2015 Global Learning in College: Call for Proposals

Deadline for proposal submission:  April 1, 2015

In spite of what you majored in, or what the textbooks say, or what you think you're an expert at, follow a system wherever it leads.  It will be sure to lead across traditional disciplinary lines. To understand that system, you will have to be able to learn from—while not being limited by—economists and chemists and psychologists and theologians.  You will have to penetrate their jargons, integrate what they tell you, recognize what they can honestly see through their particular lenses, and discard the distortions that come from the narrowness and incompleteness of their lenses.

Donella Meadows, Thinking in Systems, December 2008

The Association of American Colleges and Universities invites proposals that examine how faculty and administrators are defining, developing, and assessing global learning that prepares students to explore issues from multiple perspectives and across disciplines—and to apply what they learn to real-world situations.  Proposals that showcase evidence-based practices that reflect any of the themes below, and that can be adapted readily to a wide range of institutional types, including community colleges and minority-serving institutions, are encouraged.

Please note that all session facilitators are responsible for conference registration fees, travel, and hotel expenses.  Presentation times range from Friday, October 9 at 8:00 a.m. through Saturday, October 10 at 11:30 a.m., and presenters are expected to be available at the time they are scheduled by the conference organizers.

Conference Themes
LEAP Featured Sessions
Session Formats
Developing and Submitting a Proposal
Proposal Review Criteria
Additional Information

Conference Themes

The specific themes to be addressed in this meeting are:

  • Framing Global Learning:  Definitions, Outcomes, Roadmaps
  • Best Practices: Culturally Appropriate and Culturally Engaged Pedagogies
  • Assessing Global Learning:  Incorporating and Evaluating Global Perspectives
  • Organizational Leadership and Curricular Change:  Placing Real-World Issues at the Center of Student Learning

Framing Global Learning: Definitions, Outcomes, Roadmaps
How are campuses defining global learning: intentionally and coherently articulating outcomes that are scaled developmentally from cornerstone to capstone in the undergraduate experience? This theme invites proposals for sessions that address any of the issues below for institutions that are just beginning to conceptualize global learning to those that are implementing, revising, and sustaining global learning.   

  • How are campuses fostering an inclusive campus-wide conversation for developing an intentional and equity-minded plan for global learning?
  • How are campuses weaving questions about identity into explorations of real-world issues (e.g., public health, environmental sustainability, food, water, energy, geopolitics, etc.) to create contexts for defining global learning and coherently mapping outcomes from cornerstone to capstone?
  • How are campuses using global learning as a framework for general education?
  • How are campuses building on existing outcomes for global learning to advance students' capacities to make meaning from multiple and sometimes contradictory perspectives, including both Western and non-Western perspectives?
  • How are educators collaborating across disciplines and campus domains to articulate integrative, project-based, and inquiry-based global learning outcomes? 
  • What outcomes connect students' ownership of learning, particularly through projects that represent their Signature Work, with personal and social responsibilities in a global context?
  • How can educators map outcomes to help students consider the "local in global" and the "global in local" and to nurture systems thinking? 
  • How are specific courses and programs weaving global learning outcomes into their syllabi and why? How do these specific courses and programs contribute to a holistic institutional commitment to undergraduate global learning?

Best Practices: Culturally Appropriate and Culturally Engaged Pedagogies
How are educators using student development theory informed by intercultural knowledge and research in their pedagogical practices and curricular designs? This theme invites proposals for sessions that

  • address the latest research findings about how students learn and how identity influences learning: how identity reflects and is embedded in culture, religion, power, privilege, and place;
  • link liberal learning outcomes and teaching strategies in digital environments, exploring how educators are using technology to engage students in reflection, research, scholarship, language learning, and connect with those beyond campus;
  • examine how to foster students' ownership of their own learning and Signature Work in areas that matter to them and to society;
  • explore how college is preparing students to confront controversies that resist resolution and to transcend entrenched mindsets to find new forms of addressing conflict;
  • showcase designs of learning environments that nurture achievement of particular outcomes within and across the disciplines and both on campus and beyond;
  • explore how to thread the needle between learning about global dynamics and learning by cultural immersion such as in study abroad programs;
  • explain how to design learning experiences that require students to consider multiple and sometimes contradictory  perspectives, including both Western and non-Western perspectives;
  • provide examples of effective global learning activities across disciplines and programs.

Assessing Global Learning:  Incorporating and Evaluating Global Perspectives
How is global learning being assessed in ways that incorporate both Western and non-Western perspectives on learning outcomes?  How do global learning assessments take into account and affirm students' cultural backgrounds?  This theme invites proposals for sessions that 

  • explore how assessment is being developed and used to advance equity-minded frameworks that ensure that all students, including those traditionally underserved in higher education, achieve global learning outcomes;
  • discuss how assessment is being developed and used to create a system of continuous improvement in student learning, program development, and curriculum reform;
  • provide examples of assessment rubrics or tools that are linked to particular global learning outcomes and improvement feedback loops;
  • examine new approaches to assessment that consider the ways in which student identity affects meaning-making, learning, and test taking;
  • consider effective ways that the long-term impact (i.e., beyond college) of the global learning curriculum on students could be measured;
  • examine how to assess study abroad experiences, as well as community engagement and domestic  "study away" experiences.

Organizational Leadership and Curricular Change: Placing Real-World Issues at the Center of Student Learning
How are campuses using organizational leadership theory to engage and support all campus sectors in intentionally and coherently weaving real-world issues throughout the undergraduate experience, connecting theory with practice informed by assessment?  This theme invites proposals that

  • describe inclusive and equity-minded processes and strategies that are proving effective in initiating, advancing, and sustaining global learning curricular reforms that put real-world issues at the center;
  • address initial steps for introducing global learning at the course level and collaborating across disciplines;
  • address the successes and challenges to initiating campus conversations and overcoming resistance, including how campuses are fostering partnerships for change, how campus leaders are moving from courting "buy-in" toward "engaging" campus stakeholders, and how educators are overcoming resistance in all sectors of campus—from faculty and administrative resistance to institutional impediments;
  • connect academic affairs and student affairs educators in designing and implementing global learning experiences and programs;
  • connect campus and community in designing and implementing global learning experiences and programs;
  • outline professional and leadership development opportunities, support, and rewards for innovations in global learning.

LEAP Featured Sessions

Conference sessions designated as "LEAP Featured Sessions" are intended to highlight the innovative work of colleges and universities that are members of AAC&U's LEAP Campus Action Network (CAN).  Featured Sessions make explicit links between campus-based educational reform and the Essential Learning Outcomes, principles of excellence, and high-impact practices described in AAC&U's Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP) initiative.

For more information on applying to have your conference session designated as a LEAP Featured Session, visit www.aacu.org/leap/can/featured-sessions.

Session Formats

Poster (90 minutes; 1-2 presenters; 6'x3' table)

Posters share visual models of campus specific approaches to global learning.  They might focus on a particular course, program, curricular/co-curricular design; concept map; assessment rubric and feedback loops; strategic planning framework; or high-impact practices.  The poster should include best practices, class examples with learning objectives, and step-by-step analyses where appropriate.  Posters that include evidence of success and resources for participants will be given priority. Posters are displayed on a 6'x3' table, which can also be used to display models, a laptop, or other resources.

Innovation/Ideation Session (15 minutes; 1-4 presenters; room set in roundtables; audiovisual available upon request)

This session will feature cutting-edge advances in higher education reform that are still exploratory in nature. Proposals that present approaches that failed to yield high impact results as well as approaches with promising, yet minimal, outcomes data are encouraged. Sessions should describe the institutional context, guiding theory(ies), and offer opportunity for extensive audience feedback and brainstorming. 

Seeded Discussions (60 minutes; 1-4 facilitators; room set in roundtables, no audio visual)

Seeded discussions provide time for colleagues to more deeply examine topics of similar interest through iterative sharing of expertise and experiences.  They provide an opportunity to work through issues, ideas, and challenges from multiple perspectives.  The discussion facilitators briefly set the context for the conversation related to one of the conference themes.  Contexts may reflect institutional type, position, or a particular area of practice.  For example the discussion topic, i.e., global learning frameworks might be more narrowly focused on specific sets of skills and knowledge in 2-year colleges, faculty perception, or disciplinary/integrative approaches.  Facilitators assist the group in examining new ways of thinking about the topic and strategies for moving forward given the complications of each individual's professional reality and expertise in the room. This session should allow for questions from all participants to stimulate and focus the conversation so that the issues discussed are meaningful to all involved.  

Workshops - Theory to Practice: Part 1 and Part 2 (75 minutes each; 2-4 facilitators; rooms set in roundtables; audio visual as available upon request)

Workshops are a two part series designed to examine and bridge theory with practice.  Part 1, the first 75 minute session, should examine critical theory that provides scholarly grounding for developing global learning outcomes, courses, curricula, pedagogies, practices, or strategies for change. Part 2, the second 75 minute session, should be designed to engage participants in considering how the theory(s) presented in Part 1 along with the examples presented in subsequent sessions and posters, can help participants develop models/practices to advance change in their own work or campus.  Facilitators should provide data/findings related to the topic and engage participants in reflection, discussion, and design work.  Sessions that model high-impact practices—reflection, discussion, collaboration, hands-on activities—will be given priority.  Please note that the session should be an analysis of theories and practices that are adaptable to others – not a show-and-tell of what you did.

Engaged Digital Learning (60 minutes; 1-4 facilitators; room set in roundtables; internet access and other supports as available upon request)

Engaged Digital Learning sessions feature innovative uses of technology and the ways they are being integrated into teaching, learning, scholarship, and information management to advance new approaches to teaching and learning.  Sessions might feature multi-modal designs for programs, courses, and pedagogical practices that support learning in creative ways (i.e., social media and new forms of technology-assisted community based learning) and foster new outcomes (i.e., collaborative discovery across time and place) that might not otherwise occur.  Sessions should describe the technology, including its applications and outcomes, and allow time for participants to question and discuss implications for their own work.

Developing and Submitting a Proposal

Proposals are accepted through an online form and must include:

  • Name, title, institution, discipline and email address of each facilitator
  • Session theme and format 
  • Session title (100 character limit including spaces)
  • Anticipated participant learning outcomes (30 word limit, beginning with "Participants will...")
  • Statement of intended audience (50 word limit)
  • Background and evidence of effectiveness of work being presented (250 word limit)
  • Plan for participant engagement (150 word limit, not required for poster or I/I proposals)
  • Brief description to explain what your session will address if accepted (100 words, this description will be used in the final program along with the participant learning outcomes and session title.  For examples, please see the 2014 conference program.)


Proposal Review Criteria

AAC&U strives to offer a balanced, informative and thought provoking conference that best fits within the framework of undergraduate global learning, which also empowers and emboldens academic and student affairs educators to dramatically impact the quality of global learning within and across boundaries.  The conference proposal selection committee will include experienced, diverse campus practitioners.  In evaluating conference proposals, reviewers will be asked to consider both the technical aspects of the proposal and the way in which the presentation/session will contribute to advancing global learning in undergraduate education.  The following elements will be considered in the review of conference proposals:

  • the potential for the proposed session/presentation to connect theory with practice to advance knowledge and understanding of global learning in undergraduate education;
  • the extent to which the session/presentation offers creative, novel and transformative mechanisms  and faculty/student affairs educators development for enhancing global learning;
  • the overall contribution of the session/presentation to inclusive excellence; and
  • the ease by which conference session/presentation materials and outcomes can be adapted to a wide range of institution types.


Additional Information

The deadline for proposal submission is April 1, 2015.

Upon submission of a proposal, the session contact should receive an automatic message indicating that AAC&U has received the proposal.  If the contact does not receive this message (and it is not in his/her spam filter), please e-mail Siah Annand at annand@aacu.org


The session contact will be notified via email of the decision on the proposal by mid May.

Expenses and Fees

All session facilitators are responsible for conference registration fees, travel, and hotel expenses. Please be sure that all individuals listed in the proposal have this information and can be available to present throughout the event. Presentation times range from Friday, October 9 at 8:00 a.m. through Saturday, October 10 at 11:30 a.m.

AAC&U Sponsorship Program

Proposals that promote products or services available for purchase will not be considered through the regular proposal process, but will be referred to AAC&U's Sponsorship Program. 

More information about sponsorships is available by writing development@aacu.org.