Reflections on OLC 2018

By May 10, 2018 March 3rd, 2020 No Comments

by: Kristin Isler, Product Development Coordinator

This year’s OLC Innovate conference, hosted by our friends and partners at Online Learning Consortium, in Nashville, TN, was another amazing learning experience. Located in the beautiful (and enormous) Gaylord Opryland Hotel, the conference provided a great variety of sessions during the day and entertainment after event hours. Joining me at the show from the Remote Learner Team were CEO Ron Olsen, President Dr. Page Chen, Senior Product Manager Geoff Horsfall, and Senior Account Manager Kim Bartee.

I not only learned a lot from the sessions I attended but also from the sessions I was fortunate enough to host as well.

Our first session was a focus group with several site administrators and faculty on what they  want a site administrator dashboard to include. Using a Design Thinking activity, the group brainstormed the information that would be most important to site administrators of all skill levels and experience. Starting with what a site administrator would need to know about their site on the very first day of the job, then exploring what they would need at six months and one year allowed them to see the progress of knowledge a site administrator should gain as they become more familiar with the learning management system they use.

While the conversation remained “LMS agnostic” (meaning it was not limited to one LMS over another) we discovered there were similar needs for site administrators across all systems represented. It was amazing to see the group work together and inspire new ideas in each other through the discussion. Although time was short, everyone was pleased with the results.

In the second session we showcased Remote Learner’s soon-to-be released Syllabus Builder for Moodle ™  and Totara Learn, which is a product that will allow easy creation of a syllabus within the LMS. We began work on this product with a focus group session at OLC Innovate 2017 in New Orleans so it was great to be able to show how we incorporated some of those ideas into the finished product. The session itself was well attended and the feedback from the attendees hints that the Syllabus Builder will be a well-received solution in the Moodle and Totara Communities.

I was excited to participate in a third session (unofficial, of course) with my colleagues from Remote Learner. As is tradition for conference trips, I like to try something I’ve never had before. Being in Nashville, my co-workers were happy to teach me about whisky and set up a whiskey tasting session just for me. If you find yourself in Nashville, definitely try the whiskey over Ginger Ice at Jack Daniel’s restaurant. While the sessions are always interesting, a favorite part of any conference is the time spent at the Remote-Learner booth in the event hall.

As a solutions-oriented company, this is where we can really talk to attendees about the challenges they face. Meeting people from all areas of the online learning community allows us to hear first-hand what issues still need to be addressed. It also gives us an opportunity to meet with many of our partners, like Ilos or Course Merchant, and see what’s new in the industry from other vendors. When we return home, these conversations are what keep us motivated to improve online learning, not just for our clients, but for everyone in the online learning community.