The Council for Online Learning Excellence

The Council for Online Learning Excellence (COLE) is committed to empowering excellence in online and hybrid learning experiences through a framework that grows knowledge networks and advances collaborative initiatives that enhance student, faculty and institutional success in the state of Oklahoma. ­

Council for Online Learning Excellence

COLE Guiding Principles

  • Capacity Through Collaboration

  • Institutional Mission Empowerment

  • Teaching and Learning Focus

  • Thought Leadership

Vision and Priorities

While remaining responsive and nimble to the emerging needs of online and hybrid learning in the state, COLE is dedicated to advancing a long-range vision and growth strategy through:

  • Shared Resource Development

  • Collaborative Innovation

  • Student Readiness and Success

Who Are Our Members?

  • Innovators on campuses

    among students, faculty, administrators, instructional designers/technologists and librarians. COLE membership should include a traditional student (age 15-30), a nontraditional student (age 31 and over) and/or student with assistive needs.

  • Advocates of quality

    online and hybrid teaching and learning activities at individual state institutions.

  • Committed to serve

    a minimum three-year term. Membership on the council is approved by the chair with input from other council members. Each council member should also be approved to serve on the council by an appropriate leader from their institution (e.g. President, Provost, etc.).

Operating Functions

Project Subcommittees

The Council for Online Learning Excellence operates as council for advancing key projects and initiatives that support excellence in online and hybrid learning excellence.

The following are general project subcommittee guidelines used by COLE:

  • Does the project enhance capacity and excellence for online and hybrid learning?
  • Does COLE possess the expertise, capacity, and interest to usher the project to completion?
  • Does the project facilitate the alignment of talent and expertise from across state institutions?

OK Learning Innovation Summit (OKLIS)

Each spring, COLE invites the public to join the Oklahoma Learning Innovation Summit, which has evolved into a two-week virtual event. The goal of the summit is to address the real-time needs of educators and leaders in the state of Oklahoma. The summit provides a collaboration opportunity to discuss effective practices and innovations shaping online and hybrid learning, inviting expert facilitators from every corner of Oklahoma and beyond.

Oklahoma Online Excellence Awards

Additionally, COLE coordinates opportunities to publicly recognize excellence in online and hybrid learning across the state through awards or communications. The Oklahoma Online Excellence Awards (OOEA) serves as an annual showcase of our state’s best exemplars of teaching, individual leadership, and team innovation within e-learning.

COLE Subcommittees and Leadership


Lisa Friesen (Southwestern Oklahoma State University)



Pamela Louderback
(Northeastern State University)
Ally Sharp
(Langston University)

The COLE Accessibility Subcommittee is working to support the efforts of Oklahoma institutions to make instructional methods and materials more inclusive and accessible for all learners.

The vision and goals of the COLE Accessibility Subcommittee include:

  • Best practices for inclusive learning design
  • Development of template policy language for institutions to support accessibility
  • Procurement guidance for accessible learning technologies

Professional Development


Kathryn Earl-Wilcox
(Oklahoma City Community College)
Christala Smith
(Southeastern Oklahoma State University)

The COLE Professional Development Subcommittee is working to provide pathways for faculty, staff, and administrators to improve their online teaching and learning practices.

The vision and goals of the COLE Professional Development Subcommittee include:

  • Assessment of the ongoing professional development needs across Oklahoma institutions
  • Development of live sessions and asynchronous trainings and courses
  • Implementation of digital badges and stackable micro-credentials for faculty and staff

Open Educational Resources (OER)


Kyle Motsinger
(University of Central Oklahoma)
Ann Raia
(Oklahoma City Community College)

The COLE OER subcommittee is working to build upon identified opportunities for increasing faculty adoption of affordable content in Oklahoma, which will lead to reduced course material costs for students, as well as improved course design and flexibility.

The vision and goals of the COLE OER subcommittee include:

  • Identifying opportunities to engage students in coursework with low or no cost of learning materials
  • Modeling a sharable content framework and exchange portal for Oklahoma higher education institutions.
  • Developing a framework to discover common course objectives and standards for Reach Higher and other state initiatives.

Advanced Technologies


Alisha Ridenour
(Southeastern Oklahoma State University)
Simon Ringsmuth
(Oklahoma State University)

The COLE Advanced Technologies Subcommittee is working to provide pathways for faculty, staff, and administrators to make use of 21st century tools and technologies to improve online learning.

The vision and goals of the COLE Advanced Technologies Subcommittee include:

  • Augment faculty adoption of extended realities (XR) technologies for online learning

  • Promote the sharing of open educational resource (OER) content created with advanced technologies by Oklahoma institutions and partner organizations

  • Innovate, test, and share best practices related to advanced technologies such as extended realities (XR), artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, blockchain, and others as they evolve.



Jennifer Campbell
(Tulsa Community College)
Amy McCain
(Murray State College)

The COLE Policy Subcommittee is working to help institutions develop and review policies and procedures focused upon the offering of distance education programs and courses.

The vision and goals of the COLE Policy subcommittee include:

  • Evaluating and developing of policy to support quality online learning experiences
  • Researching intellectual property and copyright policies within distance education
  • Sharing of best practices and policies related to academic technologies, including but not limited to digital badging

Student Success


Jeni Maple
(Southeastern Oklahoma State University)
Michelle Owens
(Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology)

The COLE Student Success Subcommittee is working to provide pathways for faculty, staff, and administrators to promote best practices and technologies to support online learners.

The vision and goals of the COLE Student Success Subcommittee include:

  • Discovery of online student voices and experiences
  • Promotion of best practices and services for institutions, faculty, and staff to support online learners
  • Research of emerging technologies required to facilitate a fully online college experience

LMS & Tools


Margot Gregory
(Cameron University)
Amanda Keesee
(University of Central Oklahoma)

The COLE LMS and Tools Subcommittee is working to provide a networking resource and collective body of knowledge and experience for institutions throughout the state of Oklahoma in an effort to assist in the implementation of Learning Management Systems and related technology tools when requested.

The vision and goals of the COLE LMS & Tools Subcommittee include:

  • Providing resources to institutions upon request
  • Discovering new tools and how they may fulfill various needs
  • Facilitating a space for information sharing
  • Promoting and encouraging meaningful conversations regarding changing technologies and tools

Interested in joining COLE?