OLT Conference 2018

Conference Information

The 8th Annual Online Learning & Teaching Conference will take place on June 21-22, 2018 in Rexburg, Idaho. This informational page will be updated regularly as the conference approaches. 

The Online Learning & Teaching Conference (OLT) is an annual face-to-face gathering of educators and course designers devoted to providing best practice instruction, research on online teaching, and design guidance for the purpose of improving online learning and teaching in BYU-Idaho’s worldwide online programs. Each year, participants express they've grown in their skills as an instructor and in their connection to the university and its mission.  

Members of the BYU-Idaho on-campus faculty, the Church's Instructional Design Learning Community(IDLC) group, and Seminaries & Institutes are also encouraged to attend and will benefit from the content of the conference.

Conference Schedule

For a complete list of sessions that will be available during OLT conference (Thursday and Friday), click here.

Wednesday, June 20th (Leadership Conference — for TGLs, AIMs, and OCR-Ms)

9:00-9:30 a.m.                     Check-in (Breakfast on your own)
4:30 p.m.                             Conclusion of Leadership Conference Day
5:30 p.m.                             Family Picnic at the BYU-Idaho Ampitheatre - All conference participants invited

Thursday, June 21st

7:30-8:30 a.m.                     Conference Check-in and Breakfast
8:30-9:40 a.m.                     Keynote Address - Stephanie Allen-Egbert
9:50-12:00 p.m.                   Breakout Sessions
12:00 p.m.                           Lunch
2:00 p.m.                             Department Meetings
5:30-7:00 p.m.                     Banquet & Award Ceremony

Friday, June 22nd

7:30-8:30 a.m.                     Breakfast
8:30-9:40 a.m.                     Keynote - Jean Mandernach
9:50-11:10 a.m.                   Breakout Sessions
11:30-12:30 p.m.                 Closing Keynote Address - Pres. Clark Gilbert
12:30-2:00 p.m.                   Lunch & Closing Ceremony

Travel and Lodging FAQ

Before reading through the following information, we encourage you, where possible, to travel and room with another instructor or two who may live close to you. Doing so will make the travel and (especially) lodging stipends go further and add to the camaraderie of the event.

For those driving, we encourage the use of the BYU-Idaho Ride Board so that you can carpool and collaborate: Zimride (use BYUI login)

  1. How do I qualify to receive a travel stipend?
    Travel and lodging stipends will be awarded to BYU-Idaho Online instructors on a first-come-first-served basis. They will be available once registration for the conference opens on Tuesday, April 24, at 4 a.m. (Mountain Time). Please keep in mind that in past years, all stipends have typically been claimed within 24 hours of the opening of registration. We ask that you only claim a stipend if you are confident you will be able to attend the conference.  If you decide not to attend, you need to cancel your conference registration.

  2. How much can I expect to receive in my travel stipend?
    Click to view a map of varying price levels depending on your location. These figures reflect average pricing of flights to and from major airports that are located near instructors throughout the country.

    There will also be an additional hotel/lodging stipend of $109 per night to cover lodging expenses. (Stipends only available for BYU-Idaho online instructors.)  

    Hotels in Rexburg are limited. We recommend you share a room with others to extend the value of your lodging stipend. The $109 per night stipend is
    in addition to the rates shown on the travel map.

  3.  How do I know if my requested stipend has been approved?
    If you were given the opportunity to request a stipend while registering, that indicates funds were still available, and you will receive the amount alloted according to your location in the travel map.

    Nonetheless, the conference committe will also send out confirmation emails—within a week of registration opening—to those who are approved for a stipend.

  4. When and how will I receive my stipend money? 
     You will be reimbursed the amount of your granted stipend in a paycheck in July, following the conference.
    **Note** Travel stipends are considered taxable income.

  5. What accommodations will BYU-Idaho take care of?
    BYU-Idaho will provide travel and lodging stipends on a first-come-first-served basis to BYU-Idaho Online Instructors. It is, however, the responsibility of the conference attendant to book and initially pay for the travel and lodging. Conference lodging information is found here.

    BYU-Idaho will also provide shuttle services to and from the Idaho Falls Airport and the hotels each morning. The conference itself will provide six meals and gift bags to all attendees--not to mention the content of the conference itself.  

  6. What travel details am I responsible for?
    You are responsible forbooking and initially paying for travel and lodging. Those who are granted stipends will receive the stipends in a July paycheck after the conference takes place. There will be shuttles available from the Idaho Falls Airport to the conference hotels and BYU-Idaho campus.

  7. What if my travel stipend is not adequate to cover a flight to the conference?
    We are hopeful that most travel stipends will cover the cost of airfare to and from the conference from wherever you may be attending. However, if the stipend is not enough, you will be responsible to fund the remaining cost of travel. Stipends have been distributed in such a way to bring as many people to Rexburg as possible. (View stipend map)

  8. Do I need to book my own hotel?
    Yes, you will be responsible to book your own hotel (information foudn here and in the confirmation email after registering). Lodging stipends can be claimed for $109 per night. We recommend that, when possible, you share rooms with additional instructors. This will extend the value of your lodging stipend. The university travel office is still working on discount codes for some of the surrounding lodging options.

    You may also arrange to stay with family or friends in the local area (if you do this, please do not claim a lodging stipend).

  9. How will I get from the Idaho Falls airport to Rexburg?
    Shuttle services to and from the Idaho Falls Airport will be provided by the university. We will be watching for incoming flights and have the shuttle waiting outside the terminal. 

  10. Do I need to find my own transportation to campus?
    Typically no. Shuttle services to the local hotels will be provided by the conference staff. If you decide to stay with a local friend or family member, you will need to find transportation to and from campus.

  11. Do I need a parking permit if I drive myself to campus?
    If you will have a car on campus for the duration of the conference, yes, you will need a parking pass. You may request one here.

  12. Do I need to plan on paying for my own food?
    The conference will provide six meals. Snacks will also be available throughout the day. The purchase of any other food will be your responsibility.

  13. Can I still bring my family?
    Of course! All family members are invited to participate in the family picnic on Wednesday night, June 21. You are also allowed to bring a single guest to the banquet on Thursday night. Family members typically don’t participate in other conference events; but there are plenty of other activities and venues on campus and in the local community to keep them busy as you participate in the conference. Please keep in mind that travel and lodging stipends are only granted to single instructors. Additional expenses will be your responsibility.

  14. If I’m in a leadership position (AIM, TGL, OCR-M), when do I need to be on campus for the Pre-Conference Leadership Training on Wednesday?
    Check-ins for the Pre-Conference Leadership Training will begin on Wednesday morning, June 20.

    There will be dedicated activities and breakouts for OCRs, designers and course leads (Course Councils) on Thursday and Friday and will not need to attend events on Wednesday. 

  15. What do I do with my luggage after I check out of my hotel Friday morning?
    You may bring your luggage aboard the shuttle on Friday morning, and there will be a location on campus where we will safely store it until the conclusion of the conference.

Conference Questions & Answers

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  • If we had a new employee ID picture taken, where can we go to get that to use online?

  • I always look forward to hearing about my colleagues through the Exemplary Faculty awards at the OLT conference. Since I wasn't able to attend in person this year, is there a place that I read about the recipients for this year?

  • Are there dates for the 2019 conference?  

  • When will each keynote address be available to "rewatch?" And... where can I find them when they are available? 

  • Can I watch the conference online? 

  • FAQ 13 states I can bring one guest to the banquet. I'm supposing this is intended to be an adult, often the spouse of the instructor. I'm supposing this is intended to exclude children as the setting is not approrpiate for little kids to run all over the place. I'll ask anyway. What if my guest is my 3-year-old daughter? I was considering skipping it altogether to go eat with my wife and 2 kids, but my wife asked if one of our kids could be my guest. Let me know.

  • Where do we submit our lodging receipt to be eligible for the lodging stipend?

    • Hi Ivy! You will automatically receive your lodging stipend within your paycheck by some time in July. There's no need to submit a reciept.  

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OLT Conference: Inspiring Connections

Keynote Speakers for OLT

President Clark G. Gilbert: President of BYU Pathway-Worldwide


Jean Mandernach: Executive Director of the Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching-Grand Canyon University


Jon Linford: Online Vice President at BYU-Idaho


Stephanie Allen Egbert: Associate Director for the Global Education Initiative for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 


For more information about the OLT keynote speakers, click here!


Below are anonymous testimonials on experiences from last year's OLT Conference. 

“I love this conference. I walked away with so many useful ideas to apply immediately to my virtual classroom. It also helps to feel connected with my colleagues. I love the mixture of listening/lecture and interactive sessions that are provided. Excellent work!”

"I left the conference wanting to be a better instructor. The entire conference left me energized and feeling like I can make the changes I need to in order to become who I want to be as an online instructor and leader."

“I loved the whole conference and am humbled and grateful that I am blessed to be an online instructor for BYU-Idaho.BYU-Idaho invests so much in my development as an online instructor. I leave feeling recommitted to helping my students reach excellence in all aspects of their development.”

Frequently Asked Questions

When does registration for the conference begin? 

  • Registration opened on Tuesday, April 24, at 4 a.m. (Mountain Time) and closed on June 6, 2018.

What is the cost of registration? 

  • BYU-Idaho Online instructors will pay a non-refundable conference registration fee of $15. Members of the Church and IDLC wishing to attend will pay a $45 registration fee. BYU-Idaho on-campus faculty and staff and BYU-Pathway Worldwide employees will not need to pay a registration fee.

    The registration fees will help cover the six meals and promotional items provided at the conference.  

How does funding for travel work?

  • See the "Travel and Acommodation Q&A" section of this event page.  

Will there be a leadership pre-conference? 

  • Yes, all AIMs, TGLs, and OCRMs, and will be invited to attend a day early (Wednesday, June 20) to attend some leadership meetings.

    OCRs will have Course Council activities and sessions on Thursday and Friday and will not need to attend events on Wednesday.

Is there a theme for this year's conference? 

  • Yes! Like in years past, this year's conference theme is "Inspiring Connections." What we like about the theme is that it can be interpreted so many ways. Inspiring connections with colleagues, with students, among students, with the community, at the conference, etc. 

What is the dress code of the conference? 

  • The dress for the conference picnic Wednesday night is casual. However, the dress code for all other activities is modest professional business attire. Male employees are expected to wear a shirt and tie with dress slacks. Jeans are not appropriate professional attire. Female employees are expected to wear dresses, skirts, dress slacks, pant suits, dressy blouses, and sweaters.

What does the "#OLTConf" sign mean? 

  • A hashtag is a label used in social media to easily allow users to find messages with a specific theme or content. We encourage participants to post to their own social media with the "#OLTConf" label to share the various insights and moments of the conference.

Conference Archive

View the conference archive from the past five years.