Full Track Descriptions

As you work through the proposal submission process, you will be asked to select your proposed session track. Only one track may be selected. You may also enter any additional keywords to showcase additional themes and trends that are applicable to your proposal. 

Please review the following tracks and program categories listed below prior to submitting your proposal. Click on the (+) to expand each track to open a full description and guiding information for that track.  

Both research and evidence-based proposals are encouraged for submission.  Please align submission to the session type as shown on the session detail page.

If you do not receive your notification by the end of the day on December 21, please contact us.


Proposals for this track focus on the emerging tools that can create new possibilities and pathways for teaching and learning.  This track is especially for conference participants to share fresh perspectives on the use of tech tools to support both learning outcomes and student engagement, to explain the results of related media studies, and to describe inventive instructional approaches for all learners. Some ideas to get you started:

  • The role of tools in supporting pedagogical innovation
  • Technologies that support individualized instruction at scale
  • Technology to assess student engagement and success
  • Tools that redefine the spaces and places where learning occurs (virtual reality, augmented reality, holograms)
  • Accessible and assistive technology
  • mLearning, mobile apps and ubiquitous access to technology

Proposals for this track should focus on structural innovations required for a paradigm shift in higher education. What are some initiatives, strategies, or implementation plans your institution is using to move the needle? Some ideas to get you started:

  • Innovative leadership initiatives, programs or structures that promote institutional ecology
  • Group dynamics and crossing or collapsing disciplinary boundaries
  • Supporting individuals and team in making institutional change
  • Recognizing innovative practices and leadership efforts
  • Scaling innovations across departments, institutions and systems
  • Social impact / transformation: ways institutions are driving societal change, supporting diverse communities, and solving community issues.
  • Post-structuralism (inclusivity and power-dynamics; critiques of the system)

How is your institution overcoming obstacles and/or learning from mistakes? Proposals for this track focus on approaches and solutions toward challenges inhibiting innovation in higher education. Proposals should highlight the process of planning, implementing and assessing efficacy of innovation. Some ideas to get you started:

  • Process and cycle of innovation
  • Human-centered approaches to design
  • Strategies for defining challenges, iterating and prototyping
  • Learning through failure
  • The agony and ecstasy of change
  • Design Thinking as pedagogy
  • Agile instructional design teams
  • Addressing the dark side of innovation – digital divide, cybersecurity, oversight, authentication, intellectual property
  • Forging and maintaining cross-functional partnerships
  • Faculty and institutional narrative impact on innovation culture

Innovation and research are a necessary partnership today. Through empirical research designs and models that include proven and innovative methodologies, we can make decisions that are deliberate and supported. Moreover, educators across an institution need access to skills and tools in order to ensure intention in practice. This includes the ability to overcome the many challenges in researching innovation within and across our institutions. Some ideas to get you started:

  • Research designs and models
  • Conceptualization and operationalization of variables
  • Data collection instrumentation and techniques
  • Measurement, validity, reliability
  • Innovative data sources and analysis in a time of “big data”
  • Methods of data analyses
  • Translating findings into new practices
  • Dissemination and diffusion
  • Community of research practices
  • Policies affecting the conducting of research (IRB, FERPA, data access)
  • Research literacy and training
  • Analytics, algorithms, and dashboards

Proposals for this track should focus on models or methods for teaching and learning in online, blended, or technology-enhanced courses and programs. We welcome sessions that address any aspect of pedagogical/learning design, instruction, and assessment. Some ideas to get you started:

  • New course/program models
  • Curriculum/program reforms (Academic Transformation)
  • New assessment models
  • Alternative paths to degrees
  • Online/Blended Learning
  • New approaches to teaching
  • Gamification, gameful and adaptive learning
  • Accessibility and Universal Design for Learning
  • Open learning spaces (physical or digital; MOOCs), open scholarship, open access, OER

Community colleges, career and technical education institutions, and many others in higher ed are transforming their programs for preparing learners for 21st employment. Campus partnerships with local industries are realigning learning outcomes to employable skills. Innovative support services blended with technical education are producing employable learners from all walks of life who retain their jobs. Integrating technologies that bring digital content into the workplace environments are enabling skills acquisition to diverse populations. “Stacking” credentials with alternative pathways provides learners the flexibility and opportunities to acquire recognized skills and accelerate quality employment. These are just a few examples of the innovations in workforce development program occurring in higher education. Proposals for this track should focus on innovations in pedagogy, curriculum, technology, learning assessments and certifications, and collaborations with industries and professional organizations that increase the success of learners becoming successfully employed. Proposals from community colleges, career and technical training institutions, and organizations supporting workforce development are encouraged. Some ideas to get you started:

  • Collaborations between educational institutions, industries, and workforce development organizations
  • Pedagogical innovations in workforce training and resiliency
  • Aligning industry standards, program curriculum and professional societies’ services in workforce development
  • Alternative and accelerated pathways to degrees and credentials
  • Affordable learning solutions and OER supporting workforce development
  • Online learning in hands-on industries
  • Competency-based education: Strategies that are working for students, institutions, and employers
  • Micro-degrees, nano-degrees, and micro-credentialing in workforce training
  • Student support, mentoring, coaching and engagement initiatives
  • Program evaluation of workforce development innovations: what’s really working?
  • Leveraging prior learning assessments to accelerate certificate and degree attainment
  • Blending workforce and academic education for student success
  • Designing, delivering, and marketing workforce training and bootcamps