Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Preparing your ascilite submissions; some key considerations from Helen Carter and Matt Bower's ascilite webinar, "How to Prepare a Conference Paper for ascilite 2013"

The ascilite Webinar held on Friday the 31st of May, titled How to Prepare a Conference Paper for ascilite 2013” presented by Helen Carter and Matt Bower provided a range of advice on preparing submissions for the upcoming ascilite conference, 'Electric Dreams', which will be held at Macquarie University on the 1-4th of December. The three topics or streams are designed to enable as many submissions as possible whilst celebrating the 30 years the conference has been going and include:
1.       Learning from the past (reflecting on development, literature reviews etc.)
2.       Understanding our present (what we are doing now, current research/projects etc.)
3.       Imagining the future (what might be, what is possible etc.)

Some handy hints are found below which you may like to consider when preparing your ascilite submissions, remembering that the full paper submissions are due July 1.

  • A good abstract is really important and should always be written after the article to ensure that it reflects the essence of what is being said.
  • Make it clear to the reader what your article is contributing to the sector.
  • Don’t overwhelm your article with references, there needs to be a balance, and the reviewers are actually interested in what you have to say.
  • Have a colleague, even if they are not in the same field, read your article prior to submission. As the author you are often too close to the work and having another set of eyes look over it can help a great deal especially with grammar and readability.
  • There needs to be alignment in your research article, it needs to be an integrated piece which clearly states your research question and differentiates between research and simply reporting.
  • In a more detailed look at structuring the submission, Matt provided the following advice. The context for the piece should be clearly established and used as a platform for justifying the value of the research project. This should be followed by an exploration of the literature trying to draw upon as much core literature as possible. You may want to use google scholar to see how many times an article has been cited, previous actilite proceedings and editions of AJET are also valuable places to look for relevant literature. Your description of the method should be rigorous enough so that it could be replicated by others. Make sure you select key findings to highlight, don’t overwhelm the audience by providing a huge spread of findings and be sure to link these back to the literature. The conclusion is your chance to provide your take home message and make a personal statement.

Also some key or ‘hot’ topic areas for this year were noted including learning analytics, MOOCs, flipped classrooms, augmented reality, 3D printing, internationalisation, student diversity as well as women, indigenous people and technology (where have we come over the last 30 years?).

Thanks to Helen Carter, Matt Bower and ascilite for putting on the webinar. For more information please visit the conference website.

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