Sneak Peak: An Inside Look at Wednesday’s Workshops at OLC Accelerate 2019


Tawnya Means (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) and Dave Dannenberg (University of Alaska Anchorage), co-chairs, OLC Accelerate 2019 Workshop Sub-committee

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Accelerate 2018 - Sessions & WorkshopsFive months ago when asked if we were willing to serve as co-chairs to the OLC Accelerate 2019 Workshop Sub-committee, we both wholeheartedly agreed. The opportunity to shape the future? And to bring in some of the best presenters and activities? We couldn’t wait! But what if we couldn’t get enough people to present? Or what if we had to beg people to give up their time to present?

Here we stand three months away from Accelerate with what we consider to be an amazing line-up of Wednesday morning workshops. Not only are these workshops presented by your peers and colleagues (you won’t find a sales pitch or a heavy product demonstration here). Not only are they all included in your conference registration (that’s right, you don’t have to pay an extra dime, not one cent). Not only do they cover a broad range of topics that we believe everyone is sure to see at least one (if not more) that they find appealing (we guarantee you will or we’ll get you a cup of coffee Wednesday morning instead). Not only will you wish that you could clone yourself so you could be in more than one place at a time (Multiplicity anyone?). But the best part, the part we are really excited about, is that we didn’t have to beg anyone. In fact, our speakers are so excited that we think one or two might already be in Orlando!

Now, we want to get you as excited! So, without further ado, here are this year’s Wednesday morning workshops. 

#WelcomeOnlineLearners: Strategies to Launch, Redesign, or Optimize Your Institution’s Resources for New Online Learners (Track: Leadership and Institutional Strategies)

Looking to build, or redesign, your institution’s online student success resources? If so, you won’t want to miss this lively, collaborative workshop (BYOD) on designing, building, and evaluating resources that will move the needle. Presented by colleagues from four institutions, you’ll participate in team exercises to create a plan to launch, redesign, or optimize new student programming. Best of all, you’ll use collaborative tools to collectively build resources for use when you return back home.


Mitchell Farmer, Indiana University – Bloomington
Julia Sanders, Indiana University
Amy Munger, Oregon State University – Extended Campus
Tess Diver, Southern New Hampshire University
Jo Montie, University of St. Thomas – Minnesota
Lisa Burke, University of St. Thomas – Minnesota

Becoming a Conscious Online Leader: 15 Commitments to Transform Your Leadership Style (Track: Leadership and Institutional Strategies)

The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership: A New Paradigm For Sustainable Success offers a helpful framework for enhanced collaboration, awareness, and influence for individuals in both formal and informal leadership. Come discover your conscious leadership abilities, as well as plan for and practice new ways of communicating and working within your organization that can lead to better outcomes. Engage in self-assessment, goal-setting, and tactical planning exercises to incorporate Conscious Leadership into your everyday practice–walking away with a roadmap to collegial, meaningful, and effective relationships with your co-workers, team members, supervisors, and other institutional stakeholders. 


Bettyjo Bouchey, National Louis University
Tina Rettler-Pagel, Madison College
Megan Kohler, Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus

Equitizing Higher Ed through Humanized Online Teaching (Track: Professional Development and Support)

Interested in exploring why supporting the non-cognitive factors of learning in online courses is critical to increasing graduation rates for students from minoritized groups, particularly in STEM? You’ll be sure to want to attend this session to tour of a humanizing professional development course in use in the CA Community Colleges. Come learn how professional development is creating change in STEM instruction across California and receive a toolkit of humanized online teaching practices.


Michelle Pacansky-Brock, California Virtual Campus-Online Education Initiative/@ONE

Right-mixing Online And Blended Assessment and Engagement Activities (Track: Tools and Technologies)

Online and blended teaching can enhance and “right-size” education, creating a personalized and engaging experience for learning. However,  questions remain regarding, ‘what should happen in person, and what should happen online?,’ and ‘how can the online and in-person experiences support each other to best teach students?,’ and ‘what is the right mix?’. In this workshop, you will receive guided hands-on time to explore assessment and engagement tools, learn about the right-mixing framework, and collect feedback from peers to make course design decisions about how to appropriately select the right mix for optimal engagement and assessment activities.


Tawnya Means, University of Nebraska-Lincoln – College of Business

Story-Driven Learning: A Workshop in 5 Acts (Track: Teaching and Learning Effectiveness)

Stories aren’t just for children anymore! Story narratives provide a structure for sharing information in ways that engage receivers, enhance memory, and create meaning. It’s a powerful method for engaging students with course content, especially in an online learning environment, where establishing personal connections between learners, content, and the instructor is an ongoing challenge. Learners are more likely to remember a lesson when key points are embedded in a heartwarming story about someone who overcame obstacles or experienced a transformation in life. In this session, you will join expert storytellers, learning designers, and instructors on a journey to develop a story-driven approach for designing online learning experiences that will keep your learners coming back for more!


Jennifer M McVay-Dyche, Strategic Education, Inc.
Katrina Rainer, Strayer University
Jess Beck, Strategic Education, Inc.

The Neuroscience of Learning: Myths, Pedagogy, and Technology, Changing the Way We Teach to Enhance Student Learning (Track: Teaching and Learning Effectiveness)

It’s all in your head, dude! No honestly, it just might be. Join this lively session on the Neuroscience of Learning. You’ll hear relevant and actionable information on the Neuroscience of Learning and how to apply it in your classroom through design, pedagogy, technology, and teaching. Experience, first hand, neuroscience learning techniques throughout the workshop and participate in hands-on activities that demonstrate real-life learning can and does occur. You will hear how the brain retains learning for the long term and participate in busting common neuro-myths. And if that wasn’t good enough, you’ll learn how to apply brain learning science to your online courses.


Karen Srba, American Public University System
Shlomit Flaisher-Grinberg, Saint Francis University

So now you know! Make sure to set your travel plans and be in Orlando Wednesday morning so you can attend one of these exciting workshops. And we are sorry, eventually, you will need to pick just one. But there’s always next year!


Dave Dannenberg, co-chair, OLC Accelerate 2019 Workshop Sub-committee (University of Alaska Anchorage)
Tawyna Means
Tawnya Means, co-chair, OLC Accelerate 2019 Workshop Sub-committee (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

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