It is our pleasure to invite you to the 27th year of the Online Learning Consortium’s Accelerate Conference. This year’s OLC Accelerate conference will take place both virtually (September 20-24, 2021) and onsite in Washington, D.C. at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center (October 5-8, 2021).

This year’s conference theme is OLC Accelerate 2021 – An Odyssey into the Future of Online, Digital, and Blended Learning. The year 2020 was  challenging for online and blended education, but also a time of disruption, opportunity, and innovation. This year’s program promises to be filled with discussions about how we met those challenges, where we may have done better, and how we plan to move forward into the future. As our institutions seek new ways to expand access to education, OLC Accelerate 2021 provides a path for those of all experience levels and backgrounds to share best practices in online, digital, and blended education. The OLC Accelerate 2021 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 2021 that offers flexible pathways for educators in these challenging times. With our virtual program, we will come together to build and strengthen our global network of expertise, increase collaboration and engagement among researchers and practitioners, and share and discover new and emerging effective practices. Then, we’ll convene onsite two weeks later for more programming, including conversation, networking, and ample opportunity to share both your ideas and your knowledge. Our community cannot thrive without you!

We are excited to announce the conference tracks for this year, including the continuance of the Blended Learning, Instructional Design, and Access, Equity and Open Education tracks that were so popular last year. The Accelerate 2021 tracks are:

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

Additionally, we’ve included several session types to allow for deeper engagement across the virtual conference spaces:

  • Lightning Talks will give onsite presenters an opportunity to share big ideas in a compressed time frame, celebrating the power of brevity in compelling listeners to action. 
  • Discovery Sessions are being kept as part of the fully virtual program to allow for rich discussion and reflection in the time of social distancing.
  • Exposition Foundry sessions will provide attendees opportunities to interact with our sponsors through asynchronous conversations. 

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 learners. 

Kind Regards, 

The OLC Accelerate 2021 Program Chairs

Victoria Wynn and Tawnya Means

Torie Wynn  

Program Chair

Victoria Wynn
Academic Partnerships

 Tawnya Means  

Program Chair

Tawnya Means
University of Nebraska-Lincoln