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Center for Teaching Excellence

  • Oktoberbest 2023

Oktoberbest Call for Proposals

Check back to submit a proposal for Oktoberbest 2023.

Oktoberbest: A Symposium on Teaching
Friday, October 6, 2023
8:45 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Networking Breakfast: 7:45 - 8:45
 University Conference Center

Share your passion for teaching and innovative approaches that improve the quality of student learning experiences. We are seeking engaging and informative presentations on best instructional practices, effective teaching and learning experiences, and/or innovative assessment methods that speak to academic quality as a driver of student success.

Proposal Submission Timeline

  • Submissions Open: Monday, April 3, 2023
  • Submission Deadlines: Friday, September 1, 2023
  • Acceptance Notifications: Friday, September 15, 2023

Session Formats

Each Concurrent Session will be 30 minutes in duration

Lightning Round Sessions will be 10 minutes in duration.  In this format, presenters take 10 minutes to summarize their teaching best practices, strategies, and/or research. The Lightning Round is similar to an elevator pitch. This presentation format challenges scholars to highlight their work and explain its importance in a very brief span of time.

Distributed and Online Learning

This track invites contributors to present distributed and online learning research, best practices or strategies that support noncentralized learning environments that occur independent of time and space. Presentations can include effective course design for distributed and online learning, the future of distributed and online learning, the use of technology that supports effective learning online, developing active student engagement, and effectively incorporating pedagogical strategies into distributed and online courses.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

This track invites contributors to present research and practice related to aspects of diversity and inclusion in higher education. It will include, but not limited to, the practices and development of effective inclusion, the incorporation of pedagogy principles with a theoretical framework in course design, and classroom setting and teaching methodology. Example topics include development of effective inclusion of first-generation college students, learning challenges, LBGTQ+ and Veteran’s population, race, and cultural aspects/considerations.    

Educational Technology

This track addresses the method and practices of how technology can be used to transform teaching and learning. Topics may include best practices of how to incorporate educational technology in the classroom, identifying affordable and accessible technology tools that students can use to enhance their learning experience.

Global Learning

This track addresses how as an educational process global learning enhances one’s competencies for participating productively and responsibly in the diverse, international, intercultural, and interdependent world. Global learning opportunities exist in the academic curriculum and in co-curricular experiences and can be pursued both at home and abroad.

Integrative and Experiential Learning

This track addresses how instructors can develop opportunities for their students to engage in integrative and experiential learning.  Topics may include best practices of how learning experiences can help students make connections among their various courses and non-academic activities. 

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This track addresses the methods and practices of teaching using theoretical concepts. These concepts and strategies involve students working together during class, but may also involve individual work and/or reflection. These teaching approaches range from short, simple activities like journal writing, problem solving and paired discussions, to longer, involved activities or pedagogical frameworks like case studies, educational technology, role plays, and structured team-based learning.

We are no longer accepting proposals for Oktoberbest 2022. Please consider submitting a proposal for Oktoberbest 2023.

Presentation title: Create an appealing title that accurately reflects your presentation and make the reader want to learn more.  (10 word maximum)

Identification of all presenters: Full contact information includes name, title, department, and email.  Maximum of two speakers.  (Please note:  the first presenter listed will serve as the primary contact.)

Identify Session Format: Concurrent Session, Lightning Round Session or Both

Identify Symposium Track: Select the appropriate Symposium Track with which your proposed presentation aligns.

Proposal Abstract: Consider the proposal review criteria listed below and answer the following three questions to build your proposal abstract. (300 words maximum)

  1. Description: What is your session about?  
  2. Value: Why does this content matter?
  3. Relevance: How will this session improve teaching and learning at the University of South Carolina?

Session Learning Outcomes: List at least one learning outcome that describes what knowledge, skills, or abilities participants will gain from this session.

Participant Engagement:  Describe how you will engage participants.  

On the Online Application you will be asked to indicate which Concurrent or Lightning Round Sessions you are available to present, if selected. Please check ALL the timeslots that you would be available to present.

Concurrent Sessions


Time Slot

Concurrent I:

 10:15 – 10:45 a.m.

Concurrent II: 

11:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Concurrent III: 

11:45 a.m.  – 12:15 p.m.

Concurrent IV: 

1:45 – 2:15 p.m.

Concurrent V:

2:30 - 3:00 p.m.

 Lightning Round Sessions


Time Slot 1

Time Slot 2

Lightning Round I: 

10:15 – 10:25 a.m.

10:30 – 10:40 a.m.

Lightning Round II:

11:00 - 11:10 a.m.

11:15 - 11:25 a.m.

Lightning Round III:

11:45 – 11:55 a.m.


Lightning Round IV:

1:45 – 1:55 p.m.

2:00 – 2:10 p.m.

Lightning Round V:

2:30 - 2:40 p.m.


The review committee will evaluate proposals using the criteria below. Availability of space, presentation type, and topic coverage will be considered.

  1. Models Effective Teaching: As much as possible, we prefer sessions that model effective teaching. If you are advising people to use technology, use that technology to show us. If you are advising the use of active learning, be sure to tell us how you will use it in your session.
  2. Achieves Stated Outcomes: In line with our interest in modeling effective teaching, we also want to model achievable learning outcomes. Please be realistic about what your participants and you will achieve in your session.
  3. Demonstrates Scholarly Teaching: Where possible, include references to scholarship that you believe supports the topic of the proposed session. Sometimes all you will have (and need) is your own experience, but provide references if you can.
  4. Provides Value: Always keep in mind the value of your session to the participants. What will they take away from the session? What will they be able to use in their own practice?
  5. Adheres to Word Count: To judge proposals fairly, proposers should adhere to the 300-word limit. Reviewers will only consider content within the maximum limit.


Contact Interim Director,  Nate Carnes at for more information.

Oktoberbest is co-sponsored by the Center for Teaching Excellence, Division of Information Technology and University Libraries.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.