Call for Proposals

Thank you for your interest in the 2020 NERCOMP Annual Conference! Please take some time to read this call for proposals (CFP) page, which explains the information you will be asked to provide when submitting a proposal.

Before Writing Your Proposal

Please complete the following steps before you fill out the form and submit your proposal:

  1. It is important to create or update your EDUCAUSE profile, which is required for the CFP submission and to present at the conference.
  2. It is not uncommon for a proposal to promise significant results without describing them. In the session description, be sure to convey your results and key presentation points so that reviewers can better evaluate your work.

Including the Student Voice

NERCOMP also invites sessions that engage the undergraduate learner perspective as presenters or contributors to session activities. To support this emphasis, NERCOMP will provide complimentary registration for up to two full-time undergraduate student presenters per session at the conference.

Program Tracks and Key Topics

The program committee has outlined a series of tracks and key topics they believe will make an interesting and useful program. The program sessions will focus on these key topic areas:

Session Formats

Standard Presentations (45 minutes)

Standard presentations are opportunities to present in detail on a project. Presenters and panelists are asked to allocate at least 10–15 minutes to Q&A with the audience. Proposals will be evaluated against the selection criteria listed below.

Interactive Presentations (45 minutes)

These sessions are opportunities to share topics of interest through an innovative, thought-provoking format that encourages audience participation and interaction. Participant feedback and response to issues will be encouraged throughout the session.

Panel Discussions (45 minutes)

These sessions feature 2–4 dynamic presenters offering case studies about how their institutions have approached a shared topic, or they may feature presenters taking different and sometimes controversial perspectives on a topic. Examples may include the evolving role of the CIO, security, privacy and cloud, advancing IT innovation within budgetary constraints, or other critical issues in higher education. Participant feedback and response will be encouraged for all panels.

Poster Sessions (60 minutes)

A poster session demonstrates the use of an emerging technology or innovative practice for teaching and learning, typically in the early stages of development. Presenters may use a laptop, a poster, or both to demonstrate the unique features and functionality of the tool or program and to assist in providing a visual overview of the project. As attendees visit, presenters have the opportunity to discuss the poster topic with them. Note: a new option for Virtual Poster Session has been added this year.

Selection Process

Proposals will be reviewed by the NERCOMP Annual Conference Program Committee and session proposal reviewers using the following criteria:

  • Quality of topic: Is the topic of importance, relevance, value, and/or interest to the targeted area of information resources in higher education?
  • Proposed topic coverage: Does the proposal cover the topic adequately?
  • Speaker knowledge: Does the speaker appear to have sufficient knowledge, expertise, and authority to address this topic?
  • Speaker presentation style: Has the speaker provided sufficient evidence of his or her ability to effectively present on the topic?
  • Event-specific criteria: Has the speaker included strategies that will effectively engage the attendees and result in effective learning?
  • Overall rating: What is your evaluation of this proposal overall?

Proposals will be selected to ensure the conference program offers a comprehensive, noncommercial, objective, and diverse treatment of issues related to the theme and key topics.

Applicants will be notified of proposal status in mid-November. Note: The selection committee may invite you to present in a format other than the one you selected or those noted in the proposal submission form.

Speaker Expectations

IMPORTANT: One presenter from each presentation will receive a free conference registration. Additional presenters are responsible for registering in advance for the conference, paying the full conference registration fee, and securing and paying for travel and lodging. Presenters are also asked to upload related resources (documents or links) prior to the presentation and to upload presentation materials and additional related resources after the presentation to their session's entry in the online program. These resources provide support for the presentation and then become a part of the conference proceedings so that valuable information is accessible beyond the session.

Program Track and Key Topic Descriptions

Audiovisual and IT Services: Support Models and Practices

The rapid pace of innovation in technology offers exciting opportunities for education professionals but also brings with it a corresponding need for flexible support services and delivery processes to keep up with the challenge of constant change. Whether you have evaluated and implemented new technologies and support practices or have successfully updated your IT service operation's technologies and procedures, this track invites you to share your strategies for providing effective and efficient IT support services and solutions to an ever-changing set of faculty, students, and administrators with uniformly high expectations.

Examples include:

  • AI, chatbots, and machine learning for customer service knowledge management
  • Pay-to-print for students
  • Low-cost active learning classroom design
  • Student support models (consultant programs, tech support, etc.)
  • Support workflows
  • Equipment replacement models
  • Using data from IT/incident management to change IT/classroom design
  • AV remote support and automation
  • Best practices (ITIL v3, Pink Elephant)
  • Classroom technologies and design (computers, multimedia)
  • Information and computer literacy initiatives, training, and documentation development
  • Workstation/laptop standards, management, and support
  • Media services (asset management, AV equipment)
  • Managing software licenses and software access
  • Support for distribution of streaming, podcasting, and lecture capture
  • Green technologies (power management, recycling)
  • Supporting students and faculty use of consumer technologies

Data-Driven Decision-Making

One of the most talked-about areas of technology these days—and perhaps one of the least understood—is data-driven decision-making. Promises of transforming our institutions and the lives of our students through the collection and analysis of data now seem plausible and within reach, but the majority of us need to learn a lot more about how to actually do it. If your institution has been successful in developing and using dashboards, predictive modeling, reporting and analytics, and business intelligence, this track is the place to share those experiences, processes, and insights that can help faculty and administrators in measurable ways.

Examples include:

  • Leveraging predictive modeling and analytics to assist with enrollment or retention
  • Creating dashboards that matter
  • Breaking down the silos of data
  • Learning how to become a data-driven institution
  • Leveraging business intelligence/data management
  • Using learning analytics
  • Using data to optimize student learning in digital environments

Leadership and Organizational Development

Effective leadership takes place at all levels of an organization. We are continually asked to respond to changing client expectations, resource constraints, increasing calls for accountability, and proliferating technology alternatives. This track seeks to showcase strategies, both successful and not so successful, to create a shared sense of mission and allow all members of a team to contribute their ideas.

Examples include:

  • Developing and advocating for a shared vision
  • Creating and sustaining high-performance teams
  • Divergent paths to leadership and leadership in every area and level
  • Promoting diversity, inclusion, and equity in the organization
  • Strategic planning and strategic planning tools
  • Innovative budgeting and funding models
  • Aligning governance models and processes with the institutional mission
  • Succession planning
  • Communication best practices
  • Cross-organizational/cross-institutional professional networks
  • Unconventional leadership
  • Creative project management
  • Building a culture of innovation and managing change
  • Talent management

Libraries and Scholarship in the 21st Century

As libraries seek to redefine themselves in the 21st century, branching out into content creation, makerspace management, and new partnerships around teaching, learning, and scholarship, the opportunities—and questions—for how libraries will lead in the Information Age can seem overwhelming. What collaborative partnerships, decisions, and technologies should librarians take advantage of in scholarship and research? What strategic innovations can libraries share to help establish a new model of relevance in colleges and universities? And given the continual pressure to justify budget requests and resource allocations, how can we define and establish new organizational structures and services? This track encourages the sharing of provocative ideas, ongoing projects and plans, and early-stage successes that can help our community begin to answer these provocative questions.

Examples include:

  • Reconceiving library spaces and services (new purposes, new partners)
  • Emerging workflows and best practices in digitization and digital preservation
  • Issues surrounding 21st-century scholarly communication (copyright, open access)
  • Supporting faculty in digital scholarship, digital humanities, and research
  • Assessment in the library (demonstrating the library's contributions)
  • Innovations in the delivery of content (e-books, ILL, patron-initiated purchasing)
  • Instruction and outreach in information literacy programming and engagement
  • Getting to know our users (ethnographic research, usability studies)
  • When cultures collide (changing perceptions of libraries' roles and missions)
  • Integrating discovery tools and library management systems
  • Lessons learned working with archives, repositories, and publishing platforms
  • Campus and community outreach and partnerships

Policy, Regulations, and Security

Protecting critical data and services in a culture that puts a high value on openness and accessibility presents special challenges. With the increasing move to cloud-based systems and mobile device usage, dealing with protecting data that is outside the control of central IT is a monumental challenge faced by every institution, no matter its size or focus. How campuses deal with issues such as the appeal and value of sites such as Facebook and Twitter, the growing legal complexities surrounding data protection and personal privacy, and the consumerization of IT and the spiraling use of personal devices for work purposes is of increasing concern to IT managers and academic administrators. This track seeks to highlight the role played by campus policies and regulations, along with the growing technical challenges of securing devices and data, in our institutions' daily work while still allowing us to share our thorniest problems, brainstorm some attainable goals, and present examples of policy approaches and accomplishments.

Examples include:

    • The evolving role of the information security officer
    • Policy development and governance models
    • Project management approaches/competencies
    • Identity and access management policies
    • Compliance issues (e.g., GDPR)
    • Federated identity/authentication
    • Policies on cloud services and social media
    • E-commerce challenges such as PCI compliance and mobile merchant accounts
    • Information security awareness, education, and communication
    • Security audits, penetration testing, and intrusion detection and prevention
    • Data-classification schemas
    • End-point security/remediation strategies
    • Data encryption tools
    • Data and network security risk assessment
    • Incident response/computer forensics
    • Data security compliance monitoring
    • Network liability insurance models

Systems and Solutions

No matter the size or scale of the institution, user expectations are always high, and systems are always assumed to be running efficiently and without any glitches. But keeping systems stable and agile, secure yet accessible, complex but simple to use, is no easy task. How does an IT department implement best practices, provide cutting-edge innovation, and remain cost-effective, all at the same time? This track seeks to offer examples and ideas from the widest range of institutions—from the Ivy League to community colleges—that can help us all understand some of the creative and nontraditional solutions to both age-old and new problems in enterprise computing. Whether it's keeping up with the instantaneous tech expectations of our students, meeting the work-from-everywhere needs of our faculty, or satisfying the dashboard-and-data demands of our top-level executives, this track provides an opportunity to share your experiences and challenges for the benefit of the community.

Examples include:

  • Green IT
  • Virtualization
  • Block chains and tokens
  • Cloud computing
  • Software as a service
  • Identity/access management
  • Document and records management
  • Building a PM culture that extends into the business and technical domains
  • Disaster recovery/business continuity/backup strategies
  • Administrative/ERP systems and integration
  • Systems integration
  • SDLCs and software release management

Teaching and Learning

The changes that have taken place in teaching and learning over the past decade have been dramatic, and technology has been a motivating force behind many of them. From active and experiential learning to XR (mixed reality), the nature of higher ed pedagogy has undergone a true transformation. The richness of these new approaches, methodologies, and techniques is the focus of this track, which seeks to demonstrate the innovation and creativity that so many professors, instructional designers, and tech support professionals are bringing to their classrooms (both physical and virtual). All manner of teaching and learning stories are welcome, as we share in each other's triumphs—and "back to the drawing board" moments.

Examples include:

  • Digital technologies that transform teaching, learning, or assessment
  • Strategies for faculty development and support
  • Introducing and supporting new and innovative technologies
  • Design and assessment of classrooms, makerspaces, and general learning spaces
  • The incorporation of mobile devices into the classroom to enhance education
  • The future of learning management systems
  • Assessment strategies for learning, course improvement, accreditation, technology adoption, and decision-making
  • The impact of experiential learning (alternative transcripts, electronic portfolios, student service learning)
  • Nontraditional teaching and learning technologies such as alternative transcripts
  • Moving students beyond written texts and making them "digital publishers"
  • Using assistive technologies and the principles of universal design to make learning more accessible to a wider range of students

Transforming the Student Experience

The world that today's college students live in is overwhelmingly digital (and increasingly mobile) and offers a wealth of opportunities that have only begun to be tapped by our institutions. With the potential to transform everything from recruitment and retention to academic success and alumni engagement, these constantly evolving digital technologies may prove key to a new and more closely connected kind of student-school relationship. This track encourages submissions that share current and completed projects as well as visions for how the personalized world of today's technology can bring new opportunities to our students and our institutions.

Examples include:

  • Using mobile technology to make service easier
  • Creating one-stop shopping
  • Using software or business processes to improve recruitment or retention
  • Improving the student community experience
  • Using innovative ways to engage with students (or to keep students engaged with the campus community)
  • Leveraging cloud-based solutions cost-effectively to enhance the student experience