Current economic and budgetary conditions are putting significant strain on community colleges in the area of faculty development, making funding for faculty development activities and travel to conferences difficult. Meanwhile, the need for faculty development remains stable or is increasing, particularly as more faculty become involved with online teaching. A response to this is the use of online means to deliver faculty development activities. Unlike other professional conferences, the Fielding Graduate University Online Summer Institute for Community Colleges (OSICC) has no physical venue. Taking place completely over the Web, the institute takes place wherever you are. Despite its online format, the event is anything but a solitary or static experience. There is no shortage of opportunities to meet peers, share information, expand your professional network – and learn from talented colleagues. Over 95% of participants in other LearningTimes-produced online conferences report that the virtual experience is at least as meaningful and valuable – if not more so – than attending an offline conference.
The OSICC features an incredible lineup of dynamic speakers — all of whom are respected practitioners in community colleges. During OSICC, the presenters not only share scores of online teaching and learning techniques from their own practice as well as techniques for leading and motivating faculty, but facilitate a lively dialogue with a community of participants. The result: a frenzied sharing of practical take-always that each participant can immediately integrate into their own community college teaching, and an instant network of peers that serves as an ongoing resource to all members of the OSICC community.
Co-Chairs: Palloff & Pratt:
Despite their near-legendary status as speakers and authors in the field of online instruction, Drs. Rena Palloff and Keith Pratt remain humble, down to earth and downright endearing. Approachable and practical, their teaching strategies are honed by their ongoing time spent teaching online courses and reflecting on what they themselves have learned. They have translated the knowledge they have accrued in several best-selling books by Jossey-Bass, including: Collaborating Online, Building Learning Communities in Cyberspace, Lessons from the Cyberspace Classroom, The Virtual Student, and Assessing the Online Learner. As Honorary Conference Co-Chairs, Palloff and Pratt bring a fun, collegial, and practical spirit to this unique event.
Online conferences produced by LearningTimes are known worldwide not only for the richness of their content and the quality of their programs, but also for their warm and very human sensibility. The LearningTimes team strives to create a culture of sharing and produces the conference with an array of tools and events that foster relationship-building with peers and the growth of professional networks. Participants cite the connections they made with others in attendance online as among the most valuable elements of the online conference experience.
Several of the speakers and panelists of OSICC will offer bonus materials to support our work as education professionals. Practical in nature, the handouts are yours to download, print and put to use immediately in your own work.
Live Interactive Sessions:
The OSICC Program Committee has crafted a jam-packed two days of access to top speakers, great content and exceptional networking opportunities. Each day of the conference will include about half a dozen live online sessions facilitated by leading speakers. Participants will hear and interact with workshop leaders and other attendees on topics designed to offer practical strategies for improving online learning courses and programs and community college teaching. Each session will last from one hour to 90 minutes, and will feature live two-way web-based audio, visuals, and real-life demonstrations of best practices at work.
Full Session Recordings:
All workshops are recorded and posted immediately to the conference community site so that participants unable to attend live or who wish to watch again can experience the sessions when it is most convenient. In addition to the real-time dialogue, some participants may choose to post ideas and questions for the speakers before or after the event in threaded discussion areas, to be addressed live and in the recorded sessions. Access to the session recordings is available for at least six months after the OSICC. No matter what time zone you are in, you can still enjoy the full conference experience.
Anytime Discussions and Networking:
The LearningTimes Conference Community that is home to the OSICC is designed to afford ample on-demand and networking opportunities. Discussion forums, audio blogs, searchable member directories, integrated "who’s on now" messaging and special "show and tell" areas provide a rich array of communication options before, during and after the conference.
Bonus Keynote & Featured Sessions:
The full slate of OSICC presenters will be complimented by several bonus Keynote and Featured Sessions. These extra workshops, included at no additional charge, are on essential topics for education professionals involved in community college teaching — with a special focus this year on teaching online and also leading and motivating faculty. With access to sessions on topics like working with digital natives and promoting faculty development online, OSICC keeps the focus on practical and timely topics and skills, offered in a collegial and accessible manner.