Call for Proposals

The ISSOTL Presidential Team, Board of Directors, and ISSOTL 2020 Planning Team regret to announce that the 2020 ISSOTL Annual Conference has been cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our colleagues in Perth already have extended significant energy to planning an exciting event, and we know that the conference is a place for us all to share and develop important work, so cancelling the meeting is heartbreaking.

Having made the difficult decision to cancel the conference, we are now moving into the next phase of planning for what follows. Please watch for updates in the coming months about alternate, online events for our members to fill part of the void created by canceling the conference. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Important dates

December 14 – January 14 – Pre-submission period

January 15 – Proposal system opens

March 15 April 5 – Proposal submission deadline

May 1 – Notification sent to proposal submitters

May 1 – Registration opens

June 15 – Participation confirmation due for all accepted proposals

September 15 – Early bird registration deadline

October 27 – 30 – Conference

Conference theme

Sustainable Education through SoTL: Practices and Cultures

Sustainable educational practices and cultures permeate the Whadjuk Noongar land on which Perth is situated. Perth’s higher education institutions are privileged to emulate a culture of teaching and learning that has be highly valued for over 40,000 years. Sustainable practices and cultures are those that continue to be diverse and productive, and foster long-term wellbeing across a number of dimensions. Looking towards the future, we will explore SoTL’s contribution to developing and maintaining practices and cultures that are diverse and productive within our universities and wider society.

The committee welcomes proposals which address the sustainability theme across any of its aspects as they relate to higher education. We offer the following broad categories to help frame where your scholarship may fit with the overarching theme. Please specify one of the categories below when you submit your proposal:


  • SoTL Leadership and Advocacy
  • Justice and Equity through SoTL
  • Academic Development and SoTL
  • First Year Experience and Transition/ Student Retention within SoTL
  • Students as Partners
  • Graduate Employability
  • Technology Enhanced Learning and SoTL

Conference pedagogy

ISSOTL embraces a conference pedagogy—an approach to knowledge-sharing at the conference—that is scholarly, engaged, inclusive, and collegial. We support the diversity that our conference participants bring by being inclusive, making our work accessible, and providing a variety of ways for people to engage. Please read more on the ISSOTL Conference Pedagogy page.

General information for all formats

  1. Title

The title of the proposal can be up to 100 characters (including spaces).

  1. Abstract for Publication

The abstract (maximum 100 words), which will be pubished in the conference proceedings and on the conference webpage, should address the conference theme, describing the proposal’s topic and indicating the frameworks, methods, evidence, and conclusions (for SoTL projects) or the literatures and current SoTL conversations it engages (for projects about SoTL).

  1. Proposal Details

The proposal details (maximum 500 words), which will be distributed to reviewers, should explain the rationale and significance of the proposal and its relevance to the theme, state its learning goals and outcomes and include plans for participants’ engagement in the session if appropriate (see below for specific instructions by format). Please anonymize the proposal text to allow blind review.

  1. References

A list of the major references (up to 10 references, only for review purposes; maximum 200 words).

Presentation Formats

Panel Discussions

Panel discussions are particularly appropriate for topics that benefit from multiple perspectives and presenters, including disciplinary, institutional, and national perspectives. The goal for panel discussions is to provide panelists and audience members the opportunity to exchange insights, engage in discussion, and learn from each other’s experiences. We encourage cross-national representation on panels.

  • Panel proposals should be submitted by the panel organizer and should feature two to four panelists, and last 90 minutes, including at least 20 minutes for discussion with the audience. One of the panelists or someone else may chair the panel.
  • The abstract part of the proposal text should describe the panel as a whole (may also include descriptions of individual contributions and titles within the panel).


We invite proposals for single paper presentations. The goal of these papers is to share knowledge and to encourage critical dialogue among conference participants.

  • Paper proposals should be submitted by the first author and will last a maximum of 30 minutes each, including at least 10 minutes for questions and discussion. Papers will be grouped into sessions of two or three where the final presenter in the session should be ready to serve as chair if the session does not have a designated chair.

Concurrent Workshops

Workshops provide an interactive alternative to demonstrate effective practices in both SoTL and workshop pedagogy. They offer an opportunity for hands-on work on a SoTL question, research method, or topic during the concurrent sessions of the conference.

Workshop proposals should be submitted by the first author and will last 90 minutes. A limited number of workshop slots are available.

  • The abstract part of the proposal text should include a short workshop outline.
  • The proposal details part of the proposal should include details about participant engagement in the workshop.


Posters will be displayed in a 1.5 hour poster session on October 28. Posters offer the opportunity to present the author’s in a relaxed atmosphere and to have in-depth conversations with colleagues about in-progress projects. In order to fit onto the free-standing poster boards, each poster should be in portrait orientation and no bigger than 48 inches tall x 36 inches wide. Font should be readable from a distance of approximately 5 feet. Material will be available for mounting your poster. It would be useful to have a link to electronic information available for those who want to know more about your research.

Poster proposals should include a rationale for the submission, theoretical frameworks used, empirical methods used if relevant, results and significance to the field.

The goal of the poster session is to allow participants to engage with each poster presenter. We therefore especially invite proposals for posters that take up important and timely topics related to the conference theme. Posters should present preliminary or completed SoTL work or considerations of the field of SoTL in general. They should inspire dialogue and critical engagement, and at least one author should attend the full poster session to present and discuss their work.

  • Poster proposals should be submitted by the first author.
  • The proposal details do not need to include plans for participants’ engagement.
  • Posters should not exceed size 36 x 48 inches. 

Proposal Review and Criteria

Each proposal will be reviewed by multiple reviewers from different countries, to the extent possible. The proposals will be rated as: AcceptAccept with Minor Revisions, or Reject. Where minor revisions are required, applicants will have the opportunity to revise and resubmit. The reviewers’ decision will be final. The conference team will accept proposals on the basis of the reviews received and with the goal to create a program diverse in topic, nationality, and authorship. All proposals should be in accordance with local policies for research involving human subjects. Please read more about the ISSOTL conference pedagogy here.

Considerations for Review of Proposals

Questions and Rationale:

  • Important question(s) related to SoTL, the conference theme, and/or the conference threads are identified, articulated, and explored
  • An understanding of SoTL issues and/or existing scholarship in the field is demonstrated


  • The theories/methods/frameworks/models being used are explained and justified

Outcomes and Insights:

  • Evidence and/or findings are reported
  • A description of how the work contributes to the understanding or practice of SoTL is provided

Reflective Critique:

  • A critical/reflective evaluation of the work is offered

Audience Engagement (not applicable for posters, desirable for other formats, and essential for workshops):

  • Planned opportunities for active audience engagement in the session are described
  • Opportunities for audience participation in the discussion are included
  • Effective pedagogical practices are demonstrated