International Summit - Part 3: Designing For Global Collaborations And Change: Lessons And Takeaways From The Inaugural IELOL Global Cohort

Concurrent Session 3
International OLC Session

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Brief Abstract

In this session, join OLC’s Madeline Shellgren and SARUA’s Rassie Louw as they detail what they learned from the inaugural Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning (IELOL) Global community, a group of educators from around the world who gathered over a four month period in 2020 to help answer challenges around digital learning leadership in international contexts, particularly strategy and operations for ensuring equitable and inclusive access to education.


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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

The last year and a half has visibilized for the world a number of things related to online, blended, and digital learning. Among them is the fact that there are ubiquitous challenges in digital learning across the globe that we have yet to address in equitable and sustainable ways. These challenges include everything from stark inequities in access to education to a lack of infrastructure to support systemic change (particular change that moves institutions from Digitization through Digitalization, and towards Digital Transformation). These challenges also highlight, however, the need and opportunity for leadership in cross-institutional collaborations which seeks to intentionally build global coalitions. In this session, join OLC’s Madeline Shellgren and SARUA’s Rassie Louw as they detail what they learned from the inaugural Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning (IELOL) Global community, a group of educators from around the world who gathered over a four month period in 2020 to help answer these challenges.

Through immersive and project-based professional development and collaboration, the 2020 IELOL Global cohort not only deepened our understanding of how these challenges manifest in unique global contexts (through storytelling, collaborative note-taking, and reflection), but also collectively generated a series of change-oriented assets to support others in their digital transformation efforts. Be among the first to gain access to these amazing resources and stories by engaging with us in this session, and learn more about how you can get involved in the future.

This session is part of the OLC Innovate 2021 International Summit, a gathering for educators from across the globe to engage in answering the following questions:

  • How do we within our various contexts and environments work to promote equity and access to learning through digital transformation?  
  • What are the practices, processes and connections that must be created to better meet the needs of our learners in local and global contexts? 

 Learn more about the International Summit on our website.