Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Reception

Brief Abstract

We welcome you to a thought-provoking, accessible “Gallery Walk,” themed around diversity, equity, and inclusion. Come consider and celebrate how far we’ve journeyed. Ruminate on where we still need to go as a community. Network with colleagues, identify new collaborations, and join us for an afternoon of critical, fun reflection.



Angela Gunder is the Chief Academic Officer and VP of Learning for the Online Learning Consortium. In this role, she is responsible for gathering, curating, and leveraging the intellectual capital created by and disseminated through OLC. Prior to her position at the OLC, Angela served as the Director of Instructional Design & Curriculum Development for the Office of Digital Learning, managing and mentoring the team that builds the fully-online programs for The University of Arizona. Her over fifteen-year career as a designer for higher education informs her instructional design practice, where she leverages her expertise in web design, usability, visual communication, programming, and standards-based online learning. She is an Associate Editor for the Teacher Education Board of MERLOT, and the recipient of the 2018 MERLOT Distinguished Service Award, the organization’s highest honor. She is also the recipient of two Online Learning Consortium Effective Practice Awards for the creation of a framework for personal learning networks, and for the creation of exploratory installations of education technology, respectively. In 2019, Dr. Gunder was named an OLC Fellow for her dedication to service, innovation, and scholarship in support of student success in online learning. Her research interests include open educational practices, digital literacies, narrative in online course design, and emerging technology for second language acquisition. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science and Fine Art from Fordham University, a M.Ed. in Education Technology from Arizona State University. Angela completed her Ph.D. in Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies at The University of Arizona, where in 2020 she was named an Erasmus Scholar by the College of Education for her commitment to the college, the university and to the community. Pronouns: she/her/hers
Pronouns: she, her, hers Twitter: @MaddieShellgren As the Director of Online Engagement, Madeline (Maddie) Shellgren serves as the lead innovator, designer, and project manager of the OLC's portfolio of online engagement opportunities. Known for her love of storytelling, play, and all things gameful, Maddie thrives on facilitating and designing meaningful ways for people to connect, learn, and grow together. Within the OLC, she has served on steering and operations committees for several of the organization’s conferences (including as Technology Test Kitchen and Innovation Studio lead, as well as Engagement Co-Chair) and has had the distinct honor of being the mastermind behind the OLC Escape Rooms. She looks forward to continuing supporting OLC community building efforts, is committed to sustainable, equitable, and anti-oppressive ecologies within education, and is genuinely excited to leverage her interdisciplinary scholarly and professional backgrounds as she helps lead the OLC towards truly innovative and transformative models for what’s possible for online and digital engagement. Maddie joins the OLC from Michigan State University (MSU), where she has served as the lead on numerous student success initiatives related to instructional design and technology, accessibility, and equity and inclusion. Over the past eleven years, Maddie has dedicated her professional life to teaching and learning related initiatives and has strategically sought out opportunities that give her a multi-dimensional perspective on teaching and learning, including working as a Standardized Patient training medical students, serving as Program Director for Teaching Assistant development, taking lead on a number of cross-institutional educator onboarding and professional development projects, and teaching across online and face-to-face contexts. She most recently worked as an Assistant Rowing Coach for the MSU Varsity Women’s Rowing Program. There she was given the opportunity to help redesign a community from the bottom up, story the team's new journey together in fun and multimodal ways, lead in the co-construction of community expectations and norms, help ensure alignment across a variety of stakeholders and initiatives, and develop and operationalize strategic structures for long-term sustainability (such as entirely new social media, marketing, communications, and content management strategies). She had the privilege of seeing the impact of her human-centered and equity-oriented approach each and every day as the team reimagined what it meant to be a Spartan on the MSU Rowing Team. With her move to the OLC, she will continue on as a volunteer coach, still supporting these efforts and the team, and is excited to get back on the water.

Extended Abstract

As an organization, the Online Learning Consortium is committed to supporting the advancement of quality online, digital, and blended learning futures. Central to this mission is the valuing of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and the recognition that education (regardless of modality and format) will never be considered “quality” if DEI is not core to its design. Yet it remains clear (and the last two years have only confirmed this) that educators, institutions, and organizations across the field have a lot of work to do if we are to better understand what it means to center diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as what it will require for us to design, build, and sustain DEI-centered learning environments. Even looking internally, though we (the OLC) have made a lot of progress in these areas, we also acknowledge that we still have a lot of room for growth. 

OLC Accelerate grants us the yearly opportunity to gather and continue to drive this critical work forward in and across our field. In this year’s DEI Reception, we will gather with community for an accessible “Gallery Walk.” During the session, attendees will be able to spend time moving through and interacting with the space, engaging with several community-member-designed installations (presented and displayed using a variety of modalities) which help to story and celebrate how far we’ve come, while also dedicating space to identifying where we still need to go as a community. 

Though the DEI Reception will certainly feature critical reflection, we have also designed the session to afford us the space to have some fun and build community together. We hope to see you there, as we examine the horizon of online, blended, and digital learning, and collectively commit to ensuring our work moving forward is centered around diversity, equity, and inclusion.