Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals and Facilitators

The call for proposals is now closed. Thanks to all who submitted a proposal. 

Conference Proposals

Why do we have conference themes? What do they offer conference attendees and planners? How do we mould our conference proposals to fit these themes, or do we generate ideas as a result of reading the traditional call for proposals? To what extent do we write and read a call for proposals just because we have always done it that way?

As educational developers we work in and among the traditions of higher education and our field, just as we produce and replicate our own traditions. One tradition of educational development in Canada is the annual Educational Developers Caucus (EDC) conference. The 2017 conference asks us to examine, evaluate, challenge or uphold the traditions of educational development.

Tradition is often posed as the binary to innovation; it connotes an idea or practice passed on in replication as testament to its merit, or perhaps to the merit of repetition itself: the honour of the past, the comfort of the familiar. It is from this safety of familiarity that we can pose alternatives and seek novel approaches.

At this year’s conference, we invite you to examine the traditions that thread and surround educational development, to take this opportunity to explore the traditions of your work, and to present the evidence for the continuation of an established practice or to rethink those traditions that continue without justification or merit. We also invite you to suggest new practices that may one day become traditions in educational development.

The adage “question everything” serves us well here. For this conference you may question everything. Should you find yourself at a loss, you might consider these questions to begin your work of rethinking and thinking tradition:

1. Learners and Learning
  • How have shifting ideas of the traditional learner changed higher education, teaching, learning and/or educational development?
  • What is the difference between a learner and a student? Why make this distinction?
  • Who benefits from current learning practices and conditions?
2. Educational Developers
  • Who is an educational developer? How does one become an educational developer? Who decides?
  • What is, or should be, the relationship between and among educational developers, instructors, students and administrators?
3. Educational Development Practice(s)
  • What are, and what should be, the core practices of educational development? Why?
  • In what ways is development in tension with tradition in teaching and learning? What are some of the consequences of this (potential) tension?
  • What are the traditions in and differences between the scholarship of teaching and learning and the scholarship of educational development?
4. Teachers and Teaching
  • What have been, and what should be, the forces urging change in traditional teaching practices?
  • How do traditions of continuous improvement intersect with traditions of accountability and quality assurance? How might they?
5. Higher Education
  • How are educational developers educational leaders?
  • How do traditional patterns of power in higher education institutions and policies invite or distance educational development work and practitioners?
  • Who are the traditional communities of educational development? Who is or should be included and excluded from these communities? Why?

Proposal Submission Ideas

While we welcome your proposals in these areas of (re)thinking tradition, we are reminded that this conference need not be traditional, either. To that end, we invite conference proposals in the following formats:

  • Half- and full-day pre-conference workshops explore topics requiring in-depth development, applied practice and extended discussion. Workshops should involve a blend of engaging approaches to facilitate the integration of theory, reflection and research-based evidence.
  • Poster presentations showcase research findings, innovative practices, and programs, using graphics and concise text. Held in conjunction with round table discussions, poster presenters engage participants in informal discussions.
  • Roundtable discussions (20 minutes) involve the facilitation of short discussions about a specific topic or project. The facilitator is responsible for setting the context and providing ideas and information to shape and enrich the dialogue. Facilitators will offer the same roundtable discussion to up to ten people three times during the one-hour event. Note that the roundtable event is lively and noisy, as all discussions take place in one room simultaneously. Audio-visual equipment will not be provided.
  • Silent presentations (20 minutes) are pre-recorded as audio and/or visual presentations and may be submitted by those attending the conference in person or at a distance. These presentations will not be available online, so attendees are invited to come and listen to and/or watch these presentations using headphones in a relaxed setting.
  • Research presentations (30 minutes) focus on structured dissemination rather than on dialogue and exchange. These sessions might involve sharing highlights of research findings, or profiling an initiative or partnership. Presenters should allot some time for questions.
  • Interactive workshops (60-90 minutes) offer an opportunity for more in-depth examinations of challenging issues in the practice and theory of educational development. Workshops are often based in systematically documented or researched practical experiences, but can also explore theoretical issues. They must involve extended opportunities for participants to actively engage with the ideas of the session.
  • How To? (90 minutes) Select and teach a core skill of educational development practice (curriculum mapping, facilitation, etc.) at the novice, intermediate and/or advanced level.

Finally, we seek proposals for 30-, 60-, or 90-minute sessions that we hope will be offered at the 2017 Conference. Some examples include:

  • Book Club: Choose a book (or collection of articles) that you think conference attendees should read. Invite attendees to read before the conference. Convene a book club meeting at the conference to discuss the selected reading(s).
  • Undergraduate Experience: We connect you with undergraduate students who can attend and participate in the workshop. You design a session that draws on their expertise, experience and insights.
  • Speed Dating: Develop a set of questions designed to provoke conversation. Facilitate participation among attendees as they connect with colleagues in brief conversations, before moving to meet another colleague for a different conversation.
  • EDC Campfire: Sitting around a “campfire”, you will help “build” a conversation with your colleagues based participants’ suggestions and interests. You may choose to introduce a topic (or not) but you will not provide any content. This session will offer a laid-back opportunity to make new connections and share experiences. Bring your own blanket.
  • Human Library: Identify Educational Developer Caucus members or University of Guelph community members with unique roles, identities or experiences. These members become “books” that session attendees can “check out” for 20 minutes. Once checked out the attendee can engage in dialogue or simply ask the book questions. The facilitator of this session should select human books, develop and share guidelines for questioning, and facilitate the check-out and check-in process.
  • Welcome to My Workshop: Choose your best, favourite, worst or most provocative workshop that you run at your home institution. Invite conference participants to attend your workshop as if they were your target audience. You may include time to debrief your workshop or you may not.
  • Critical Café: A facilitated discussion grounded in critical pedagogy, this session asks participants to consider some of the challenges faced by educational developers and endemic to the educational developer role. What are the difficult issues and power relations inherent in our profession? In higher education? What are the critical questions we must ask ourselves to challenge the status quo?  This session would not seek to provide resolution to these questions but merely would provide a forum for critical discourse.
  • Writing in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: A concurrent offering with the University of Guelph’s Writers Workshop, this session will be open to attendees at both the EDC conference and the Writers Workshop. Introduce a diverse audience to the conventions, questions and audiences for the scholarship of teaching and learning.
  • Name Your Own Conference Format: Tell us in your proposal the format and time frame that you envision best suiting your topic and audience.

All conference sessions will take place inside the conference venue; however, if you are interested in hosting your session in an alternate location, please contact the conference organizers.