Focused on the future of online education, the finale is one of the most inspiring events at the conference. These visionaries will give short talks on some of the biggest, boldest ideas in distance teaching and learning. Then we’ll form small groups to start turning these ideas into action.


Cathy Sandeen Portrait

Cathy Sandeen
Chancellor, University of Wisconsin Colleges and Extension

What more can we do to meet the needs of today’s online learners? What are the most important challenges—and opportunities—nontraditional students face? Sandeen will unpack questions like these and then rally the crowd with a call to action. Educational leadership is her specialty, after all: Following more than two decades at the American Council on Education and the University of California System, she took the reins of the UW System’s 13 campuses and UW Colleges Online in 2014. She also oversees UW-Extension, which delivers educational programs in partnership with 72 Wisconsin counties, three tribal nations, and a host of public and private organizations.


Rose CameronRose Cameron
Independent global brand strategist

A veteran of A-list ad agencies such as Leo Burnett and the former director of innovation for Penn State University, Cameron is known for thinking big, pushing the envelope, and helping others channel their creativity. One of her favorite big ideas concerns smallness: creating bite-size pieces of content that are easy for learners to digest. She’ll discuss this idea—and the related concept of modularization—in the context of online course design.


Alec CourousAlec Couros
Professor of educational technology and media, University of Regina

How can educators prepare students to thrive in the online spaces where they learn and live, both now and in the future? Couros thinks the open web can open the doors to success. He’ll discuss its importance in distance education, drawing on his research and his experience with MOOCs and other types of open-boundary courses. He’ll also address how to leverage the power of openness for learning, connection, and innovation.


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