The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is continuing its tradition of learning by offering summer programming, including virtual classes through Zoom and Canvas and a few in-person courses. OLLI is designed specifically for people 50 and older.
Online registration begins May 19. A new or renewal membership has been reduced to $25, valid through July 31. The summer catalog is available here.
With the coronavirus outbreak in the spring, OLLI shifted from in-person courses and events to online learning.
“OLLI has traditionally offered in-person courses and events since its inception in 2004,” said Dee Aguilar, OLLI coordinator. “Our program is designed to give older adults opportunities to continue learning well into retirement and socialize with others. The coronavirus situation required that we rethink how we deliver programming.
“Our previous experience in virtual learning was livestreaming lectures in a classroom, so this was a huge shift for our staff and our members. We have been pleasantly surprised at the number of OLLI members who have decided to join us in a new adventure in online learning.”
A wide variety of courses and other opportunities is available. A few in-person courses with limited enrollment are tentatively planned for mid-July.
“We are closely monitoring the coronavirus situation and will make changes if necessary,” Aguilar said.
Some programming will be through the videoconferencing platform Zoom. Lectures and discussions will be livestreamed on topics such as health and fitness, aging, photography, navigating social media and choosing the federal judiciary. Zoom events are scheduled for participants to watch and discuss several movies, and OLLI has created “party lines” to engage people in conversation on topics of their choosing.
Courses on Canvas, an online platform to watch pre-recorded video, are available for a one-time cost of $30. Programming includes more than 50 courses on topics ranging from gardening, politics, history, and health and fitness; UNL lectures; TED talks; and virtual tours of national landmarks.
After registration, participants will be emailed links to Zoom and Canvas, plus a “join code” for Canvas, as well as instructions on how to access and use the platforms.
“We are encouraging older adults in the community to remain active in mind and body,” Aguilar said. “We hope that others will join us and take advantage of this new way of learning.”