Burnout is a significant, ongoing challenge in higher education that affects the entire educational community (including students, faculty, instructors, support staff, and administrators). In a partnership between Alchemy (formerly O’Donnell Learn) and the Online Learning Consortium, this collaborative, two-day Foundry Day event will bring together institutional leaders for a series of constructive dialogues to consider strategies and challenges related to burnout. Questions we hope to consider include:

  • What are institutions currently doing to address burnout?
  • How do we create institutional cultures that minimize burnout?
  • How do we break the cycle of increased workload and expectations that lead to burnout?

This event will lay the foundation for the development of an open framework that provides actionable strategies for mitigating burnout in higher education. Participants will gain a richer, more diverse perspective on burnout and will contribute to the development of a key and actionable resource in the field. Please join us!

May 15, 2023

All times are listed in Eastern Time Zone (ET)



Join OLC and Alchemy leadership as they open the event. In this session, they’ll review the goals of this Foundry Day event and the importance of centering discussions around solutions for addressing burnout.


Defining and Understanding the Complex Nature and Landscape of Burnout 

What is burnout? Although on the surface this seems like a simple question, burnout is multi-faceted and has multiple nuanced layers. We’ll address the complicated and intersecting variables and factors at the core of burnout through storytelling by leading experts. We will also invite the audience to help us better define burnout.




Anchoring Our Change Efforts in Research

Alchemy will provide a review of recent research related to faculty burnout. The aim of this session is to provide faculty and leadership with relevant information and research so that they are better positioned to make data-informed decisions. This research will help us anchor our collaborative work to meet the culminating goal of this event: to gather the perspectives, experiences, and needs of our community to collectively move into action.




Disentangling Core Challenges and Factors Involved with Burnout

This session will begin with a thought-provoking lightning talk from a community expert. We will then dedicate 40 minutes in groups collaborating around the lesser discussed aspects of burnout. Our goal in this session is to develop a more comprehensive approach to designing solutions for a more sustainable and healthier future.




Spotlighting Current Institutional Approach to Addressing Burnout

How is your institution addressing burnout? We will use this time to amplify the work, strategies, and resources currently being leveraged to provide diverse models for supporting today’s workforce and implementing institutional change work around burnout. We invite you to share your own use-cases and experiences. Event facilitators will also share successful strategies.


Day 1 Close

This session will feature a synthesis of lessons learned from Day 1 and a review of the goals and outcomes for Day 2.


Game Night and Community Building

One strategy for mitigating burnout is to have fun and build community. This session will not only model this but also take the time to engage in this type of activity ourselves.

May 16, 2023

All times are listed in Eastern Time Zone (ET)



Whether you’re joining us for a second day or the first time, we’ll begin Day 2 with a brief review of our learning from Day 1 and the goals of the event.


Storytelling As a Lens for Addressing Burnout

During Day 2, we’re intentionally making space for collaborative ideation around specific solutions related to burnout. That said, we recognize the importance of launching into this ideation through a human-centered lens. As such, in this session, we’ll make space for the multitude of voices and perspectives around burnout. We seek particularly to gather and curate stories related to both your own experiences of burnout and your experiences managing the burnout of others. This session will serve as an important anchor point, reminding us that burnout is a very real, very personal, and very resonant collective challenge facing us today.




Ideating the Future: Designing an Action-Oriented Framework for Addressing Burnout

How do we break the cycle of increased workload and expectations that lead to burnout? Burnout is a systemic issue that has impact both locally and globally, at the individual and institutional level, and which will continue to persevere unless we commit to concerted change efforts. In this session, we will spend time in small working groups to develop a comprehensive list of strategies for addressing burnout. More specifically, however, we aim to identify strategies that help us genuinely move towards cultures that minimize burnout.


Day 2 Close

As we close our the event, we will discuss anticipated next steps, including an invitation to continue our collaborative work in synthesizing the information, stories, research, ideas, and strategies shared throughout the event into an action-oriented asset designed to support leaders, faculty, and institutions alike in mitigating burnout.

Introducing Alchemy

The Alchemy suite of solutions provides educators with the practical tools, curated resources, and expert support they need to be at their best while saving time and creating the highest impact on learner success. Alchemy is the next evolution of O’Donnell Learn, partners in designing engaging and inclusive learning solutions for over 30 years. Alchemy is part of the Nectar, Inc. family.