January 31, 2019

ITL Session Formats and Criteria


Session Formats

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 words 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 takeaways 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 words max), context (1-2 sentences describing the teaching/learning challenge or issue addressed), detailed content summary for reviewers (500 words max), content summary for program (2-3 sentences), key takeaways 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 words max), context (1-2 sentences describing the teaching/learning challenge or issue addressed), detailed content summary for reviewers (500 words 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 takeaways 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 words max), context (1-2 sentences describing the teaching/learning challenge or issue addressed), detailed content summary for reviewers (500 words 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 takeaways 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 words max), and key takeaways for faculty from a range of disciplines (1-2 sentences). For resource posters: poster title (10 words max), resource description (250 words max), and a 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 words max), abstract (250-word max), and key takeaways 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)..


Selection 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, 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.).