each of the individual participants from your institution. Each individual (including the group manager if they intend to participate) should register as an individual virtual attendee in order to be considered a registered conference attendee and have access to the conference content.

Please remember – only the group manager will register and pay for the a group package. Each individual participant must register as an individual virtual attendee using the unique link for their group (instructions will be distributed to your group by your group manager). Individual access instructions are sent to the each participant upon completion of their individual registrations. Please be sure your group account is Paid in Full. Access will only be granted when payment is received. If you have questions or concerns, please email

Please refer to the copy of the group member registration instructions you received after you registered your group. Your group has been assigned a unique link that can be shared with your intended package participants. Each participant for the virtual conference needs to log in and register through their own OLC user account. 

Your group manager has received registration instructions for your group. Please contact them to obtain registration instructions for individual virtual attendee registration. Once you have received your group’s unique registration link, please complete the form in order to register for the conference. **Note – conference content access is granted only to the owner of the OLC account through which the registration was purchased or completed. 

Please email us at with any additional questions.