ITL Proposals FAQ


FAQs: Proposal Process

If you have additional questions, we encourage you to contact Stearns Center (stearns@gmu.edu). If you wish to discuss your proposal content ideas before submitting a proposal, please contact Conference Program Coordinator, Katherine Miscavige (kmiscavi@gmu.edu).

What’s the format for the proposal?
Session proposals are submitted via a Qualtrics Form. For each session type you will be asked to write a proposal that identifies your topic, context, audience, and outcomes. Please see thesession descriptions  for the Qualtrics form questions for each session proposal type.

Do I qualify as a presenter? What are the requirements to be a presenter?
We ask that the lead presenter be a current instructor at Mason. Co-presenters should be related to the instructor’s work but do not need to be affiliated with Mason. In the past, this has included other instructors, administrators/staff, graduate student instructors of record, graduate student teaching assistants, undergraduate students, government/non-profit employees, etc. 

I’m a graduate student. Can I present?
Yes. We do ask that the lead presenter be a current instructor of record at Mason. However, there may be situations where it is appropriate for a graduate teaching assistant to be the lead presenter. Graduate students working with faculty on curriculum development or teaching are encouraged to present as a lead or co-presenters.

Can my undergraduate students be presenters?
Yes. We do ask that the lead presenter be a current instructor of record at Mason. However, there are situations where it is appropriate for an undergraduate student to be a presenter. Undergraduate students serving as Learning Assistants or Teaching Assistants or are working with faculty on curriculum development or teaching are encouraged to present as co-presenters. Additionally, students are encouraged to co-present if they who have participated in the teaching strategies or activities that the instructor is presenting.

My teaching idea or activity isn’t long enough for a whole session—should I still propose it? 

Yes! We have created different kinds of sessions with you in mind: 

  • 5-minute lightning talks as part of our in-person showcase session 
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning posters as part of our in-person poster session 
  • On-demand teaching artifacts, posters, or short videos as part of our asynchronous conference offerings 

Still not sure which session type is the best fit for you? See the request for proposals page for more details or reach out to Dr. Katherine Miscavige, Conference Program Coordinator (kmiscavi@gmu.edu) to discuss your idea. 

I have an idea, but it’s “nothing new or what I’d call innovative.” Will anyone be interested? Should I submit my idea?
Yes! What’s not new to you may be new to someone else. We seek to meet the teaching practice needs of all instructors along a continuum of an instructor new to teaching to an experienced instructor who has been formally trained in educational theory and practice. We also encourage proposals that are built on evidence-based practices. Innovation doesn’t mean having to reinvent the wheel. If you have an “oldie, but goodie” idea, we want to hear those, too.

I have a tip/strategy for my class, but would people outside of my discipline be interested?
Yes! If it’s something that is helping your students learn, it is likely something that is adaptable to other contexts. We seek proposals that are situated in a context (your class) but could be applied or adapted to a variety of disciplines.If you need help or ideas on how to “translate” your activity or present your idea in a way that is applicable across disciplines, we encourage you to ask the 2022 Conference Program Coordinator, Katherine Miscavige (kmiscavi@gmu.edu) 

Can I have an extension/more time to complete and submit my proposal?
We strongly encourage you to submit your proposal on time to guarantee that is considered and reviewed by the selection committee. However, extensions can be granted on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the Stearns Center if you find yourself in this situation (stearns@gmu.edu). 

I have a couple different session ideas. Can I submit more than one proposal?
Yes! There is no limit to the number of session proposals you can submit. For the main program (workshops, panels, etc.), the review panel generally selects a variety of instructor and discipline perspectives, so you may be limited to 1-2 of these session types. Sometimes in order to meet the needs of our community and maximize the opportunity for presenters and attendees, the review committee recommends a proposal for a different type of session than requested. There is no limit on serving as a co-presenter on multiple sessions. Digital posters, videos, annotated teaching artifacts are great second or third session proposal ideas to submit as lead presenter. You are also encouraged propose one or more of the Stearns Center Showcase sessions. 

How do I submit my proposal?
Please submit your proposal via the Qualtrics Form. Please use the submission form link on the RFP page.

When are proposals due?
The proposal deadline has been extended to Wednesday, March 9, 2022.If you need an extension, please contact the Stearns Center (stearns@gmu.edu). 

How will my proposal be reviewed?
Proposals will be reviewed via a double-blind process by 3-4 reviewers (Mason instructors, administrative faculty, staff, and/or graduate students, in addition to Stearns Center staff) with attention to the following criteria: 

AUDIENCE: The topic is broad enough that those 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; it reframes previous techniques/theories in a new or unifying way or is a topic that is likely of interest of many instructors. 

CONTEXT: Proposal references relevant teaching principles informing activity/strategy and/or cites informing literature. Other relevant context details are present, such as 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. 

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE (for Interactive Sessions): Proposal describes an interactive experience for participants, including specific activities that will engage participants beyond listening to speaker. 

MASON FOCUSED: The proposal features resources applicable to Mason or aligns with Mason-related signature learning themes (e.g., inclusive excellence, community-engaged teaching, teaching in active learning classrooms, designing for engaged learning, strategies for working with international/multilingual students, inquiry and research-based courses, online and hybrid course design, mentoring/advising, strategies for incorporating mindfulness/well-being into learning, writing across the curriculum, and experiential learning). 

When will I find out if my proposal was selected?
We will notify proposers by email in April or early May. We ask that authors of selected proposals confirm their intent to present by mid-May via a Qualtrics Form included in the acceptance email. 


FAQs: Reviewing Proposals

If you have additional questions, we encourage you to contact the Conference Director, ajoiner2@gmu.edu,  or the Stearns Center, stearns@gmu.edu. 

I have or am submitting a proposal, can I still serve as a reviewer?
Please complete our Reviewer Application (via this Qualtrics Form), and someone will contact you the week of the proposal deadline with your review assignments. 

What’s involved with reviewing?
Proposals this year consist of a 500-word abstract and, depending on the type of session, an additional 1-3 paragraphs that provide contextual information (~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 will be submitted through a Qualtrics Form (sent via email). Typically, we ask people to review 6-10 proposals, and it takes about 1-2 hours to complete. The more volunteers we have, the less proposals we will ask you to review–so please help spread the word. You will be asked to review no more than 10 proposals.

Note: Proposals will not include identifying presenter information, and proposers will receive your review comments without your name attached (double-blind).

How do I submit my reviews?
You will submit your reviews via our Qualtrics Form (sent via email). We recommend writing your comments in a Word document and then copying and pasting into the Qualtrics Form.

Can I have more time to do my reviews?
If you find yourself needing more time for completing your reviews, please contact the Stearns Center (stearns@gmu.edu). We may be able to grant an extension of a day or two, but due to the tightness of our notification schedule for presenters, we are unable to grant extensions beyond that.

How are proposals evaluated?
Proposals (presenter information removed) will be reviewed by 3-4 reviewers (Mason instructors, administrative faculty, staff, and/or graduate students, in addition to Stearns Center staff) with attention to the following criteria:  

AUDIENCE: The topic is broad enough that those 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; it reframes previous techniques/theories in a new or unifying way or is a topic that is likely of interest of many instructors. 

CONTEXT: Proposal references relevant teaching principles informing activity/strategy and/or cites informing literature. Other relevant context details are present, such as 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. 

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE (for Interactive Sessions): Proposal describes an interactive experience for participants, including specific activities that will engage participants beyond listening to speaker. 

MASON FOCUSED: The proposal features resources applicable to Mason or aligns with Mason-related signature learning themes (e.g., inclusive excellence, community-engaged teaching, teaching in active learning classrooms, designing for engaged learning, strategies for working with international/multilingual students, inquiry and research-based courses, online and hybrid course design, mentoring/advising, strategies for incorporating mindfulness/well-being into learning, writing across the curriculum, and experiential learning).