OLC Innovate 2017 to Showcase Latest Innovations and Thought Leadership in Online Learning

#OLCInnovate’s Best-in-Track sessions, keynotes and overall program exemplify this year’s conference theme of “Education Reimagined.”

NEWBURYPORT, Mass. (Feb. 22, 2017) — The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) will gather the online learning community in New Orleans, April 5-7, for OLC Innovate (#OLCInnovate), the annual event focused on innovation in online learning. The conference program, framed by the theme “Education Reimagined,” highlights inspiring innovators and thought leaders across a variety of session formats.

“Educators know that we are living in a period of disruption which both creates opportunity and demands innovation,” said Kathleen Ives, CEO and executive director, OLC. “OLC Innovate 2017 reflects the changes that we are witnessing on our campuses, across the nation and around world. The program is designed to inspire participants to challenge our teaching and learning paradigms, reimagine the learning experience, and ideate on how disruptions in education today will shape the innovative classroom of tomorrow.”

The conference opens with a round of “Lightning Talks,” in which keynote-caliber speakers will introduce the five guiding themes of this year’s conference: pedagogy, structure, workforce, challenges in learning, and a wild card – Propose Your Own – that pulls together the trends and climate of learning today.

Additional program highlights include:

  • Keynotes by John Kao, CEO of EdgeMakers and Darlene Cavalier, Professor of Practice at Arizona State University’s Center for Engagement and Training, and the founder of SciStarter
  • Research and trends in innovation, are woven throughout the conference program, including a panel hosted by OLC’s peer-reviewed journal, Online Learning, featuring senior researchers Dr. Robert Bernard, Dr. Barbara Means, and Dr. Peter Shea. 
  • Innovation Lab featuring a series of live experiments, design thinking challenges, groundbreaking demos and a Game Lab where visitors can explore gameful learning and the science of play. 
  • HBCU Summit, a series of sessions and workshops embedded in the Innovate conference aimed at sharing practices, strategies, and resources for reducing the costs of instructional materials for students, making higher education more affordable for more students in Historically Black Universities (HBCUs) in the United States and Higher Education Institutions in Africa (HEIA).
  • Community College Summit will provide a lively exchange on the ways that community colleges are supporting the diverse needs of learners within and beyond higher education.

Best-in-Track Sessions Announced

OLC has announced the following Best-in-Track sessions for OLC Innovate that exemplify the innovation taking place across the online learning landscape:

  • Pedagogical Innovation Track – “Supporting Students with Disabilities in Online Environments,” by Mark Deschaine, Central Michigan University
  • Structural Innovation Track – “You Are Not Alone: Supporting Faculty Through a Learning Community,” by Hala Esmail, Louisiana State University
  • Workforce Innovation Track – “Using Virtual Exchange (COIL) Programs to Provide Workforce Aligned Distance Collaboration Skills,” by Douglas Hemphill, SUNY Oswego
  • Challenging Barriers to Innovation Track – “Reducing Costs, Igniting Change: OpenCI,” by Jaime A. Hannans and Jacob Jenkins, California State University Channel Islands
  • Propose Your Own Track – “The Body in Online Learning,” by Laura Douglass, Endicott College

OLC Innovate features a series of hands-on workshops aimed at fostering organic interactions and collaborative cross-disciplinary problem solving. Work sessions will explore emerging technologies and adapted teaching behaviors aimed at informing policy, inspiring leadership, and evolving practice at all levels impacting institutions, universities and colleges. Complete conference information is available at https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/innovate.