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OLC Accelerate 2022 Takeaways

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Instructional support team members Diana Wu, Renee Fiser, Andrea Leonard, and Francesco Crocco

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) is one of the largest international organizations representing online learning. In November, four members of the Instructional Support Team attended the OLC Accelerate 2022 conference, presenting on adaptive learning, interactive course content, and faculty learning communities. 

They were also able to attend presentations by industry leaders on the latest research and strategies in the field of online learning, returning to campus with applicable insights and takeaways.

Diana Wu, instructional designerDiana Wu, Instructional Designer | Microlearning

Microlearning is one of the effective strategies for engaging learners in online courses by delivering targeted learning through short bursts of content for learners. 

The content can take many forms, such as text, images, videos, audios, quizzes, or games. 

Taking the time to create microlearning opportunities can have big benefits for students, such as:

  • Enhanced engagement.
  • Increased completion rates by providing shorter, bite-sized learning materials.
  • Enabling learning anywhere with any device.
  • Increased retention of the learning materials.
  • Creating a customized learning experience.

Andrea Leonard, Instructional DesignerAndrea Leonard, Instructional Designer | At-Home Experiment Tools

I was intrigued by presentations on the ever-shrinking world of technology used for at-home experiments in online laboratory courses. For instance, new lab probes are incredibly small and integrate with any smartphones. 

The world of video is shrinking also, and some online educators are embracing the “Tik-Tok” style of combining speech, on-screen text, time-jumps, and music to create extremely short videos. When combining these videos with other instructional text, instructors can make dynamic content appealing to multiple learning styles. 

New technologies were presented, including some new visions for online proctoring (Proctor360, Honorlock), new tools to facilitate peer review (Peerceptiv), and some older technologies that are being recognized for their value (Notability). 

Renee Riser, Instructional TechnologistRenee Fiser, Instructional Technologist | Immersive Video

My biggest takeaway from the OLC Accelerate conference was how many events were available to discover. Ideas for how we could incorporate the technology we already have in new ways was the second biggest takeaway from the conference. For instance, we could use the 360 cameras we currently have to create engaging student learning experiences. I attended several presentations where they created immersive 360 video vignettes to teach students a specific skill or process. We could create interactive 360 videos with contextual links and information for more meaningful and engaging learning experiences.   

Francesco Crocco, Assistant Director of Instructional SupportFrancesco Crocco, Assistant Director for Instructional Support | Networking

OLC Accelerate is a massive industry conference with lots of vendors and dozens of presentations by industry leaders. There was lots of dazzling new technology on display—such as a hologram machine! However, my biggest takeaway was the value of networking.

Relationships are key, especially for online learning. One valuable connection I made at the conference was with a colleague from the University of Central Florida whom I had never met in person before due to the pandemic. She provided valuable tips for how to manage our QM course certification process. I look forward to the next chance to conference with colleagues, which is sure to bring new ideas and opportunities.