Online Learning Consortium Announces ‘OLC Ideate,’ 2 Weeks of Open Online Peer Discussions on Academic Continuity


Organized by OLC’s Institute for Professional Development, OLC Ideate discussions will take place April 21-May 1, and will examine online pedagogy, practices and tools that support high-quality learning experiences, and resources for academic continuity planning during periods of disruption and beyond.

BOSTON, Mass. (March 31, 2020) — The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) today announced the OLC Institute for Professional Development is organizing “OLC Ideate,” a series of free, online facilitated discussions for institutions seeking guidance and resources to plan for academic continuity during periods of disruption and beyond. OLC Ideate discussions will take place over a two-week period, April 21-May 1, and will examine online pedagogy, practices and tools that support high-quality learning experiences.

“Concerns related to the coronavirus have led many institutions down a path of emergency preparedness in the wake of temporary campus shutdowns,” said Jennifer Mathes, Interim Chief Executive Officer for OLC. “As we continue to receive requests from institutions for support with professional development and guidance on planning for continuity of instruction, we recognize the opportunity to engage our diverse and robust community of educators in conversations and collaboration around best practices for ensuring quality in online teaching and learning. This will be the essence of the OLC Ideate experience.”

OLC Ideate will consist of a series of open online salons (casual and inclusive spaces with discussions organized and facilitated by a salon leader) that will offer educators of all levels the opportunity to listen to emerging ideas and effective practices from their peers, in a unique format allowing for reflection, co-creation, co-work and synthesis, with connections to future OLC events for further collaboration.

“Our hope is that in bringing people together for these discussions, the effective practices and methods shared will serve as a model of what is possible in terms of collaborative and constructive engagement in the online learning environment, staying with educators well beyond times of crisis,” added Mathes.

Part lightning talk, part collaborative discussion, and part design sprint, each salon is structured to be highly interactive and participatory. Salon leaders will guide participants through topics related to a series of themes that OLC has identified as central to research and initiatives within digital learning innovation.  These themes include: adaptive learning, open educational resources, MOOCs, gamification, online design, learning spaces and the LMS, AR/VR, mobile learning, and continuity planning.  OLC Ideate will feature a series of salons on the connection between digital learning strategy and continuity planning.

OLC is calling on experts from the digital learning and higher education community to participate in OLC Ideate in a number of key roles, including:

  • Salon Leads – facilitators for each virtual salon. 
  • Salon Moderators – hosts for each virtual salon, providing the welcome and introductions.
  • Salon Sponsors – key organizations whose valued involvement make it possible for each virtual salon to be free to participants.

Visit for information on OLC Ideate, the schedule of discussion salons, registration and how to participate.

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 for more information.