An Hour with Six Thought Leaders


Kathleen Ives, D.M., OLC, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director

Karen Pedersen, Ph.D., OLC, Chief Knowledge Officer

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What do you think would happen when you bring six thought leaders from the field together for an hour long conversation?   Let us tell you, it’s an enlightening, engaging, and informative experience!  Last week, that very experience happened for both of us when we brought this talented group together for our inaugural OLC Virtual Roundtable.  Here’s who joined us:

  • Kelvin Bentley, Vice President for Academic Affairs, TCC Connect Campus
  • Tom Cavanagh, Associate Vice President Center for Distributed Learning, University of Central Florida
  • Laurie Dodge, Vice Chancellor of Institutional Assessment and Planning and Vice Provost, Brandman University
  • Michael Horn, Principal Consultant, Entangled Solutions
  • Connie Johnson, Chief Academic Officer/Provost, Colorado Technical University
  • Marci Powell, CEO and President, Marci Powell & Associates

What did we cover in the hour?  Looking back to 2016, we started the conversation with their “ah ha” moment for the year and we also explored what they believed to be the greatest accomplishment in 2016 for the field of online/digital learning.  Shifting gears, we borrowed from NPR’s “Marketplace” and we discussed what each of them is long and short on for 2017.  By long, it’s a trend that is continuing to grow, expand or influence.  By short, it’s a development that is no longer relevant, is fading, or they hope it goes away.  We talked policy and their predictions about the new administration’s influence on the field.  Then, we wrapped it up by asking them to share a headline, in a major higher education publication, they hope to see in 2025. 

As you can tell, in one hour we covered a lot of topics.  While we wanted this conversation to look back and look forward, we didn’t want it to be another one of those top trends conversations.  So, this is about the issues, challenges, and opportunities each of them is facing in their work across the online/digital teaching and learning landscape.    

We’ll continue to share insights from this OLC Virtual Roundtable over the next three weeks via OLC’s blog and Twitter @kives, @KarenLPedersen and @OLCToday.  Plus, we’re planning more of these virtual roundtable conversations.  So let us know what you would like us to ask a group of thought leaders from the field. 

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