Witnessing the Power of Our Virtual Learning Community


By Hannah Hanssens-Reed posted 06-04-2020 08:02


In the weeks since the close of the OATUG Forum Online, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on the event, the virtual community we built together, and the knowledge our presenters shared.

I began working with OATUG in December 2019 when plans for COLLABORATE 20 were already in full swing. In March, as companies and individuals around the world were beginning to make enormous adjustments to address the growing COVID-19 crisis, the conference was shifted to a virtual event called OATUG Forum Online. The OATUG Education Team worked with presenters and volunteers to quickly schedule the 200 sessions slated for this event, and to make the educational content accessible to users around the world.

While moderating the sessions that covered a wide range of topics including EBS 12.2 upgrade strategies, hybrid migration challenges to the Cloud, Cloud EPM, APEX, and much more, I met many of our presenters and got a better understanding of their background and how COVID-19 was impacting them. This virtual platform enabled me to get to know the speakers in a way that would not have been possible at the in-person event.

In the time that I worked with each presenter to go over their session format and set up their slides, I got a sense of their history with OATUG and their experiences with presenting. As someone who gets very nervous before public speaking myself, I loved the chance to reassure the Forum Online presenters and make them comfortable before the broadcast went live.

Through the OATUG Forum Online, I saw how important education is for our members -- it enables them to respond to challenges in practical ways that can increase their company’s success. Furthermore, by moderating roughly 40 of the sessions, I heard OATUG members’ questions, and learned about the different topics that are most pressing for our community.

As the OATUG Team pivots our focus to our next live event in Las Vegas in December, I am excited to continue working with our knowledgeable speakers. I want to encourage members who have not previously presented to submit session proposals next time we invite them.

These OATUG gatherings are successful because of the wide range of expertise that our community can offer, and the palpable power of sharing resources and ideas with one another. Both for young professionals and for people who have been in this industry for decades, teaching a session can push a presenter to strengthen their professional voice and understand the value of their own experiences. Plus, I’ve witnessed how questions from attendees can spark ideas and innovative solutions to explore.

I previously worked as a teacher, and I continue to be fascinated with new methods for learning, opportunities to collaborate and share information, and the ways that we can engage in meaningful dialogue.

I feel grateful to the OATUG Team, the attendees that joined us, and the incredible Forum Online speakers for pushing my understanding of what is possible in the virtual world of education. Let’s continue to come together to support one another in our professional and personal growth, and I look forward to learning from this dynamic group of Oracle users as we prepare for OATUG Forum Live!

About the Author

Hannah Hanssens-ReedHannah Hanssens-Reed, is the OATUG Education Specialist. Hannah joined OATUG in December 2019.