Online Learning Consortium's International Conference Celebrates 20 Years of Shared Insights and Innovation in Higher Ed


NEWBURYPORT, Mass., Sept. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), formerly The Sloan Consortium, is celebrating 20 years of innovation in online learning and higher education this fall, with the 20th Annual Online Learning Consortium International Conference, Oct. 29-31, 2014, in Orlando, Florida.

OLC's annual international conference is the premier forum for online learning, offering the opportunity for all concerned with the future of online learning to come together, collaborate and share experiences. Previously known as OLC's ALN conference, an acronym for its original name, the International Conference on Asynchronous Learning Networks, the event has grown into the largest gathering of college level-faculty and administrators, instructional technology professionals and instructional designers, all focused on the latest developments in online learning.

Since the inaugural event in 1994, the OLC International Conference has grown to over 2,025 onsite attendees and 1,600 virtual attendees, representing more than 950 institutions, from 50 states and territories and 29 countries around the world.

“Our 20th anniversary milestone gives us the opportunity to reflect on the tremendous advances in online learning since our first international conference in 1994, and to thank so many of OLC's founding members who have helped build this event into the international gathering place for leaders and innovators in online learning,” said Kathleen S. Ives, D.M., CEO and executive director, Online Learning Consortium. “Online learning continues to expand and play a strategic role in innovation and improvement of higher education. We look forward to continuing to gather the global online learning community each year to gauge progress, share insights and look to the future.”

“This year's keynotes, featured sessions and workshops will explore the rich variety of models for institutions, and a wide range of opportunities for faculty, staff and administrators,” said Conference Chair Karen Vignare, Ph.D., vice provost, the Center for Innovation in Learning at University of Maryland University College (UMUC). “The conference will also offer the opportunity to network with trusted colleagues, explore a new technology test kitchen and examine new vendor products.”


Best-in-Track Sessions

As part of the 20th anniversary celebration, OLC today announced the following “Best-in-Track” sessions, recognizing exceptional speaker submissions for the 2014 conference program:

  • Open, Global, Mobile Track: “Global Online Learning Without Borders,” Christine Poteau, Alvernia University
  • Learning Effectiveness Track: “Looking to the Future of Social Presence: A Panel Discussion on Theory, Research, and Practice,” Aimee Whiteside, University of Tampa; Amy Garrett Dikkers and Somer Lewis, University of North Carolina at Wilmington
  • Institutional Strategies & Innovations Track: “ELRN 100: SCAD eLearning Experience – Online Recruitment Initiative Results in 95% Retention,” Andrew Fulp and Christine Kingerski, Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Leadership, Values and Society Track: “Women in Online Higher Education Leadership Roles: Strategies for Professional Development and Success,” Liz Ciabocchi, St. John's University; Renee M. Cicchino, Seton Hall University; and Shanta Goswami Varma, University of Houston
  • Faculty and Professional Development & Support Track: “What's the Big Idea? Going Beyond Communities of Practice for an Innovative Faculty Development Framework,” Elizabeth Shakespeare and Laurence Boggess, Penn State University
  • Technology and Emerging Learning Environments Track: “Use of Online Modules and Video Simulation in Annual Nursing Staff Competency Blitz,” Dana Tschannen and Michelle Aebersold, University of Michigan; Sheryl Woloskie and Lori DeVries, University of Michigan Health Systems


Best-in-Track sessions will be recognized during a ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 30, day two of the conference. 


Concurrent Event: HBCU Leadership Summit

Running concurrently with OLC's International Conference is OLC's HBCU Leadership Summit for Online Learning, Oct. 29, 2014. Organized around the theme, “Breaking Barriers to Expand the Legacy into Online Learning,” the Summit will examine specific online learning issues faced by historically black colleges and universities.


About Online Learning Consortium

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), formerly The Sloan Consortium, 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, Tango Group LLC, 508-888-7478,

News distributed by PR Newswire iReach:

SOURCE Online Learning Consortium