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 1, please contact us.


Proposals for this track focus on emerging and innovative tools that can create new possibilities and pathways for online teaching and digital 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 potential topics could include:

  • The role of emerging technological 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)
  • The impact of assistive technology on teaching and learning
  • mLearning, mobile apps and ubiquitous access to technology
  • Tools with a significant freemium model that would lower economic barriers to adoption

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 number of learners becoming successfully employed. Proposals from community colleges, career and technical training institutions, and organizations supporting workforce development through the use of online and digital education are encouraged. Some ideas to get you started:

  • Learning by doing, reflecting and via direct experience on a task or project
  • Collaborations between educational institutions, industries, non-profits, and workforce development organizations
  • Pedagogical innovations in workforce training and resiliency
  • Aligning industry standards, program curriculum and professional societies’ services in workforce development
  • Gamification, badging, and adaptive learning
  • 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
  • Alternative paths to degrees
  • 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
  • Leveraging accessibility, Universal Design, and inclusivity to support a variety of learners and learning experiences
  • Addressing challenges for active duty military: portability, asynchronicity, adult learners, student leadership
  • Supporting mental health of learners  through formal and/or informal educational experiences

Proposals for this track should focus on structural innovations required for a paradigm shift in online and digital 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 teams in making positive institutional changes
  • 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
  • Rethinking definitions of academic and educational success
  • Engagement of stakeholders to promote sustainable solutions
  • Recognizing power-dynamics and honoring socio-economic critiques of the educational system
  • Advocating and driving change around accessibility, Universal Design, and inclusivity
  • The use of data analytics to foster innovation
  • Rethinking the organizational structure

Proposals for this track should focus on the creation and integration of open (created, shared, and accessible) educational resources. In addition to open textbooks, we welcome submissions on open online courses, open resources for facilitating classroom experiences, and open pedagogy to give students a voice in the negotiation of their learning. Examples that qualify for this track include, but are not limited to:

  • Utilizing and managing open resources to minimize financial burden for students
  • Open sharing of teaching materials
  • Negotiation of course goals and structure with students
  • Creating and integrating Open Educational Resources into courses
  • Connective open online courses
  • Redesigning assessment to better fit the goals of students
  • Student led presentations on their learning
  • Accessibility, Universal Design, and inclusivity in materials and learning environments

Proposals for this track focus on identifying challenges inhibiting innovation in online and digital learning environments, detailing processes that solve those challenges, and highlighting practices that make those solutions sustainable. Proposals should address the process of planning innovations, implementing them, and/or assessing their effectiveness. Some ideas to get you started:

  • Process and cycle of innovation
  • Human-centered approaches to design
  • Strategies for defining challenges, prototyping, and iterating
  • 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, barriers to equity
  • Forging and maintaining cross-functional partnerships
  • Faculty and institutional narrative impact on innovation culture
  • Incorporating accessibility, Universal Design, and inclusivity into the institution
  • The students’ role in innovation
  • The effects of innovation on students’ learning experiences and learning outcomes

Innovation and research are a necessary partnership in today’s world of online and digital learning. Through evidence-based research, we can be more agile in our decision-making at the course, program, and institutional level. 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 potential topics could include:

  • Research designs and models in digital and online learning
  • Conceptualization and operationalization of variables in digital and online learning
  • Data collection instrumentation and techniques in digital and online learning
  • Measurement, validity and reliability considerations of current research in digital and online learning
  • 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
  • Research literacy and training
  • Analytics, algorithms, and dashboards
  • Designing accessible research projects and presentations
  • Incorporating research findings into your teaching
  • Role of instructional designers in research

Proposals for this track should focus on models or methods for online teaching and digital learning in online, blended, or technology-enhanced courses and programs. We welcome sessions that address any aspect of pedagogical/learning design, instruction, and assessment. Examples that qualify for this track include, but are not limited to:

  • Innovative online and/or technology enhanced course or program models
  • Curriculum/program reforms (Academic Transformation)
  • New student assessment models
  • Innovative approaches to Blended/Hybrid Learning
  • New approaches to teaching and/or co-teaching and team-teaching with technology
  • Accessibility, Universal Design, and inclusivity in technology-enhanced learning
  • Strategies for addressing performance gaps to promote success across all populations
  • Student engagement methods, practices, and approaches
  • Pedagogical practices that support, encourage, and enhance student success and persistence
  • Inventive, groundbreaking, or exploratory course design methods