By Beth Salamon

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Some of the nation’s top experts in online education and hybrid learning will share innovations and best practices at the Rutgers Online Learning Conference (RUOnlineCon) March 13, 2017 at the Hilton Doubletree in Somerset, NJ. Registration is available at The conference will explore available and emerging technologies, use of learning management systems, ancillary software and sites, new instructional methods, assessments, audio/video elements, and faculty training and resources.

Michele Norin, Rutgers Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO), is a keynote speaker. She works closely with the chancellors and senior vice presidents to lead the implementation of the University’s five-year plan to redesign business processes, deploy new information technology infrastructure, and centralize administrative and academic IT services. She works with faculty on the enhancement of instructional technology and advanced research computing services. Ms. Norin, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Arizona and a master’s in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University, was formerly a vice president and CIO at Arizona. Ms. Norin was one of seven University officials to earn Computerworld’s Premier 100 IT Leaders Award for 2015.

Mindy Hintze, Director of Product Engagement at Instructure, is also a keynote speaker. Instructure is a technology company committed to improving education. Ms. Hintze is passionate about empowering students and teachers with educational technology and helping them develop 21st Century Skills. She has a BA in French and Secondary Education from SUU and has completed coursework for a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Capella University. She has 15 years of experience teaching Jr. High and High school and is endorsed in Educational Technology, French, English, and Psychology. She has also taught Special Education, at-risk students, and adults at the Utah State Prison.

Rutgers Online Learning Conference also features 35 speakers, 30 plus breakout sessions with colleges throughout the mid-Atlantic region, and a lineup of sponsors and exhibitors demonstrating instructional technologies.

Now in its eighth year, Rutgers Online Learning Conference has expanded from a statewide event to include attendees throughout the mid-Atlantic region, from New York to West Virginia. It is meant for faculty and others from higher education institutions who are active in online and hybrid learning environments, including instructional designers, educational technology specialists, department and program chairs, curriculum managers and online program administrators.

“The expansion of online learning has been driven by the increase in nontraditional learners who seek flexible and plentiful educational offerings that fit their busy lives,” explained Richard J. Novak, vice president of continuing studies and distance learning at Rutgers. “Rutgers Online Learning Conference is part of Rutgers’ contribution to leading the integration of in-class learning with enhanced online teaching tools and hybrid learning environments.”

The New Jersey Research and Education Network, a nonprofit technology consortium of academic and research institutions, is a presenter of the Rutgers conference. 

Rutgers Online Learning Conference is managed by the Rutgers Center for Online and Hybrid Learning and Instructional Technologies (COHLIT), which supports academic units Universitywide in creating and delivering hybrid and online credit and noncredit courses.

Rutgers University’s Division of Continuing Studies (DoCS) focuses on lifelong learning needs and opportunities. Serving all Rutgers campuses, the division includes more than 135 employees in 20 business units providing hundreds of credit and noncredit programs with thousands of participants from youth to retirees. DoCS also provides educational support services combining pedagogy and technology, including instructional design and course management systems for online, face-to-face, and hybrid learning environments.

This event showcases the innovative ways in which Rutgers DoCS uses technology and the internet to reach and engage with non-traditional students.