The last few days of OLC were spectacular! Thursday was another full day of presentations. The morning began with breakfast and a keynote presentation from MindWires Consulting about the move to student-centered active learning. Again, the large presentation hall was alive with discussion both in-person and online. I worked really hard for a social media award (I tweeted up a storm!), but since I haven’t heard anything from OLC, I have a feeling I didn’t win.
After breakfast, I attended sessions over OER best practices (University of Wisconsin), social media in the diverse classroom (Bethune-Cookman University), understanding the needs and concerns of diverse socioeconomic students (North Carolina State), and creating instructional videos for your course (Southern New Hampshire University). All of the presenters had some great tips and tricks for amplifying your online community and communication with students. I was especially interested in the accompanying conversation after the presentation from NC State. Something I’ll remember in the future is “tech-savvy does not mean tech-responsible.”
Thursday afternoon, the OLC gave conference attendees the opportunity to visit one of the disney parks. I chose to visit Epcot, where the annual Food & Wine Fest was happening. It was my first time at Epcot, and I was completely blown away! I visited every “country” and participated in as many food and wine samples as I could. I even walked away with an over-priced souvenir, but I still feel like it was completely worth it.
Four hours later, I had made it around the lagoon. I sat down and enjoyed the amazing fireworks display!
The next morning meant packing up my hotel room and attending some last-minute conferences. Again, I attended a keynote presentation during breakfast. This was a roundtable Q&A hosted by a panel of OLC Fellows. They discussed issues and technologies that are currently influencing online learning. After the panel, I sat in on my favorite session of the conference: “Keeping All of the Balls in the Air: Juggling Tips from Two New Instructional Designers.” Hosted by two Penn State IDs, this presentation gave me some great organizational tips and reminded me that I am not alone. They even provided us with some links to the organization tools they suggested.
I also attended presentations about designing and evaluating online multimedia (Indiana University) and curating online media (Kansas State University). I couldn’t believe it when it was all over! It felt like the three conference days had flown by.
I feel incredibly lucky to be an OLC 2015 attendee. I learned so much about faculty preparedness, instructional design, useful online education tools, educational diversity, and multimedia. It is was an experience I’ll never forget!