The 3rd Annual New Explorations in Teaching (NEXT) Conference
What is NEXT?
The New Explorations in Teaching (NEXT) Conference is an annual gathering at The University of Akron to share new ideas and explore topics that affect teaching in higher education.
Create. We are in the midst of a moment in higher education where faculty, instructional designers, administrators and students are able to create rich, engaging, content for our courses and campus. We can create physical objects out of spools of plastic through 3D-printing. We can develop online, interactive, adaptive learning activities that engage students in novel and dynamic ways. We can author electronic texts that improve both affordability and accessibility. This year at NEXT, we want to focus on you, the creators, the innovators, the ones who are conducting the research, improving the scholarship of teaching, and elevating what’s possible in our classrooms. We invite you to share, to collaborate, to learn about all the new strategies, ideas, technologies, and research that you and your colleagues have been creating in the classroom.
Who Should Attend?
First and foremost, this conference is designed to share ideas amongst the faculty who are in the classrooms, engaging our learners. This is an opportunity to learn about the strategies we use to promote active learning, and overcome challenges that every educator encounters. This is a conference where we share both scholarship and practical applications of new technologies.
What are some of the statewide initiatives that are now being discussed at our individual institutions? Whether it is the cost of education and how it pertains to open educational resources, the implementation of competency-based education, or the need to promote Universal Design for Learners, these conversations will help inform the conversation on your campus.
Instructional Designers/Educational Technologists/ Instructional Support Staff
What are the best ways to engage your faculty with professional development? What technologies do you recommend to faculty or promote for your learners? This conference will include numerous sessions that will provide resources for support staff to bring back to their institutions.
Each year, we seek to provide opportunities for graduate students to get involved, to attend and present your research, and to join the conversation. The student voice is essential, and we invite you to contribute your thoughts to these important topics.
Our Theme Tracks
- The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)
- Research and strategies pertaining to teaching pedagogy, classroom technique, and overcoming classroom challenges.
- Educational Technologies
- New ways of integrating technology into how we teach, and the sharing of technologies that can help enhance and increase learner engagement.
- Open Education
- The issue of affordability with regards to classroom materials is at the forefront of many conversations within the State of Ohio and throughout the country. How are institutions addressing this, and how do you get started in creating open materials? This track will provide sessions that explore that very question.
- Create and Make
- In what ways can we integrate the creation of materials by students into our classrooms? We now have the ability to rapidly prototype designs and objects that help further our learners understanding of complex systems and objects. This track will explore what faculty and students are creating through processes such as 3D-printing and augmented reality.
- Individual: In this 50-minute LEARN session, the speaker will present an aspect of their pedagogy or research.
- Panel: In this 50-minute DISCUSS session, the speakers (maximum 3) will present research or pedagogical practices with the goal of opening discussion among panelists and session attendees.
- Workshop: In this 50-minute CREATE session, the speaker(s) will lead attendees through a guided, hands-on activity.
- Steal My Idea: In this 5-minute session, the speaker(s) will present a classroom practice, technology, or lesson that opens boundaries or breaks down barriers to education. Conference attendees will vote to determine the idea most worth stealing.
- Poster Presentation (Graduate Student Only): In addition to the standard sessions, graduate students are invited to submit proposals for a poster presentation. Posters will be displayed in the lobby, and conference attendees will vote on the presentation that best addresses the conference theme.
Request for Proposals
You are invited to submit a proposal of no more than 500 words for any of the formats listed below. Proposals are due by Friday, December 8th.
To get started, click on the Submit Proposal link on the left. You will need to login with your IdeaExchange, Digital Commons or Selected Works account. If you are from another institution and already have an account for one of these systems, you can use that same account here.