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Cornell presents at 21st Annual Online Learning Consortium International Conference

In October a group from Academic Technologies and the Center for Teaching Excellence attended the 21st Annual Online Learning Consortium International Conference (OLC). Patrice Prusko, Diane Sempler and Rob Vanderlan presented “MOOC Learners are More than Bits and Bytes. Using two MOOC’s as an example, “Civic Ecology” and “The Computing Technology Inside Your Smarthphone,” they discussed how MOOC learners have had an impact on the economy, society and the planet and explored return on investment measured by human capital.

Patrice Prusko also presented with Whitney Kilgore on “Design Thinking to Reimagine Professional Development,” which built on their experience in the Ideo.org Human Centered Design Thinking (HCDT) MOOC. “Our work in the HCDT MOOC helped us better understand how teachers and faculty experienced professional development,” said Prusko. “We wanted to support K-16 STEM educators to better prepare students for the future, and during the presentation we were able to brainstorm solutions and ideas with the participants.”

The Conference included tracks on Faculty and Professional Development; Institutional Strategies and Innovation; Leadership, Values and Society; Learning Effectiveness; Open, Global and Mobile; and Student Services and Emerging Technology.

Conference keynotes were by Goldie Blumenstyk who spoke on “American Higher Education in Crisis? Myths and Realities,” as well as Phil Hill and Michael Feldstein who spoke about the cost of technology and teaching as a way to provide better, more personalized learning experiences. “This change is not driven by software-it’s people,” tweeted @mfeldstein67, in response to the talk.

Test Kitchen, a collaborative space to explore innovative ways to use technology, was a big hit. If you are interested in the “recipes” from the Online Learning Consortium you can view the Technology Test Kitchen Recipe Book.

Two opportunities announced at the conference include an OLCToday Grant that will provide prizes for faculty using digital courseware, as well as grants and a toolkit provided by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA) Research Center.

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