Online Learning Rapid Response Team

Concurrent Session 5
Streamed Session Leadership

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Brief Abstract

Did you only have a few weeks or days to turn your whole school online? Let's talk about how quickly your institution is prepared for the next big crisis because it will come sooner or later. Do you have a team yet?


John Vivolo is the Director of Online Education at the Katz School of Science and Health, Yeshiva University. As director of online education at the Katz School, John Vivolo oversees the school's online education efforts, from day-to-day operations to strategic planning for future programming. For over 15 years, John has dedicated his career to the growth and improvement of online learning. Prior to joining YU, he was the director of an award-winning and top-ranked online learning unit at New York University. He recently published a book on online learning leadership entitled: Managing Online Learning: The Life-Cycle of Successful Programs. He is also an Online Learning Consortium trained instructor and completed the Institute for Engaged/Emerging Leadership in Online Learning (IELOL) Certificate at Pennsylvania State University. John holds an MA in English from the City University of New York and is pursuing his doctorate in education leadership at Northeastern University.

Extended Abstract

At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, many institutions from around the world were forced to make a choice: 1. Wait out the crisis (maybe it will pass) or 2. Go online immediately. It was not an easy decision for any educational institution. Many things had to be considered: how many instructors have taught online previously? How many have even used the LMS? Does the institution have access to all the educational tools needed? What are the best tools to use? What about international students? Can and should staff work from home? What if student, staff or faculty get sick? What should we talk about...and who should be involved?

After some chaotic times of multiple people weighing in on various plans (or not weighing in), many institutions wish they had that small group of creative thinkers. This group can respond quickly to organize efforts and cut through the bureaucracy. This lightning talk will review who should be part of this Online Learning Rapid Response Team. This lightning talk is a great way to get attendees thinking about how prepared they were before the crisis and how prepared they will be during the next crisis. It is not a question of "if" another crisis will happen, but rather "when" another crisis will disrupt our schools, our national, and our planet.

Note to review group: I am also submitted a Workshop submission that will connect with this topic. While this topic introduces the idea of an Online Learning Rapid Response team, the workshop will dive deep into specifics for creating this team and how it will function in any institution.