Conference Tracks

Conference tracks help you plan your experience by interest, although you can attend any session in any track. We strive to offer a balanced program touching important topics in higher education. Look for sessions covering:


Topical Area 1: Preparing Your Course

Submissions for this track refer to all aspects of course preparation, such as:

  • Learner-centered course design
  • Backward design
  • Active learning
  • Gamification
  • Designing courses for critical thinking, reflection, collaboration, and motivation
  • Writing goals, objectives, learning outcomes, and their assessments

Accepted proposals promote innovations and strategies that can be applied across a broad range of disciplines and contexts.

Topical Area 2: Assessing Learning

Submissions to this track should focus on assignments, assessments, and grading practices, and/or strategies measuring students’ accomplishment of course objectives and learning outcomes, such as:

  • Tests and assignments
  • Grading Systems and Criteria
  • Self and Peer Assessment
  • Rubrics
  • Feedback

Topical Area 3: Student Engagement

Submissions to this track should promote one or all of the dimensions of student engagement: behavioral, emotional, or cognitive, including:

  • Instructional strategies promoting engagement
  • Practices supporting engaging classroom climate
  • Promoting broadly engaged participation and discussion
  • Classroom-based engagement activities

Topical Area 4: Technology Tools for Teaching

Submissions to this track should focus on the effective use of teaching and communication technologies including the theoretical underpinnings that drive the use of technology for teaching. Examples include:

  • The pedagogical research that supports the tool (and/or the pros and cons of the tool)
  • An introduction to using the tool
  • An example of the tool used in an online, hybrid, or traditional class


Topical Area 5: Online Teaching and Learning

This track is specific to teaching in the online environment, which presents unique challenges and opportunities. Submissions for this track typically include, but are not limited to:

  • Course design
  • Student discussion and engagement
  • Feedback and grading
  • Instructor presence

Topical Area 6: Teaching Specific Student Populations

Submissions to this track should focus on topics and issues specific to unique student populations, offering strategies and innovative ideas including, but not limited to:

  • First-generation college students
  • Non-traditional students
  • International students
  • Non-native language speakers
  • Students with emotional, cognitive, or learning differences
  • Students whose life circumstances challenge persistence, retention, and completion
  • Professional studies (e.g., engineering, law, accounting)
  • Student preparation for high stakes certifications or board exams
  • Applied studies, including technical or vocational programs
  • STEM

Topical Area 7: Outside the Classroom

Sessions in this track focus on the many responsibilities that come with teaching beyond the classroom. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Engaging students outside of class
  • Helping students be better prepared for class
  • Being proactive about student accommodations 
  • Reaching out to struggling students
  • Helping students improve their study strategies
  • Advising students
  • Career and professional development
  • Strategies for balancing the competing demands of an academic career

Topical Area 8: Equity, Diversity, Inclusion

This track focuses on practices and strategies supporting minority and/or marginalized students. Proposals may include, but are not limited to:

  • Inclusive curricula
  • Inclusive learning climates
  • Inclusive instructional practice
  • Universal Design for Learning

Topical Area 9: Teaching in the Health Sciences

Submissions to this track cover the unique challenges in teaching in the health sciences, in areas such as:

  • Teaching in a clinical setting
  • Simulation-based teaching
  • Teaching professional ethics
  • Accreditation


Topical Area 10: Instructional Vitality: Ways to Keep Teaching Fresh and Invigorated

Submissions to this track should focus on concepts and practices for supporting mid- and later-career faculty in making positive changes that will invigorate and refresh their teaching and their relationships with students. Attendees will have completed more than five years of teaching. Topics of interest for experienced teachers may include, but are not limited to:

  • Reenergizing course material
  • Mentoring new faculty in their teaching role
  • Connecting with a changing student population
  • Feedback that improves instruction

Topical Area 11: For New Faculty

Sessions in this track represent teaching and pedagogy basics. New faculty are accomplished scholars in their disciplines but often have received very little training or experience in teaching. Attendees in these sessions will be in their first few years of teaching. Pertinent topics for new teachers may include, but are not limited to:

  • Effective classroom practices specific for novice teachers
  • Teaching strategies specific to novice teachers
  • Developing a teaching or classroom philosophy
  • Things “I wish I knew…” and/or advice for new teachers

Topical Area 12: Faculty Support

This track is for Faculty Developers, Instructional Designers, and CT&L staff—those attendees who are responsible for or interested in faculty development at their home institutions. It will also serve anyone working in faculty instructional mentoring. These sessions will provide advice on doing this job innovatively and effectively.