Online Learning Consortium Announces Best-in-Strand Sessions for #OLCAccelerate, Taking Place Nov. 16-18, in Orlando

OLC Accelerate 2016 will gather thousands of online learning researchers, practitioners and EdTech innovators from around the world to share and discover effective practices and evaluate technologies for teaching and learning online.

NEWBURYPORT, Mass. (Sept. 28, 2016) — The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) is gathering online learning leaders from around the world, Nov. 16-18, in Orlando, Florida, for OLC Accelerate 2016 (#OLCAccelerate), OLC’s 22nd international conference for and about online learning. Today, OLC announced nine Best-in-Strand sessions that will be featured at the conference.The Best-in-Strand designation is awarded to the session proposal in each conference strand (formerly called tracks) that has achieved distinction in the review process.

The Best-in-Strand sessions for OLC Accelerate 2016 are:

  • Creating & Sustaining Industry Partnerships, by Andrew Edmunds, Clemson University (Leadership Strand)
  • Cultivating Critique: Building a Virtual Studio in Online Courses, by Kate Miffitt and Gary Chinn, Penn State University (Tools and Technologies Strand)
  • Using Technology to Scale Online Course Accessibility, by John Raible and Nancy Swenson, University of Central Florida (Learner Services and Support Strand)
  • Leveraging Innovative Technology to Promote Student Collaboration and Engagement for Cross-Campus Blended Courses, by Amy Roche and Julie Lang, Penn State University (Trends and Innovations Strand)
  • Data Analytics and Quality Assurance in K-12 Online Learning Programs, by Kathryn Kennedy, Joe Freidhoff and Jungah Bae, Michigan Virtual University; Tom Clark, Tom Clark Consulting; Susan Lowes, Teacher’s College, Columbia University; Christine Voelker, Quality Matters (Analytics Strand)
  • The Touro Rubric for Online Education: A Dynamic Tool for Evaluating Online Courses, by Marian Stoltz-Loike, Touro College (Development and Support Strand)
  • Conceptualizing Learner Engagement in Blended Contexts: What Scale Development and Factor Analysis Tell Us About Face-to-Face and Online Engagement Indicators, by Lisa Halverson and Charles Graham, Brigham Young University (Learning Effectiveness Strand)
  • Learning: It’s Personal, by Angela Atwell, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (International Perspectives Strand)
  • Global Faculty, Global Learners: Strategies to Develop Complex International Online Courses with Cross-Institutional Teams, by Sophia Stone and Haiyan Zhou, Duke University (Institutional Strategies and Innovations)

“Online learning professionals are challenged to keep up with trends and advances in the field that continue to evolve and expand at such a fast pace,” said Program Co-Chair Laurie Dringus, Nova Southeastern University. “OLC Accelerate is devoted to driving quality online learning, advancing best practice guidance and accelerating innovation. We congratulate our Best-in-Strand presenters for delivering on this mission with contributions that offer inventive approaches to developing quality online learning experiences.”

Inspiring Keynotes, Topics and Exhibitors

OLC Accelerate features 500-plus sessions on a wide range of topics, including edtech, proctoring, accessibility, gamification, K-12, open educational resources, OLC Quality Scorecard, policy development, and more. It also includes a tradeshow floor with 80-plus brands, entrepreneurs and innovators providing a preview of the latest education solutions.

The exceptional faculty of speakers for this year’s conference includes keynoters:

  • Dr. Michelle Weise, Executive Director of Sandbox Collaborative, the research and development arm of strategy and innovation at Southern New Hampshire University
  • Dr. Jamila Lyiscott, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME) of Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Dr. Stephen Kosslyn, Founding Dean and Chief Academic Officer of the Minerva Schools at the Keck Graduate Institute

Iron Chef Battles in the Technology Test Kitchen

The conference also includes the return of the ever-popular Technology Test Kitchen, an exploratory installation run by “chefs” who guide attendees through hands-on exercises focused on practical applications of technology to solve unique pedagogical challenges. New in this year’s Technology Test Kitchen program will be Iron Chef Battles, in which exhibitor and educator teams will battle for bragging rights over who can create the most exciting new recipe for technology.

Program Co-Chair Frank Tomsic of Rush University added, “The OLC Accelerate 2016 program is packed with opportunities to learn and connect. We look forward to bringing our peers together to build and strengthen our global network of expertise, increase collaboration and engagement among researchers and practitioners, share and discover effective practices, and test and evaluate technologies for teaching and learning online. It will be a very productive and fun three days in Orlando.”

Details about the OLC Accelerate 2016 conference can be found online at

About Online Learning Consortium

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) 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 for more information.  


Media Contact:

Eileen Pacheco