Proposals due February 1, 2024 | Submit Online

Five people stand near a podium in the distance. One gestures towards a presentation slide on a screen. People at four round tables look at the presenters. Some are taking notes.

The annual Conference on Engaged Learning showcases cutting-edge research on engaged learning. Each annual conference features multi-institutional research from a specific Center for Engaged Learning research seminar, invites research updates from past seminar participants and conference presenters, and encourages contributions from other scholars and practitioners studying engaged learning practices.

Two people stand and talk in front of an academic conference poster.

We invite scholars interested in engaged learning topics (particularly the themes listed below) to join the culminating conversations of the 2022-2024 CEL Research Seminar on Work-Integrated Learning at the 2024 Conference on Engaged Learning at Elon University, July 14-15, 2024. We especially encourage proposals that attend to diversity, inclusion, and equity within or across these engaged learning practices.

We welcome proposals from undergraduate researchers and student–faculty/staff partners. Student presenters and attendees will have opportunities for meet-ups during the conference.


For the 2024 conference, we invite proposals related to one of the following themes (described in more detail below):

While one theme invites a central focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), all proposals should address how the research or practices shared attend to DEI.

Work-Integrated Learning

Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) can include internships, co-ops, practicum experiences, student teaching, field experiences, and other immersive opportunities that deliberately integrate educational and workplace settings (The Routledge International Handbook of Work-Integrated Learning). Although WIL is prevalent in some global contexts where national policy guides its integration (e.g., Australia, Canada), there are infinitely many ways of implementing and assessing WIL practices making it difficult to standardize WIL programs, even within individual institutions.

The International Journal of Work-Integrated Learning suggests that the “defining elements of this educational approach require that students engage in authentic and meaningful work-related tasks, and must involve three stakeholders: the student, the university, and the workplace/community.” Because WIL is a pedagogical practice that requires deliberation, curricular integration, reflection, and authentic experience (A Practical Guide for Work-Integrated Learning), not every internship or field experience qualifies as a work-integrated learning opportunity. Given this complexity in defining, designing, and implementing accessible WIL experiences, the 2022-2024 research seminar fostered multi-institutional research to enhance our shared global understanding of WIL.

To complement research by the seminar teams, we invite proposals focusing on one of the following WIL topics:

  • Understanding equitable and high-quality WIL
  • Preparing all participants for equitable and high-qualityWIL
  • Examining virtual WIL in a changing work landscape
  • Integrating WIL with the broader university experience and lifelong/lifewide learning

Key Practices for Fostering Engaged Learning

Work by the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U), the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), their affiliated scholars (e.g., Kuh, O’Donnell, Finley, Gonyea, Kinzie, etc.), and other researchers has focused higher education’s attention on “high-impact” educational practices (HIPs) that correlate with persistence, graduation rates, and potentially, academic achievement. Over the past decade, both institutional and multi-institutional research has examined additional outcomes of HIPs, including behavioral and attitudinal outcomes, critical thinking, civic engagement, intellectual curiosity, and improved communication strategies. Given these potential outcomes, institutions increasingly are exploring how to scale-up access to HIPs to more – and more diverse – students.

With the publication of Key Practices for Fostering Engaged Learning (2023), the Center flipped the focus from outcomes of to conditions for meaningful learning. For this conference theme, we invite proposals that share research on one or more of the key practices for fostering engaged learning:

  • Acknowledging and building on students’ prior knowledge and experiences;
  • Facilitating relationships, including substantive interactions with faculty/staff mentors and peers, and development of diverse networks;
  • Offering feedback on both students’ work-in-progress and final products;
  • Framing connections to broader contexts, including practice in real-world applications of students’ developing knowledge and skills;
  • Fostering reflection on learning and self; and
  • Promoting integration and transfer of knowledge (Moore 2021; Moore, 2023).

Engaging Student Voice in Engaged Learning Study and Practice

As illustrated in a growing body of partnership scholarship (e.g., Mercer-Mapstone and Abbot 2020; Cook-Sather, Bahti, and Ntem 2019; the International Journal for Students as Partners, etc.), both the study and practice of engaged learning are stronger when pursued in partnership with students. We invite proposals that share systematic inquiry about engaging in partnership to design, implement, or study engaged learning:

  • How do partnership projects enhance engaged learning practices and outcomes?
  • How does partnership enhance the scholarship of teaching and learning?
  • What key characteristics or strategies contribute to more successful partnerships in engaged learning co-creation or co-inquiry?

We especially welcome proposals that extend partnership to the presentation of their research, including student voices in the proposal and planned session. Student presenters and attendees will have opportunities for meet-ups during the conference.

Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in Engaged Learning

Diversity, inclusion, and equity must be central to the design, implementation, and study of engaged learning to counter decades of disparity for Historically Underrepresented Minority Students (HURMS) – and for Historically Excluded Minority Students (Longmire-Avital). While all proposals should address how the research or practices shared attend to diversity, inclusion, and equity (Oh my!), this theme showcases research that centers these concepts as the primary focus of engaged learning research. What curricular or cocurricular design practices lead to more equitable engaged learning? What strategies or characteristics contribute to more equitable implementation of engaged learning practices? What are the outcomes of engaged learning practices explicitly designed to center diversity, inclusion, and equity?

Previous Center for Engaged Learning Research Seminar and Conference Topics

We also invite scholars and practitioners studying the following engaged learning topics to submit proposals that extend our previous conference conversations on:

  • Capstone or Culminating Experiences
  • Global Learning, Study Abroad, and Off-Campus Domestic Study
  • Mentored Undergraduate Research
  • Residential/Living Learning Communities
  • Writing Beyond the University

Cross-Cutting Questions about Engaged Learning

In addition, we invite proposals that share research on cross-cutting questions about engaged learning, including but not limited to:

  • Scaling up access to engaged learning experiences
  • Attending to quality in design and implementation of high-impact practices
  • Supporting students’ integration of learning across multiple high-impact practices for engaged learning

Proposal Guidelines

To submit a proposal, provide the following information through the online submission form
by February 1, 2024:

  • Name, professional title, and contact information for all participants
  • Presentation title
  • Abstract for the conference program (75-words or less)
  • Proposal identifying the focus of your research, its significance in relation to the extant literature, and its connection to one of the conference themes
    • Maximum word count for poster, Ignite, and individual research presentation proposals: 300 words.
    • Maximum word count for group research presentations and workshop proposals: 500 words.

Presentation types

  • Poster Presentation
    Posters offer visual conversation starters about completed research or work-in-progress. (Presented during a 60-minute poster session & reception)
  • Ignite Presentation
    Ignite presentations use 20 slides that automatically advance every 15 seconds, resulting in a 5-minute presentation. Ignite presentations are an ideal way to share work-in-progress to spark conversation or to share research-informed practices to foster engaged learning. Ignite presentations will be combined during a 60-minute session, with time for Q & A for all speakers at the end of the session.
    (5 minutes per presentation, plus Q & A during a 60-minute session)
  • Individual Research Presentation
    Short, interactive presentations by one or two speakers, sharing and discussing research.
    (30 minutes total, with at least 10 minutes for discussion and Q & A; 2 individual presentations will be grouped for a 60-minute time slot)
  • Group Research Presentation
    Longer, interactive group presentations by three or more speakers, sharing and discussing related research projects/findings.
    (60 minutes total, with at least 10-15 minutes for discussion included in the 60 minutes)
  • Pre-Conference Workshop
    Extended workshops by three or more facilitators, sharing strategies for implementing evidence-/research-informed practices. Pre-conference workshops should be highly interactive. Proposals should indicate what learning outcomes the workshop will support and how facilitators will engage participants in interactive activities throughout the extended time.
    (3 hours total, with a 15-minute break)
  • Concurrent Session Workshop
    Workshops by three or more facilitators, sharing strategies for implementing evidence-/research-informed practices. Proposals should indicate what learning outcomes the workshop will support and how facilitators will engage participants in interactive activities. (60 minutes)

Proposals are due by February 1, 2024.

Following a double-blind peer review, we will send decision notifications by March 25, 2024.