Remixing Digital Learning Environments Through Intentionally Designed Asynchronicity: Part One


Madeline R. Shellgren (she/her/hers), Director of Community Strategy and Engagement, OLC; Katie Fife Schuster (she/her/hers), Director of Global Events, OLC; Laura Siebers (she/her/hers), Account Director, PlayPosit

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At the beginning of 2021, the Online Learning Consortium and PlayPosit entered into a new partnership for the purposes of collaboratively reimagining engagement. You can read more about our partnership here.

With the goals of contributing to more inclusive, diverse, and equitable digital learning environments, and, moreover, meeting the need for more intentional models for learner engagement (Fox et al. 2021), we came together around a series of initiatives and projects over the last year. We explored the unique affordances of various engagement strategies and entered into future-thinking dialogue with our community around the potentials of the asynchronous at our joint Foundry Day event: Reimagining Engagement with PlayPosit. Likewise, we are collaboratively discovering new ways to model what’s possible for learner engagement through the design of educator professional development through OLC Presenter Services. In this blog series, we continue to share our many adventures with PlayPosit on our journey to build, to design, to remix, to story, to transform, and to action-plan with our community around the possibilities of engagement.

One current project at the core of the OLC-PlayPosit collaboration is our work toward reimagining the conference engagement experience for our communities. With the dual priorities of access and engagement in mind, OLC conferences include a unique session type – the Virtual Discovery Session. These fully asynchronous presentations allow presenters to share their work, ideas, and innovations in a “virtual-presenter to virtual-audience” format that allows for a greater exchange of ideas and in-depth asynchronous conversations. Utilizing PlayPosit enables presenters to prepare a digital presentation that can be enhanced with thoughtful and meaningful audience interactions. We encourage presenters to think intentionally about what asynchronous engagement – both in the conference space as well as in their own teaching and learning space – can look like as they develop their proposals and presentations. If expanding and experimenting with asynchronous teaching and learning methods is something you are currently exploring or are interested in exploring, we encourage you to submit a proposal for a Virtual Discovery Session at OLC Accelerate.

We are embarking on this blog series for a few reasons. First, we aim to celebrate our partnership and amplify the truly amazing work of the educators we are working with. Secondly, we wish to invite you to join us in discovering new ways to connect, engage, and learn collaboratively through sharing the many ways you can get involved. Finally, we seek to encourage intentional exploration around the use of asynchronous learning strategies. Through this work, we believe that we can develop educational strategies that center access, inclusion, diversity, and equity, and which seek to advance humanized digital learning environments through a focus on sustained connection and collaboration.

With this, we leave you with a few calls to action:

  • For more insight into our partnership with PlayPosit, consider engaging with the free Foundry Day recordings.
  • Submit a proposal for a Virtual Discovery Session at OLC Accelerate.
  • Let us know how you are reimagining engagement or using PlayPosit by responding to this post or connecting with us via Twitter.
  • Help us in designing what’s next through our many OLC volunteership opportunities


Fox, K., Bryant, G., Lin, N., Khedkar, N., Nguyen, A., (2021, January 28). Time for Class – COVID-19 Edition Part 3: The Impact of 2020 on Postsecondary Teaching and Learning of Introductory Faculty. Tyton Partners.


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