As workforce needs continue to change, online learning programs offer the potential to address major skill and knowledge gaps in our economy. With the flexibility to meet students when and where they prefer to learn and the reputation of an accredited university, distance education can produce skilled workers to meet employer demand through on-site practicums and internships. We invite you to join the University of New England’s 2nd Annual Online Learning Symposium to learn and discuss the variety of ways online education could be an answer to local, regional and national employer’s most pressing challenges.

This multifaceted, two-day event is open to the public and will include presentation from experts in the field, offerings from local vendors, and plenty of time to network with faculty, staff, and education enthusiasts. Presentations will showcase best practices of the online education lifecycle through four major talk tracks, so that you can spend your time with the information that interests you most. Talk tracks will include:

  • Designing the Online Student Experience
  • Technology, Innovation and Pedagogy
  • Workforce Development, Career Readiness and Job Placement
  • The Future of Higher Education and Online Learning

On November 8th and 9th, discover the intricacies and strengths of online learning and how such education could positively impact workers, learners, instructors, and employers alike. We hope you’ll join us for a fascinating look into the present and future of online education. A livestream will also be available for those who can’t make it in person. See the schedule below for more details (times and talks subject to change):

Thursday, November 8th, 2018:

Time: 8:45 AM – 9:00 AM
Event: Networking & Coffee

Time: 9:00 AM – 9:10 AM
Presentation: Opening Remarks
Presenter(s): Assistant Dean Michelle Littlefield, MBA

Track 1: Designing the Online Student Experience

Time: 9:10 AM – 9:40 AM
Presentation: Successful Life-Cycle of a Student: Prospect to Graduate
Presenter(s): Leah Igo, Hayley Kinsella, Alexandra Legere, Lisa Shaker, Holland Wegner
Description: Ready to see what happens behind-the-scenes in an entire online student lifecycle? A panel of representatives from the Marketing, Enrollment, and Student Support teams will show how they each address the needs of specific students at each stage of their journey, from prospect to graduate. Of paramount importance is the value in the way teams approach students’ concerns in order to provide a positive and successful experience from beginning to end. The teams will also address what they have learned from working with students and how those lessons apply on a broader level, the adjustments made to various outreach and communication plans, and current goals in place to maintain continued success for each team.

Time: 9:45 AM – 10:15 AM
Presentation: Best Practices in Building Relationships
Presenter(s): Jeffrey Nelsen, Alexandra Legere
Description: Representatives from the Enrollment team will discuss relationship-building strategies that can be as equally applicable to one’s personal life as to the workplace. After reviewing Enrollment’s communication plan and its recent revisions, the team will provide a walk-through on how they use the PLACE model when chatting with a prospective student. Enrollment will then examine various tactics that encourage students to talk about why they plan to start or delay their program, all so that staff can review their options and address any of their concerns. Join us and absorb the skills that could make you a better communicator.

Time: 10:20 AM – 10:50 AM
Presentation: Creating a New Universal Student Orientation for CGPS
Presenter(s): Tara Treichel, MS, Michael Trombley, MEd, Monique Gaudet, Gregory Andrews, Kasey Lingley
Description: In this interdisciplinary presentation, members of the Marketing, Student Support, and Instructional Design teams will give a tour of UNE’s new Universal Student Orientation. Learn about the history and evolution of the student orientation experience at UNE, and the decision to merge five separate academic program orientations into one. The teams will also share a little of the collaborative process through which the new orientation was developed, and the importance of different perspectives in determining what is necessary to successfully prepare our online students.

Time: 10:55 AM – 11:25 AM
Presentation: Intentionally Inclusive: Universal Design as a Cornerstone of Technology Selection for Online Instruction
Presenter(s): Susan Hyde, MEd, David Bass-Clark, MSEd
Description: Universal Design for Learning (UDL) provides an intentionally inclusive framework for curriculum development. In the online environment, technology provides both opportunities and challenges for creating fully accessible, student-centered experiences. This interactive presentation will provide practical strategies and real-life examples of educational technologies that make learning and assessment meaningful, rigorous, engaging, and barrier-free for students with and without disabilities.

Time: 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Presentation: Implementing a Successful Support Model for Non-Matriculated Students
Presenter(s): Josh McFarland, Ashley Tellier, Melissa Ferrigno
Description: Student Service Advisors will discuss the evolution of the non-matriculated student support model for our science prerequisite for health professions program. First, they’ll start with the basics: an overview on UNE’s science prerequisite program along with a summary of student demographics to provide background. Next, the panel will review common online support issues such as technical obstacles, and difficulty with communication mediums, as well as how all of which culminated in the development of a new communication plan. The panel will then go in depth with the design and development of the communication plan, detailing new processes and the comparison of old processes and issues vs. new processes and improvements. Finally, the group will consider future ways the support model can be enhanced specifically with technology.

Time: 12:00 PM – 12:35 PM
Event: Lunch

Time: 12:35 PM- 1:05 PM
Presentation: Poster Presentations
Description: Poster topics include “Use of a Digital Repository to Support Graduate Education,” “Development of a Masters’ Level Interdisciplinary Policy Course,” “Prevalence and Correlates of Cigarette Smoking Among High School Students in Maine,” “Substance Use Disorder in Portland,” “Public Health Practicum Experiences for Graduate Students: Is it working?”, “Detained Latino Youth: A Need for Connection to Community Resources,” “An Approach to Improve Utility of an Electronic Medical Record,” “When a Clinical Academic and Informaticist Address Practice,” and “Andragogy, Engagement and Motivation: A Study of Online Doctoral Candidates.”

Time: 1:05 PM – 2:05 PM
Presentation: Keynote
Presenter(s): Dean Martha Wilson, PhD, and Assistant Dean Michelle Littlefield, MBA

Track 2: Workforce Development, Career Readiness and Job Placement

Time: 2:10 PM – 2:40 PM
Presentation: Perspectives on Developing a College-wide Interdisciplinary Policy Course
Presenter(s): Sharla K. Willis, DrPH, MPH, MA, Ellie Dodge, PhD, Mary Lou Ciolfi, JD, Monique Roy, MA, Michael Trombley, MEd
Description: There is an identified need to expose students to interprofessional and interdisciplinary course work in the helping and health professions. Professionals are expected to function as members of interdisciplinary teams, and introducing interdisciplinary approaches to content areas in the academic setting can begin preparing students for these experiences. This presentation will discuss the process of engaging stakeholders across multiple programs to build a graduate level interdisciplinary policy course. Experiences, challenges, opportunities, and lessons learned will be shared, and the process of generating the course topical area, outcomes and assessments, and course design will also be discussed.

Time: 2:45 PM – 3:15 PM
Presentation: Macro Trends: Labor Market Insights
Presenter(s): Alaina Cellini
Description: This presentation will focus on labor market supply and demand trends, which are used to determine the potential impact of external changes on higher education and in turn inform business decisions and strategic direction. We will discuss macro-level growth trends in the labor market such as in-demand skills and growth in occupations that require a graduate degree, and changes in areas such as the national interest rate and unemployment. At the higher education level, we will examine trends in academic program enrollment and conferment, student debt levels and sources of debt, and higher education return on investment. Once context is established, characteristics of existing students’ occupations will be compared to the growth rate of those occupation areas. Finally, in-demand skills for each occupation area will be considered to help determine areas of strength and opportunities for growth.

Time: 3:20 PM – 3:50 PM
Presentation: 7 Golden Rules for Online Career Services
Presenter(s): Jennifer Healy
Description: After having a bad rap for years, it is time to reframe networking! Networking has had a style change. Networking is making a comeback. It’s GUCCI. Adulting. Dank. Networking builds a student’s community of advocates, and opens doors to the hidden job market. Most students would rather sing in front of a large audience than network. Convincing any student that they should reach out to a professional they don’t know, and try to speak with them, is not an easy task. Plus, when you take that message to an online community, it can further complicate things. Get ready to view networking in a whole new way—and at the same time, learn how to provide important career messages to an online community of students.

Time: 3:50 PM – 4:00 PM
Presentation: Closing Remarks
Presenter(s): Assistant Dean Michelle Littlefield, MBA

Friday, November 9th, 2018:

Time: 8:45 AM – 9:00 AM
Event: Networking & Coffee

Time: 9:00 AM – 9:10 AM
Presentation: Opening Remarks
Presenter(s): Assistant Dean Michelle Littlefield, MBA

Track 3: Technology, Innovation and Pedagogy

Time: 9:10 AM – 9:40 AM
Presentation: Applicability of Project Management in Higher Ed
Presenter(s): Samantha Linnell
Description: By broadening the understanding of the applicability of Project Management within higher education, this presentation seeks to improve adoption and use of this valuable skillset and make it more accessible. Key takeaways will include an understanding of basic PM principles and how to start a project; what a PMO is and why it’s needed in higher education; a typical project lifecycle and milestones; how methodology should be chosen; the difference between projects within higher education versus business; and how to scope a project through a template walkthrough. Examples of formats of projects will be given such as a Jitterbit case study and Trailblazers process mapping in non-matriculated courses.

Time: 9:45 AM – 10:15 AM
Presentation: Data Use in Higher Education
Presenter(s): Paul Duplinsky, MSc
Description: With big data comes big responsibility! When it comes to making higher education information useful, several things must be considered. First, you have to understand the purpose and limitations of the various internal data sources. Then comes the application: how to use existing data fields to develop reports to answer questions, identify trends and describe performance over time. Data analysis must also consider challenges such as duplicates, real time updates, missing information and unexpected/invalid values. Join us to get this insider’s look at some of ways data is used in higher education at CGPS / UNE Online.

Time: 10:20 AM – 10:50 AM
Presentation: The Role of Instructional Design in Health Science Course Development
Presenter(s): Chris Malmberg, David Bass-Clark, MSEd, Olga LaPlante
Description: UNE Online instructional designers will lead participants through their goals and the process of developing online courses for a non-matriculating program, and look at promising developments in technology that have allowed for new innovations in that process. Attendees will leave having learned how non-matriculated courses are developed and what new tools are being used to make them more engaging for our students. Topics discussed will include alignment and backwards design, instructional strategies to encourage self-directed learning and active learning, the value of an Educational Technologist role, innovative and research-based tools, and examples of engaging learning activities from Pathophysiology and Medical Physiology courses.

Time: 10:55 AM – 11:25 AM
Presentation: Library Support for Online Students
Presenter(s): Cadence Atchinson
Description: This presentation will identify the different avenues students can receive support from the library in their online program, from helping faculty with text selection; to make sure texts are electronically available, to helping students to find and evaluate resources for course projects. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of the ways that the library can support student learning and student success.

Time: 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Presentation: Live from Salt Lake: Making Computer-Mediated Communication a Catalyst of Engagement
Presenter(s): Elizabeth Benz
Description: Computer-mediated communication is the foundation of online education. While we know how to use the software and tools, do we really know what effective computer-mediated communication is, and do we understand the ‘why’? For online students to have rich learning experiences, it is important for all online education stakeholders to understand the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of this type of communication. Effective computer-mediated communication leads to social presence, trust, collaboration, and engagement. Furthermore, understanding this communication method can give online graduates and higher education professionals a workplace advantage. This presentation, itself delivered via computer-mediated communication live from the National Communication Association National Conference, will explore theories and best practices of computer-mediated communication with the goal of elevating our technology use from basic message exchange to the catalyst of engagement.

Time: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Event: Lunch

Track 4: The Future of Higher Education and Online Learning

Time: 1:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Presentation: The Art and Science of Paid Online Advertising in Higher Education
Presenter(s): Ivy Osei, MBA
Description: This presentation will discuss the various combinations of elements that are involved in an effective online marketing strategy and how they affect or interact with the various aspects of higher education. A further analysis on the what’s, why’s, when’s, how’s and where’s of online paid advertising will be provided, and the presentation will conclude with current trends and the future of paid online marketing.

Time: 1:35 PM – 2:05 PM
Presentation: Lead Nurturing in Higher Education
Presenter(s): Sarah Hamilton, MA
Description: Lead nurturing can have a profound effect on higher education enrollment and the future of marketing to online students in particular. This presentation will paint a big picture of what the path for a student would look like to go through a thorough lead nurturing process as they get ready to work with enrollment when they are “sales” ready. This will include touching on the buyers journey as well. By the end, the audience will understand the impact of robust and contextually relevant marketing materials, a thorough nurturing process prior to closing the student, and the understanding that educating the lead starts from the very first conversion.

Time: 2:10 PM – 2:40 PM
Presentation: Close Relationships in Distance Education
Presenter(s): Olga LaPlante, Richard Parent, PhD, Gregory Andrews
Description: Creating a close relationship with people who are far away is challenging, and oftentimes students and faculty reach out to us when they’re in emotionally-charged states. They look to us to help them resolve difficult, frustrating, and possibly threatening situations. Providing that level of support requires strong emotional intelligence skills. In this session, professional development, student support, and instructional design experts will discuss the variety of skills and techniques that allow them to provide a robust and sensitive support network for our online students and our faculty. This panel will explore the nuts and bolts of being an emotionally intelligent support system, and will offer participants concrete tips for improving their own emotional intelligence.

Time: 2:45 PM – 3:15 PM
Presentation: CRM: Trailhead
Presenter(s): Christopher Littlefield, Carol Le

Time: 3:20 PM – 3:50 PM
Presentation: The Future of the Online Learning Environment
Presenter(s): Richard Parent, PhD, Erin Connor, PhD, David Bass-Clark, MSEd
Description: What are the best environments for teaching and learning online in the 21st century? While everyone who has taught or learned in a current-generation learning management system (LMS) can point both to features that worked well and to sources of frustration and despair, this roundtable will ask: is the LMS the best environment for online teaching and learning; can the LMS facilitate the diverse types of teaching and learning that higher education is increasingly providing; and, how can a single system meet the cognitive and social needs of “learners” who may range across the spectrum of elementary school students, web-savvy millennials, working adults, and life-long learning senior citizens? If we started from scratch today, what would our ideal online learning environment look like, and what would it be able to do?

Time: 3:50 PM – 4:00 PM
Presentation: Closing Remarks
Presenter(s): Assistant Dean Michelle Littlefield, MBA

Visit go.une.edu/online-symposium to reserve your seat, or email msaul@une.edu to pre-register!