News You Can Use

eLearn Magazine: A Recap of the 18th Annual Sloan Consortium Conference on Online Learning


New Issue of JALN released, featuring 2011 Best in Track Award Winners.


Creating an Institutional Culture that Embraces Accessibility and Supports Online Student Success  - By Kristen Betts, Director of Online and Blended Learning, Armstrong Atlantic State University. Kristen Betts will be presenting “From Compliance to Culture: Building an Effective Infrastructure to Support Accessibility and Online Student Success” on October 11, 2012.


Online and On the Move - By Emily Boles, Senior Instructional Developer, University of Illinois, Springfield. Ray Schroeder will be presenting "Online and On the Move: Mobile Online Learning" on October 10, 2012.

Conference News

Today's Campus Highlights Sloan-C Annual Conference in Nov-Dec Issue

Missed the event? Purchase the full set of recordings now – 65+ sessions for just $119!

Download the Proceedings

View the pictures of the conference

Watch the keynote and plenary recordings:

Keynote Address: Democratizing Higher Education
Sebastian Thrun, VP & Fellow Google

Plenary Panel: Evolution or Revolution? What's Happening with Traditional Online Learning?
Jeff Young (The Chronicle of Higher Education, US) - Panel Moderator
Jose Cruz (The Education Trust, US)
Alan Drimmer (University of Phoenix, US)
Jack Wilson (University of Massachusetts, US)

Plenary Address: Citizen Science - Authentic Participation in Research
Arfon Smith (Citizen Science-Adler Planetarium, US)

Press Release: October 9, 2012
Sonic Foundry Partners with the Sloan Consortium to Webcast International Conference on Online Learning

Best in Track Awards Winners Announced. Read the Press Release.

Call for Presentations for the 2013 conference will open in February 2013.

Check out last year's conference.


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Save the Dates

22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Democratizing Higher Education

Sebastian Thrun (Udacity, Google, US)
Session Information
October 11, 2012 - 8:50am
Institutional Level: 
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Keynote Address
Southern Hemisphere I-V
Session Duration: 
60 Minutes
Virtual Session

Online higher education has a long history, but seems to be always good for surprises. In 2011, the speaker took his Stanford graduate level class online, and 160,000 students signed up. 23,000 graduated at Stanford level. Underlying this class was a teaching model that emphasizes student engagement, problem solving, and free online access. The speaker recently created Udacity, a new online university, which offers university-level courses free of charge. With half a dozen courses underway, Udacity has enrolled north of 200,000 students. The speaker will discuss details of this approach, the underlying pedagogical ideas, the ramification this work may have for the students in the world.

Lead Presenter
Sebastian ThrunSebastian Thrun is co-founder of Udacity, Vice President/Fellow at Google, and a Stanford University research professor.  Thrun was elected into the National Academy of Engineering at the age of 39, after publishing 11 books, over 350 research papers, and after winning numerous scientific awards. In 2011, Thrun resigned from a full professorship at Stanford, after a 15 year career in higher education. At Google, he is in charge of Google X, which is home to the Google self-driving car and the Google Glass project. At Udacity, he has taught the largest online graduate class ever taught, enrolling 160,000 students. Fast Company named him the fifth smartest person in technology; Germany bestowed him with the prestigious Max Planck research award at $1M. Thrun also won the DARPA Grand Challenge, a robotic race organized by the US Department of Defense.