Does this submission make you want to spin your chair around like Delta? Tips for peer reviewing

Over the next couple of days, we're allocating submissions to the many ASCILITE reviewers who have stepped up to review for this year's conference. We've prepared Reviewer Guidelines and EasyChair Instructions for Reviewers to help our reviewers work through their allocated submissions. And to inspire our fearless reviewers as they embark on their reviews, Organising Committee member Professor Shelley Kinash is up on the blog today to share some tips for peer reviewing.

Even if you’re not a devoted fan, you have probably watched snippets of The Voice where singing sensations hit big red buttons, sending their chairs whizzing around to face hopeful future stars.

Reviewing conference call submissions is less glamorous, publicised and sensationalised, but there are elements of similarity. The most important question to ask yourself when reviewing a conference submission – whether a paper, poster or panel – is:

Do I feel WOW factor?

Or in other words, does it make me want to ‘spin my chair around’?

Is this a conference session that I would want to attend and/or suggest to my colleagues?

For me, WOW factor in conference submissions happens when:

  • Researchers will be sharing new findings.
  • Educators have tested practical approaches to solving problems for students, graduates or staff.
  • Unexpected or surprise occurrences are ready to be shared.
  • The proposal is creative and imaginative and provokes new ways of thinking about long-standing problems or challenges.
  • The author feels like a leader who can be expected to influence change and impact.

Have you ever noticed that certain types of auditions seldom make the judges spin their chairs around? It may be that the performers are auditioning for the wrong show.

When you are peer-reviewing conference submissions, the next question to ask yourself after feeling your WOW-factor-barometer is:

Is this submission a match with the conference topic and theme?

ASCILITE stands for the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education.

Some examples of the myriad of applicable questions/presentations are:

  • Do students truly learn through ‘mobile learning’?
  • What education technologies have impact on student learning?
  • Are ePortfolios effective approaches to demonstrating graduate attributes?
  • Does BYOD work for regional and/or remote students?

The 2017 theme is Me. Us. IT.

Some examples of questions that this theme compels are:

  • Which educational technologies improve my teaching?
  • How have digital approaches increased interactivity and collaboration?
  • What digital competencies can students learn in tertiary education that will serve as graduate attributes / career skills?

In summary, your key mission as reviewer for ASCILITE 2017 is to ask:

  • Does this submission make me want to turn my chair around?
  • Is this possible-presenter a ‘Voice’ for this particular conference?

Important information about ASCILITE 2017 submission requirements

We've had a few questions about ASCILITE submission requirements and we've received a couple of submissions that are incomplete, so we thought we'd highlight a few key points about the submission requirements for this year's conference. If you intend on making a submission, please read on.

What to submit

This is not an abstract-only submission.

All submission types require an extended submission beyond an abstract. These submission requirements vary, and they are all outlined on the submission guidelines page. We have also updated the submission templates to include details on exactly what you need to submit for every submission type. Unfortunately, this means there is a lot of preamble at the start of the templates, but hopefully it will make it easier for you to pull together the content required for the various types of submissions.

Submission templates

There are two submission templates:

One submission template for double blind peer reviewed submissions, which you should use for

  • Full papers
  • Concise papers
  • Digital posters

One submission template for double peer (not blind) reviewed submissions, which you should use for

  • Debate
  • Lightning Talk
  • Lightning Round
  • Fishbowl
  • Experimental Session
  • Workshop (post conference)

We have developed 'minimalist templates' to make it as easy as possible for you to submit. That means we aren't asking you to do any kind of fancy formatting. All you need to do is make sure you use:

  • Arial 10 point font
  • Single line spacing
  • APA 6th style for referencing

That's it!

How to make your submission

Just fill out the fields on the submission template, add your submission content, and submit via EasyChair. All the details are on the Call for Participation page, and we've developed a guide to using EasyChair to help you use the system.

If you have any questions at all about making your submission, don't hesitate to contact the committee. You can email us at ascilite2017@usq.edu.au.


Two weeks to go! Submissions closing 5 June

As the extended due date for ASCILITE 2017 submissions draws nearer, I asked one of my colleagues, Henk Huijser, an educational developer at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in the People's Republic of China, why he keeps coming back to ASCILITE each year. Here's what he had to say.

ASCILITE has developed into the main educational technology and blended learning conference in Australasia over the years, and it has also developed into one of the most social of conferences.

These are the two main reasons why I always want to attend ASCILITE whenever I can. Not only are the key figures in blended and technology enhanced learning and teaching usually at this conference, and you can get details on the main trends, but it is also a great conference to present at, as there is a real ‘community of practice’ feel to it. In other words, the content is broad enough to be inclusive of many researchers’ and practitioners’ interests, but not too broad to become too unfocused. This is further helped by the yearly theme of the conference.

The social element is partly due to the timing of the conference, and the organisers usually put a lot of effort into this. The conference is always in early December, when most of the attendees are winding down towards the end of the year. This affects the atmosphere at the conference and everyone tends to be up for a good time and ready to have a bit of fun, which is important and usually makes it a memorable conference.

In short, if there is one conference to choose from the many available, then ASCILITE is an excellent choice, both for professional and social reasons.

The ASCILITE 2017 call for participation closes on Monday 5 June 2017. You've got two weeks to get your submission in! Check out the call for participation for all the details.


Deadline extended: call for participation

We've had a few requests for extensions on submissions for ASCILITE 2017 so we've decided to extend the deadline for the call for participation til 5 June 2017.

If you haven't started working on your ASCILITE submission, now's the time! You've got just under three weeks to make your submission.

Check out the call for participation and the submission guidelines to see what you need to do to submit. You can choose from a range of different types of submissions, including:

  • Full paper
  • Concise paper
  • Digital poster
  • Debate
  • Lightning talk
  • Lightning round
  • Open fishbowl
  • Experimental session
  • Post conference workshop

You can also get in touch with us to discuss other submission types if you have something else in mind. Just email us at ascilite2017@usq.edu.au.

We're looking forward to receiving your submissions.


Oops! What were we thinking?! Revised submission requirements

'Error' by Chameleon Design. Available under a CC Attribution license.

For this year's conference, we decided to do away with a complex template and formatting requirements in an effort to make it simpler for authors to make a submission. In doing so, we decided to have only three formatting requirements: font size; line spacing; and referencing style.

We went with the same maximum paper lengths as previous years (5 pages for short papers and 10 pages for full papers), but we used a larger font size and different line spacing. And in doing so, we inadvertently reduced the volume of text you could fit into your papers.

In response to feedback from authors, we have decided to revise the font size and line spacing requirements to match last year's conference, and to allow you to fit more words into your submissions.

All submissions will need to use 10 point Arial and single line spacing.

We have revised the submission guidelines and the submission templates accordingly.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the change in requirements, but we felt it was important to address this feedback to allow authors sufficient space to write a high quality submission.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact the committee. You can email us at ascilite2017@usq.edu.au.


Help us make ASCILITE 2017 great!

The intellectual strength of the ASCILITE 2017 conference derives in part from the rigour of our peer review process. We need your help to ensure we can review submissions and provide quality feedback to authors in a timely manner.

We're looking for people with a range of experience - academics, learning designers, educational technologists, librarians, teaching and learning scholars and more - to peer review submissions.

This year, we have invited submissions in a variety of formats, including:

  • Full papers
  • Concise papers
  • Digital posters
  • Debates
  • Lightning talks
  • Lightning rounds
  • Open fishbowls
  • Experimental sessions
  • Post conference workshops

Full papers, concise papers and digital posters will be double blind peer reviewed. All other submission types will be double peer (not blind) reviewed.

You can sign up to undertake double blind peer reviews, double (not blind) peer reviews, or both! If you choose to undertake double blind peer reviews, we'll allocate you 2 to 4 submissions in areas that match your expertise. If you'd rather undertake double (not blind) peer reviews, you'll be allocated between 4 and 6 submissions (these are shorter submissions) in areas that align with your expertise.

Many hands make light work, and a robust review process makes for a great conference! Please consider raising your hand to review for ASCILITE 2017. We'd love to have you on board!

Find out more or sign up to review now!


ASCILITE 2017 wants you!

We're excited to announce that the ASCILITE 2017 call for participation is now live!

This year, there are nine different submission types, including three double blind peer reviewed submission types and six double peer reviewed submission types.

Submission types include the usual suspects: double blind peer reviewed concise papers, full papers, and digital posters.

Rather than curating a program of traditional 'sage on the stage' presentations, for this year's conference, we want to curate a program full of opportunities for engagement. This means we're looking for a diverse range of session types. You can submit a proposal for a

  • Debate
  • Lightning talk
  • Lightning round
  • Open fishbowl
  • Experimental session
  • Post conference workshop

Got something else in mind? We're open to other submission types. Just get in touch with us at ascilite2017@usq.edu.au to discuss.

More information on the submission types is available on the call for participation page. You should also check out the submission guidelines.

Submissions are due 22 May 2017.

We look forward to seeing what you come up with!