Call for Proposals

Conference Theme

As the Virginia Assessment Group celebrates 31 years of promoting quality higher education through assessment and institutional effectiveness practices, we are excited to focus this year’s conference on the following topics:

  • Communicating assessment results
  • Culturally responsive assessment
  • Assessing High Impact Practices
  • Rubric design and development
  • Assessing programs with small populations and limited data
  • Demystifying assessment for leadership
  • Overcoming assessment challenges
  • Assessing interdisciplinary programs
  • Quantifying the qualitative
  • Library Assessment

We invite proposals consistent with these themes but encourages presentations on other assessment and institutional effectiveness topics.

We extend a special invitation for proposals to support the collaboration with Virginia’s academic librarians. Our library assessment focus area is new this year.

Presentation Formats

Concurrent Sessions

Concurrent sessions are 60 minute presentations by one or more individuals, or an organized panel focused on a coordinated theme or topic. Presentations may be focused on an area of practice or scholarship. Proposals are invited for concurrent sessions in one of two categories: 1) Individual or Panel Presentation; or 2) Scholarly Paper Presentation.

Individual or Panel Presentation

Within a session, presentations may be made by individuals or by panels focused on a coordinated theme or topic. In a panel presentation, two or more speakers will present different perspectives or approaches, and a panel leader will summarize their work and relate it to that of the other panelists, and invite open discussion.

Scholarly Paper Presentation

Scholarly papers are 1) essays that present well-developed arguments on philosophical, theoretical, or practical problems in assessment; or 2) research papers that present the results of original data collection or secondary data analysis. Scholarly papers should make an original contribution, be research-based and include concrete examples of practice and results in higher education assessment.

Scholarly paper presentations will be 12-15 minutes, and presentations will be grouped into 2-3 presentations per 60-minute concurrent session. Scholarly papers will be moderated by a discussant, who will review the papers in advance of the conference and provide substantive oral and written analysis to the authors, and offer comments for the session. Discussant comments are provided to assist the author(s) with revisions for publication.

All authors of scholarly papers are expected to prepare their papers according to the manuscript submission guidelines for publication in the journal, Research & Practice in Assessment ( With the author(s)’ permission, scholarly papers presented at this year’s conference will be considered for possible publication in the Summer 2019 issue of RPA.

All papers that are accepted for the Scholarly Paper Presentation must be submitted to the conference chair no later than October 25, 2018, 5:00 pm.


Posters are a mechanism for presenters to engage in interactive discussion with other conference participants about a project that has been completed or is in developing stages. The poster venue allows presenters with similar research interests to interact by using the poster as a focal point.

Posters should be printed on 2’ x 3’poster paper. Presenters will attend the poster session to discuss the project with conference attendees.


PechaKucha 20×20 is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images advance automatically and you talk along to the images. Session includes time for discussion.

Submitting A Proposal

Proposals are accepted through an online form and must include:

  • Session title (20 words)
  • A clear statement of the purpose or goals (50 words)
  • Proposal abstract (500 words)
  • Session description for the conference program (100 words)
  • Statement of intended audience/audience level (50 words)
  • Plan for participant engagement (150 words, not required for poster or Pecha Kucha proposals)
  • Brief biography for each presenter (150 words)