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CU Online Shares Expertise and Interests at OLC Accelerate 2018

OLC Accelerate conference in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 2018

OLC Accelerate conference in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 2018

Recently in November, two of my colleagues joined me in representing the CU Denver | Anschutz Office of Digital Education at the annual Online Learning Consortium (OLC) Accelerate conference in Orlando, Florida.

OLC Accelerate is an international conference which focuses on improving quality online learning, advancing best practices, and accelerating change in eLearning. The conference attracts academic leaders, educators, administrators, and online learning professionals in higher education and related fields from around the world.

Trends we noticed at this year’s OLC Accelerate were: enhancing faculty development for online instruction, improving online accessibility and inclusion, and refining collaborative strategies for instructional designers.

We all presented, adding to the variety of cutting-edge material available to the leaders and thinkers of online education at the conference.

Here’s a quick overview of our sessions:

Awesome (OSM) Faculty Development: The Evolution of the Online Skills Mastery Program at CU Denver

Amy Arnold (Academic Services Senior Professional) and Sarah North (Instructional Designer)
Our shared session offered strategies for revamping professional development opportunities for online faculty. Amy and I provided a behind the scenes look at the evolution of the CU Online faculty development program, dubbed Online Skills Mastery (OSM). We shared current practices, as well as the trials and tribulations involved in growing a successful program.

Mobile Technology and the Myth of the App

Bradon Lewis (Academic Technologist)
Bradon presented a Discovery Session, meant to provide increased interaction with experts in new and emerging eLearning technologies and topics. Smartphones and tablets are rapidly replacing laptops as the primary device used for online education. As the number of devices used in our classrooms grow it increases the need for adaptability digital education. This session helped participants identify some of the unintended issues and barriers created when not considering mobile technology.  Instead of fighting mobile technology, Bradon provided a toolkit that allows today’s educators to easily reach all of their students, no matter what device they are using.

Exploring Student Self-Regulation in the Online Environment: Strategies for Faculty and Designers

Sarah North (Instructional Designer)
My solo research session provided an overview of a mixed-methods research study (conducted as a PhD student at the University of Minnesota) which focused on understanding the experience of students and self-regulation in an online course. Using study results and practical experiences, I led participants in learning how faculty and instructional designers can support student self-regulated learning strategies and success in the online environment.

In addition to presenting, Bradon, Amy, and I enjoyed attending other educational and research sessions, as well as hearing from keynote speakers such as Jane McGonigal, who is considered the industry leader in gamification. Overall we found this conference to be a highly worthwhile professional development opportunity, each for our own areas of interest. We’re looking forward to implementing some new key ideas in the coming year to improve our faculty development offerings!

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