Online Learning Consortium Launches ‘OLC Outlook: An Environmental Scan of the Digital Learning Landscape’

New strategic planning resource for higher education professionals examines priorities, trends, innovations and other considerations for 20 core areas of digital learning;
The first report from the series covers Accessibility and publishes today.

NEWBURYPORT, Mass. (June 19, 2018) — The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), the leading professional organization devoted to advancing the quality of digital learning worldwide, today introduced OLC Outlook: An Environmental Scan of the Digital Learning Landscape, a series of original reports from the OLC Research Center for Digital Learning and Leadership, designed to keep higher education professionals informed of the latest developments in the field of digital learning.

The OLC Outlook series will serve as a strategic planning resource, illuminating priorities, trends, innovations and other considerations that OLC uncovers through its daily research and analysis of the digital learning landscape and interactions with leaders and innovators in the field.

Digital learning professionals need to stay informed of the latest developments in the field in order to deliver successful learning experiences for the modern learner. Yet the pace of change and the sheer volume of available news and information make it challenging to maintain a comprehensive understanding of all the factors that can inform strategy and vision. Each OLC Outlook report offers a curated 360-degree view of a critical digital learning topic, providing access to helpful resources that can be used to inform strategic planning and solve strategic challenges.

“Disruption continues to reshape the higher education landscape, compelling administrators, faculty and technology experts to keep pace with the latest developments and influences in digital learning,” said Kathleen Ives, D.M., chief executive officer and executive director of the Online Learning Consortium. “OLC Outlook provides access to the rich intelligence and resources necessary to modernize programs and processes, improve performance and remain competitive.”

Analysis presented in this series of environmental scans will help higher ed administrators, instructors and course designers to understand what is happening across the digital learning environment, to help identify their own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and how to best use their resources to advance their digital learning programs and strategies.

The OLC Outlook series will cover 20 core areas of digital learning, with a new white paper publishing each month. Initial topics include: Accessibility (June); Instructional Design (July), Leadership (August), Business Models (September), Learning Sciences (October) and Workforce Development (November). All reports in the OLC Outlook series will be available in the OLC Research Center for Digital Learning & Leadership.

First Report Publishes Today - OLC Outlook: Accessibility

Accessibility is the subject of the first report in the OLC Outlook series. Click to download the report: OLC Outlook: Accessibility - An Environmental Scan of the Digital Learning Landscape.

“As our first OLC Outlook report explains, accessibility in K-12 and higher education is becoming an increasingly complex terrain to traverse as schools increase online materials and instructional delivery options,” said Jill Buban, Ph.D., senior director of research and innovation for the Online Learning Consortium. “This report examines the critical terms, legal precedents, and other considerations for course designers, instructors, and administrators as they work to improve the educational experiences of learners with disabilities.”

The report on accessibility is co-authored by Mary Rice and Katherine McAlvage, two of OLC’s Emerging Scholars. The Emerging Scholars program provides current and recently graduated doctoral students the opportunity to contribute to research projects in the OLC Research Center (like the OLC Outlook series), collaborate with institutions and organizations around the world on research projects and network with peers and mentors in the digital learning field.

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.