Online Learning Initiative 2022 Conference: Learning Together

January 11, 2022
By OLI Staff

The pandemic transformed the educational landscape as educators pivoted to ensure that learners had a variety of opportunities to access learning materials and engage in scholarly conversation. As we now transition to in-person instruction, educators are reflecting on the past year to integrate what we’ve learned from the online experience into their teaching practices.   

To facilitate this collaboration, Penn's Online Learning Initiative is excited to announce an upcoming conference that will engage Penn faculty, students, and staff on how we build on what we’ve learned about teaching online during the pandemic and how we apply those lessons to support learning in online and hybrid environments. Learning Together is hosted on Friday, January 28, 2022, and will include three panels of experts from both Penn and beyond who will reflect on what makes for a thriving collegiate community and discuss how to create robust and inclusive online learning environments. 

Community is central to academic success, so I am looking forward to hearing from students, faculty, and industry specialists how we can address these challenges heads on.

“Our decade of experience with online teaching and learning gave us the resilience to power through remote teaching. We had the tools, skills and relationships to pivot quickly to the new environment. And we learnt where the challenges remain: how do we build inclusive, accessible, communities online?   Community is central to academic success, so I am looking forward to hearing from students, faculty, and industry specialists how we can address these challenges heads on.” - Dr. Rebecca Stein, Executive Director of the Online Learning Initiative 

Community and innovation have been key to robust learning experiences, whether learning takes place on campus, online, or a mix of the two. COVID-19 changed many aspects of our lives and pushed learning in new directions. Learning Together is a chance to reflect on what we've learned about using online platforms, the norms of online interaction, and how we can cultivate stronger communities going forward.    

During the three featured panel discussions, the Penn community will reflect on the larger implications of our experiences learning online during a pandemic and what those experiences mean for the future. We’ll explore experiences across disciplines and business functions and start building pathways for expanding thinking and practice.  Attendees will be able to ask questions of panelists and each other, creating a more connected community where we can gain new perspectives and engage in future thinking. 

As technology transforms the art and science of building communities, universities have an opportunity to improve almost all aspects of learning.

“Community — both inside and outside the classroom — is the foundation of higher education. As technology transforms the art and science of building communities, universities have an opportunity to improve almost all aspects of learning. For the Learning Together conference, we assembled some of the most creative experts on higher education and asked them to think together about the future of educational communities, which is of course the future of higher education.” - Peter Decherney,  Faculty Director of the Online Learning Initiative 

Register for Learning Together today and become a part of the conversation about the future of education.