HETL Global Communities

2015 HETL – PsTL Conference

September 12, 2014 in Events

This conference has been cancelled

Theme: Learning Without Borders

Aim: To examine the impacts of globalization and internationalization on teaching and learning

Proposal Deadline:: January 5, 2015

Conference Dates: September 22nd-24th, 2015

Venue: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA



The International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL) and the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning at the University of Minnesota invite you to attend the 2015 International HETL – PsTL Conference, to be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. HETL and PsTL invite you to submit your conference presentation proposal. At the conference, you will have the opportunity to explore new developments in “learning without borders” with your colleagues from around the world.

Minneapolis provides a great backdrop for the 2015 International HETL – PsTL Conference. Minneapolis, Minnesota is the 14th-largest metropolitan area in the USA. The city is located on the banks of the Mississippi River and lies adjacent to the City of Saint Paul, the capital of Minnesota. Both cities are known as the Twin Cities.

Minnesota is a diverse state demographically, culturally, economically, and ecologically. In recent decades, Minnesota has become home to tens of thousands of refugees and immigrants from around the world. Today, the second largest Hmong community and largest Somali community in the United States call Minnesota home. Since the 1990 Census, the state’s Latino population has more than tripled, increasing from about 54,000 to more than 175,000 people in 2004. In addition to being home to large diaspora communities, Minnesota’s immigrants and refugees are remarkably diverse, with more than 230 languages spoken in the homes of Minnesota students.

Minneapolis is known as the “City of Lakes” for its abundant lakes, wetlands, and nature attractions. Minnesota is located in the heart of the American Midwest, making travel to the city easy and convenient by plane from any location around North America and the world. In Minnesota, you will enjoy the great natural beauty of the American Midwest – national and state parks, beautiful landscapes, and a thriving cultural life with an international flair. See City by Nature for more information about Minneapolis. Minneapolis is the northernmost state in the continental USA, allowing for moderate temperatures through the year. During the time of the conference, you can expect a mild temperature of about 60-72F /16-22C.

About the Theme: Learning without Borders
. . .the development of our students as individuals, as moral agents, as responsible members of their community, and even as global citizens, hinges on their ability to have meaningful encounters with issues of diversity rendered in terms of the global realities of our lives (Charles, Longerbeam, & Miller, 2013).

Today’s graduates need particular skills, awareness, and knowledge in order to successfully navigate a complex and interconnected world in the same way institutions have traditionally understood their need to be competent in disciplinary knowledge. The issues, challenges, and opportunities faced by the world and its communities require, “problem-defining and solving perspectives that cross disciplinary and cultural boundaries” (Hudzik, 2004).

As new populations enter our classrooms, we must consider whether traditional or inherited pedagogies produce inclusive environments or intentional focus on intercultural development. While faculty articulate a growing awareness of the changing populations and their impact on teaching and learning in higher education there is evidence of a disconnect between this awareness and inclusive and intercultural teaching practices. Practitioners needs more accessible and substantive practical models for effectively engaging diversity with the goal of supporting equitable learning outcomes and intercultural development

Effective, substantive internationalization of the curriculum initiatives require intentional, informed practice and longitudinally distributed opportunities for undergraduates. Intercultural undergraduate classrooms should be informed by advances in our understanding of undergraduate learning, as well as by current technologies that give new possibilities for how we teach and incorporate intercultural learning and development outcomes into our pedagogies. Technological tools are increasingly accessible across institutional and national contexts, and to faculty and students. In addition, institutions are willing to commit resources to technology infrastructure. New technologies provide powerful opportunities to support learning activities that facilitate the development of mindful global citizens.

The focus of the conference is to support faculty development and institutional capacity to enact policies, supportive structures, and pedagogy that support mindful intercultural learning for various stakeholder-participants in authentic sites of practice. By their nature, authentic sites of practice are unpredictable and dynamic. They provide a context for critical reflection on obstacles, challenges and the dissonance that occur between theoretical models and the practices for implementation in sites of practice.

The perspective on global learning communities by Kovbasyuk and Blessinger (Higher Education Needs to Build Global Learning Communities, 2012) helps educators envision an emerging future that challenges students to be more engaged in the global community. They note that “Global learning is the cultivation of multiple, diverse, and global perspectives. It allows one to develop the intercultural competencies necessary to become a global citizen who can understand issues from multiple perspectives and gain a deeper appreciation of and tolerance for diversity of all types (cultural, linguistic, religious, political, for example).”

Our theme, Learning without Borders, invites a wide range of research and perspectives on learning-centered teaching practices, curricular activities, and assessment methods related to global learning and engagement. Possible topics include:

• Global citizenship
• Diversity and equity
• Intercultural pedagogy
• Internationalization of the curriculum
• Mobile learning technologies

About HETL

hetl_logoThe International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (referred to as HETL) is a certified non-profit organization in the State of New York (USA) with headquarters in New York City. HETL’s scope is international with a global membership. HETL works with and supports individual educators, as well as all types of educational institutions, associations, centers, and other groups interested in improving teaching and learning in higher education.

The long-term vision of HETL is to improve educational outcomes in higher education by creating new knowledge and advancing the scholarship and practice of teaching and learning. To bring that vision to reality, the present mission of HETL is to develop a global community of higher education professionals who come together to share their knowledge and expertise in teaching and learning. To effectively fulfill that mission, HETL adheres to the values of academic integrity, collegiality, and diversity. As such, HETL supports academic and pedagogical pluralism as well as practices that promote sustainable learning.

About University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities is a major public research university founded in 1851. With an undergraduate student body of about 35,000 students, the university resides in the urban setting of the Minneapolis – St. Paul (Twin Cities) community. The university is the only school in the NCAA Division I Big Ten Conference located in a major city. The Twin Cities are internationally recognized for their sports, cleanliness, and volunteerism. The university has more than 600 student organizations, including nearly 40 fraternities and sororities. Under the Four-Year Graduation Plan, the university ensures that all necessary classes will be available for a student to complete their degree on time.

As a public research university committed to faculty and student development, the university engages students in research at the undergraduate level. Some university applicants will even be guaranteed the opportunity to research when they receive their acceptance letters, and undergraduate researchers are paid for their work. For an off-campus experience, students can study at one of 200 other schools in U.S. and Canada through the National Student Exchange program, or can venture abroad with the help of the university’s large global study program. Notable alumni of the University of Minnesota include former U.S. Vice Presidents Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale, pianist Yanni, and former CNN anchor Rick Sanchez. The university is founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding and is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search

Organizing Committee

Patrick Blessinger, Convener & Program Co-chair, USA, is Founder and Executive Director (CEO) of the International HETL Association, President of the Faculty Academy, and Senior Scholar at the Institute for Meaning-Centered Education.

Rhiannon Williams, Program Co-chair, USA, is a Research Associate in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching & Learning at the University of Minnesota.

Amy Lee, Program Co-chair, USA, is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Postsecondary Teaching & Learning at the University of Minnesota. Amy is on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Contemporary Teaching and Learning Poetry Series.

Special Delegates

Tentative Keynote Panelists

Tentative Proposal Review Chairs

Tentative Advisory Committee


This conference will have individual presentations in research panel discussion format, roundtable format as well as a poster session.

  • Research Presentation. Each 90 minutes research discussion panel will consist of 3-4 presenters and a moderator/facilitator. Each panelist will present for up to 15 minutes, followed by an in-depth Q & A discussion (dialogue) by all presenters and audience members.
  • Research in Progress Roundtables. Roundtables will be an opportunity for presenters to discuss the beginning stages of their research with others interested in a similar topic. Each roundtable will have two individuals investigating a similar topic who will facilitate the 90 minute discussion. Delegates can feel free to move from one roundtable to another.
  • Poster Presentations. Poster presentations provide a forum for scholars to engage in active discussion with other conference delegates about a completed research project or about a project in developing stages. The poster venue allows scholars with similar research interests to interact by using the poster as a focal point.

What is going on in Minnesota in September 2015

1) Minnesota Renaissance Festival
August 17- September 29
Festival Fairgrounds
Damsels and princes step back in time to a place where Old English wasn’t so old and “Greensleeves” was the number one song. The Renaissance Festival gives visitors the chance to peer into medieval life, as they eat ham from the bone, witness the popular sport of jousting and participate in events like axe-throwing and lute-playing. Costumed actors roam the grounds, including the annual royal family, and make the experience come to life at every turn.
View Details


Where will the conference activities be held?

All conference activities (sessions, luncheons, etc) will be held at the Millennium Hotel in Minneapolis, MN, USA. A detailed conference schedule/program will be emailed to all delegates prior to the conference.

What does the conference registration fee cover?

The conference registration fee covers the following items:
– allows you to participate in all conference activities for the three day conference
– if your proposal was accepted, you will present your proposal during one of the conference sessions
– if your proposal was accepted, your proposal will appear in the conference proceedings (online and hardcopy)
– if your proposal was accepted, you may submit a full paper for possible publication in our journals
– if you submitted a full paper, opportunity to win best paper or other awards
– conference lodging rate as long as rooms are available (so book your room early)
– wine and full array of appetizers during day one of the conference (reception)
– full sit-down lunch as well as coffee/tea/water during breaks for day two of the conference
– full sit-down lunch as well as coffee/tea/water during breaks for day three of the conference

I reside outside the USA, can HETL help me secure a visa to enter the USA?

We do not get directly involved in the visa application process. If you reside outside the USA and you will be attending the conference, it is your responsibility to determine what the visa requirements are, if any, for your particular country. If your proposal has been accepted, we will only provide you with a “letter of invitation” to attend the conference. The “letter of invitation” is not a legal document and it does not by itself grant you permission to enter the USA but you may use it to help you secure a visa if your country requires that you get visa approval before entering the USA. You should contact the appropriate government agency in your country of residence to determine your country’s visa requirements.

How do I make air travel arrangements? Can HETL help with that?

Each conference participant is responsible for making their own airline reservations and paying for their own airline tickets. Airfares may vary greatly from city to city and depending on the travel dates so it is advisable to not wait until the last minute to book your tickets. We suggest you plan early and look into airline departure and return dates/times and airfares as soon as possible. It is advisable to purchase refundable tickets if available in case of a personal emergency that would prevent you from attending the conference.

Which hotel should I stay at?

Each conference participant is responsible for making their own hotel reservations and paying for their lodging. We encourage you to take advantage of the special hotel rate at the conference hotel which is available on a first-come first-serve basis.

What about a car rental?

If you wish to rent a car while at the conference, each conference participant is responsible for making their own car rental reservations and paying for their car rental fees.

Will HETL offer an early-bird or discounted registration fee?

See the registration fee dates on the conference web page.

Will HETL publish a book of proceedings?

Yes. All presentation abstracts will appear in the proceedings.

Will HETL publish those full papers that are submitted?

Any presenter may submit a full paper but full paper submissions are optional. All full papers received will go through the typical double-blind refereed review process and the best papers will be published in a special issue(s) of our journal(s). For the special issues published from our last conference, see https://www.hetl.org/publications/ and http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=2050-7003&volume=5&issue=2

Tentative Summary Conference Schedule

TUESDAY, SEP 22, 2015, 3:00 – 6:00 P.M.

10:00 a.m. – 10:50 a.m. HETL Executive Advisory Board Meeting
11:00 a.m. – 11:50 p.m. HETL Board of Directors Meeting
12:00 p.m. Lunch on Your Own
1:00 p.m. Opening of Conference
1:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Registration (pick up packet and name badge)
3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Opening Plenary Session: Opening Remarks; Keynote Panel Discussion
5:00 – 6:30 p.m. Reception for all (water, coffee, tea, sodas, hors d’oeures).
6:00 p.m. Dinner on Your Own

WEDNESDAY, SEP 23, 2015, 8:30 A.M. – 6:00 P.M.

8:30 – 10:00 a.m. Session A: Panel Discussions & Research Roundtables
10:15 – 11:45 a.m. Session B: Panel Discussions & Research Roundtables
12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Full Luncheon & Speaker
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. Session C: Panel Discussions & Research Roundtables
3:15 – 4:45 p.m. Session D: Panel Discussions
5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Session E: Panel Discussions

THURSDAY, SEP 24, 2015, 8:30 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.

8:30 – 10:00 a.m. Session F: Panel Discussions
10:15 – 11:45 a.m. Session G: Panel Discussions
12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Full Luncheon
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. Closing Plenary Session: Concluding Remarks; Special Guest Speaker; Special Readings; Award Presentations
3:00 p.m. End of Conference – on Your Own

Who should attend?

Representatives from all countries and from institutions of all types and missions, including:

  • Higher education faculty members from all disciplines
  • Graduate students preparing to become professional educators – we especially welcome joint proposals from graduate students and their faculty mentors/advisers
  • Instructional technologists, course designers, and faculty developers
  • Higher education executives, administrators, managers, and staff
  • Representatives from business and government who work with higher education institutions.


Call for Proposals Distributed:  September 15, 2014
Deadline for Proposal Abstracts:  January 5, 2015
Decisions Delivered:  January 2015
Early Bird Registration:  To be determined
Regular Registration:  To be determined
Deadline for Full Papers (full papers are optional):  To be determined
On-site Registration:  September 22, 2015


Early Bird Registration: $300 (USD)
Regular Registration: $400 (USD)
On-site Registration: $425 (USD)
Full-time Graduate Students: $200 (USD)

No refunds will be given once you pay your registration fee – no exceptions.

Proposals: Review Process and Submission Requirements

Review Process: After the submission deadline, proposals will be reviewed by teams based on the following criteria:

  • The significance of topic to delegates and relevance to theme
  • The quality of theoretical or conceptual frameworks and data sources, if applicable;
  • The soundness of the research design, analysis, and/or interpretation; if applicable
  • The overall clarity of the proposal (e.g., quality of writing, organization of ideas, clarity of assumptions, logic of arguments, etc.)

After the review period, the co-chairs and organizing committee will study the reviews and select highly rated proposals that contribute to a balanced and comprehensive conference program.

Submission Requirements:

For All Proposals, Types, please include:

Title: (100 character maximum-no more than 10 words) Titles should briefly identify the content and audience and should be able to stand alone and give a clear idea of what will happen in the session.

Abstract: Please enter your session abstract, which will appear in the promotional material if your proposal is selected. (350 character maximum, about 50 words) Abstracts should clearly and concisely identify what will be presented, who the audience should be, and the delivery format. Please write your abstract in the present tense.

Learning Objectives: What will the audience gain from this presentation in terms of higher education teaching and learning?

Specific Proposal Types and Requirements (all are limited to 500 words)

I. Research Presentation Proposal Requirements

Research presentation present the results of quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods studies or report the findings of studies that use historical or philosophical methods. These studies are based on original data collection or secondary data analysis of.

  • Concisely describe the purpose of your presentation;
  • Theoretical or conceptual frames or lenses;
  • Methodological focus and method(s) used;
  • Data sources or evidence;
  • Applicable results/ findings;
  • Implications for practice

II. Research in Progress Roundtables

Roundtables provide opportunities for scholars to get feedback on research in process in an informal, conversational style with interested persons.

Roundtable sessions are 90 minutes each with two presenter/ facilitator. In the roundtable session, equal time will be allocated to discussion of work in progress and questions/feedback from roundtable participants.

Roundtable proposals should include:

  • Objectives or purposes of the proposed discussion;
  • Perspectives or theoretical/conceptual frameworks that will guide the discussion;
  • Data, evidence, or resources related to the discussion topic;
  • Conclusions and implications;
  • Strategies to facilitate participation in the discussion; and
  • Significance of the topic.

III. Poster Presentations

Poster presentations provide a forum for scholars to engage in active discussion with other conference participants about a completed research project or about a project in developing stages. The poster venue allows scholars with similar research interests to interact by using the poster as a focal point. Poster presenters will display their research on a large bulletin board (provided at the conference). Presenters will attend the poster session to discuss the project with conference attendees.
Poster Proposals should include:

  • Statement of the purpose or goals of the research (i.e., the primary research questions or issues being addressed);
  • Perspectives or theoretical/conceptual foundation for the work;
  • A description of the methodology being used and the project findings (if applicable); and
  • Practical significance and implications of the research.


The deadline for conference proposals is: January 5, 2015

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