Giving Thanks


Jill Buban, PhD, Sr. Director, Online Learning Consortium

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The Online Learning Consortium team gives thanks to the record number of attendees and presenters, steering committee members, and volunteers who convened at OLC Accelerate last week in Orlando.  Our OLC Accelerate Conference Chair, Phylise Banner, and Program Chairs, Laurie Dringus and Frank Tomsic, and the Steering Committee volunteered countless hours to help produce a meaningful, forward thinking, engaging, interactive conference. Many innovative new sessions were featured in 2016 including Iron Chef Battles, a Graduate Student Discovery Session, and the Online Learning Journal Panel. Also featured was the announcement of the recipients of the first round of Digital Learning Innovation Awards and two new university partnerships.  Here’s a recap of these sessions, as well as pictures that remind us how thankful we are for our community of colleagues and friends.

Iron Chef Battles
The Iron Chef Battles featured a fiery pedagogical competition in the Technology Test Kitchen that brought together 17 teams and one gong to battle for bragging rights over who could create the most exciting new recipe for technology. This year’s bragging rights go to Tawnya Means and David Lindrum from Soomo Learning


Graduate Student Discovery Session
Fourteen graduate students joined us for the inaugural Online Learning Journal graduate student discovery session. The next generation of digital learning researchers, these students are doing some amazing work. Are you a graduate student who would like to present at OLC Innovate in New Orleans or are you a faculty member who has a student that might be interested in presenting?  The CFP is currently open through December 14th.


20th Anniversary Online Learning Journal Panel
In recognition of the Online Learning Journal’s 20th anniversary, top researchers in the field including editor-in-chief Dr. Peter Shea, Mark Brown, Terry Anderson, and Karen Swan convened to discuss the current and possible future state of online learning research.  Moderated by Inside Higher Ed co-founder and editor, Doug Lederman, panelists spoke to a standing room only crowd of 125 attendees.  


Digital Learning Innovation Awards
Congratulations to our 2016 Digital Learning Innovation Award Winners!  Presented by Dr. Martha Kanter, Executive Director of College Promise and former Undersecretary of Education, Institutional Award recipients include Bay Path University, Cerritos College, and Northern Arizona University while Faculty-Led Team DLIAward recipients include  Fisher College, Lehman College of CUNY, Oregon State University, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, and Tougaloo College.


University Partnerships
The Online Learning Consortium is pleased to announce two new university partnerships with Open SUNY and Drexel University Online (DUO). Through the partnership with Open SUNY, OLC will now offer an Instructional Designer Certificate and the OSCQR Course Design Review Scorecard, a course-level quality rubric for reviewing and improving the instructional design and accessibility of online courses based on online best practices.  Under the partnership with DUO, OLC will provide its community access to DUO’s “Virtually Inspired” website, which features a series of high-quality videos highlighting how educators are inventing the future of connected learning, using the latest technologies – from virtual reality, robotics, and holography, to real-time videoconferencing, gamification, and wearables.


Do you have conference recollections to share?  Please submit to our blog, OLC Insights. We hope to see you all at OLC Innovate in New Orleans in April 2017!

About Jill Buban

Dr. Jill Buban serves as Senior Director of Research & Innovation for the Online Learning Consortium.  In this role, she works with institutions to disperse online and blended learning research as well as conducts research projects commissioned by organizations and institutions. Prior to joining the Online Learning Consortium, Dr. Buban was the Assistant Provost for Research & Innovation at Post University.  In this role, Buban instituted university-wide initiatives with a forward thinking, student-centered focus.  These initiatives included, but were not limited to, the university’s transition to digital course materials, the creation of an online academy for high school students, competency-based learning initiatives, credentialing, articulation agreements, enrollment management, oversight of all academic publications, as well as a variety of teaching and learning initiatives.

Prior to joining Post University, Dr. Buban worked in Academic Affairs at SUNY Empire State College.   She collaborated on a variety of online learning initiatives including the implementation of ePortfolios, open learning access initiatives, and prior learning assessment practices.

Dr. Buban continues to study and present on topics surrounding effective technology use for adult learners in online environments. She holds an PhD in Adult Learning, Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction and a Bachelor of Arts in History.  Dr. Buban is a recipient of an OLC Best in Track Award, the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood Graduate Emerging Scholar Award, and Lesley University Graduate Student Award.  She sits on a variety of boards that serve her local community.




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