Charting a Learner-Driven Future for Online Learning: A Student Panel on Centering Humanization and Care

Leadership

Brief Abstract

In this plenary panel, we will close the virtual conference week and transition into the onsite conference with a compelling amplification of the voices of our students, gleaning their perspectives and ideas for the future of online learning that centers quality, equity, and care. Weaving together the emergent themes from the conference as well as diverse narratives of the lived-in experiences of our featured students, this panel will leverage the wisdom of our students in collectively charting a path from the pandemic into a new reality where access to quality education within online, blended, and digital learning is open to all learners, anytime and anywhere.

Student panelists:

  • Kiara Williams, ELE Student Fellow - moderator
  • Mark Lannaman - ELE Student Fellow
  • Mike Odaira - ELE Student Fellow

Presenters

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

Extended Abstract

In much of our work in support of students in digital learning environments, our learners are relegated to the sidelines of the design, delivery, and continuous improvement process. As a means of leading with the best practice of humanizing the digital learning environment, numerous educators, administrators and designers have worked hard to center student voice as a driver for creating learning experiences that center engagement, rigor, and care. In this plenary panel, we will close the virtual conference week and transition into the onsite conference with a compelling amplification of the voices of our students, gleaning their perspectives and ideas for the future of online learning that centers quality, equity, and care. Weaving together the emergent themes from the conference as well as diverse narratives of the lived-in experiences of our featured students, this panel will leverage the wisdom of our students in collectively charting a path from the pandemic into a new reality where access to quality education within online, blended, and digital learning is open to all students.