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.

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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

Educating Through Web Conferencing: Effective Instructional Strategies and Best Practices

Matt Rietschel (University of Maryland School of Nursing, US)
Kathleen Buckley (University of Maryland School of Nursing, US)
Session Information
October 11, 2012 - 3:50pm
Technology and Emerging Learning Environments
Areas of Special Interest: 
Practical Application
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Northern Hemisphere A1
Session Duration: 
35 Minutes

This session describes strategies on how to effectively utilize web conferencing and to create a students' social presence in developing an online community.

Extended Abstract

Research in online education consistently emphasizes the importance of interactions between the instructor and students as well as student-to-student exchanges in supporting deeper and more meaningful learning opportunities, improving student satisfaction and retention rates, and building learning communities. A technology to encourage online interaction is web conferencing through which faculty and students are able to have face-to-face voice and video contact via webcams in a virtual classroom over the Internet. The increase in availability, ease of accessibility, and improvement in reliability of web conferencing systems now allows instructors to choose it as a means of conducting virtual classes and meetings with students. The systems have become easier to use, and there is no longer a steep learning curve required for faculty/student use. Further, web conferencing software and required hardware have become more economically viable and user-friendly. The purpose of this session is to describe effective instructional strategies and best practices in the use of web conferencing for higher education programs.

Although the use of web conferencing technologies in higher education is expanding, there is little in the literature about how to best use the technology for instructional purposes. Web conferencing offers a variety of advantages over other modalities of online instruction provided that certain instructional practices are put into play. One advantage of this mode of synchronous audiovisual interaction is the creation of social presence among students, which reduces feelings of isolation and supports student social connections that facilitate the development of a learning community. With appropriate instructional strategies, web conferencing easily lends itself to a teaching philosophy based on constructivism and student centered learning. Finally, the technology has the ability to provide additional opportunities for evaluation and mentoring of students.

Lead Presenter

Director of Information Learning Technologies and Clinical Instructorl at the University of Maryland School of Nursing