Please review the details below before submitting your presentation proposal. 

In addition to selecting a track for your session proposal, we encourage you to take some time to explore and select which of the following models will best support the content for your session. The session types are an important classification which help attendees determine how to best engage and participate in your session. Additionally, the session types guide the conference planning committee in the review and selection of proposals. Detailed descriptions of each session type are provided below.

During the proposal submission process, you will be asked to identify which session type your presentation aligns with. Please be aware that selecting the incorrect session type may impact how your proposal is scored by the reviewers and possibly its likelihood of acceptance if incorrectly submitted.

Proposals that articulate clear learning outcomes and describe strategies for high levels of interactivity or engagement tend to receive higher peer review ratings during the Call For Proposals evaluation process. If you would like to explore strategies and technologies to support interactivity during your sessions, please visit the Presenter Services page. Coaching from Presenter Services is available to support you in meeting this goal.

All sessions are 45 minutes in length, with the exception of workshops, which are 90 minutes in length. 

Click on the (+) to expand each section to view full information on each topic.

This year we continue to adjust and refine our session types, and ask that you carefully review the descriptions below before submitting a proposal. 

1. Education Session** (Classic Presentation, Panel or Interview)

Attendees should expect to listen before group discussion during Education Sessions.

Education Sessions provide an opportunity for presenters to share their work, innovations, or new opportunities to the OLC community. The presenters are responsible for driving the conversation and encouraging deep thinking about a topic, sharing practical applications of their work, or providing new and varying perspectives. There are two primary formats for this session type: presentations and panel sessions. Although these are more traditional formats, the presenters/panelists should strive to make the sessions as engaging as possible through polls, audience discussions, and other forms of interaction.

Note: When submitting the proposal, the names and affiliations of the presenters, moderator(s) and panelists are required to be included. Please do not include names or institutions in the abstract in order to keep the review process double-blind. All individuals (presenters, moderators, and panelists) will need OLC user accounts and must be listed as presenters on the proposal. (Presenters/panelists cannot be proposed as TBD.)  

Key Features:

  • 45 minutes total. Time allotments may vary but each session should include approximately 5 minutes for introductions, 35 minutes for the main presentation, and 5 minutes for questions.
  • 1-4 individuals conducting the session (panel sessions must include a moderator).
  • Presentation style is similar to a lecture, while a panel session is similar to an interview.
  • Interactivity can range from simple to highly engaging. Uses strategies to engage the audience in active learning.
  • Accompanied by a slide presentation (important for accessibility purposes and for virtual audience viewing should your session be selected to be live streamed)
  • Please see the Presenter Services and/or IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy)  web page for more information.

Note: strong preference for proposals that include unique strategies for engaging the audience.

2. Conversation, Not Presentation (45 minutes)

Attendees should expect to be actively involved during Conversations, Not Presentations.

These 45-minute facilitated conversations should propose an issue, challenge, or idea pertinent to the track description to discuss with participants. This session type should be highly interactive, with discussion, activities, and participant engagement. Presenters organize the conversation around a few key points to facilitate discussion, and the audience explores the topic you present or even helps solve the dilemma or otherwise contribute to meeting the challenge. Your proposal should include the conversation topic and engaging questions for discussion.

Note: These presentations will be “slide-free” or single-slide proposals.

Be sure to make a plan for assistive technology or accommodations for folks that rely on slide decks (handouts, etc.). The Equity and Inclusion committee is available to provide support if needed. Email if you would like to request assistance from the Equity and Inclusion committee. 

3. Discovery Session (online conversation)

Attendees should expect to listen and comment asynchronously during this Discovery session in VoiceThread.

With social distancing concerns top of mind, Discovery sessions will be fully virtual presentations that allow presenters to share their work, ideas, and innovations in a virtual presenter to virtual audience format. These sessions allow for a greater exchange of ideas and in-depth asynchronous conversations about important topics to the OLC community. These digital presentations can include works in progress, research ideas, collaboration opportunities, best practices and practical applications, or pilot projects.

Note: Each presenter will prepare a digital presentation and upload to VoiceThread. Each accepted presenter will register as a virtual attendee. If you are an onsite presenter, you can also present a Discovery Session in the virtual to virtual modality. 

Key Features:

  • An asynchronous opportunity for virtual presenter to virtual audience using VoiceThread. 
  • Allows opportunities for interaction using a presentation style that is conversational, sharing concise but impactful information in an online modality. 
  • Interactivity is personalized based on audience members visiting your VoiceThread presentation. Allows for deeper connections and more detailed discussions.

4. Innovation Studio Design Thinking Challenge (45 minutes)

Attendees should expect to be actively involved during Innovation Studio Design Thinking Challenges. 

These 45 minute design thinking challenges take place in an active learning space. Proposals should explore a specific challenge, pedagogical strategy, technological tool, research method, industry innovation, or leadership approach for participants to learn more about, experiment with, and implement immediately at all skill levels. Innovation Studio Design Thinking Challenges should be comprised of the following segments:

  • Prompt – a 5-minute facilitated, quick-start conversation to kick off the studio session.
    • i.e. – The facilitator presents a “how might we …” challenge to solve a particular problem.
  • Brainstorming: Understanding the Challenge – a 20 minute divergent brainstorm session to generate new ideas and solutions to the challenge. 
    • i.e. – Presenter facilitates brainstorming session with planned activities and brainstorming approaches. 
  • Prototyping: Working Towards Solutions – a 20-minute convergent session for participants to process, refine, vote on, and even paper prototype the concepts and practices shared.
    • i.e. – Teams present solutions, narrow down top choices, identify practical next steps, and consider how they might apply in their own instructional context.

Proposals for an Innovation Studio session should address the following questions:

  • How will participants work collaboratively to prototype a meaningful solution to a particular problem using design thinking?
  • What is an applicable deliverable with which participants will leave the session?
  • How will the session assist participants to identify emerging trends in educational technology and their potential uses?

5. Workshop (90 minutes)

Attendees should expect to be actively involved during Workshops.

Proposals for this session type should be interactive, 90-minute workshops designed to engage a group of participants in an activity related to one of the conference tracks. Non​-​traditional, cutting-edge ​interactive workshops that are forward thinking are desired. Example topics for Workshops may relate to innovations in design thinking, makerspaces, conducting educational research in online and digital learning, designing experiential online activities and labs, removing barriers to online learning, and other related topics of interest aligned with this year’s tracks.

Workshops should be designed with 2-4 meaningful and measurable participant learning outcomes (LOs) with opportunities explicitly outlined by the presenters showcasing collaborative and/or interactive group activities​ that will be used during the session to achieve stated learning goals​.

Proposals for workshops should clearly address the following questions for reviewers:

  • ​What are the explicit participant learning outcomes for the workshop?
  • What types of collaboration or interactivity will occur during the workshop with the instructor-participants and within the participant-to-participant group themselves?​ Please outline time allotments for any presentation vs. interactivity (i.e., 15 minute presentation; 65 minute interactive workshop; 10 minute Q & A).
  • How will workshop participants be able to apply the effective practices shared in the workshop at their home institution?
  • Who do you envision as the primary audience types who would get the most out of this session and why do you believe they will benefit?
  • What activities, take-aways, and/or activities will your workshop participants engage in that make your workshop unique, innovative, and relevant to the OLC Innovate 2021 themes and track you have selected?
  • What materials are required for the presenters, and what materials are required of those in attendance? This must be clearly outlined within the proposal submission.

Presenters must provide an opportunity for questions, answers, and/or whole or small group discussion within the course of the workshop and must describe how this element will be used to best engage participants. Elements of the workshop may be flipped to extend the amount of time participants can engage with the workshop content. Sessions that​ ​offer the opportunity to earn a​ ​credential, badge, or certificate are encouraged.

Workshops are offered free to all participants on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that computers are not provided for this or any session at OLC Innovate; therefore, all sessions are designated at BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Each presenter must bring his/her own laptop/device and must specify in advance what device and/or software requirements (i.e., mobile device or laptop required for participation, required apps for full participation) are expected of participants attending the workshop. The program committee reserves the right to change a workshop’s proposed presentation type if another is deemed more appropriate for engagement and participation given its content.

Competition for workshop slots is highly competitive at Innovate 2021. Please understand that you may be considered for an alternative format session instead of a workshop at the workshop chair’s discretion.

6. Career Forum Roundtable (45 minutes)

Attendees should expect to be moderately involved in discussion in career forum roundtables. 

Proposals for a 45 minute roundtable discussion should address the following questions:

  • What specific EdTech career issue, challenge or opportunity will the proposed Career Forum address? (The proposal should lead with a clear statement of an issue, challenge or opportunity of significance.)
  • Who is the target audience for this Career Forum? [Example target audiences might include faculty (full-time and adjunct) at varying stages of their careers, university administrators, instructional design professionals, consultants, and entrepreneurs.]
  • What major discussion points will be covered? Do these points reflect contemporary EdTech trends and issues? Do they connect with current workforce innovation trends or opportunities? [A brief discussion protocol would be useful to include.]
  • What specific career-related takeaways (e.g., lessons learned, resources) will the Career Forum attendees glean from their participation?

7. Graduate Student Discovery Session (Online Conversation)

Attendees should expect to listen and comment asynchronously during this Discovery session in VoiceThread.

Proposals may include works in progress or completed research results. Discovery Sessions provide an excellent opportunity to present your ideas to your peers in a community forum. 

We seek submissions by students currently enrolled in or recently graduated (within one year) from a Graduate (Master or Doctoral) program whose research is relevant to online teaching and learning. The proposal submission must follow the guidelines of the OLC Accelerate 2020 conference sessions.  

Be sure to review the detailed Graduate Student Discovery Session page before submitting your proposal. 

Note: Each presenter will prepare a digital presentation and upload to VoiceThread. Each accepted presenter will register as a virtual attendee. If you are an onsite presenter, you can also present a Discovery Session in the virtual to virtual modality. 

Key Features:

  • An asynchronous opportunity for virtual presenter to virtual audience using VoiceThread. 
  • Allows opportunities for interaction using a presentation style that is conversational, sharing concise but impactful information in an online modality. 
  • Interactivity is personalized based on audience members visiting your VoiceThread presentation. Allows for deeper connections and more detailed discussions.

The following rubric will be used to evaluate all proposals in the refereed proposal review process.

  • Do the title and abstract clearly describe the session?
  • Is the proposed topic timely and/or appropriate?
  • What are the session outcomes?
  • Will this session positively contribute to the conference and to the field?
  • Are the format and session type selected for the presentation the most appropriate to the topic and format of the presentation?
  • Is the session designed to be interactive and engage the audience?
  • Are you sharing research data or assessment information during the session?
  • Did you address the specific criteria outlined for each session type?  

Specific Criteria:

Presenters should include active engagement methodology during presentations to encourage audience/participants to ask questions. The CFP ratings are based on the following major categories:

  • Relevance to the conference
  • Clarity
  • Audience Appeal
  • Interactivity (Active Engagement)
  • Alignment to Session Specific Criteria

During the review process, reviewers are also asked to indicate whether or not your proposal meets Effective Practice criteria and would be a good candidate for EP submission. We encourage, but do not require, Effective Practice submissions from conference presenters.  EP submissions from conference presenters will be eligible for Effective Practice Awards selection; awards will be presented onsite at the conference. With regard to effective practices, reviewers will consider proposals in light of this question:

  • Does this proposal include all 5 of the following elements: innovation, replicability, impact, evidence and scope?

    If your proposal is accepted, you will be asked to:

    If your proposal is accepted, you will be asked to:

    • Register for the conference and pay the published fees.
    • Edit all materials used in your session.
    • Transmit your PowerPoint Slides, Handout (PDF files), data charts, or other presentation materials to the conference repository by the deadline of March 1, 2021.
    • Submissions to the Research Track may be eligible to submit their full research manuscript for consideration for the OLC Online Learning Journal.
    • Proposals due by 11:59pm ET October 7, 2020 (extended from September 23)
    • Notification of acceptance by November 9, 2020
    • Deadline for presenters to accept is November 20, 2020
    • Deadline for presenters to register is January 20, 2021
    • Final date for presenters to edit abstracts is January 20, 2021
    • Final presentation upload date is March 1, 2021

    Onsite: The following standard audiovisual equipment will be provided in each onsite breakout room: data projector equipped with an HDMI cable to accommodate both PC and Macintosh platforms, an Internet connection, and a screen (16:9 slide ratio). (Note: Presenters should plan to provide their own computer equipment or other specialized equipment).  Microphones will be supplied as needed in larger breakout rooms.

    Virtual: Presenters should plan on having access to a computer, webcam, high speed internet access, and a headset with microphone to ensure a successful virtual to virtual presentation experience. Slides should be prepared in a 16:9 format. Presenters may also want to consider their background, lighting, and minimizing distractions during their presentation. 

    If your presentation is accepted, you are strongly encouraged to post it as link or a pdf or PowerPoint file to the presentation repository by March 1, 2021. The contributions will remain online as part of the conference materials after the conference. The conference management team will provide instructions on how to upload your file(s) to your session page after acceptance of proposals. Session abstracts and information about the presenters also will be included on the site.

    Companies and vendors provide value to OLC Conferences through program presentations, exhibits and sponsorships.  Vendors may submit presentations in any of the program tracks or presentation formats:

    1. Academic Presentations:
    • Companies and vendors are encouraged to submit papers to the traditional academic presentation track for inclusion in the program, but are required to submit with an institutional lead partner. Presentations must be non-commercial, and focus specifically on the track topics. Presentation content will be reviewed by the conference committee as part of the regular review process. Presentations must contribute new knowledge to the field through the presentation of original research or applications. Presentations of an academic nature should be submitted through the call for papers system.
    1. Industry Showcase Presentations:
    • Industry Showcase presentations are established as part of the conference program schedule to allow sponsors/exhibitors to make presentations on their products and services during the conference.
    • Industry Showcase presentations may include submissions to the CFP system that are moved from academic tracks in the CFP system to the Industry Showcase schedule at the recommendation of the Program co-chairs.
    • Industry Showcase proposals from sponsors and exhibitors may be submitted through our Industry Showcase form as part of the sponsorship/exhibit process. Showcase proposals will be reviewed by the Senior Director, Conferences, and conference chairs for approval of content.
    • National sponsors are guaranteed an Industry Showcase presentation slot. Remaining Industry Showcase slots are assigned to sponsors by level, then to exhibitors in the order exhibit contracts were received on a space-available basis.
    • These sessions are distinctly marked as Industry Showcase presentations in conference materials including the program book, website and room signage. 
    • Conference program materials include language that these presentations should be expected to include some sales promotional language in them. These sessions are clearly marked as sessions that have not been peer-reviewed.

    3. Exposition Foundry 

    • Sessions in the Exposition Foundry (or “The Foundry”) are created by companies and vendors to bring together community members around topics related to innovation and change work in the field of online, blended and digital learning.
    • The Foundry is a place for planting seeds for new ideas, new collaborations, new points of engagement, and new opportunities for us to connect and build as a community. Importantly, the Exposition Foundry is also a place for conference attendees and community members to direct provocations toward you, resulting in a collection of different voices and perspectives from areas across the OLC community around the amazing work that you do and all that you contribute to education.
    • Presentations that center on sales and promotions, alone, are not appropriate for this session format. Rather, the Exposition Foundry is a space where we invite you to speak into the future of online and digital learning through provocations you direct towards conference attendees. This might mean:
      • Demos, dialogue and activities centered on the products and tools used across the work you do in supporting online and digital learning
      • Discussions and focus groups aimed at highlighting new research, collaborations and initiatives
      • Games, storytelling activities, facilitated design sprints, and other creative concepts that you design (or that you create with the OLC’s help!)
    • Companies and vendors can design programming for  the Exposition Foundry that can be offered either virtually or onsite:
      • Virtual Programming: Virtual Exposition Foundry sessions are interactive presentations, where presenters and participants can share provocations via recorded video sessions hosted on VoiceThread. Like the OLC Discovery Sessions, these fully-online, asynchronous presentations are accessible during and beyond the conference, and attendees and community members will have the continued opportunity to comment, provide feedback, and further the conversation well past a typical 45 minute session.
      • Onsite Programming: In the onsite environment the Exposition Foundry reimagines and transforms the transition Exhibition Hall experience into a collaborative community building and co-working space. It is up to presenters in the Foundry to coordinate their use of the physical spaces that they run in the Foundry based on the set of parameters given by the conference organizers (e.g. a select list of options for space configurations). These sessions are distinctly marked as Exposition Foundry presentations in conference materials including the program book, website and room signage.
    • For more information about the Exposition Foundry, visit our page (coming soon) to learn more about the goals, opportunities, and support services the OLC will provide to ensure that this innovative new session format is a success.