Wednesday, April 5, 2017 – 12:00pm – 1:20pm | Grand Ballroom

OLC Innovate 2017 (#OLCInnovate) opens up with a fast-paced speaker series we call Lightning Talks. Our Lightning Talks introduce the 5 guiding themes of Innovate this year, including: pedagogy, structure, workforce, challenges in learning, and a wild card – Propose Your Own – that pulls together the trends and climate of learning in our world today. Our #OLCInnovate Lightning Talks strive to introduce you to the concepts of innovation along with inspire you to think further about the conference experience ahead. We’ll be working with our communication back channel during these talks to allow you to brainstorm and note-take alongside your peers, for a truly collaborative, innovative learning opportunity. We hope this dynamic welcome allows you to start an early engagement into our conference’s topics and to begin to network with all of our OLC community members.


Learning Out Loud

Listening to the sound of a human voice conveys emotion, fosters empathy, and supports more learner variability than reading text. Yet, student voices are rarely part of learning online. How does the student experience change when speaking and listening to peers is made part of an online class? What barriers prevent faculty and students from learning out loud?

Michelle Pacansky-Brock

Michelle Pacansky-Brock, Innovations Lead for Teaching and Learning Innovations, California State University Channel Islands

Dr. Michelle Pacansky-Brock is a noted leader in higher education with expertise in online teaching, course design, and faculty development. Michelle’s work has helped online instructors across the nation and beyond understand how to craft relevant, humanized online learning experiences that support the diverse needs of college students. She is the author of Best Practices for Teaching with Emerging Technologies (Routledge), has received national recognition for her excellence in teaching, and has held various leadership roles with the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI). Currently, Michelle is Innovations Lead for Teaching & Learning Innovations at California State University Channel Islands. Learn more about Michelle at and connect with her on Twitter @brocansky.


Re-thinking the Design of Courses to Maximize Faculty to Student Meaningful Interactions and Quality/Timely Feedback

Bridgepoint Education has developed over 1,200 high quality online courses through a centralized model of delivery. With over 45,000 students and programs ranging from AA to doctorate, we serve largely adult working population at scale. Over the last year, a task force of stakeholders from academic, instructional design, and product leadership were challenged with creating a new model of learning that could be tested with the ultimate purpose of increasing faculty-student feedback & student engagement. In this session, you will see what they cooked up.

Andrew Shean

Andrew Shean, Ashford University & Bridgepoint Education

Dr. Andrew Shean is Chief Academic Learning Officer for Bridgepoint Education where he leads the centralization of resources across all Bridgepoint universities to drive greater productivity related to learning resources in order to better position and deliver even higher quality education through consistency of best practices in instructional design, innovative use of educational technology, and successful student outcomes. He previously served as the Vice Provost of Provost of Curriculum and Innovation and the Executive Dean of the College of Education at Ashford University.  Dr. Shean earned his Doctor of Educational Leadership and Management degree from Alliant International University. He holds an MA in Education and a BA in Sociology from the University of Northern Colorado.


Telling it Straight: The Seven Deadly Sins of Online Learning

This talk tells it straight about the messy edge of innovation. It shares seven deadly sins that help to take us beyond the B.S., buzzwords and bandwagons of online learning.

Mark Brown

Mark Brown, Dublin City University

Professor Mark Brown is Ireland’s first Chair in Digital Learning and Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL). Prior to taking up this position at the start of 2014, Mark was Director of the National Centre for Teaching and Learning as well as Director of the Distance Education and Learning Futures Alliance (DELFA) at Massey University, New Zealand. In addition, Mark had responsibility for oversight of the Central Hub of Ako Aotearoa – National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence.

Over the last decade, Mark has played key leadership roles in the implementation of several major university-wide digital learning and teaching initiatives, including the selection and enterprise-wide deployment of Moodle, the original design and development of the Mahara e-portfolio system, a major implementation of a rich media learning platform [Mediasite], and the first New Zealand university-wide implementation of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform [Open2Study].

Mark is currently Chair of the Innovation in Teaching and Learning Steering Committee for the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU) and is a member of the Executive Committee of European Distance and e-Learning Network (EDEN). In 2016, Mark was also appointed as a representative of the Irish Universities Association on the Board of the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. In addition, Mark contributes as a faculty member to the US-based Online Learning Consortium’s (OLC) Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning (IELOL) and is currently leading an initiative to establish the Empower Online Learning Leadership Academy (EOLLA) for new and emerging institutional leaders in European universities. Additionally, he works closely with Epigeum, a subsidiary of Oxford University Press, in the development of online professional development programmes for university staff and is currently Lead Advisor for a course in the area of Blended Learning.

Before taking up his current position, Mark was President of the New Zealand Association for Open, Flexible and Distance Learning (DEANZ). He was also Treasurer and an Executive Committee member of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ascilite). ascilite is the peak professional body for Digital Learning in Australia and New Zealand. Mark is a recipient of a National Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching and remains a member of the New Zealand Academy of Tertiary Teaching Excellence.


Do They Know What They Know? Communicating Learner Competencies to Companies

How do employers know what our graduates know? Sure, their resume lists a degree such as a Bachelor of Science in Business. But what does that imply that they know and what can they do with that knowledge? Several efforts are underway to better communicate the competencies of our graduates. Competency Based Education (CBE) is a degree program structure that is becoming more popular and advances students not on time spent, but on competencies demonstrated. Alternative credentials (badges, certifications and nano degrees) are also becoming recognized by employers as they concisely communicate a set of acquired skills. Employers themselves are granting credentials for the training and education they are providing their staff.

This climate calls for targeted communication between industry and higher education. Not only must we identify what students must learn, but we must articulate how they will perform in the workplace with their acquired skills set. The deliverable resulting from the dialogue is closer alignment between industry standards and curriculum planning.

Mac Adkins

Dr. Mac Adkins, SmarterServices

Dr. Mac Adkins is the founder and President of SmarterServices.  He has been a higher education administrator for over 20 years and served as a Dean or Director of Distance Education for ten of those years.  He has taught in the online doctoral program of Capella University for eight years and has taught online for Troy University for thirteen years.   Dr. Adkins received his Doctor of Education degree from Auburn University in 1998.  His major for the degree was Educational Leadership.  He is a frequent speaker at educational conferences.


Innovating for the Future: Connecting Trends Across Industries

This presentation will be a dynamic, fast-paced overview of future trends and how technology is exponentially driving innovation. Its purpose is to look into the future and inspire attendees with many possibilities from various industries. What will life, learning and work be like in a world when machines think and augment our capabilities?

Angela Dunn

Angela Dunn, BlogBrevity

Angela Dunn is a writer, researcher, and forecaster on future trends related to technology. She writes about the future and innovation. Her research provides business intelligence for executives in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries on the implications of technological change. She has curated many social communities, and is the founder of #ideachat on Twitter. For four years, #ideachat engaged global thought leaders across many industries, including education, on the topics of innovation and creativity. She aims to help others to think differently, learn how to ‘connect the dots’, and create serendipity for their personal and professional lives.