The UA Online Learning Innovation Summit (OLIS)

OLIS is a cross-campus professional development unconference focused on innovation in online learning, to be held on February 7, 2020.

OLIS participants will share experience and best practice surrounding online learning and teaching technologies, in order to improve student outcomes.  Innovation in online teaching will be recognized and honored at this key university-wide event.  OLIS 2019 will feature a keynote address by Air University, which is using virtual reality and other simulation technologies to teach technical skills as well as team building and human resources management.  

The College of Continuing Studies Bama By Distance and the College of Arts and Sciences are co-hosting OLIS 2020, supported by departments across campus and organized cooperatively by Dr. Nathan Loewen (CAS ETech) and Cheryl Bosarge (Bama By Distance Faculty Training).

What Will I Learn?

OLIS 2020 is designed on an “unconference” model.  Instead of the formal presentations and showcasing typical of academic conferences, OLIS will be an opportunity for faculty and staff from across UA to come together for brainstorming, problem-solving, and purposeful conversation around online teaching and learning.

OLIS registration will be limited, as we work to cultivate a group large enough for significant impact, but small enough to allow for the brainstorming and idea-sharing we plan to foster through breakout sessions and huddle discussions.

What Did You Miss at OLIS 2019?

Keynote Speakers

The keynote presentation was given by leaders of The Air University Squadron Officer School. They shared how they use virtual reality and other simulation technologies to support Air Force leadership and development as well as team-building and critical thinking skills. Keynote presenters included Toni Hawkins-Scribner, Director, and Bradley Aldridge, Senior Educational Advisor, of the Learning Sciences and Technology Studio, as well as Lieutenant Colonel Brian Lebeck, Dean of Squadron Officer School.

Breakout Sessions

Breakout sessions focused on concepts and principles, and implementing innovations. They included:

  • Getting Started with Online Teaching: The Basics
  • Inclusive Classrooms Through Digital Pedagogy
  • Facilitating Discussion and Learning About Identity
  • Retaining Learners in Online Courses
  • Fostering Community Online and Connecting with Students
  • Universal Course Design and Accessibility
  • Creating Video Content for Teaching and Learning
  • Designing Interactive Online Assignments
  • Supporting Service Learning with Online Teaching
  • Assessment and Evaluation in Online Environments


Technology Petting Zoo

Representatives from the Faculty Resource Center, Human Resources, and The Air University demonstrated educational technologies and provided hands-on opportunities for faculty and staff.


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