OLC Instructional Design Summit

Workshop Session 1
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

In the last decade, instructional designers in higher education have come to the forefront of the digital teaching and learning landscape. The unprecedented growth of online and blended learning has catapulted the ID profession into the spotlight and we now play a critical role in the design, development, and assessment of quality online and digital learning experiences. But where is our profession headed? What skills will someone in our role need 10 years from now? What is the difference – if any – between an instructional designer, a learning designer, a learning experience designer and a learning engineer? Join us in this half-day event where we will discuss these questions and engage in multiple dialogues around the evolving role of the instructional designer, the direction the profession is headed, and the key trends that impact the work that we do. Take part in topical group discussions with fellow participants, learn from expert panelists about their professional journey into the instructional design field, and network with other participants who share the passion for the work we do. We hope you can join us!


Jennifer Rafferty provides leadership in researching, scoping, managing, and evaluating a full range of professional development solutions for multiple audiences within the OLC Institute. She has worked for over 15 years supporting online learning initiatives in higher education and in the adult basic education system. Jennifer assumed this role at OLC after working for over seven years as an instructional designer at Quinnipiac University Online in Hamden, Connecticut. During her time at Quinnipiac University, Jennifer was also responsible for spearheading the development of the first online Spanish course at the University. She continues to teach this specialized curriculum for the School of Nursing and presents both nationally and internationally on the topic of online foreign language instruction. Prior to working in higher education, Jennifer was the project manager for the Massachusetts Adult Basic Education Distance Learning Project. In this role, she collaborated with the Massachusetts Department of Education and Project IDEAL to research and identify best practices for distance learning programs serving adult GED and ESL students. Jennifer holds a Masters of Education in Instructional Design from UMASS Boston, a Masters of Arts in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an undergraduate degree in Romance Languages from Mount Holyoke College.
Jason is an instructional designer, technologist, and researcher originally from St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated with his Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership degree from Abilene Christian University in 2018. Jason's research interests include collaboration, instructional design, organizational structure, online learning, and leadership in higher education. Hobbies include guitars, video games, and anything Tolkien-related!
Kasey Ford is an instructional technologist, designer, and writer that has been involved in online learning in higher education and and e-learning for more than 10 years. In that time, she has been involved in all aspects of learning experience design from project management to media production. She has also helped design and deliver numerous online graduate education programs in her roles at The University of Texas-Austin and Texas State University. Her research interests include communities of practice, instructional design practice, storytelling, informal learning, and social media in education.
Angela Gunder serves as Director of Instructional Design and Curriculum Development for the Office of Digital Learning at The University of Arizona. Angela came into instructional design rather circuitously, helming large-scale site designs as webmaster for The City College of New York, the honors college at ASU, and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA).  Her over fifteen year career as a designer for higher education informs her instructional design practice, where she leverages her expertise in usability, visual communication, programming, and standards-based online learning. Angela holds a B.S. in Computer Science and Fine Art from Fordham University, and a M.Ed. in Education Technology from Arizona State University.  Prior to her position at UA, she was a member of NOVA’s instructional design team, supporting over 23,000 students in 550 unique courses.   Angela is an Associate Editor for the Teacher Education Board of MERLOT, and a Quality Matters certified peer reviewer and online facilitator.  Her research interests include technology for second language acquisition, open educational resources, and emerging technology to promote digital literacy. A voracious culinary nerd, Angela spends her free time composing, cooking and photographing original recipes for her food blog.

Extended Abstract


We will open the Instructional Design Summit with a panel of emerging leaders in the field of instructional design. Following the panel discussion, participants will have the opportunity to participate in small group discussions on trending topics that impact the work we do.


9:00am - 9:15am - General welcome and introductions

9:15am - 10:00am - Panel Presentation

10:00am - 10:10am - Break

10:10am - 10:45am - Break-out Topic Discussions

10:45am - 11:30am - All Group Reporting on Break-out Topic Discussions

11:30am - 12:00pm - Summit Wrap Up and Next Steps