To help get you excited about this year’s 25th anniversary OLC Accelerate conference, we are offering a series of blog posts with a focus on each of the presentation tracks. Now, and for the next six weeks, the Track Chairs will reflect on each of this year’s presentation tracks, analyze and discuss some of the trends that you can expect to hear about this year, and also get the perspectives of the Best-in-Track winners. To provide a bit of context, this first post is an overview of the overall makeup of the presentations this year. You’ll also get a sneak peek at some of the other opportunities we have in store to discuss and reflect on this year’s presentation lineup. We hope that this piques your interest and provides you with a bit of an advanced look at the major trends shaping online and digital learning in today’s environment.
We received a large number of high-quality proposals this year, but as always, are limited in the number of proposals we can accept for presentation at the conference. If you submitted a proposal this year that was not accepted to present at OLC Accelerate, please keep trying for future conferences! The process is very competitive, especially in tracks that receive a larger number of proposals. To aid you in creating a winning proposal, we have created a number of resources that give you a look at the selection criteria and provide additional tips. For those of you who are presenting at OLC Accelerate this year, we have also created some presenter guides, webinars and coaching to help you in preparing for your big day.
Of the 735 submitted proposals, we were able to accept 331 for presentation at the conference. (We offered an additional 105 presentations alternate slots or discovery sessions.) The number of accepted proposals by track is displayed in the chart below. This chart also gives you a quick view of the number of presentations in each track relative to the others. Teaching and Learning Effectiveness and Tools and Technologies continue to be the most popular tracks. But from having been involved in the review process, I can tell you that there is certainly high-quality presentation in these and all of the tracks. In that regard, I’m eager to read the subsequent blog posts in this series and discover what specific trends are emerging and hear the perspectives of the track chairs and Best-in-Track award winners.
A quick note about the volunteers behind these numbers. One of the best parts of being Program Co-Chair is that I have the pleasure of working with an incredibly dedicated team of Track Chairs who oversee the selection process for each of the conference tracks. One of their early responsibilities (among many) is to assemble a group of qualified proposal reviewers (nearly 200 of them in total!) to assist with evaluating proposals. As each proposal is reviewed and scored against a rubric by at least 3 reviewers, we really rely on each and every one of them to ensure we have the necessary capacity and expertise. All this is to say that the selection process truly is a community effort. So, thank you to everyone involved–we simply would not be able to put on a quality conference without your involvement and commitment!
Additional Opportunities to Discuss and Reflect
Aside from this blog post series, we’ll be discussing trends and perspectives in an OLC Live event before the conference. For those of you not familiar, OLC Live is a free, fully-online interactive lounge designed for anyone looking to connect with the conference from afar. A Chat with the Track Chairs and Best in Track Winners is a 90 minute pre-conference event that includes breakout sessions for each track (so choose your track of interest). This pre-conference event will take place on Thursday, October 24 from 3 – 4:30 pm ET. Everyone is invited; we look forward to seeing you there! Be sure to check out the entire schedule of OLC Live Events–they have a great lineup leading up to and during the conference that will involve many from the OLC community.
Then at the conference, we’ll be assembling the top key trends and using them in our grand finale closing event! In addition to enjoying some classic games such as Battleship or Operation and reflecting with friends and colleagues about the last several days, the key conference trends will be used as themes for the feature activity–an improv performance in the style of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” So please be sure to stick around for this culminating event that promises to entertain, educate and celebrate OLC Accelerate’s 25th Anniversary! We look forward to seeing everyone there!