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Center for Teaching Excellence

  • Oktoberbest 2020

Oktoberbest Call for Proposals

Oktoberbest: A Symposium on Teaching
Friday, October 22, 2021
9:00 am – 4:30 pm 
Russell House University Union

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

Proposal Submission Timeline

  • Submission Deadline Extended: Friday, September 24, 2021
  • Acceptance Notifications: Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Concurrent sessions will be 30 minutes total each. 

Distributed and Online Learning

This theme invites contributors to present distributed and online learning research, best practices or strategies that supports noncentralized learning environments that occurs 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, learning and service styles online, and effectively incorporating pedagogical strategies into distributed and online courses.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

This theme 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 pedagogical principles with a theoretical framework in course design, classroom setting and teaching methodology. Example of topics are the development of effective inclusion of first-generation college students, learning challenges, LBGTQ+ and Veteran’s population, race, and cultural aspects considerations.    

Educational Technology

This practical-based theme focuses on how instructors have successfully and creatively implemented specific educational technologies into their classrooms for assessments, activities, information dissemination, skill development, or student learning opportunities. The presentation may include new applications of existing technologies, apps, or platforms, as well as innovative tools or newly developed technologies resulting from the move to remote learning.  How students are involved in using it and the impact it is having on student learning should be discussed.    

Global Learning

This theme 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 theme addresses how instructors can develop opportunities for their students to engage in integrative learning and in 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 theme addresses the methods and practices of teaching using theoretical concepts. These concepts and strategies involve some amount of 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.

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.  (Please note:  the first presenter listed will be the primary contact.)

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

Proposal Abstract: Review proposal review criteria listed below and answer the three questions below to build your proposal abstract.  If accepted, this will be used in the conference program. (300 words maximum)

  1. Description: What is your session about? Provide a conceptual or theoretical framework for your topic.
  2. Value: What is the justification for your presentation in context of the symposium track that you selected?
  3. Relevance: How will this session improve attendees’ practice of teaching and student learning?

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

Participant Engagement:  Describe how you will engage participants.  

Members of the planning committee will review proposals on responses to the following criteria. Availability of space, presenter mix, presentation type, and topic coverage will be considered. These criteria will be used by the review committee to select sessions for the Oktoberbest: A Symposium on Teaching.

  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 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: In order to judge proposals fairly, proposers should adhere to the 300-word limit. Reviewers will only consider content within the maximum limit.


Submit Oktoberbest 2021 Proposal 



Contact Associate 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.