LSU Online & Continuing Education (OCE) hosted the 2023 Spring Innovation Series event, “Keeping Students First: Building Equitable Bridges to the Future,” on Monday, March 27, 2023, at the LSU Lod Cook Conference Center.
The Innovation Series events are organized to provide the LSU community with opportunities to initiate conversations about new developments, trends, and best practices in online and continuing education. These events aim to promote a culture of innovation and transformational change, explore and discuss trends in higher education and their impact on LSU, and ensure the continued relevance of quality online educational experiences that meet learners' expectations.
The 2023 Spring Innovation Series event focused on keeping students at the forefront of education and building equitable systems, underscoring the importance of meeting learners' needs, and creating a strategic approach for educators to stay abreast of the changing times.
Keeping in line with the theme of “Keep Students First,” the event kicked off with an engaging student keynote speaker, Jeneal Banks, who spoke about how vital it is to build community in online learning environments. The agenda featured several influential speakers who shared their insights on specific tactics to keep higher education institutions student-centric and strategically focused.
Jim Fong, the Chief Research Officer and Director at the University Professional and Continuing Education Association's (UPCEA) Center for Research and Strategy, presented on the role of more flexible credentials in a formerly degree-dependent economy. He also discussed how the changing workforce demographics are reshaping higher education.
Dr. Amber Garrison Duncan, Executive Vice President of the Competency-Based Education Network, highlighted the evolution of competencies as the new currency in demonstrating learner proficiencies. She shared how a work-and-learn approach can meet the evolving needs of learners and employers.
Dr. Thomas B. Cavanagh, the Vice Provost for Digital Learning at the University of Central Florida, discussed equipping faculty to be cutting edge and innovative to impart a meaningful and relevant education to online learners.
One of the event's highlights was the panel discussion, "Students First: Their Voices and Lived Experiences," featuring current nontraditional students who shared their unique experiences about their online education programs. The student panelists discussed juggling being online students with their full-time jobs, home life, and entrepreneurial goals. Ultimately, the panel emphasized that students are not an interruption to the work of educational innovation; they are the reason for it.
The event also featured an awards presentation celebrating seven well-deserving faculty and staff from various LSU institutions and an experiential learning technology showcase where attendees engaged with select vendors and explored ways to incorporate technologies into their courses and programs.
Notably, this event saw representation from 11 different schools, colleges, and institutions throughout the state in addition to faculty and staff from across the LSU system.
"The LSU OCE team is proud to have hosted another successful Innovation Series event," said Kappie Mumphrey, Vice President of LSU Online & Continuing Education. "We are committed to providing opportunities for professionals, including our own faculty, to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in their fields. The event also highlights some of our overarching values: fostering collaboration and innovation across industries and sectors."
Connect with other thought leaders and learn how to drive meaningful change in the field of education by joining us at the next Innovation Series event. For more information, or if you have questions, contact Hala Esmail at email@example.com.
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