Skip to Content

Center for Teaching Excellence

  • Oktoberbest 2020

Oktoberbest Call for Proposals

The 11th Annual Oktoberbest:  A Symposium on Teaching is going VIRTUAL!

Call for Proposals

Submission Deadline Extended: Friday, September 18, 2020 by 5:00 pm

The Center for Teaching Excellence is pleased to announce that the 11th Annual Oktoberbest: A Symposium on Teaching  will be offered virtually on October 9, 2020. Join Oktoberbest: A Symposium on Teaching online via Blackboard Collaborate to hear innovative teaching ideas and best practices implemented by your colleagues at UofSC!

All UofSC faculty, instructors and graduate teaching assistants at  UofSC Columbia, Palmetto Colleges and UofSC Medical School (Greenville and Columbia) are invited to submit a proposal highlighting innovations in your classroom!  We are looking for engaging and informative presentations on innovative approaches to teaching, assessments, course design, creative student learning opportunities, teaching-related research, and successful implementation of new strategies and best practices. Share your passion for teaching and improving the quality of student learning experiences.

  • Submissions Open: Tuesday, September 1, 2020
  • Submission Deadlines: Tuesday, September 15, 2020 by 5:00 PM
  • Acceptance Notifications: Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Concurrent sessions are 30-minute interactive sessions, with presentations of 20-25 minutes and time for questions. Session speakers are limited to two presenters. All plenary and concurrent sessions will be conducted using Blackboard Collaborate.  Chrome is the preferred browser.  You may choose to present using either a webcam or microphone.

Distributed and Online Learning
Contributors are invited to present distributed and online learning best practices and strategies that support learning environments occurring independent of time and space.  Presentations can include effective online course design, creative use of technology that supports effective learning online, techniques for developing active student engagement and service, future online learning projects, distributed and online learning research, and effective incorporation of pedagogical strategies into distributed and online courses.  This includes both asynchronous and synchronous online strategies.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Teaching
Contributors are invited to present research and practice related to aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education. Topics in this track can include effective inclusion practices, the incorporation of pedagogical principles into a theoretical course design framework, and classroom setting and teaching methodology and implementation, among others. Examples include the development of effective inclusive practices addressing the needs of first-generation college students, LBGTQ+ and veteran populations, race and ethnicity, and cultural considerations.    

Global Learning
The Global Learning track addresses how, as an educational process, global learning enhances student competencies for participating productively and responsibly in an internationally diverse, intercultural, and interdependent world. Presentations can present global learning opportunities that exist within the academic curriculum as well as in co-curricular experiences that can be pursued both at home and abroad.

Integrative and Experiential Learning
Presentations in this track will address how instructors can develop opportunities for students to engage in integrative or experiential learning. Topics may include best practices of how learning experiences can help students make connections among their various courses and non-academic activities. 

Teaching and Learning Strategies
The Teaching and Learning Strategies track addresses the implementation of theoretical concepts into the methods and practices of teaching. Such teaching methods can range from short, simple activities like individual journal writing, problem-solving, and small group discussions, to more comprehensive practices and pedagogical frameworks such as case studies, role play, and structured team-based learning.

Educational Technology
Sessions in this track will present recommendations and successful usage of technological tools and media to assist in facilitating student learning, skill development, engagement and achievement of course learning outcomes.

Presentation Title: Create an appealing title that accurately reflects your presentation and makes the reader want to learn more.  (10 word maximum)

Identification of Presenters: Full contact information including name, title, department, and email. Limit of two speakers. (Please note: the first listed presenter will be the primary contact.)

Proposal Abstract: Use the “5 Key Aspects” to build your proposal abstract and consult the “Proposal Review Criteria” below to make sure that your proposal meets the submission expectations. If accepted for presentation, your submitted proposal abstract will be used in the conference program. (300 words maximum)

5 Key Aspects:

  1. Description: Describe what your session will explore or present.
  2. Value: Describe how your presentation topic impacts student learning or instructional methodologies.
  3. Relevance: Describe how this session will improve attendees’ own efforts in higher education teaching and learning.
  4. Session Learning Outcomes: List one learning outcome that describes what knowledge, skills, or abilities participants will gain from this session.
  5. Participant Engagement: Describe how you will engage session participants virtually.  

On the Online Application, please indicate which sessions you are available to present, if selected.

  • Concurrent I: 10:15 – 10:45 AM
  • Concurrent II: 11:00 – 11:30 AM
  • Concurrent III: 11:45 AM – 12:15 PM

Members of the planning committee will review proposals based on the following criteria. Availability of presentation time slots, presentation types, and topic coverage will also be considered. These criteria will be used by the review committee to select sessions for Oktoberbest: A Symposium on Teaching.

  1. Models Effective Teaching: As much as possible, we prefer sessions that model effective teaching. If you are advising people to use technology, use that technology to engage your participants. If you are advising the use of active learning, describe how you will incorporate it in your session.
  2. Achieves Stated Outcomes: In line with modeling effective teaching, presentations should also model achievable learning outcomes. Please be realistic about what you can achieve in your session.
  3. Demonstrates Scholarly Teaching: Where possible, include references to scholarship that supports the topic of your proposed session.
  4. Provides Value: Consider the value of your session to the participants. What will they take away from the session? What will they be able to use in their own practice?
  5. Adheres to Word Count: In order to judge proposals fairly, proposals should stay under the requested word count. Proposals that go over the word limit will be returned to the submitter for revision.

Presentation materials of accepted proposals (PowerPoint slides or other documents) must be submitted to CTE in advance, by 9:00 AM Monday, October 5, 2020, in order to ensure that there are no technical problems in Blackboard Collaborate.

Submit Oktoberbest Proposal


Email, or call 803-777-8322 for more information.

Keynote Speaker

Patti H. Clayton is Consultant & Practitioner-Scholar who has dedicated more than 20 years of her professional career as a practitioner-scholar and educational developer in service-learning and community engagement (SLCE) and in experiential education. She has served as an independent consultant with over 120 colleges, universities, and higher education organizations in the US, Canada, and Ireland.

In that capacity, Clayton guided inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional learning communities and other scholarly collaborations, facilitated curriculum development and professional development across all partners in SLCE, and supported institution-wide visioning and planning processes for community-campus engagement. Her retreats throughout the United States support graduate students, professional staff, and faculty in formulating and advancing their pedagogical and partnership practices, as well as their scholarly agendas and projects.

In all aspects of Clayton's work, she seeks to support intellectual, personal, and civic development through co-creating mentoring communities grounded in reflective practice, leadership, and scholarship.

Actors, Not Audience: Designing Teaching and Learning For and Through Democratic Engagement

Oktoberbest is co-sponsored by the Center for Teaching Excellence, Division of Information Technology and University Libraries.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.