Virtual School Meanderings

April 8, 2020

Digital Learning Survey: What Are Your Immediate Needs?

I know that the Online Learning Consortium have been trying to focus more on the K-12 environment.  So I’m hoping that all of my K-12 readers take this opportunity to let OLC know how they could help you during this time of upheaval.

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OLC has come together in partnership with WCET, UPCEA, CDLRA and Every Learner Everywhere to help you navigate this period of unprecedented change and the pressure to act quickly. We know that such an enormous challenge demands the combined resources of the entire digital education community.

Recognizing how stretched your time is right now, we have created a short, 2-minute survey to help us align our resources and advocacy to address the most pressing pain points you’re experiencing and those you anticipate on the horizon. This survey is also expected to yield findings that will enable us to better advocate for you, from policy to funding initiatives.

Please take 2 minutes to share your thoughts, tell us how you’re coping, and what tools you need to succeed.

This survey of US higher education leaders and practitioners is a collaborative effort conducted in partnership between the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) and WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET), University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), Canadian Digital Learning Research Association (CDLRA), and Every Learner Everywhere, and with the support of underwriter and primary partner, Cengage, and media support by Inside Higher Ed (IHE). The study is being conducted by Bay View Analytics, formerly the Babson Survey Research Group. The survey results will be shared with partner organizations, as well as published by and presented in an upcoming webinar hosted by Inside Higher Ed. All respondents will receive a summary of the findings.




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Online Learning Consortium
6 Liberty Square #2309
Boston, MA 02109

March 24, 2020

OLC Community Steps Up To Support Educators In The Immediate Shift To Online

Note these up-coming webinars and resources that are available.

How to Survive the (Hurried) Switch to Online Learning – webinars and resources to support your efforts to move online quickly.

OLC Community Steps Up to Guide Educators to an Immediate Online Reality

“If there is a silver lining in all of this, it is how the education community has come together to offer help by sharing knowledge and best practices, as educators prepare to move to virtual learning,” says OLC’s Interim CEO, Jennifer Mathes, in a recent blog post. “This is not an easy move, especially for those who have never taught in this format previously.”

We encourage you to reach out to us at with requests for assistance and support.

Featured Webinars

Keeping Students Engaged in a Transition to Online Learning

March 20 | 1:00pm ET

As educators across the country and at all levels rush to shift their teaching to a virtual environment, their first focus is content and delivery—rightly so. Faculty also need to know how to identify online at-risk student behaviors that, if mitigated, can lead to better course outcomes and satisfaction for faculty and students, alike.

This session will help you identify ways to proactively keep your students engaged in an online environment (course) and understand what data you can use to help mitigate attrition.

How to Survive Your (Hurried) Switch to Online Delivery Using UDL

March 26 | 1:00pm ET

In this webinar, we will discuss how to survive the process of converting your on-ground course to an online course, and even improve the course by applying the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). UDL is an educational framework that seeks to remove barriers by providing multiple means of engagement, representation and action and expression.

Upcoming Institute Programs

New to Online, Essentials Part I: Getting Started
Neuro, Cognitive and Learning Sciences, Part II: Applying Theory to Practice
Essentials of the OLC The Quality Course Teaching and Instructional Practice (QCTIP) Scorecard
Strategies to Improve Retention


Blended Learning
Instructional Design
Leadership in Online Learning
Online Nursing


Online Teaching Certificate
Advanced Online Teaching Certificate
Instructional Designer Certificate


Creating Effective Assessments
Data Stories: An Introduction to Data Visualization
Designing Courses with a Multimodal Approach
Designing Game-Based Learning
Designing a Flipped Classroom
Exploring Learning Analytics
Fundamentals: ADA & Web Accessibility
Fundamentals: Giving Effective Feedback
Fundamentals: Increasing Interaction & Engagement
Helping Faculty with New Course Development – ID1
Introduction to Research Methods for the Instructional Designer Community
New to Online, Essentials Part I: Getting Started
Professional Foundations: Collaborating, Researching, and Networking – ID3
Strategies for Evaluating Online Faculty

Enjoy discounted pricing ($100+ savings) on all OLC workshops. Learn More.
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Copyright © 2020, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Online Learning Consortium
6 Liberty Square #2309
Boston, MA 02109

March 18, 2020

Important OLC Innovate 2020 Update – March 16, 2020

An item from the Online Learning Consortium.

Special Announcement: OLC Innovate 2020 is going online! Save the date and register to participate: June 15-26, 2020. Email not displaying correctly?
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March 16, 2020

Special Announcement: As previously shared with our community, OLC continues to monitor the evolving factors related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, particularly with regard to our OLC Innovate 2020 conference. Among recent developments, gatherings exceeding 1,000 people are now prohibited in the state of Illinois, which has contributed to our decision to move OLC Innovate 2020 completely online, from June 15-26. We selected these dates in response to the many requests from our community asking that in the absence of a face to face event, that we hold an online event before the close of the 2020 fiscal year. We look forward to having you join us for this fully online event, and will be reaching out with complete details and the updated program shortly.

As we move OLC Innovate completely online, we look forward to offering you the same vibrant programming, impactful networking, and opportunities to reflect and connect over the emerging and salient topics in our field. The virtual conference will include our regular offerings and opportunities for engagement, including sessions, workshops and summits, keynotes, and space to connect with sponsors, exhibitors, and educators from across the globe. In addition to participating in the live event, all attendees will have access to on-demand recordings for one (1) year. Moving our face-to-face conference to a fully online format presents us with the unique opportunity to spotlight the best of what the online modality affords – meaningful collaboration and the ability to reflect and connect with colleagues around the world. We hope that you will join us for this reimagined event, and celebrate our collective resilience and dedication to forging connections without boundaries.

We look forward to welcoming you to the OLC Innovate 2020 Virtual Conference in June, and we are here to help you however we can with questions and requests for support.  Please feel free to reach out to us with requests related to OLC Innovate at

For general questions related to continuity planning and emergency preparedness (including requests for support) please contact us at

Jennifer Mathes,
Interim Chief Executive Officer
Angela Gunder,
Vice President of Learning
Roberta Vigliani,
Chief Financial Officer

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March 12, 2020

Important OLC Innovate 2020 Update

Another conference notice – this one from the Online Learning Consortium.

OLC Innovate 2020 postponed. Email not displaying correctly?
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Dear OLC Colleague,

Due to circumstances related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we have made the difficult decision to postpone OLC Innovate 2020, originally scheduled for March 31 – April 3, in Chicago. We have been working with the Sheraton Grand Chicago to finalize details for new dates, which will now be July 22-24, 2020. We believe this is the right decision for our community, as we all work to manage through this period of disruption and concern.

We appreciate the dedication and flexibility of our community, especially those that have spent the past year involved in preparations for OLC Innovate 2020. This includes the significant time and effort invested by our Conference and Program Committees and our incredible community of volunteers. Our goal at this point is to fulfill our promise to our community to deliver a conference filled with opportunities to network and learn, free from undue risk to health and safety.

As you navigate these circumstances and their impact on your organization, we invite you to reach out with any questions or concerns. And if you haven’t already, you might also want to take a look at OLC’s Continuity Planning and Emergency Preparedness resources.

We thank you for your flexibility and understanding as our team and our community work through this challenging period.


Jennifer Mathes
Interim CEO
Online Learning Consortium

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January 27, 2020

OLC Innovate 2020 – Join Us In Chicago! – Keynote Speakers, Early Bird Pricing, And More!

An item from late last week.

MERLOT Online Learning Consortium

OLC Innovate 2020 Education Reimagined

March 31 – April 3, 2020 • Chicago, IL • #OLCInnovate

Join us in Chicago (at booth #708)!

Sheraton Grand Chicago

The Online Learning Consortium and MERLOT will be hosting OLC Innovate 2020, our annual conference focused on innovations in research, practice, leadership, and technologies in online and digital learning, March 31-April 3, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois.

8 Reasons to Join Us!

This year’s keynote speakers for OLC Innovate 2020 include:

Wednesday Keynote:
A Pedagogy for the Digital Age

Zeynep Tufekci, Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina, author, and opinion writer
Thursday Keynote:
Empowering Students to Engage and Learn

Flower Darby, Director of Teaching for Student Success at Northern Arizona University
Friday Keynote:
Bridging Critical, Digital, and Open Pedagogies

Rajiv Jhangiani, Associate Vice Provost, Open Education at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia, and an internationally known advocate for open education

Register Now and Save with Early Bird Pricing

Save when you register before February 5, 2020. Learn more.

Make Plans to Join a Pre-Conference Workshop

Learn from subject matter experts on OLC quality scorecards, leadership, and more in pre-conference workshops at OLC Innovate 2020. Start planning your OLC Innovate experience and review the full list of Tuesday pre-conference workshops now.

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