2014 Research Symposium
July 16th-18th
Hyatt Regency, Jacksonville, FL

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The 5th AECT Research Symposium - Call for Papers
Submission Deadline February 28, 2014
 THE DESIGN OF LEARNING EXPERIENCE: Creating the Future of Educational Technology


The symposium will be held at the Hyatt Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Florida, July 16-18 in conjunction with the regular AECT Leadership Meetings. It will begin the morning of July 16, 2014 and end on July 18, 2014 before noon. It is the goal of the symposium to gather together a select group of scholars to share research for real dialogue and deep discussions about learning experience and learning design. The work of the symposium will be published in a book by Springer, publisher of ETR&D and TechTrends. The conference fee (with some included meals) is expected to be around $350.

Two divergent yet parallel themes will form the framework of the symposium; first is an examination of how we can design the experiences of learning, with a focus on the learner and the process of education; and second, how we learn to design educational products, processes and experiences. These two themes and their interaction through the symposium will shape our investigation and our discussions.

We have reached the point where we need to move beyond the concept of the design of instruction and seek to understand how learning occurs. Most simply, this will change our semantics; at a deeper level, it will change our orientation from instructors and information to learners and learning; and it will change how we take advantage of new and old technologies. What small or grand changes can we make to focus on the learners themselves? What changes should be made, to encourage and ensure learning? And within the full range of learning beyond content?

This orientation must also include a different form of instructional design as well, one which embraces constructivism as a method and as an outcome, and one which allows for exploration and engagement, one which is less about delivery and more about involvement. How should we develop designers to create open ended learning experiences as opposed to set pieces of structured information? How does one learn to create constructivist learning experiences? How does one design the invisible?

A balance of contributions will be solicited from both areas; presentations will provide a rich and engaging opportunity for participants. Examples and experiences from outside the traditional boundaries of instructional design and educational technology will also enrich the discussion.

The scholarship presented will be critiqued, discussed, refined, and will ultimately culminate in an edited volume that will be published to advancing the design as it applies to education and instructional technology.

  • Presentations will be in a discussion based format, with each author engaging a small group discussion among participants; each symposium participant, including non- authors, is expected to read the papers prior to the event.
  • Two or three plenary speakers will address the core topics of design; design thinking, design process, and studio based education.
  • Social and recreation events will be developed to engage the participants more fully and be used to encourage reflection on experience from a different view point. As seen at both the AECT Conference and PIDT, these events are critical for building collegiality and connections within the field.
  • A summary panel will be proposed for the 2015 AECT Conference with representative participants from the symposium.

It is the intent of the symposium to not limit the presentations or presenters to a narrow definition of instructional technology, and to include a broader range of presenters to encourage an extended scope of dis- cussion. Participants may also include educators, web designers, practitioners in social media and commerce, or those in related fields who are seeking to understand and examine the experience of learning. It will be open to others in the field, and they will be encouraged to participate in the discussions of the symposium.


Proposals/presentation abstracts will be accepted, through electronic submission via the AECT website, until February 28, 2014. Notification of acceptance/ rejection will be sent by March 1, 2014. The initial form for proposals asks that interested presenters submit a short (minimum 750 words/maximum 1500 words) abstract communicating their conceptual ideas as well as how their thoughts will advance research and/or practice for new learning paradigms and technologies.

Proposals will be blind reviewed for fit with the symposiumís goals by the symposium advisory board. Please understand that while proposals should be well developed; innovative and inspiring ideas are also welcome.

Through a collaborative dialogue, this symposium is designed to push the limits of creative thinking about the transformational power of designing the learning experience both as designers and as educators.

The general goal is for presenters to enter the symposium with a completed first draft paper, briefly present their ideas, engage in rigorous debate, and then revisit their papers to make adjustments based on the feedback from other attendees.

Should a proposal be selected and the presenter accepted, the presenter will be asked to commit to:

  • Strictly adhering to the presentation and discussion guidelines for the symposium.
  • Writing the initial proposal into a paper suitable for discussion and submitting the full paper to the symposium chairs by May 15, 2014. Failure to provide the formal paper by May 15, 2014 will result in a rescinding of the proposal acceptance and invitation to attend.
  • Commit to reading all papers from the other presenters prior to at- tending the symposium. Attendees with be given access to all of the presentersí papers after May 15, 2014.
  • Attend the full symposium (including all sessions and workshops) and actively participate in all collaborative and/or group activities.
  • Based on feedback and collaboration from symposium attendees, make adjustments to your initial paper and resubmit the final draft for a review by other chapter authors by September 1, 2014; to review other chap- ters and make comments, and to submit a final draft by December 1, 2014.
  • Review Authors Proofs in a timely manner in preparation for publication in an upcoming Springer Press symposium book with an anticipated publication date of October 1, 2015.

Brad Hokanson, University of Minnesota,