Leading in a Time of Change and Transformation: Enhancing Your Leadership Capabilities

Concurrent Session 3

Brief Abstract

The Leadership in Online Learning Mastery Series provides current and growing leaders in the field with hands-on experience defining objectives, strategies, organizational structure, policy and finances surrounding the creation and upkeep of an online learning program. Come and talk directly to the instructional designer in charge of the program to learn how to take your leadership skills to the next level!


Jennifer Paloma Rafferty ( Pronouns: she, her, hers) provides leadership in researching, scoping, managing, and evaluating a full range of professional development solutions for multiple audiences within the OLC Institute for Professional Development. She has worked since 1999 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.

Extended Abstract

It is clear that higher education is in an era of change as institutions adjust to new realities around budgeting, differentiating in a highly competitive landscape, and external pressures at the state and/or federal levels. Higher education leaders need a solid strategic plan focused on distance learning to ensure institutional success in the marketplace. The Institute for Professional Development at the Online Learning Consortium has responded to this need by developing the Leadership in Online Learning Mastery Series. Through this 12-week series, you complete three workshops focused on defining objectives, strategies, organizational structure, policy, and finances, with reflection and application periods between each workshop. This allows for engagement with a community of peers, but also provides you with a learning experience targeted to your specific needs. Stop by to learn more, and hear from the instructional designer in charge of the program on how this series can help take your leadership skills to the next level!