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2014 AAEEBL Annual Call for Proposals
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July 28-31, 2014

Hynes Convention Center

Boston, MA, USA

Call for Proposals
available as a pdf download

The deadline for proposal submission has passed.
This CFP page is for informational purposes.

 Introduction and Conference Context


AAEEBL and the eportfolio community have long recognized that eportfolios and information/educational technology can fundamentally alter – have fundamentally altered – how people learn. We see that "alternative” learning opportunities – experiential learning, service learning, internships and more – have moved from the fringes to the center of academic activity on many campuses. But we also see that the very place where this innovation is thriving – higher education – is also challenged by vestiges of bygone eras that can impede innovation.


A parallel and potentially synergistic movement in higher education to eportfolios is that of "engaged learning.” While the term "engaged learning” has been around for decades, it has become recently identified with high-impact practices since the landmark publication by AAC&U of George Kuh’s article in 2008. We are beginning to see colleges and universities adopt "engaged learning” as shorthand for moving toward "learning-centered learning” models where multimodal learning is encouraged.


In the past several years, a number of theories have elaborated the perspectives of revolutionary theorists and philosophers in the fields of education, psychology, and technology in ways that are particularly relevant to issues of engaged learning. Situated learning (Lave & Wenger, 1991; [and Batson, 2012, IJeP]) has stressed that learning is a matter of participating in communities of practice. Distributed cognition (Hutchins, 1996) has shown how engagement with artifacts can be central to learning. Activity theory (Engeström, Miettinen, & Punamäki, 1999) emphasizes engagement in a whole activity structure including tasks, people, artifacts and social structures. Group cognition (Stahl, in press) argues that knowledge is primarily built in the interactions of small groups. [Engaged Learning with Emerging Technologies, D. Hung and M. S. Khine, eds., Springer, Dordrecht, 2006.]


The intentional use of eportfolios, corollary IT infrastructure, and applications that enable eportfolio practices, together create an ultimate high-impact practice for 21st Century learners: All high-impact practices have the potential to be enhanced with eportfolio pedagogy to facilitate reflection, assessment, learning, and professional development. ePortfolios offer a way for higher education to move toward an appropriate paradigm for today, one that integrates across time, academic disciplines, and lived experiences. The new paradigm is not only "vocationalization” or "tracking student outcomes toward learning goals” but presents innovative new approaches to support: traditional and alternative educational pathways; career and workplace developmental processes; and credentialing and recognition of current and prior learning.


AAEEBL and the eportfolio community have been promoting this new learning paradigm for many years. Last July we announced the "coming of age” of eportfolios as the percentage of higher education students using ePortfolios rose above the 50% mark in the U. S. This year, for our Annual Conference, we look at "engaged learning” as a term being adopted in higher education that seems to point in a direction harmonious with the goals of the eportfolio community.

  • This year’s conference is all about synergy, intersection, and integration. In this Call for Proposals, we are looking for evidence of change that moves toward a 21st Century approach to learning in courses, programs, institutions and individual lives due to advancing visions and practices of engaged learning.
  • What eportfolio-based changes seem most promising or influential to bring about engaged learning?
  • What uses of eportfolios and/or engaged learning on your campus show the most traction or "up-take”?
  • How has the concept and theory of "engaged learning” and/or multimodal learning played an organizing role in implementing change?


Session Options


We invite proposals to present at AAEEBL’s fifth Annual Conference in Boston July 28 – 31, 2014 related to this year’s general theme of "engaged learning and eportfolios.” There are many different ways to present your ideas and practices. The following describes your different options:


1.     Poster Session: A one-hour, interactive, dynamic session on Wednesday, July 30, at 2 pm in the Exhibit Hall at the Hynes Convention Center. Poster sessions at the AAEEBL Annual Conference have become increasingly popular and valuable.  They provide an opportunity to share initiatives and propose ideas and engage in dialogue with attendees.  Presenters are provided a cocktail table, WIFI, and a corkboard.

2.     Ignite Session: Short, punchy, 5-minute presentations, with slides that advance every 15 seconds, delivered one presentation after the other. (Check out for examples.) These sessions are presentation-based, and intended to produce energy, spark ideas, and inspire dialogue. Ignite sessions will also be provided space at the poster session to continue the dialogue around your presentation. These sessions will be held in one large room for one hour starting at 2 pm on Tuesday July 29, 2014.

3.     Snapshot Session: A 20-minute regular conference presentation, including time for Q & A. Two 20-minute sessions will be held back-to-back in one room during a 50-minute time slot. There will be a 10-minute break between the two sessions to allow for the transition.

4.     50-Minute Session: Very few sessions will be 50-minutes long, but those accepted are expected to be highly interactive, almost like mini-workshops. These sessions will feature significant innovations that promote new thinking in eportfolios and/or engaged and multimodal learning. If you propose a 50-minute session, please be aware that your session may be accepted as a 20-minute session.  The Program Committee makes these changes to extend as many invitations for high quality sessions as possible in the program.


  • Almost all sessions will be one of the first three types listed above, numbers 1 – 3.
  • The AAEEBL Program Committee will review proposals, select sessions and extend invitations to presenters.
  • A special note to AAEEBL Corporate Partners: You are heartily welcome to propose a session with an academic partner that focuses on a topic related to themes and tracks for AAEEBL 2014 as delineated in this Call for Proposals. It is essential that your academic partner commit to co-presenting with you.  To be consistent and "fair,” it is necessary to implement the following policy: If a Corporate Partner does not have an academic co-presenter for their session, for whatever reason, the session time and space will be reassigned. Corporate Partners register for the conference as "non-member” even though an academic partner may be eligible to register at the discounted member fee. 

Conference Tracks


1.     Multimodal Learning

Multi-modal learning promotes the expansion of learning beyond the traditional classroom pedagogy by blending various modes of learning, technologies, and media (e.g., text, video, audio, images, and interactive elements). The innovative use of different technologies can enhance learning environments by making them more engaging and address a greater diversity of students and learning styles (Sankey, Birch, Gardiner, 2010). ePortfolios support interactive engagement with multi-modal learning and provide ways to include and interrelate the various media. Topics proposed under this track may include but are not limited to:

  • Using eportfolios to move multi-modal learning into practice
  • Designing and teaching for multi-modal learning
  • Technologies of multi-modal learning and expression
  • Artifacts of multi-modal learning
  • Evaluation of multi-modal learning


Reference: Sankey, M., Brich, D., & Gardiner, M. (2010). Engaging students through multimodal learning environments: The journey continues. Proceedings from the Ascilite Conference, Sydney 2010. (accessed 2 November, 2013).


2.     Special Topic: Digital Storytelling


When students tell their own stories, they often obtain deeper self-understanding of where they've been, where they are, and where they are going. Digital storytelling promotes the use of different media to express that story. These may include audio recordings, images, videos, and text. ePortfolios provide a powerful addition as a multi-media locus for one's story. It is a place where videos, images, etc. can be arranged and showcased to add further depth and dimension. What kinds of digital storytelling assignments are most effective? What impact have they had on students' lives? Topics proposed under this track may include but are not limited to:

  • How eportfolios enhance the digital storytelling experience
  • Effective digital story telling assignments using eportfolios
  • How digital storytelling has enhanced the advising process
  • How digital storytelling contributes to student beyond the classroom
  • Transformational learning with digital storytelling and eportfolios
  • Life-long and life-wide learning with eportfolios

3.     Learning-Oriented Assessments for Formal, Non-formal and Informal Learning

Learning-oriented assessments encourage learners to reflect, self-assess and develop ways to apply their learning both inside and outside the traditional classroom. They develop skills for life-long and life-wide learning and transfer their learning into new settings. Learners acquire knowledge from many sources: Formal learning (traditional courses), non-formal learning (through workshops, seminars and other professional development opportunities), and informal learning (learning through personal experiences). Learning-oriented assessments provide ways for learners to interconnect these sources and integrate learning as a whole. ePortfolios are an effective tool to interrelate various forms of learning acquired through learning experiences and assist students to showcase their learning for different environments. Topics proposed under this track may include but are not limited to:

  • Classroom practice and pedagogical shifts connecting different forms and sources of learning
  • ePortfolios to assess prior learning for college credits
  • ePortfolios for lifelong and life-wide learning
  • Using eportfolios for workplace learning, career development and certifications
  • ePortfolios, badging, and stacking of credential

4.     Professional Development (Note the two sub-topics below.):

ePortfolios offer unprecedented potential  for professional development for students, faculty and staff. All users need to learn how to use the systems, have an eportfolio presence and present themselves in professional ways. There are also innovative ways to use eportfolios in teams and for project development. Topics proposed under this track may include but are not limited to:

Student Workforce Training and Professional Development

Students use eportfolios for career opportunities, but need assistance to learn how to have a good eportfolio presence, to repurposing their eportfolios for various applications, and to using eportfolios to develop employability skills. At the same time, eportfolios provide opportunities to explore goals and different talents that assist in personal development. Topics proposed under this sub-track may include but are not limited to:

  • ePortfolio presence - documenting and creating an image for the outside
  • Employability and career development
  • Repurposing eportfolios
  • Personal development
  • Networking and teamwork

Faculty and Staff Development

ePortfolios are most valuable when faculty members understand how to implement them in courses, integrate them into students’ assignments, and support students with the technology. Robust and effective opportunities for learning how—and why—eportfolios should be implemented are crucial. What are current, evidence-based best practices for training faculty (and staff) for eportfolios? What do faculty members need to know before implementing eportfolios in their courses? What kinds of ongoing support do they need? In addition, increasingly institutions are using eportfolios to enhance faculty and staff development, especially for the purpose of tenure and promotion. Faculty and staff are also using eportfolios to enhance their work. Topics proposed under this subtrack may include but are not limited to:

  • Effective pre-implementation and ongoing support for faculty and staff
  • Faculty development for specific pedagogies centered on eportfolios and the assessment of student work
  • Faculty and staff use of eportfolios for professional development, including tenure and promotion
  • ePortfolios for networking, project development, and committee work
  • Technical training for various eportfolio platforms
  • Supporting faculty use of eportfolios for institution-wide program assessment

5.     Building Capacity and Sustaining Change

The use of ePortfolios is growing in higher education. More and more students are using them to enhance and integrate their learning and faculty are incorporating them as a tool in courses. The results are programmatic and institutional changes. In addition, institution-wide enterprise systems of ePortfolios are becoming more common as initiatives are scaling up. Creating this enterprise-wide system can be a difficult task and often requires a great deal of collaboration across traditional academic and co-curricular lines. Shifts have occurred in the ways that information and educational technologies are interfacing with academic and institutional initiatives. It is essential that there be a thread throughout an enterprise-wide portfolio system that allows an institution to use individual student portfolios to determine institution-level outcomes and student learning data for accreditation and improvement of practices. Proposals for this track might address questions such as:

  • What does the structure of a campus-wide ePortfolio system look like? How does institutional structure or organizational reporting help or hinder this type of project?
  • How are student ePortfolios used for institutional assessment? What are the learning outcomes that are used across campus? What rubrics have been developed to look at student learning across your institution?
  • How has an enterprise-wide ePortfolio been used for accreditation? Are these types of student artifacts used for accreditation teams? How are data aggregated?
  • Are elements from student ePortfolios used in any data reporting for institutional research? Are these cross-campus outcomes part of the institutional strategic plan? 

6.     Research & Assessment: Data-driven Evaluation of ePortfolios in an Age of Increased Accountability

ePortfolios have been touted as the means to address the calls from accreditors and government officials, alike, that colleges accurately certify student learning and ensure subsequent success post-graduation. As such, they are used to assess learning outcomes for programs and classes across campuses, both on-ground and digital, around the world. Student use of eportfolios across these contexts encourages learning-oriented education that promotes both the successful completion of competencies as well as a "habit of mind” that supports lifelong learning. Relevant questions include: Which types of eportfolios are more successful in measuring learning outcomes? How do institutions evaluate and address the comparability of eportfolios across subjects in interdisciplinary initiatives? Are there lessons to learn from the use of eportfolios for assessment from faculty, in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, and efficacy? What do we know so far from research? What are the important questions still ahead? Topics proposed under this sub-track may include but are not limited to:

  • Best practices for evaluating the "value-added” of a particular course or program
  • Evidence of effectiveness for eportfolios to address particular kinds of courses or programs
  • Effective methods of analysis and evaluation
  • Analysis of data to close feedback loops for educators
  • Use of formative and summative assessment instruments
  • Strategies for evaluating prior-learning assessment

7.     First Steps: Insights, Innovation, Lessons-Learned & Adjusted Pathways

We invite proposals for sessions about initial implementation of any of the following that are supported by eportfolios: creating integrative connections; encouraging ways to build tacit knowledge; encouraging engaged learning, implementing multimodal strategies; and adopting learning-centered approaches in the classroom, for career and for lifetime experiences.  The sessions in this track will include presenters who will share their own experiences and lessons-learned.  Aim to pass on some practical ideas such as feedback you received, best practices you employed or results you identified.  Sessions such as these provide a very important value for AAEEBL Conference attendees.    

In your proposal, you may wish to identify the reason or purpose for your own initiative(s) and answer some of the following questions:

  • What method helped you to advance your initiative(s)?
  • What results did you hope to see or predict you would observe due to the initiative(s)?
  • What were the actual results of your initiative(s)?
  • In what ways did you measure the effectiveness of your initiative?  How did you know you succeeded or accomplished what you hoped for?
  • Are there best practices that emerged during the initiative, or high-impact practices that supported your project?
  • In light of your observations, how did you adjust course?  
  • What challenges did you face?
  • What mandates, limitations or constraints did you face?  How did you address these?
  • What would you do differently at another time?

AAEEBL 2014 Conference Links



1/26/14 (jwb)


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