Program Overview

Benefits of Attending

  • Participate in and engage with a cohort of international professionals in the digital learning landscape
  • Interact with national- and international-level leaders in the fields of higher and online education
  • Experience leadership-development thinking in order to respond to digital learning opportunities
  • Participate in an immersive, team-building case study
  • Formulate a strategy for defining a vision for the future of digital learning within your institution
  • Join a growing network of alumni and international professionals engaged in leadership in online, digital, and blended learning at the OLC Leadership Network, held in conjunction with the OLC Accelerate conference

Program Objectives

  • Explore and define a personal understanding of leadership in online learning
  • Develop an understanding of the role of digital learning in a rapidly changing higher education context
  • Conceptualize a leadership perspective to address institutional challenges to advancing online learning in higher education
  • Recognize and seize institutional opportunities for leadership in digital education
  • Establish a network of international colleagues involved in a variety of online education initiatives
  • Identify the leading forces impacting higher education and online learning globally

Who Should Attend

The IELOL program is designed for those in positioned-for-leadership roles within an individual’s institution with occupational titles such as manager, associate director, assistant director, vice provost, etc., with leadership responsibilities related to online learning initiatives.

Program Details

IELOL is a four-part leadership development, blended-learning program that runs from mid-July to November annually. The program is a cohort-based leadership development opportunity requiring a variety of individual, group, and team project work including a team-based case study. It is expected that participants fully participate in all aspects of the program in order to build community and maximize the potential of this program for all participants.


The program begins in July with a three-week Online Immersion Experience, using the OLC learning management system. The Online Immersion Experience is designed to identify and focus attention on key leadership challenges in online learning while building group dynamics.

The onsite Residency Experience will be held in-person at University of North Carolina Charlotte for four days immediately following the Online Immersion. It will provide IELOL participants with an opportunity to develop specific leadership skills, styles, networks, and strategies for leadership by understanding the dynamic forces in the field. This intensive experience is faculty-led with individual, small-group, and team activities.

The third component, a three-month Implementation phase (online), provides participants the opportunity to apply the skills learned during the previous two phases to a personal project at their institution. Senior-level mentoring and consulting is made available to support these projects. 

The program culminates with the IELOL track a the Leadership Network Symposium, a (optional) full day pre-conference event at the OLC Accelerate conference held in the fall. IELOL alumni are invited to attend this day-long workshop along with members of the current IELOL class.

See photos from IELOL Master Classes held previously.