The Office of Online Learning (OOL) is chartered with bringing together faculty, staff and students from across the university to develop the institution’s capacity for mission-driven digital education. OOL serves as a centralized resource for digital education strategy; an infrastructure builder for online learning; an innovation incubator for faculty and staff to devise new approaches to digital education; and an advisor on regulatory and compliance issues. It is a facilitator for the university-wide strategy to make higher education more accessible and equitable through new approaches to teaching and learning with technology.
We promote excellence in online education by developing just, equitable, and accessible educational opportunities to enrich and improve the lives of learners in Illinois, throughout the country, and across the globe.
We encourage and support the strategic development of innovative, student-centered programs, projects and initiatives, develop policies and practices that foster online student success, and strengthen the university infrastructure needed to empower equitable and accessible digital education.
The Office of Online Learning:
- provides strategy and vision for the university’s online and hybrid undergraduate education;
- empowers campus stakeholders with vital resources and coordination to enhance, expand, or refine their online educational offerings:
- and acts as the primary gateway for external mission-aligned organizations, fostering educational partnerships and amplifying accessibility to the university’s educational resources beyond its physical boundaries.
Develop Undergraduate Pathways Programs
OOL seeks to create new avenues for prospective students leading to first-time entry into four-year degree programs at colleges and universities. Online programs can extend the reach of an Illinois education to a broader audience of learners, reinforcing our position as a leading public research university with a global presence and a commitment to our mission as a land grant institution. The establishment of an institutional dual-credit or dual-enrollment program for high school students, shaped by Illinois faculty, prioritizes maintaining the same high standard of excellence as our on-campus programs. We propose investments to widen academic opportunities for low-income and historically underrepresented learners, close achievement gaps, and support socio-economic mobility in the state of Illinois.
Build Institutional Capacity in Digital Education
OOL will serve as a “connector” for colleges and units within the university seeking to initiate digital education pilot programs, projects, and initiatives. Recognizing the diverse needs and capacities across various departments and units, the OOL aims to provide consulting services tailored to these specific contexts. Our goal is to share expertise in developing digital education strategies, facilitating infrastructure setup, offering innovative pedagogical approaches, and providing guidance on regulatory and compliance matters. OOL aspires to empower these units to establish effective and mission-aligned online degree programs, certificates, and initiatives, enhancing access and educational quality for their specific academic domains and building interdisciplinary collaboration.
Elevate Digital Innovation on and beyond Campus
OOL strives to amplify knowledge of – and accessibility to – Illinois’ educational resources beyond its physical boundaries. The intent is to create a more inclusive learning environment, making our courses, data, and scholarly works available to a broader audience in the state of Illinois, nationally, and globally. OOL seeks to elevate the work of online learning communities of practice at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign as well as external, national, organizational, and university memberships specialized for practitioners in online and digital education. There is an opportunity for OOL to elevate digital innovation and expertise on our campus to a wider audience through mission-aligned educational partnerships; professional, academic, and institutional memberships; professional communities of practice (CoPs); and through initiatives and mini-grants celebrating digital innovation and transformation.