The Online Learning Consortium Announces Partnerships with Open SUNY and Drexel University Online

November 17, 2016

Through these alliances, the OLC community will have access to Open SUNY's professional development and quality benchmark resources, as well as DUO's research on technology-enhanced online courses and programs.

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) today announced two new institutional partnerships with the State University of New York's Open SUNY Center for Online Teaching Excellence (COTE) and Center for Professional Development (CPD), and Drexel University Online (DUO). Through these alliances the OLC community will have access to exceptional professional development, quality benchmarking and best-practice research resources.

"Our partnerships with SUNY and DUO are grounded by a mutual commitment to advance the quality of online learning," said Kathleen Ives, DM, chief executive officer and executive director, OLC. "We are delighted to be collaborating with these two world-class, online learning leaders to deliver high-value resources that will help members of the OLC community develop and enhance their online learning programs."

Open SUNY's ID Certificate and OSCQR Scorecard

The partnership between OLC and SUNY will initially focus on providing access to Open SUNY's instructional design certificate program through the OLC Institute. In addition, OLC members will have access to Open SUNY's OSCQR scorecard, a course-level quality rubric for evaluating online learning programs, which earned an OLC Effective Practice Award. A downloadable PDF version of the OSCQR Rubric is available immediately, with an interactive version coming online in 2017.

"We are delighted for the opportunity to extend the reach of the resources developed collaboratively through Open SUNY COTE with the input of SUNY campuses and support of the SUNY CPD," said Kim Scalzo, executive director, Open SUNY at State University of New York. "Through our partnership with OLC, even more online learning professionals and institutions will have access to high quality professional development opportunities focused on the latest trends and established best practices in higher education."

Under the partnership, additional professional development offerings will be made available through the OLC Institute in 2017, including an OER workshop. Also planned for 2017 are on-campus consulting opportunities around the use of OSCQR.

DUO's Virtually Inspired, a Video Showcase of Online Learning Best Practices

The partnership between OLC and DUO has deep roots, going back to a seed grant provided by the Consortium over 20 years ago, which inspired Drexel's move into online education and led it to create its wholly owned subsidiary, Drexel University Online.  Under the new partnership, OLC will provide its community access to DUO's "Virtually Inspired" website, which features a series of high-quality videos highlighting how educators are inventing the future of connected learning, using the latest technologies – from virtual reality, robotics, and holography, to real-time videoconferencing, gamification, and wearables.

"Virtually Inspired was created to showcase some of the brightest minds and best practices in online and blended education, with the goal of building an evolving repository of replicable ideas," said Susan Aldridge, Ph.D., President, Drexel University Online. "We are delighted that our partnership with OLC will help expand the reach of Virtually Inspired to those who can most benefit from its lessons."    

Between now and OLC's Innovate Conference in April, the partnership will continue to gain momentum.  An expanding number of video case studies featured on Virtually Inspired are the product of dozens of interviews conducted by DUO with faculty, administrators, and training officers worldwide to uncover pockets of innovation in the technology-enhanced education arena. The website will also incorporate interviews with online learning experts, a section for visitors to share their own leading-edge practices, and a space for reviewing published books and articles in the field. Visit Virtually Inspired at    

Today's announcement was made by OLC, SUNY and DUO during a special community breakfast session at the OLC Accelerate Conference (#OLCAccelerate), in Orlando.

About Drexel University Online
Drexel University specializes in innovative, Internet-based education programs for working professionals, organizations and corporations, enrolling more than 7,000 unique online students from all 50 states and more than 30 countries. Having offered online degrees since 1996, Drexel is known as a leader in technology-enhanced education and enjoys regional accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges & Secondary Schools. 

About Online Learning Consortium
The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) is the leading professional organization devoted to advancing the quality of online learning worldwide. The member-sustained organization offers an extensive set of resources for professional development and institutional advancement of online learning, including, original research, leading-edge instruction, best-practice publications, community-driven conferences and expert guidance. OLC members include educators, administrators, trainers and other online learning professionals, as well as educational institutions, professional societies and corporate enterprises. Visit for more information.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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