Online Learning Consortium (OLC) Workshops

Professional Development Opportunities for Teaching Online

The Stearns Center Digital Learning is committed to supporting excellence in online teaching at Mason by sponsoring online professional development opportunities for Mason faculty.  We encourage faculty who teach online & who meet the eligibility requirements to apply for workshops offered by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC).


OLC Workshops

OLC Workshops are fully-online, asynchronous, and available in two different formats:

  • Instructor-Led Workshops run on average for a week, with specific deadlines to complete workshop activities and assignments. Optional live (synchronous) sessions may be included in some of the OLC instructor-led workshops.  In these workshops, participants interact with content, instructor, and with each other, modeling what happens in an actual online course.  Please see the schedule of the 40+ instructor-led workshops available.
  • Self-Paced Workshops are on-demand learning opportunities in which the participant works on their own through several learning modules, self-assessments, and online quizzes, covering a particular topic in online teaching. Once enrolled, you complete the workshop when it is convenient for your schedule. There are currently self-paced workshops available on 4 different topics including accessibility, student engagement, effective feedback, and online discussions.

For both types of OLC workshops, participants have access to the workshop materials for 365 days, starting from the enrollment date.  An Award of Completion is available from OLC for those who complete all required workshop activities.

The Stearns Center Digital Learning will sponsor faculty registration in OLC Workshops on a competitive basis.  We also require faculty who are sponsored to complete & submit a brief summary about their workshop experience to Stearns Center Digital Learning.

Who is Eligible?

  • Faculty planning to teach an online course in the next year OR faculty already teaching an online course and planning to teach online again within the next year.
  • Faculty teaching undergraduate and graduate online or hybrid courses; Faculty of all ranks (Tenured/tenure-track, Term and Adjunct Faculty) may apply.
  • Faculty planning or currently teaching online have priority for sponsored workshop registration. However, registrations also may be possible for Librarians who are developing online modules for Mason courses, GTAs who assist with online courses.

Which OLC Workshop is For Me?

If you’d like guidance about which OLC Workshop to select, please contact the Stearns Center at or 703-993-6200.

We recommend that faculty relatively new to online (i.e.,  planning to teach online or have taught online for less than 3 years) apply to take  New to Online (Beginner-Level) Workshop series:

  • New to Online: Essentials Part 1, Getting Started
  • New to Online: Essentials Part 2, Converting Your Course
  • New to Online: Essentials Part 3, Course Design Basics

How to Apply for OLC Workshop?

Please submit your OLC Workshop requests to the Stearns Center at or 703-993-6200.

Include the following in your email:

  • Your Name
  • Faculty status
  • Department
  • Online course you are planning to teach, currently teach or have taught
  • Semester when you plan to teach the online course
  • OLC Workshop title and date of the workshop (for instructor-led workshop)

We will confirm receipt of your application (email) and notify you if/when your workshop registration will be sponsored by Stearns Center Digital Learning.  Applications may be submitted on a rolling basis throughout the year.

Please note that applicants may request one OLC workshop per semester, and no more than 3 workshops per academic year.