'Best-in-Track' Sessions for OLC's Upcoming Blended Learning Conference Point to Education's Digital Future

NEWBURYPORT, Mass., June 2, 2015 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- The Online Learning Consortium today announced the "Best-in-Track" sessions for its 12th Annual Blended Learning Conference and Workshop (#Blend15), which takes place July 7-8, in Denver, Colorado. The theme of this year's conference is "Blended Learning: Leading Education's Digital Future."

"There is tremendous promise for blended teaching and learning—in all of its diverse forms—to assume a more prominent role in shaping the higher education landscape," saidElizabeth Ciabocchi, Conference Chair. "Congratulations to our Best-in-Track presenters for embracing the conference theme and delivering sessions that will enhance our understanding of blended learning and its role in education today and beyond."

The two-day conference program includes a variety of featured sessions, interactive workshops, information sessions, vendor showcases, and Discovery sessions, organized around four conference tracks: Teaching & Learning Effectiveness; Faculty Development & Student Support; Blended Models & Design, and Institutional Leadership & Strategy.

Sessions earned the Best-in-Track designation after receiving high marks from an independent panel of proposal reviewers.

The 2015 Best-in-Track sessions and presenters are:

  • Track: Teaching & Learning Effectiveness: "A Deeper Understanding of Student Engagement in Blended Learning Through Experience Sampling Methods." Lead presenter: Kristine Manwaring, Brigham Young University, with Curtis Henrie and Lisa R. Halverson, both of Brigham Young University.
  • Track: Faculty Development & Student Support: "The Blended Learning and Enhanced Learning Academies: A Faculty-Led Approach to Faculty Development." Lead presenter: CarrieLynn Reinhard, Dominican University.
  • Track: Blended Models & Course Design: "STEM Omelets: Lessons Relearned." Lead presenter: Robert Paz, New Mexico State University.
  • Track: Institutional Leadership and Strategy: "Challenges and Best Practices in Support of Blended, Hybrid, Online and Technology-Enhanced Learning." Lead presenter: Sheryl Hathaway, University of California, Riverside, with Therese DeSimone, University of California, Irvine.

Among the highlights of this year's program is a keynote presentation by internationally known eLearning trainer, speaker and author, Jane Bozarth, who will discuss the power and prevalence of social media in education, as well as strategies for the integration of low-cost technologies into the design of blended and online courses.

The program also features a plenary presentation by Ryan Baker, an expert in human-computer interaction and educational data mining. He will share insights from his groundbreaking work on the use of analytics to track student learning and engagement in a MOOC, and the implications of his findings for blended learning.

About Online Learning Consortium

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), formerly The Sloan Consortium, is the leading professional organization devoted to advancing the quality of online learning worldwide. The member-sustained organization offers an extensive set of resources for professional development and institutional advancement of online learning, including, original research, leading-edge instruction, best-practice publications, community-driven conferences and expert guidance. OLC members include educators, administrators, trainers and other online learning professionals, as well as educational institutions, professional societies and corporate enterprises. Visit https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/ for more information.  

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SOURCE Online Learning Consortium