Call for Proposals

Conference Theme

Inspiring Leadership for Innovation and Collaboration in Assessment

This year’s conference theme focuses on leadership, innovation, and collaboration to improve student learning.  Innovative and impactful assessment takes place in partnership with offices and programs across campus, from Information Technology to Student Affairs to University Libraries.  Additionally, as our partnerships and audiences broaden, assessment and institutional effectiveness practitioners look for new and innovative ways to share information and tell our institutions’ stories.  In 2019, the Virginia Assessment Group looks to the future as we celebrate our 32nd year of promoting quality higher education through assessment and institutional effectiveness practices.

This year we are encouraging submissions related to three tracks:

Inspiring and Developing Faculty Assessment Leaders

Faculty are increasingly engaging in learning assessment, both in their own classrooms and for their academic programs. Faculty and assessment professionals can work together to build tools and processes that support student learning and build faculty expertise. How can we inspire curiosity, innovation, and scholarly engagement about student learning?

Using Innovative Reporting and Data Visualization Techniques

How do we share our work in meaningful and effective ways? How do we encourage collaboration across institutions to understand student learning and influence program and institutional leaders? New tools for data reporting and visualization are revolutionizing communication. How can assessment professionals leverage these tools and methods to expand and deepen the conversation?

Collaborating with Libraries and Other Co-educators for Quality Assessment

Co-educators, including faculty development, writing, liberal arts, media, and geospatial analysis centers; university libraries; student affairs; and information technology, eLearning, and institutional research offices offer exciting partnerships for assessment innovations. How are assessment and institutional effectiveness professionals partnering with co-educators to enhance and improve student learning?

We invite proposals consistent with the conference theme and proposal tracks, but encourage presentations on other topics and issues in assessment and institutional effectiveness, as well.

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 2020 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, 2019, 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.



Roundtable sessions provide an ideal opportunity for conference attendees to interact with colleagues from various institutions around a specific topic of scholarly research and/or practice. The facilitator will guide discussion and encourage attendees to participate actively in focused dialogue on a topic of interest in assessment.

Roundtable session are 50-60 minutes and are intended to be discussion-based. The facilitator may present about the topic for a portion of the session (e.g., up to 20 minutes), allowing maximum time for attendees to exchange ideas and network with colleagues.

Submitting A Proposal

Proposals are accepted through an online form and must include:

  • The type of session (individual/panel, scholarly paper, poster, or roundtable)  
  • The track that is the focus of your session
  • 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, not required for roundtable proposals)
  • Description of handouts, media, or learning materials (100 words)
  • Plan for participant engagement (150 words, not required for poster or roundtable proposals)
  • Brief biography for each presenter (150 words)

The extended deadline for proposal submission is Friday, August 16th, 2019.