July 26, 2018

Request for Proposals

Notice: We are monitoring the Covid-19 situation as it evolves.  At this time, the conference will be held on-line. We will post any changes to the conference format or status here.  Please visit www2.gmu.edu/coronavirus for University updates. 

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.


SESSION PROPOSAL(S) DEADLINE: Tuesday, February 25, 2020. 

                                                                                            Submit Proposal

SEEKING VOLUNTEERS to Review Proposals: We are no longer seeking reviewers. Thank you to the faculty, staff, and graduate students who volunteered to review conference proposals.

What does reviewing entail?  Typically, we ask people to review 6-10 proposals, and it takes about 1-2 hours to complete. Proposals are ~1 page of information. You will have a scoring rubric to evaluate the proposals (for audience, topic, theme connection, Mason-focus, and context) with room for comments/suggestions and assign an overall score. Proposal reviews are submitted through a Qualtrics Form by the Wednesday after spring break.

Interested?  Please complete our Reviewer Volunteer Form. We will follow up with volunteers early March with their proposal assignments and more details.

Request for Proposals     


Dear colleagues:

The Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning is now accepting proposals for the 2020 Innovations in Teaching and Learning Conference (ITL), which will be held on Friday, September 25, 2020.  It’s a day in which instructors from all over Mason come together to showcase and exchange effective teaching strategies for use in and out of the classroom.

For this year’s conference, we invite you to submit proposal(s) for conference sessions focused on our theme of “Teaching Towards the Future.

Human technologies are developing faster than ever before, making it challenging to accurately predict the learning needs of our students and future workforce.  How do we, as instructors and mentors, prepare our students to be life-long learners, ready to adapt to the world’s changing physical, social, and technological landscapes?  How do we adapt our teaching practices and use of learning support technology tools to support student learning now and beyond their degree? What activities do we engage students with to support their development of timeless career-readiness skills like communication and collaboration?


We are seeking proposals for a variety of conference session types (teaching activity demonstrations, mini-workshops, panels/roundtables, posters, lightning talks) that showcase specific teaching approaches, assignments, and tools that will help instructorsin any discipline effectively support student success at Mason and beyond.


All session topics are welcome, although we especially encourage proposals that provide specific strategies, activities, or assignments for:

  • managing group work and team projects
  • providing opportunities for students to practice during class
  • supporting effective peer-to-peer learning and feedback
  • creating an inclusive learning community (online, face-to-face settings)
  • communicating with students in/out of class
  • connecting course content with career-readiness and individual goals
  • incorporating self-reflection, mindfulness, or well-being into learning
  • mentoring GTAs and LAs to teach students
  • teachingand learning in active learning classrooms
  • accommodating the diverse needs of all our students
  • engaging students in complex multi-disciplinary, experiential, or community-engaged experiences


Have a cool technology tool or Blackboard feature that you use to enhance one of these teaching practices? We are interested in that too!

We also welcome proposals for a new special Stearns Center “Teaching Transformation Talks” session that will showcase the before/after transformation of some aspect (little or big) of your teaching practice.  We envision these transformation talks being brief 5-minute narratives with or without props. Be creative!  Some examples include an annotated syllabus that notes syllabus changes and the rationale for changes; your experience using a new technology tool to enhance a core teaching principle (like using Padlet to assess student learning in real time); a visual map of your course curriculum before/after you changed something; narrative of how your teaching changed when you started teaching in an ALC; an interpretative dance of your how your experience, etc.

See our archives for more inspiration!

Proposals are being accepted for a variety of session types:

  • 5-minute Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Lightning talks
  • 5-minute Teaching Transformation showcases
  • 15-minute teaching activity showcases
  • 15-minute traditional presentations
  • 40- or 90-minute panel/roundtable discussions
  • 40- or 90-minute interactive mini-workshops
  • Posters (Teaching Activity; Curriculum (Re)Design; SoTL Projects; Mason-specific resources)


All members of the Mason community are invited to submit proposals.


Proposals are due by Tuesday, February 25, 2020.

Wondering if your session idea is a good fit? Looking for other faculty who might collaborate on a panel with you? Don’t want to propose a whole session, but have a quick tip or strategy to share? Want to share, but not sure what to present about?  We’re happy to discuss your ideas with you.  Please direct consultation appointment requests to stearns@gmu.edu or email questions directly to Dr. Laura Lukes, 2020 ITL Conference Director and Assistant Director for Teaching Excellence at the Stearns Center, llukes@gmu.edu.


E. Shelley Reid, Ph.D.
Director for Teaching Excellence, Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning

Laura A. Lukes, Ph.D.

Assistant Director for Teaching Excellence, Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning, and 2020 ITL Conference Director

Learn more about session formats, selection criteria and FAQs below!