Last week we attended and sponsored the OLC Accelerate 2016 conference in Orlando, Florida. The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) is “driving quality online learning, advancing best practice guidance and accelerating innovation in learning for academic leaders, educators, administrators, online learning professionals and organizations around the world.” This edition of the OLC conference focused on accelerating online learning worldwide, something that has been NovoEd’s aim since the beginning!

We brought along our CEO Ed Miller, whose CEO announcement went out the morning of the second conference day. Apart from Ed, our Jen and Charlie were there to speak to many enthusiastic attendees and received quite the crowd in our booth.

From talking to other attendees, and attending a session here and there, we learned more about current topics in online learning. This post recaps OLC Accelerate in some key takeaways for NovoEd and the online learning space as a whole.

  1. There is an emerging trend of nontraditional learners staying away from the college degree path and going online, acquiring micro-credentials by completing courses they can access where and when they want, whenever they feel like they need that specific skill. For the modern learner, who lives in an ever evolving knowledge economy, this way of learning is much more intuitive than spending years gathering knowledge that is only applicable years later, if at all.
  2. Accompanying this trend, there is a widespread increase in importance of flexible and student-centered learning, where students learn collaboratively and have a degree of autonomy as to how they learn the materials. Learners might for example choose the order in which they learn certain topics, but also through which materials they achieve a specific learning objective.
  3. The importance of problem solving and collaboration is receiving wide recognition, as these are paramount skills for the (competency-focused) modern learner. Furthermore, the role of role-play and gamification in this was stressed, providing practice situations for real-life counterparts.
  4. Key challenges that kept coming up and being addressed in different ways, were student engagement and completion, and the statistics to back all this up. It is here where creating the best online learning experience, and measuring results and adjusting along the way, prove to be paramount.

At NovoEd, we strove to create a platform for the modern learner with the NovoEd Learning Platform, to enable the best possible learning experience. Our learning platform was designed with many of these takeaways in mind. If you have an online initiative where you need the best possible online learning experience, we would love to talk to you about how the NovoEd Learning Platform might be a great fit.