The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) is reaching out to our global community of thought leaders, faculty, innovators and practitioners to bring you insights from the field of online, blended and digital learning. This week, Dr. Laurie Hillstock, instructor for the Advanced Online Teaching Certificate, joins us to discuss the value of networking, enjoyable course design, and a variety of other topics.
OLC: There are many opportunities to teach online. Why did you choose OLC?
Why not OLC? Are you kidding me?! With a true focus on quality at its core, OLC is the leading professional organization in online learning. The faculty and staff are exceptionally kind, positive and supportive. As an organization, OLC fosters creativity, forward thinking, balance, compassion and teamwork. This is truly a dynamic organization and one that I strongly encourage others to support.
OLC: What are the 3 most important things prospective participants should know about the Advanced Online Teaching Certificate program?
Participants should know that:
- The program Is designed for seasoned professionals who want to take their course(s) to a new level.
- They should be prepared to have loads of fun because evaluating and redesigning online courses can make teaching the course easier and more enjoyable. In this program, we work together to fine tune your existing course(s) and help you take them to the next level.
- Everyone in the course is a seasoned faculty member. So, peer feedback is exceptionally important in this course.
OLC: Define innovation.
Transformation (or change) with a defined purpose.
OLC: What are the top 3 ways in which professionals in our field can stay current and move ahead?
There are many ways that professionals can stay current as well as continue to grow in the field. I recommend the following three ways:
- Take Risks and Truly Network. Attend conferences (OLC has two GREAT ones), webinars and even “boot camps”. Use these events as opportunities to learn, ask questions and make connections with others. Afterward, follow up with those that share your professional interests. Schedule a call or campus visit with your colleagues to learn more from them and they from you. You may even decide to jointly pursue a research opportunity.
- Strategically Subscribe. There is a great deal of information available electronically. As much as we would like to able to absorb it all, we have to remember that we are human. Being selective and strategic is really important. Take a few minutes to identify the topics you want to learn more about. Then, through your network and research, identify the organizations posting that key information and subscribe. Read (or listen to) the information you subscribe to and when the opportunity presents itself, apply it. Finally, do not be afraid to unsubscribe as needed.
- Become an Active Member. Many people join organizations, however, staying current occurs when you become active within the organization. Volunteer to serve on committees, assist at events, facilitate workshops, or even present on behalf of the organization.
OLC: What was the last book, journal or article you read that relates to the field?
Recently, I’ve read Leading the e-Learning Transformation of Higher Education: Meeting the challenges of technology and distance education and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How successful people become even more successful.
OLC: Laurie, how can our community connect with you?
Benke, M., Chaloux, B., Miller, G., Ragan, L.C., Schroeder, R., Smutz, W., & Swan, K. (2014). Leading the e-Learning Transformation of Higher Education: Meeting the challenges of technology and distance education. Sterling, Virginia: Stylus Publishing.
Goldsmith, M. & Reiter, M (2007). What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How successful people become even more successful. New York, New York: Hachette Book Group.
About Dr. Laurie Hillstock