Friday, October 6th, 2023
The University of Akron, Student Union
The New Explorations in Teaching (NEXT) Conference is an annual conference where participants gather to share new ideas and explore innovative topics that support teaching.
Learn more at the NEXT website: www.uakron.edu/next.
To connect means to bring together or to put into contact two things that might otherwise remain distant. As educators, we seek to connect students with complex ideas and challenging concepts. Moreover, we strive to connect them with available resources, including campus events, library offerings, databases, and disciplinary experts. Post-COVID, we also find ourselves working much harder to connect students with each other—and to forge personal connections that will foster their success in our classrooms.
This year’s NEXT conference invites you to consider the connections we want our students to make—with course content, each other, and the world outside the university. This will also be a time to connect with one another, to learn and be inspired. We invite you, then, to submit a proposal—and/or register now—for the next NEXT Conference on October 6, 2023, at the University of Akron.
You are invited to submit a proposal abstract of 250 words for any of the formats listed below. All faculty, staff, administrators, and students or organizations are encouraged to submit!
- Individual Presentation: 20-minute session.
- Panel or Group Presentation: 45-minute session.
- Interactive or Hands-On Presentation: 45-minute session.
- Steal My Idea: 5-minute session.
Sessions for this year’s conference will be organized by the following threads. Please read the questions suggested for each thread as you consider where your proposal fits best:
Proposals relating to similar topics are also welcome!
Note: Accepted proposals/presenters will receive a discount on conference registration.
- Inclusive Teaching
- How can we build more equitable and inclusive classes?
- How can we ensure that all learners are able to connect with course materials and resources?
- What classroom practices have you developed to meet the needs of diverse learner
- Student Belonging
- How can we better understand student belonging? What barriers do students encounter and how can we help students negotiate these challenges?
- How can we help students connect with one another in the classroom, regardless of class size or modality?
- How can we connect our classrooms with the campus community? And vice versa?
- Connecting across Boundaries
- What are the benefits and challenges of interdisciplinary learning? How can we make it work, for faculty and for students?
- How can we unite curricular and co-curricular learning in ways that are meaningful to our students?
- What other boundaries exist for our students, and how can we help them bridge the gaps?
- Community and Career Connections
- What are the challenges and rewards of community-engaged learning?
- How can we help students connect classroom learning with career skills?
Who Should Attend?
First and foremost, NEXT 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 instructional strategies.
What are some of the statewide initiatives that are now being discussed? Whether it is the cost of education, student retention, implementation of competency-based education, or partnering with higher education institutions to create experiential learning opportunities for your learners, being part of these conversations at NEXT will help inform the conversation at your institution or in your organization.
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 or organizations.
Leaders in Organizations
Leaders in organizations that collaborate with faculty and/or staff in higher education are invited to submit a proposal and attend the conference to provide practical experience from the fields.
Undergraduate and Graduate Students
Each year, we create opportunities for students to join the conversation by attending and presenting their research. The student voice is essential, so we invite students to contribute their experiences with or research on these important topics.