Here is a quick summary of the tracks at the Online Learning / I4PL conference, occuring over the next few days. Follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #GlobalSummit18

1. Access, Openness and Flexibility

Open is not just about cost and affordability. David invites us to consider the many benefits beyond lower cost to open and accessible learning. What possibilities exist for collaboration? empowerment? How can we embrace openness in our contexts? Come find out in this conference track. Also, I am happy to talk to you about open education as a huge advocate of it’s impact on students.

2. Course Design, Development and Delivery

Darcy argues that this is core to any teaching and learning environment. Lecture-format is not the best way to engage learners. How can we make courses more engaging, interactive and robust. Instructional designers are essential to move beyond boring LMSs.

Technology is blamed for poor learning when in reality the design of the online environment is what needs to change. How can we improve course design? make is more accessible, experiential, innovative and engaging.

3. The track with the longest title

How can we balance the traditional and new approaches to learning. We need to evolve.  How can we evolve? What is the buzz around virtual delivery and social learning?

4. Technology, Innovation and Pedagogy

In this track Phill Hill challenges to move beyond the hype and look at the possibilities that technology brings – gamification, artificial intelligence and more. What are the ethical and technological implications Existing silos in organizations do not work in the new innovative world of technology. this track is a deep study of new technologies – not just hype. It is a mature look at cutting edge technologies and their implications. How do we create safe spaces to innovate? We need to protect our learners.

5. Assessment and Return on Investment

Data is everywhere. When we are surrounded by data how do we work our way through it? Jill states “data, data everywhere – I hardly know what to think.” Experts in this track help us navigate data in different areas. Build a realistic plan to build a lifeboat for data navigation.

6. Performance and Learning Professional Development

Professional development is key to the future of education. Come find out ways to improve. Reflect daily on the conference and develop an action plan.

7. Assessment, Analytics and Student Success

Mark suggests we are expanding our opportunities to understand the pathways of student learning. What are the challenges? What helps? Did you know that student choice is more predictive than demographics? Students often leave because of life logistics not academics. What can we do to help them. There are so many best practices shared at conferences that faculty and staff are getting fatigued. What are the big things we can do? Early warning systems, for example, can have a devastating impact on retention. How can we help students help themselves? scaffold learning? One size does not fit all.

8. Faculty Institutional Development and Innovation

Stephen invites us to consider how prepared we are for teaching as new faculty. Institutions change. They change fast. Faculty are part of an ecosystem. As we explore what our role is as faculty, the role of the LMS, surveillance and the “game” of being faculty – how do we do it? Are faculty needed? Whose job is it to design assessments? Ambiguity specialists and advocates may be our role. We need to advocate for quality learning, shape minds and champion learning design innovation.

Find me!


Presenters: Tim Dougan, Darcy Hardy, Phil Hill, Jill Holliday, Mark Milliron, Stephen Murgatroyd, David Porter, and Gavin Toole


Laura Killam is an experienced nursing educator from Northern Ontario with a keen interest in improving student learning through innovation. For more information please visit

1 Comment

Don’t Think Outside the LMS, Redecorate the Interior – JR Blogwall · October 16, 2018 at 6:01 pm

[…] come up too frequently I’ll admit. One comment was on Twitter, and the other was via NurseKillam’s recent post (in a slide pictured). The title for this post is a bit tongue and cheek. I recall seeing a poster […]

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