Virtual School Meanderings

February 25, 2017

New Workshop Topics Announced

From Wednesday’s inbox…

Online Learning Consortium -
New Workshop Offerings in 2017
Enhance your online teaching skills with these new OLC workshop topics.

The Institute for Professional Development is excited to be rolling out a series of new workshops for 2017! We have a great line-up of topics that will keep you ahead of the curve in the field of online and digital education. Enhance your knowledge and instructional practice with one or more of these workshops. There will be more offerings added as the year progresses, so stay tuned!

Upcoming Workshops

Essentials of the OLC Quality Course Teaching and Instructional Practice (QCTIP) Scorecard
An Introduction to LX Design
Strategic Planning for Web Accessibility
Strategies for Effective Mobile Learning in the Online and Blended Classroom
Essentials of the OLC QCTIP Scorecard
95x100_teaching.png March 13-19, 2017

The Quality Course Teaching and Instructional Practice (QCTIP) Scorecard is the latest addition to the OLC Quality Scorecard suite. This comprehensive rubric which addresses online pedagogy and instructional practices, can be used by educators to self-evaluate and improve their practice. Since good course design is inherent to good teaching, the QCTIP scorecard also addresses components of quality course design. Facilitator Dr. Kaye Shelton will introduce the QCTIP Scorecard, provide some of the foundational research used in the development and cover the fundamentals of the quality rubric.

LX Design | Web Accessibility

July 10-16, 2017

Learner Experience (LX) Design utilizes well-established user experience (UX) design, service design, and design thinking methods to focus the design of synchronous and asynchronous learning experiences on those who matter most: the learners. Try as we might, no course design is perfect for every learner.

Drawing from methods used in user experience design, learning design, and service design, this introductory workshop—facilitated by Dr. Jessica Knott—provides a basic overview of what LX Design is, and a taste of how it can help you identify and solve some of the difficulties your students may encounter in your course. Register >


Sept 25-Oct 1, 2017

The question of how to make online and web-based content accessible is emerging as one of the top issues of concern among online educators, and for all institutions that provide online education. Research trends show that while there is a greater awareness of Section 508 accessibility compliance requirements, most campuses lack the resources they need to address these issues quickly and comprehensively. The Department of Justice has recently updated requirements to ensure that Section 508 and the WCAG 2.0 standards become the law of the land, which is set to go into effect in January 2018. Facilitator Wendy MacColl will help you prepare your institution for these upcoming changes to the law with this timely workshop that will guide you in developing a web accessibility plan (WAP).  Register >

Effective Mobile Learning in the Classroom
Nov 6-12, 2017

What’s the best smartphone? What apps should I use? Should everything be in the Learning Management System (LMS)? Is there a best-practice to incorporate mobile devices? Isn’t online learning done on a laptop? What about wearables and other ‘new’ tech? Facilitator Dr. Scott Hamm will help you answer these questions and give you a proven, time-saving approach to the big three (Practices, Applications, and Devices, or P.A.D.) that will save you time and money, and increase your effectiveness. You will also receive several mobile learning takeaways that you can implement immediately in your own online or blended class.

ADA & Web Accessibility Self-Paced Workshop
Improving access to online education means, among other things, ensuring that your online course materials, teaching and learning activities, and assessments are accessible for all learners. This workshop will help you better understand the legal framework for accessibility in online education and how learners with disabilities participate in online classes. You will also explore the practical application of procedures that instructional designers, instructors, developers and administrators follow when they create ADA compliant online courses.Register >
Full Institute Schedule
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The Online Learning Consortium | P.O. Box 1238 | Newburyport | MA | 01950

February 19, 2017

Enhance Your Career In Online Learning Leadership

From Friday’s inbox…

Online Learning Consortium -
Institute for Emerging Leadership in
Online Learning (IELOL)
Dear Michael,

The IELOL program, now in its 9th year, serves the development needs of emerging leaders responsible for a variety of online learning initiatives. Participants connect and network with colleagues from around the world as well as join a growing network of leaders in higher education.

“The collaboration, learning, and networking is second to none!” Dr. Tony Farrell, Executive Dean, College of Education, at Ashford University said about the Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning (IELOL) program.


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“One of the most unexpected outcomes of this engagement was my own understanding and appreciation for what leadership really means,” wrote guest blogger Larry Ragan, Co-Director of Penn State’s Center for Online Innovation in Learning and Co-Director of IELOL, when reflecting on his leadership journey.

Deadline to complete the application is April 14, 2017.

Join us on February 21st at 12:00pm EST, to learn more about the IELOL program in an informational webinar. Register today.

Best Regards,

Kathleen S. Ives, D.M. | Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director | Online Learning Consortium| 617-716-1414 |

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The Online Learning Consortium | P.O. Box 1238 | Newburyport | MA | 01950

February 14, 2017

What Do Your Tweets Say About You as an Online Instructor?

From yesterday’s inbox…

Online Learning Consortium -
What Do Your Tweets Say About You as an Online Instructor?
Dear Michael,

In our most recent blog post on OLC Insights, “What Do Your Tweets Say About You as an Online Instructor?,” we discuss the increasing importance of understanding how to use social media in the classroom and for professional networking.

“If you’ve questioned how best to increase your use of social media for career purposes, or want to better communicate with and instruct an ‘always on’ student population, you’ll find that there aren’t many formal courses for social media application in the context of higher education.”

Luckily, OLC offers courses to help. Learn from Francy Johnson’s experience in OLC’s Social Media Mastery Series.

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“This was the most positive PD experience I have had in my 20+ years of teaching. The instructor made learning fun, so it didn’t feel like work. I learned skills that I use every day in both my regular and online courses.”

-Francy Johnson, Teacher and Advisor, The Anglo-American School of Moscow

Best Regards,

Jennifer Rafferty | Director of the OLC Institute for Professional Development | Online Learning Consortium | 617-716-1414 |

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The Online Learning Consortium | P.O. Box 1238 | Newburyport | MA | 01950

February 12, 2017

Join us for an OLC Workshop in March

From Friday’s inbox…

Online Learning Consortium -
March Institute Offerings
Enhance your online teaching skills with OLC workshops.

OLC workshops are a cost-effective way to collaborate with peers and experts via synchronous and asynchronous methods for effective and engaging learning.  We are committed to modeling best practices for online learning in all of our workshops. Toward that end, our workshops will utilize numerous proven teaching strategies and learning activities that will spark creative ideas for your own online or blended course.

Upcoming Workshops

Exploring Digital Storytelling
Introduction to Collaboration Tools | Creating Rubrics
Fundamentals: Framework for Quality Design
Strategies for Supporting & Advising Students
Exploring Digital Storytelling
Computer_digital_storytelling.jpg March 13-19, 2017

Digital Storytelling combines multiple media formats to create impactful learning experiences that engage both the mind and emotions of the learner. Join facilitator Cathy Arreguin in this workshop where you will explore the elements of an effective digital story, including point-of-view, voice, sound, images and pacing.

Introduction to Collaboration Tools | Creating Rubrics

March 13-19, 2017

Online collaboration tools enable students to communicate, collaborate, and problem solve despite physical distance. In this workshop, you will explore a variety of collaboration tools including, but not limited to, Google Docs, Skype, and Google Hangouts, to analyze their strengths and weaknesses, with the guidance of your facilitator, Linda Algozzini. Register >


March 15-17, 2017

Join facilitator Dr. Carl Moore to discuss and learn how to create and use rubrics to efficiently and consistently evaluate student work. You will learn the qualities that make a rubric successful, while exploring best practices for grading and assessing students in the online environment.  Register >

Fundamentals: Framework for Quality Design
March 27-April 2, 2017

Quality course design is one of the many things that need to be considered in online and blended instructional models. Many institutions and organizations have carried out extensive research and published useful guidelines and rubrics to help ensure the design of quality courses. There are numerous quality frameworks for online courses, online programs and online teaching. In this workshop, you will explore various well-known and well-respected quality frameworks that can help you improve the quality of your online course with facilitator, Dr. Lujean Baab.

Strategies for Supporting & Advising Students
March 27-April 2, 2017

Online and blended education programs create additional opportunities, challenges and roles for Student Services. How are your students doing in their online and blended courses? What challenges are they facing? As campuses reach out to students through new web interfaces, technologies, and portals, such services also improve access for face-to-face students. Join facilitator Linda Algozzini to explore these new roles and learn best practices, sustainable solutions, and transformations made possible through technology for student advising and support. Register >

Full Institute Schedule
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The Online Learning Consortium | P.O. Box 1238 | Newburyport | MA | 01950

February 10, 2017

Still Time to Attend – February 16 – Discuss OER Innovations, Policies, and Large Scale Implementations

Another item from Wednesday’s inbox…

Online Learning Consortium - Twitter   Facebook   Instagram   youtubeicon2.png
OLC Collaborate – San Francisco
Join us February 16th at the Hilton San Francisco Airport Bayfront
Dear Michael,

There’s still a few seats left! Join us for this one-day event! OLC Collaborate – San Francisco, hosted by our academic partner, California State University, is next week!

Join us as we review the legislative and policy landscape in the State of California related to textbook affordability which has enabled large scale programs and millions of dollars in student savings.Register for OLC Collaborate – San Francisco today! View the full programhere.

Can’t make it on February 16th? Join us in New Orleans for OLC Innovate 2017, April 5-7. Learn more.

We hope to see you soon,

Kathleen-150x150_circle.png     Gerry_circle.jpg


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“OLC Collaborate – Los Angeles was fast-paced and on topic, with the right balance of presentation, break-out sessions, and networking.”

– Aline Soules, Library Faculty,

California State University – East Bay

Kathleen S. Ives, D.M.
Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director
Online Learning Consortium

Gerry Hanley, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic Technology Services, Executive Director, MERLOT (, Director, SkillsCommons (, California State University, Office of the Chancellor

Online Learning Consortium – empowering educators everywhere

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The Online Learning Consortium | P.O. Box 1238 | Newburyport | MA | 01950

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