Pitch IT! Challenge

Your Voice, Our Stage, Community Based Solutions

We're excited to announce the four institutions that have been chosen to participate in the Pitch IT! Challenge at the EDUCAUSE 2016 Annual Conference. Institutional leaders will take the stage to present their biggest teaching and learning or student success issues.

The EDUCAUSE community is invited to participate in the Q&A segment and ultimately partner with these institutions to collaboratively create solutions.

Institution Presenter Challenge
Deakin University
(Recorded Presentation - Oct 2016)

Wendy Sutherland-Smith, Director, Teaching and Learning

Merrilyn Hooley, Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology, Faculty of Health

A student identification/verification system for students working online or remotely

Ringling College of Art and Design
(Recorded Presentation - Oct 2016)

Randall Alberts, Assistant Director

School work submission, grading and online portfolio solution for non-text digital works (e.g. artwork, photography, enhanced rubrics, etc.)

Bay Path University
(Recorded Presentation - Oct 2016)

Jeremy Anderson, Deputy Chief of Academic Technology

Format standardization for all open educational resources to ensure use across LMS platforms and other content delivery systems

University of Texas at Austin
(Recorded Presentation - Oct 2016)

Phillip Long, Chief Innovation Officer

Creation of a blockchain technology-based credentialing platform that ensures certificate validation, micro-credentialing, etc.


We're launching this inaugural Pitch IT! Challenge as an opportunity to create deeper dialog, collaboration and partnership among higher education leadership and the industry. By using the EDUCAUSE stage and community, our primary focus is to:

  • Hear from the voice of higher education and resolve a challenge faced by institutions
  • Inform the industry of these challenges with the hope they co-develop solutions with institutions from the start
  • Encourage the innovative use of technology to resolve common problems in higher education
  • Keep the dialog going post event, and share findings and solutions with the community

Topic Areas

Applicants to this inaugural program should have issues focused on either of the following two areas.

  1. Driving Innovation in Teaching and Learning 
    How do institutional IT practices enable and empower the core academic mission of teaching, learning, research, and scholarship? These practices include instructional design, personalized learning, learning space design, research computing, online and blended learning, accessibility and universal design, and mobile learning, as well as support for research and academic scholarship.
  2. Transforming the Student Experience
    Explore students' evolving digital experience. How will technology change the way campuses recruit and retain students and communicate with alumni? How will digital technologies affect administrative and academic day-to-day tasks? Besides making students' interactions with the school, faculty, and each other faster and easier, how can digital advances increase students' engagement and academic success? 

The Pitch IT! Experience

The Pitch IT! Challenge is focused on establishing an ongoing collaborative environment among the community to discuss and create new technology solutions addressing issues faced by higher education institutions.

  • Groups or individuals from institutions of all sizes are invited to pitch their issues or challenges.
  • Participants will work with EDUCAUSE to prepare for pitch day.
  • Each finalist will have approximately 10-20 minutes to pitch their issue and interact in a Q&A with the judges.
  • The top pitch winner will then be announced.

Participants and the winner will receive the following benefits:

  • Pitch teams will be contacted by partners interested in solving the issues articulated in the Pitch IT! Challenge
  • EDUCAUSE will keep the conversation going with the intent to learn about the development process, collaboration, learnings and potential solution creation
  • EDUCAUSE will share these learnings with the community through our publications, forums, and other communication vehicles
  • The winner will receive two registrations to the 2017 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference and be asked to present your collaboration experience and status to the broader community