A newly launched Office of Online Learning at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is bringing together faculty, staff and students from across the campus to develop the institution’s mission-driven capacity for digital education.
Under the Office of the Provost, OOL will serve as a centralized resource for digital education strategy, an innovation incubator for faculty and staff to devise new approaches to digital education, and as an advisor on regulatory and compliance issues.
Through its support of educational pathways that unfold over the life of a learner, the office aims to expand the university’s reach to traditionally underserved learners, particularly pre-collegiate and undergraduate students.
Part of the office’s function is to spur innovation in Illinois’ online education strategies by supporting the strategic development of innovative, student-centered programs, projects, and initiatives; developing policies and practices that foster online student success; and strengthening university infrastructure needed to empower equitable and accessible digital education.
OOL’s digital education strategy is comprised of three interlocking initiatives:
- Develop Undergraduate Pathways Programs by creating new avenues for prospective students that lead to first-time entry into four-year degree programs at colleges and universities.
- Build Institutional Capacity in Digital Education by serving as a “connector” for colleges and units within the university seeking to initiate digital education pilot programs, projects, and initiatives.
- Elevate Digital Innovation on and beyond Campus by amplifying accessibility to Illinois’ educational resources beyond its physical boundaries. The intent is to create a more inclusive learning environment, making courses, data, and scholarly works available to a broader audience in the state of Illinois, nationally, and globally.
“Our vision is to pioneer a new approach to online learning that aligns with our aspiration to create more inclusive and accessible learning environments,” said Lisa Anderson, visiting director of the Office of Online Learning. “In the aftermath of the pandemic, this is an opportunity to reaffirm the university’s public commitment to providing educational opportunities for historically underrepresented student populations.”
The new office seeks to build partnerships both across the university, and with partners outside of campus. Learn more about opportunities with the new Office of Online Learning or request a consultation online.