Virtual School Meanderings

December 1, 2012

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: USDLA 2013 Annual Conference Distance Learning: A New Era of Openness, April 28-May 1, 2013

Another item from Friday’s inbox.

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USDLA 2013 Annual Conference

Distance Learning: A New Era of Openness


The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) is pleased to

announce the 2013 Annual Conference Call for Proposals. Proposals are now

being accepted based on the conference theme,

“Distance Learning: A New Era of Openness”


April 28 – May 1, 2013

The Hilton at the Ball Park, St. Louis, MO



Submission Deadline: Sunday, December 16, 2012 by (11:59 PM)


We welcome proposals from all corporate, education (higher and K-12),

healthcare, government and military organizations on distance education topics 

related to:


* Opportunities and Challenges in Open Education

* Leadership Challenges

o Federal regulations and policies

o Administrative issues and concerns

* Opening Doors with Creative Strategies, Technologies, and Techniques

* Distance Learning Research

* Global Delivery through Distance and Open Learning

* Meeting the Needs of Today’s Learners

o Understanding and working with the adult learner

o Understanding and working with the military student

o Engaging the K-12 learner

o Strategies for implementing a flipped classroom

* Professional Development for Online Faculty

* Instructional Design for an Open Market

o Learning science – the interdisciplinary field that works to further

scientific understanding of learning as well as to engage in the

design and implementation of learning innovations, and

improvement of instructional methodologies.

o Linking theory and practice in course design and development

o Learning analytics and data-driven course design

o Online pedagogy best practices

* Distance Learning Ethics and Copyright

* Online Recruitment and Retention Strategies

o Best Practices for developing and providing support services to

online students (i.e. tutoring, remedial assistance, student

orientation, academic advising, etc.)

o Engaging online students to increase retention

o Preparing new students for the online learning experience


There is also a continued opportunity this year to present your session in our

virtual classroom setting, which means your session will be viewed by face-to-face 

attendees as well as those attendees joining us virtually. You will be able to

note your interest in the call for proposal link below.



There are several ways to participate:


* Concurrent information sessions provide an opportunity for you to give an

interactive presentation in one or more of the conference topic areas.

Conference attendees expect sessions to provide practical advice and the

sharing of experiences. The committee seeks high quality, thought provoking

and interactive sessions, not lecture format. Co-presenters are

encouraged. (60 minutes)


* Poster sessions allow presenters to prepare a standing table-top poster

that describes a project, process, research or other activity. This will be an

opportunity to meet and network with a majority of conference attendees

and USDLA Award Winners as these sessions are held during the Award

Dinner Reception. The poster presenters will be grouped by topic to provide

an even more in-depth discussion and comparison of the various issues. (60



* Panels of “like topics” are a new option and allow attendees to hear about a

topic from several points of view. The program committee may select your

proposal to be featured in a panel along with other presenters. (90 minutes)


* Collaborative Sessions will be highlighted throughout the conference and

feature an expert leader on a particular topic. If you would like to lead a

collaborative session, please select the collaborative session option in your   

proposal. You will be directed to a form to: (1) identify a hot or controversial 

topic for discussion; (2) note your credentials as an expert in this subject; (3) 

state how you would engage the participants in the discussion, and (4) note

your willingness to turn the discussion into a short white paper for publication by USDLA.  (90 minutes)


* Pre-conference Workshop – (3 hour session) Sunday, April 28th from 2:00-

5:00 pm – Pre-conference workshops are offered as a vehicle to get the

conference started, set the stage for the conference theme, and discuss

relevant issues in the field of distance learning.


We recommend that proposals be specific about what will make your

presentation valuable to attendees. Any proposal that is perceived to be a “sales

pitch” will not be considered. Your proposal should be focused on innovative

issues, working solutions and should address the conference theme. All

presenters are expected to register for the full conference.



The conference will provide a standard set up (LCD data/video projector and

screen). You will need to provide your own laptop computer. If you require

Internet access for your session, please state that clearly in your proposal.

Please note that we are unable to provide audio resources (house sound or

speakers) for concurrent and/or poster sessions.


Preparing Your Proposal

All Conference proposals should be submitted using the online submission form

by clicking on the following link:


For your information, the automated proposal submission system will ask you for

the following information:


Please be prepared to provide the following:

1. Contact Information: the name and full contact information for the lead

presenter and any co-presenters

2. Session Title: a succinct, but descriptive title of no more than ten


3. Format: concurrent, poster, collaborative or panel .

4. Abstract: 50-word (or less) description of the session

5. Content: a clear summary of learning objectives and session content

in 300-500 words

6. Conference Topic(s): session can cover more than one topic

7. Audience Focus by Constituency: USDLA serves multiple

constituencies, including K-12, higher education, corporate,

government, military, telehealth, and international. Please tell us who

would benefit from your session (may be more than one group).

8. Audiovisual: needs that are beyond the standard setup of projector

and screen. If you need Internet access for your session, you must

include that information in your proposal. We cannot accommodate

requests made during the conference.

9. Virtual Session/ Live Feed: opportunity to offer your session in a virtual

classroom with live feed from St. Louis.


Review Criteria

Conference participants will expect well-delivered presentations containing

quality information that is of practical value to their day-to-day professional lives.

Members of the USDLA 2013 Conference Program Committee will review each

proposal. Reviewers will look for clear descriptions. Considerable weight will be

given to proposals that specify session learning objectives and clearly describe

why the content will be valuable to attendees.


Specifically, reviewers will look for the following:

* Relevance to the conference theme

* Quality of the presentation: substance, clarity, organization

* Evidence of innovation and effective practice

* Audience appeal and opportunity for discussion


Status of Proposals and Notification


The 2013 Program Committee will review proposals and you will be contacted

about the status of your proposal by January 31, 2013. If your proposal is

accepted, the lead presenter will receive an email containing information relevant

to your presentation. Lead presenters are responsible for forwarding all

information to their co-presenters. Presenters are eligible for the Early Bird registration rate (even after the close of Early Bird registration).




About United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) is a non-profit association formed in 1987 and is located in Boston, Massachusetts. The association reaches 20,000 people globally with sponsors and members operating in and influencing 46% of the $913 billion dollar U.S. education and training market. USDLA promotes the development and application of distance learning for education and training and serves the needs of the distance learning community by providing advocacy, information, networking and opportunity. Distance learning and training constituencies served include pre-k-12 education, higher and continuing education, home schooling as well as business, corporate, military, government and telehealth markets. The USDLA trademarked logo is the recognized worldwide symbol of dedicated professionals committed to the distance learning industry.

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