Experiential Learning Forum

Streamed Session OLC Session

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Brief Abstract

In August of 2020, a group of STEM educators gathered virtually to discuss and collaborate around the realities and possibilities for online STEM labs. Central to the design of the event (“OLC Ideate Labs for Online STEM: Innovating STEM Education”) was the acknowledgement that while educators around the world were shifting with the move remote, some — namely those engaged in experiential learning — were unsure if / how they could proceed at all in the online context. In this featured session, educators and partners from that event reconvene to showcase the ways in which they’ve leveraged the unique affordances of digital, virtual, and distance learning to innovate in the lab context. They’ll be joined by other experiential learning educators (across the arts and even athletics/sports) to dialogue around their experiences and practices. We invite you to collaborate with us as we engage in stories of successes and failures, but also as we discuss strategies for intentionally incorporating online experiential learning into our educational spaces into the future. Additionally, come reflect with us as we explore the types of things we can do together in convenings such as this to drive support around experiential learning. Finally, if you are an experiential educator, we welcome you to bring your own examples and practices to share with others and add to our digital experiential learning community showcase.

Sponsored By


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