OLC Announces Best-in-Track Sessions for OLC Innovate 2020, Focused on ‘Building Bridges in Digital, Blended, and Online Learning’


Produced by the Online Learning Consortium in partnership with MERLOT, OLC Innovate 2020 will gather nearly 1,200 digital learning leaders and practitioners, March 31-April 3, in Chicago.

BOSTON, Mass. (Feb. 10, 2020) — The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) and MERLOT will gather the digital learning community in Chicago, March 31-April 3, for OLC Innovate 2020 (#OLCInnovate), the annual event focused on innovation in digital, blended and online learning. This year’s theme, “Building Bridges in Digital, Blended, and Online Learning,” frames a four-day program that highlights inspiring innovators and thought leaders from higher education, military, health care and workforce education. 

“Now, more than ever, it is imperative that academic leaders, faculty, and administrators come together to ensure that our pedagogies are progressive, organic and continually break new ground,” said Jennifer Mathes, interim CEO for the Online Learning Consortium. “OLC Innovate 2020 will gather leaders and innovators from across the digital learning landscape. Together we will examine how disruptions in education today will shape the innovative classroom of tomorrow.”

Today, OLC announced seven Best-in-Track sessions from the OLC Innovate program that exemplify the innovation taking place across the digital learning landscape. The following will be recognized during an awards ceremony at the conference:

  • Track: Effective Tools, Toys and Technologies – “Bridging Cultures: Creating Virtual and Augmented Reality for Global Collaborative Learning,” by Mark Frydenberg, Director, CIS Learning and Technology Sandbox, Bentley University
  • Track: Process, Problems and Practices – “The Unconference – An Innovative Way to Foster Rapid Collaboration,” by Cynthia Wong, Assistant Professor, Utah Valley University
  • Track: Research: Designs, Methods, and Findings – “Enhancing Instruction Through the Use of Adaptive Courseware and Research-Based Teaching Practices,” by Tonya Buchan, Instructional Designer and Adaptive Courseware Grant Program Manager, Stan Kruse, Instructional Designer, and Jennifer Todd, Instructional Designer, all at Colorado State University
  • Track: Teaching and Learning Practice – “Engaging in Equity in the Instructional Design Process: A Conversation on Where We are and How We Learn More,” by Amy Archambault, Instructional Designer in the Office of Learning Design, Davidson County Community College and Veronica Armour, Instructional Design Specialist, Rutgers University
  • Track: Open Learning – “The Open Patchbooks,” Terry Greene, Digital Learning Advisor, Fleming College
  • Track: Leadership and Advocacy – “Online Learning Leadership and Support: Building the Structure and Keeping it Together,” by John Vivolo, Director of Online Education at Katz School of Science and Health, Yeshiva University
  • Track: Life-Long Learning and Workforce Partnerships – “Facilitating LiFElong Learning: Meeting Learners’ Needs Through Creative Partnerships and Pathways,” by Katie Sharpe, Instructional Designer and Scott Vann, Assistant Director of Digital Learning, both at The University of Memphis

Keynotes, Sessions, Integrated Events

OLC Innovate 2020 offers learning experiences that encourage conversations and provide opportunities to interact with practitioners, academics and administrators representing a range of career stages and goals. 

Conference Co-Chairs Tina Rettler-Pagel of Madison College and Janet Smith of the University of Arizona, along with Executive Conference Co-Chairs Kaye Shelton of Lamar University and OLC’s Jennifer Mathes have worked diligently with Program Chairs Keegan Long-Wheeler of the University of Oklahoma and Kate Miffitt of California State University, the OLC conference team and legion of volunteers to create an event that addresses all experience levels and offers a variety of session formats, all of which are designed to encourage broad attendee participation.

Anchoring the program are three exceptional keynote speakers: 

  • Zeynep Tufekci, author, opinion writer for the New York Times and WIRED, and Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina, who will discuss “A Pedagogy for the Digital Age”
  • Flower Darby, Director, Teaching for Student Success at Northern Arizona University, who will present, “Teaching Excellence + Technology Innovations: Empowering Students to Engage and Learn”
  • Rajiv Jhangiani, internationally known advocate for open education and Associate Vice Provost, Open Education at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia, who will present, “Bridging Critical, Digital and Open Pedagogies”

The richness of the OLC Innovate 2020 program extends to a number of pre-conference workshops, as well as the HBCU Summit, OLC Research Summit, Community College Summit and OLC Leadership Network Event. Attendees can further enrich their conference experience through a variety of Engagement Opportunities including the conference Field Guide Program, Innovation Studio, Equity & Inclusion, Field Guide Talk-Abouts, Presenter Services, Speed Networking Lounge and the OLC Innovate Virtual Experience. 

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About Online Learning Consortium

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) is a collaborative community of higher education leaders and innovators, dedicated to advancing quality digital teaching and learning experiences designed to reach and engage the modern learner – anyone, anywhere, anytime. OLC inspires innovation and quality through an extensive set of resources, including, best-practice publications, quality benchmarking, leading-edge instruction, community-driven conferences, practitioner-based and empirical research and expert guidance. The growing OLC community includes faculty members, administrators, trainers, instructional designers, and other learning professionals, as well as educational institutions, professional societies and corporate enterprises. Visit http://onlinelearningconsortium.org for more information.