ITL: Request for Proposals

Thank you for your interest in sharing your insights and experiences at the Innovations in Teaching & Learning conference at George Mason University. If you have any questions about the conference or the submission process, please contact the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning at 703-993-6200 or stearns@gmu.edu


Dear Colleagues,

We are excited to celebrate our 10th Innovations in Teaching & Learning Conference this year! To celebrate this milestone, our theme is Small Changes, Big Impact: 10 Years of ITL, and our keynote speaker is Dr. Saundra McGuire, author of the 2015 book Teach Students How to Learn: Strategies you can incorporate into any course to improve student metacognition, study skills, and motivation. Her keynote address is about small changes faculty can make to teaching practices to improve student outcomes and learning experience.

For this year’s conference, we invite members of the Mason community to submit proposals for conference sessions focused on small changes instructors can make to various aspects of their teaching practice (e.g., learning goal planning, learning activity and assessment designs, classroom management, use of specific digital teaching tools) to improve student learning outcomes and the Mason student experience. Additionally, we seek proposals for sessions that provide opportunities for the proposed presenter(s) and the Mason community to reflect on or showcase how previous ITL conference experiences and speaker ideas have impacted their students and/or inspired them experiment with new teaching strategies.

Proposals are being accepted for a variety of session types:

  • 1-minute activity/tip (new this year!)
  • 5-minute Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Lightning talks,
  • 15-minute teaching activity showcases,
  • 15-minute traditional presentations,
  • 40 or 90-minute panel/roundtable discussions,
  • 40 or 90-minute interactive mini-workshops, and
  • poster session.

We especially encourage proposals that address technology-enhanced strategies and tools, teaching in active learning classrooms, designing for engaged learning, strategies for working with international/multilingual students, inquiry- and research-based courses, mentoring/advising, experiential/community-based learning, supporting student writing/communication skills, and strategies for incorporating mindfulness and well-being into learning. We also encourage sessions that focus on these teaching practices: time and classroom management tactics, strategies for fostering teaching conversations and collaborations within your department, and the mechanics of how to conduct research on your teaching – sharing your teaching strategies beyond your classroom to a broader community through the scholarship of teaching and learning. If you’d like to talk to someone about your ideas before submitting a proposal, please send us an email or call 703-993-6200 to schedule a time to talk with someone about your ideas.

In addition to session proposals, the Stearns Center will be organizing a few special panel sessions on frequently-requested topics. If you’d like to be considered as an invited panelist for these special sessions (topics to be announced later), please submit a brief statement of interest through the proposal form.

Proposals and statements of interest in serving on an invited panel are due by Monday, March 19. We look forward to hearing from you!

Sincerely,

Laura Lukes, PhD
2018 ITL Conference Director
Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning

 



 


 

Session Types

Please tailor your proposal to match one of the following session formats:

TEACHING ACTIVITY SHOWCASE (15 minutes)
These sessions primarily consist of a 5-minute explanation or demonstration of a successful in-class activity, followed by 5 minutes explaining how faculty in other disciplines could use the activity in their own classes, followed by 5 minutes for Q & A. We encourage showcases that are an active experience for participants (e.g. something that audience members participate in “as students”) or include a video, slide show, or live demonstration of students performing the activity. You may want to create a one page summary handout or provide copies of the activity for attendees. We are happy to post digital copies of any relevant handouts on the conference proceedings if submitted at least 3 weeks in advance of the conference. We are currently seeking examples of active-learning-classroom tasks, grading rubrics (for writing assignments, reports, oral presentations, discussion boards, etc.), pre-first day student surveys, mid-semester student surveys, writing assignments, student-team contracts, learning tutorials, example homework assignments, support for critical reading or inquiry tasks, directions for class activities like jigsaws and think-pair-share, tip-sheets for lab assistants or online/hybrid teachers, resource lists for students or new faculty, etc.

Proposals for this type of session include: session title (10 words max), context (1-2 sentences describing the course/students you used activity with), detailed content summary for reviewers (250-word max), content summary for program (2-3 sentences), description of why you find this activity helpful to you and your students (1-3 sentences), key take-aways for faculty from a range of disciplines (1-2 sentences), and brief description/citations of teaching principles or literature that inform your session.

TRADITIONAL PRESENTATION (15 minutes)
In response to participant feedback, we want to limit the number of sessions that take this more passive format, but we recognize that in some cases this may be the most efficient way to share project insights. These sessions are best suited for very focused presentations on implementing specific pedagogical or programmatic strategies. Think of these as show-and-tell “how-to” sessions (e.g., how to partner with Mason offices to create an entrepreneurial class assignment), though we encourage you to think of how moving some details to a handout or web resource could help you create opportunities for active audience participation. Each presentation will be 10 minutes, followed by 5 minutes for Q & A.

Proposals for this type of session include: session title (10-word max), context (1-2 sentences describing the teaching/learning challenge or issue addressed), detailed content summary for reviewers (500-word max), content summary for program (2-3 sentences), key take-aways for faculty from a range of disciplines (1-2 sentences), and brief description/citations of teaching principles or literature that inform your session.

PANEL / ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION (40 or 90 minutes)
These sessions are interactive, conversational spaces centered on a specific topic in which the participant reflection and conversation is facilitated by the presenter-moderator. The discussion could be kicked off by an individual or a panel of selected speakers posing questions, giving their brief opening remarks on the subject, or sharing how they manage a particular aspect of their teaching practice. Think of these as open dialogue strategy-sharing sessions. NOTE: If you would like to propose a lightning talk/roundtable session with a confirmed lightning-talk presenter line-up, this would be the session type you would select. If you have an idea for a roundtable but would like help recruiting diverse participants, the Stearns Center may be able to assist you.

Proposals for this type of session include: preferred session time length, session title (10-word max), context (1-2 sentences describing the teaching/learning challenge or issue addressed), detailed content summary for reviewers (500-word max), content summary for program (2-3 sentences), description of what participants will be doing during the session to learn the approach described (1-3 sentences), key take-aways for faculty from a range of disciplines (1-2 sentences), and brief description/citations of teaching principles or literature that inform your session.

MINI WORKSHOP (40 or 90 minutes)
These sessions are presenter-led opportunities for attending faculty to create materials or brainstorm ideas. The presenter or team provides a brief pedagogy explanation or example/case study and follows with a presenter-facilitated opportunity for attendees to practice an approach and/or create a product or example they could use in their own courses. Proposals that include more involved topic demonstrations (e.g., role playing scenarios, curricula development) would also be appropriate for this type of session. Frequent, meaningful interaction with the audience and/or between participants is expected for these sessions; participants should leave with a plan for how to implement new ideas into their own teaching.

Proposals for this type of session include: preferred session time length, session title (10-word max), context (1-2 sentences describing the teaching/learning challenge or issue addressed), detailed content summary for reviewers (500-word max), content summary for program (2-3 sentences), description of what participants will be doing during the session to learn the approach described (1-3 sentences), key take-aways for faculty from a range of disciplines (1-2 sentences), and brief description/citations of teaching principles or literature that inform your session.

POSTER (90 minutes)
From 4:15pm-5:00pm, Group A will present at their posters, and Group B will visit posters. From 5:00pm-5:45pm, Group B will present at their posters, and Group A will visit posters. The Stearns Center will assign presenter groups. Suggested focus-types of posters: Scholarly results from Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER) / Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL) projects, report on a curriculum development process, showcasing of a Mason resource or service for instructors, or other.

Proposals for this type of session include: poster title (10 words max), context (1-2 sentences describing the teaching/learning challenge or issue addressed), abstract (250-word max), and key take-aways for faculty from a range of disciplines (1-2 sentences). For resource posters: poster title (10 words max), resource description (250-word max), and brief explanation of why this is useful for faculty from a range of disciplines (1-2 sentences).

Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL) LIGHTNING TALK
This is a 5-minute presentation about your SoTL/DBER study — it’s a bit of fun competition to see who can rise to this “elevator pitch” presentation style and finish before the 5-minute bell signal. The Stearns Center will organize a series of these talks into a single session. After everyone has presented (45 minutes), then the session will shift into a panel discussion in which presenters will answer questions from the attendees. The session will last for 90 minutes.

Proposals for this type of session include: project title (10-word max), abstract (250-word max), and key take-aways for faculty from a range of disciplines (1-2 sentences), and brief description of teaching principles, educational frameworks, disciplinary principles, or literature that inform your research project (2-3 sentences)..

1-MIN “SMALL CHANGE” TEACHING IDEA
This is a great way to share a quick tip, activity idea, or question you ask students that you think could be adapted by a range of faculty, but feel it isn’t long enough for a full session. In honor of this year’s theme, “Small changes, Big impact,” we will be sharing one of these quick tips at start of each conference session and sharing the rest via the online conference proceedings. We ask authors to submit a brief tip description that can be used to create a single PowerPoint slide. NOTE: 1-MIN SMALL CHANGE TEACHING IDEA PRESENTERS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO BE PRESENT. Authors are encouraged to include their contact information for inclusion on the slide, but can request to have their tip kept anonymous.

Proposals for this type of session include a title (10-word max) and a brief description of idea or tip (250-word max) that will be used to create a single PowerPoint slide.

 


 

Review Criteria

Proposals will be reviewed with attention to the following criteria:

  • AUDIENCE: The topic is broad enough that folks from other disciplines, modalities (online, hybrid, face-to-face), or levels (graduate vs. undergraduate) will find the broader message helpful.
  • TOPIC: The topic is innovative for teaching and learning or reframes previous techniques/theories in a new or unifying way (such as best/evidence-based practices).
  • THEME CONNECTION: The topic is connected to this year’s theme (Small changes, Big Impact: 10 years of ITL), and/or there an indication that the presentation will connect to ITL’s ongoing focus on activities that have students reflecting, critically analyzing, or thinking creatively. Priority will be given to proposals that also make a connection to research on learning.
  • MASON-FOCUSED: The proposal features resources unique to Mason or Mason-related signature learning themes (e.g., technology-enhanced teaching and learning, teaching in active learning classrooms, designing for engaged learning, strategies for working with international/multilingual students, inquiry and research-based courses, mentoring/advising, strategies for incorporating mindfulness/well-being into learning, and experiential learning).
  • Teaching principles informing activity/strategy are indicated or informing literature is cited
  • Relevant context details are present (type of courses or discipline approach tried in; type of students: undergraduate, graduate, majors, non-majors, etc.; if a resource, indication of location/hours/contacts, etc.).

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