We are pleased to announce the Keynote and featured speakers for the OLC Blended Learning Symposium 2023. Join us Wednesday, June 21, for a hands-on workshop to begin your symposium experience. Thursday, hear from our symposium Keynote Speaker, Charles Graham, professor and author on blended learning competencies. Following the keynote, move into a series of featured speakers and discussion breakout sessions as we explore blended learning as a strategy for leading your institution into the future of learning.

  • All sessions are held at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center (Dallas, TX)
  • All sessions are considered BYOD (Bring Your Own Device).
  • Sessions will be available via live broadcasting from the onsite conference. You must be a registered attendee (onsite or virtual) in order to view these sessions live or on-demand.
  • All sessions are in US Central Time Zone.
Keynote Address: The ABCs of Learner Engagement: Strategies for University Blended Learning Leaders▼
  • Date: Thursday, June 22, 2023
  • Time: 8:15am – 9:15am CT
  • Location: Yellow Rose Ballroom + Zoom


    Learner engagement is essential for academic success and student satisfaction. University leaders and professors have years of experience with learner engagement with traditional onsite learning experiences. Promoting and supporting learner engagement in blended and online learning environments can seem elusive at times. In this presentation I will share key principles and examples to enable university leaders and instructors to better support blended and online learner engagement. You will be introduced to big ideas from the Academic Communities of Engagement framework with strategies for supporting affective, behavioral, and cognitive engagement in the emerging digital learning environments of higher education.

    Speaker: Charles R. Graham, Ph.D., Brigham Young University

    Charles R Graham

    Charles R. Graham is a Professor of Instructional Psychology and Technology at Brigham Young University with interest in technology-mediated teaching and learning. Charles studies the design and evaluation of online and blended learning environments. His work emphasizes digital transformation at the pedagogical level as well as the institutional adoption level. Charles has authored 90+ articles in over two-dozen journals and 30+ chapters in edited books. Much of his research is conducted with graduate students who he loves to work with and mentor. Charles has co-edited four books on blended learning research (Handbook of Blended Learning: Global Perspectives, Local Designs, Blended Learning: Research Perspectives, Volume 2 and Volume 3, and Blended Learning for Inclusive and Quality Higher Education in Asia) and a book on research methods for young researchers learning to do research in online and blended learning contexts (Conducting Research in Online and Blended Learning Environments: New Pedagogical Frontiers). He has also co-authored a free online book series for k-12 teachers and administrators focusing on four key blended teaching competencies (K-12 Blended Teaching Series) and a book for practitioners interested in designing blended learning environments (Essentials for Blended Learning: A Standards-based Guide). Charles has presented keynotes, webinars, and workshops to practitioners around the world. In 2015 Charles became a Fellow of the Online Learning Consortium “For outstanding achievement in advancing theory, research and effective practice in online and blended learning.” He is also a Fellow with the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute for his work to develop a K-12 Blended Teaching Readiness instrument. Additional details about his scholarly work can be found online at: https://bit.ly/crgvita

    Future-Ready Competencies for Blended Teaching in Higher Education▼
    • Date: Wednesday, June 21, 2023
    • Time: 1:00pm – 4:00pm CT
    • Location: Yellow Rose Ballroom + Zoom


    This unique, interactive workshop involves participants in co-creating a competency framework for blended teaching in higher education. Building on Charles Graham’s work in K-12 education settings, the goal of this workshop is to collaboratively create a competency model prototype for guiding leadership and faculty development for blended learning in higher education. We will use design thinking methods for supporting ideation, concept development, and collaboration. This workshop is a learning-through-doing experience, meaning you will be an active co-creator and contributor to the workshop outcomes.

      The workshop will use the following principles for guiding collaboration:

    • Through facilitated collaboration processes, create a prototype competency model for blended teaching in higher education
    • Develop foundational and specialized competencies for blended teaching in higher education
    • Create user stories that illustrate the application of each competency in practice
    • Anticipate how change, innovation, and disruption may influence the competency model over time
    • Identify practical opportunities for using the competency model to advance blended teaching in higher education

    Each workshop participant will have access to the portfolio of collaboration artifacts developed during the workshop.

    Speaker: Bucky Dodd, Ph.D., ClearKinetic

    Bucky Dodd

    Bucky Dodd, Ph.D. is the Chief Executive Officer and Principal Consultant at ClearKinetic, a boutique consultancy specializing in creating one-of-a-kind education and training solutions. As a creative designer, master facilitator, and results-driven strategist, Dr. Dodd brings a wealth of experience and expertise to developing education and training solutions that unify sound learning and business practices. He has been recognized internationally for his consulting and design expertise and has a proven record of leading innovation initiatives in associations, corporate, government, and education organizations.

    There is a Great Disturbance in Your Course: ActiveFlex Strikes Back▼
    • Thursday, June 22, 2023
    • Time: 10:45am – 11:15am CT
    • Location: Yellow Rose Ballroom + Zoom


    In a galaxy not so far, far away, an evil force threatened our students’ ability to persist through their courses. Necessity forced us to try new techniques and re-explore older concepts to engage and teach our students. Implementation of a HyFlex model enabled our students to push through the COVID—19 pandemic towards their educational goals. However, as we launched our HyFlex initiative, it became clear that certain elements were not as strong in retaining student and faculty interest. Adjustments were made which led to our current version – ActiveFlex. Soon, the COVID-19 threat began to wane, but the force of flexibility remained. New threats to student persistence arose. Consequently, students continued requesting ActiveFlex courses as situations such as work, family, and other obligations made the rigidity of previous scheduling options problematic. ActiveFlex offered hope for stronger student persistence regardless of what a student may face. Hear the perspectives of our ActiveFlex designers, faculty members, and students about what makes ActiveFlex work, what our growth strategy was, and how it has fared in the classroom. Let us walk you through how to take your HyFlex / ActiveFlex courses from Padawan level to Jedi Knight level. Then, join us in a discussion to determine a way for all of us to become ActiveFlex masters.

    Speakers: Mark Gale, Ph.D., Chloe Cruz, and Marla Williams, Athens State University

    Mark Gale Chloe Cruz Marla-Williams-circle

    Mark Gale is an Associate Professor of Instructional Design at Athens State University and is in charge of designing and developing the instructional design undergraduate program at the university. He has over 15 years of experience with design and delivery of technology enhanced and online courses. In August 2022, he was principle author on a grant proposal that was awarded to the University and launched the ActiveFlex project at the university. Prior to his current position, he served as director of the university’s Academic Technology Services unit which dealt with design and faculty development. His interests include multimedia development, board games, video games, Legos, and anything else his two young kids are interested in.

    Chloe Cruz is a Senior at Athens State University pursuing a degree in instructional design. She will be graduating in Summer 2023 and is planning to pursue a master’s degree in career and technical education with a concentration in instructional technology. She has taken multiple ActiveFlex courses in her time at Athens State University and is a strong proponent of the format. Outside of school and instructional design, her other interests include traveling, puzzles, Legos, dabbling in photography, and creating new designs.

    Marla Williams is an Associate Professor of Elementary Education at Athens State University and teaches Assessment Strategies for Elementary Classroom and Curriculum and Instruction: Science courses for all Elementary and Elementary Collaborative students. Marla also serves a dual role as the CAEP Coordinator for all accreditation purposes. She has over 33 years of teaching experience with 27 of those years in K-6 grade classrooms and has also served in several administrative positions during that time. Marla has been providing ActiveFlex classes for Athens State for the past two years and is currently in the process of creating a new format for a STEM course and working with a local STEM elementary school to live stream instruction and discussion with current elementary students. Outside of Athens State, Marla lives on a small farm in rural Alabama with her husband of 32 years, 2 cats, 1 German Shepard, 9 chickens, and enjoys a variety of outdoor activities.

    Administratively Supporting Faculty Use of Adaptive Learning in Blended Learning to Increase Student Success▼
    • Thursday, June 22, 2023
    • Time: 1:30pm – 2:00pm CT
    • Location: Yellow Rose Ballroom + Zoom


    Personalized, adaptive learning holds the potential of meeting students where they are at in terms of background knowledge and understanding. Learners needing extra support seamlessly can have review and alternative lessons provided at the same time that learners with previous experience can move quickly through already mastered content. Leveraging adaptive learning with a blended course may seem at first to limit this flexible delivery (as compared to a fully online asynchronous course). Several pilot courses at UW-Whitewater have actually used adaptive learning to make blended courses more effective for all students. This session will share the administrative approaches taken to support this experimentation and capacity building.

    Speaker: Matthew Vick, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

    matt vick

    Dr. Matthew Vick is the dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education and a professor of science education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. The School partners with the academic colleges to design, implement, and market online programs for credit and non-credit audiences. He has directed/co-directed two grant projects at UW-W: a two-year Wisconsin Elementary and Secondary Education Act Title IIA Improving Teacher Quality Grant entitled “Integrating Science and Literacy Learning with English Proficient and English Language Learners”; and a one-year UW System Outreach grant entitled “Collaboratively Implementing the Vision of the Next Generation Science Standards in the Mukwonago Area School District with Pre-service and In-service Teachers”. He has published research articles and a book chapter in science education as well as practitioner-based articles. He has presented at the National Science Teachers Association, the Association for Science Teacher Education, the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, and the Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers.

    Introducing the New OLC 2023 Blended Learning Scorecard▼
    • Friday, June 23, 2023
    • Time: 8:15am – 8:45am CT
    • Location: Yellow Rose Ballroom + Zoom


    This featured session focuses on the newly revised OLC Blended Learning Scorecard which provides quality indicators in a variety of areas such as administrative support, technology, course development, faculty support, student support, institutional support, and evaluation and assessment. The 2023 version addresses diversity, equity, and inclusion along with clarity of many of the existing quality indicators. A Delphi Method research study was used to revise the Scorecard and will also be discussed. If your institution is offering blended learning, this is a must-attend session.

    Speaker: Kaye Shelton, Ph.D., Lamar University

    Kay Shelton

    Kaye Shelton, Ph.D. is a Professor of Educational Leadership in the Center for Doctoral Studies in the College of Education at Lamar University. Previously as the Dean of Online Education for Dallas Baptist University, she led the development and ongoing operations of their online education programs with over 55 majors and degrees offered fully online. She is certified as an online instructor, teaching online since 1999, and also an online education consultant. Winner of the both the Blackboard and eLearning exemplary online course awards, she has published over 40 articles and book chapters in the field of online education, including a co-authored book entitled An Administrator’s Guide to Online Education. Dr. Shelton was also awarded a Sloan-C Effective Practice award for her research on the Quality Scorecard for the Administration of Online Education Programs, the John R. Bourne award for Outstanding Achievement in Online Education and the NCPEA Morphet Dissertation award. Dr. Shelton has been involved with research in online education since 1997 and has spoken at numerous conferences and workshops and advised peer institutions regarding the creation of an online education program and best practices for teaching online and faculty support. Recently, Dr. Shelton has been involved in the national and international use of the OLC Quality Scorecard for the Administration of Online Programs as it has been adopted by institutions in Latin America. She is also an Online Learning Consortium Quality Scorecard program evaluator and teaches workshops regarding its implementation.

    Lessons Learned from the Blended Learning Symposium▼
    • Friday, June 23, 2023
    • 10:30am – 11:30am CT
    • Location: Yellow Rose Ballroom + Zoom


    The closing panel will bring together themes and highlights from across the featured sessions, focusing on the key messages that emerged during the symposium.


    • Tawnya Means, Ph.D., Gies College of Business – University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Moderator)
    • Charles R. Graham, Ph.D., Brigham Young University
    • Mark Gale, Ph.D., Athens State University
    • Matt Vick, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
    • Kaye Shelton, Ph.D., Lamar University
    • Bucky Dodd, Ph.D., ClearKinetic

    Leading Large-Scale Blended Learning Initiatives▼

    • Location: On-Demand


    Blended learning is a powerful approach to enhance student learning outcomes and engagement, but it also poses significant challenges for educational leaders who need to plan, implement, and sustain large scale blended learning initiatives. In this session, you will hear from a panel of experienced blended learning leaders who will share their insights and strategies on how to lead blended learning effectively in different institutional contexts. You will learn about the key decisions, challenges, wins, and lessons learned from their blended learning journeys, and how they maintained momentum and stakeholder support along the way.

    Speakers: Tawnya Means, Ph.D., Gies College of Business – University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Moderator), Sandra Luxton, Ph.D., Swinburne University of Technology, Michael Torrence, Ph.D., Motlow State University

    tawny means Sandra michael torrance

    Dr. Tawnya Means is the Assistant Dean for Educational Innovation and Chief Learning Officer in the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Prior to this role, Tawnya served as the Assistant Dean and Director of the Teaching and Learning Center for the College of Business at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Director of the Teaching and Learning Center at the Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida, leading teaching and learning support and providing faculty development programs and resources for instructional innovation and adoption of pedagogical best practices. With 20 years of experience in higher education, course design, and educational consulting, Tawnya has also taught courses in entrepreneurship, strategy, technology, and leadership in remote teams. Dr. Means received her B.S. in Education, M.S. in Educational Technology, and Ph.D. in Information Science and Learning Technologies with an emphasis on learning systems design, all from the University of Missouri. She completed the AACSB Post-doctoral bridge program in Management and Entrepreneurship at the University of Florida. Her research interests are in online and blended learning, active learning, learning space design, technology for teaching, access to digital learning resources, and faculty preparation to teach. She has long been a leader in campus initiatives and committees and actively presents at conferences and other institutions and organizations on technology-enhanced learning.

    Sandra Luxton has over 20 years’ experience as an academic at Monash University, University of South Australia and QUT. She has held many leadership roles including Director of the Master of Marketing (online), Director of Industry Based Learning, Director of Study Tour Programs, and Manager – Undergraduate Open Learning. Sandra is widely published in journals including European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Advertising, Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Australasian Marketing Journal, International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, Journal of Food Product Marketing, Higher Education in Europe, and Australian and New Zealand Journal of Vocational Education Research. Sandra worked at BP Australia for 10 years prior to academia, and has also worked as a research consultant in Adelaide and Melbourne.

    Dr. Michael Torrence serves as the president of Motlow State Community College. The college has campuses in Smyrna, Tullahoma, McMinnville and Fayetteville, Tennessee. Dr. Torrence has 11 years of experience in higher education administration and nearly 23 years of full- and part-time teaching experience. He has spent his career embracing the use of technological literacy as a platform to increase student engagement and success. He has served as the Co-Chairperson for TNeCampus and as a Tennessee Board of Regents statewide team leader for the integration of Emerging Technology and Mobilization in the areas of Gaming, VR, AR, and MR into teaching and learning. Dr. Torrence has trained faculty, students, executives, and community members and developed immersive curriculum focused on STEAMB (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Aviation, Mathematics, and Business) for all grade levels and has utilized these platforms for teaching undergraduate and graduate students in his own classes, where VR and entrepreneurship is a norm. Currently, he is researching and developing a platform for OER with support from Hewlett-Packard and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He earned a doctor of philosophy degree, with a major in exceptional learning, at Tennessee Tech University, and master of arts and bachelor of arts degrees at South Dakota State University, both with a major in English. Michael is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, serving as a senior airman from 1992 to 1996.