Call for Abstracts

altc2013 - Building new cultures of learning. The 2013 conference of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT), 10-12 September 2013, Nottingham, England

Call and Guidelines for the submission of non research abstracts

Please note the changes to submission types for 2013 and see the notes under section 5.

The call for proposals closed at midnight GMT on Sunday 10 March 2013.

Track the progress of your submission using Open Conference Systems.


1 Introduction
2 The call for conference abstracts
3 Publication
4 Abstract submissions
6 The reviewing, selection, and acceptance process
6.1 Criteria for proposal review and selection
6.2 Review and selection
6.3 Full acceptance
6.4 Presentation at the conference
7 The online submission system
7.1 Information required by submitters
7.2 Tag list
7.3 The submission process

1 Introduction

Everybody learns, but the ways in which we learn are changing rapidly. The 20th annual conference of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) sets out to explore and contribute to building new cultures of learning. From learning tailored to the requirements of one individual to courses educating tens of thousands, the conference will examine evolving learning cultures. The five themes are:

  • It’s all about the learner: the role of student pioneers, learners as change agents, partnerships with learners, learners in control, learner contracts, everybody is a learner, lifelong learning journeys;
  • Making technological innovation work: pedagogic strategies for using technology effectively, the importance of technological developments for strategy, institutional practice, the importance of senior management, learning from techies;
  • Big data: making sense of big data, student analytics, big research, can we predict the future?
  • In the Open: Open Educational Resources, Open Access research and publishing, MOOCs;
  • Global learning cultures: crowd-sourcing, collaboration, global competition, educational policy and politics, new educational powers in the global market.

This document is the call and guidelines for abstracts for all submissions except for research papers which will be submitted in full with a view to being published as part of the proceedings of the conference. The call for research papers is here.

2 The call for conference abstracts

We invite the submission of abstracts for sessions of the following types.

  • Standard presentations (15 minutes).  These will normally take the form of a 10 minute presentation followed by 5 minutes for questions.
  • Extended presentations (30 minutes). These will normally involve some audience participation such as in a traditional demonstration session.
  • Long presentations (60 minutes).  These may follow a variety of formats. We are especially interested in innovative and creative session formats. 

When submitting your abstract, you will only be able to choose between the above types in addition to research papers. For 30 and 60 min sessions you will be asked to indicate whether the session is interactive and if yes, to provide information for participants how this will be facilitated.

3 Publication

Accepted abstracts will appear online before the conference and they will also be hosted online in ALT’s repository after the conference. 

ALT is committed to an open publication model for conference contributions. By submitting a proposal to altc2013, authors agree that they or their employer retain copyright, but that the abstract if published will be licensed for use with a Creative Commons “Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)” license (see In case the licences are updated before publication, the most recent equivalent will be used.

4 Abstract submissions

For all abstracts:

  • The maximum word count is 500 words. References will be counted towards the 500 word limit. Longer abstracts will not be reviewed.
  • References should be those that are key to the contents of the abstract – ideally two or three and at most six. They should follow Harvard System (parenthetical referencing – see
  • You should include in the abstract an explanation of why the session you propose is important to the field and likely to be of interest to conference participants.
  • You should explain what activities will happen throughout the session, providing a timed plan if necessary. This is especially important for 30 min and 60 min sessions
  • The abstract text should not contain headings, footnotes, or presenters’ names. The abstract title and presenter names and organisations are entered into the submission system in separate fields. The abstract (including references).should thus be anonymised and will be used for “double blind” reviewing purposes. Accepted abstracts will subsequently be reworked in non anonymised form. The anonymised abstract should have all author names, institutions and references to the authors work removed. This may lead to some references having to be replaced by “ Reference to authors’ work”
  • A list of author-provided tags (keyword metadata) is required for each submission: see section 7.2.
  • Contributions should not have appeared elsewhere, in whole or in part.
  • ALT may approach those submitting proposals to seek clarification or request changes so as better to fit the conference programme. ALT reserves the right to make sense-preserving grammatical edits to accepted abstracts during the proof-reading and publication process.


In response to feedback from delegates we shall be reducing the number of parallel strands this year. This effectively reduces the number of sessions overall and the number of sessions over 30 minutes significantly. To ensure that we continue to improve the quality of the sessions overall, there will be a maximum of eleven 60 minute slots in the programme. Abstracts proposing a 60 minute format will thus be in direct competition with one another for these slots.

To ensure a suitably diverse programme, no individual will be allowed to submit as the main author more than one abstract. There is no limit on the number of times someone can be named as a subsidiary author.

30 minute and especially 60 minute abstracts must include clear information about the nature of the activities and a timetable, stressing any aspects of group work or audience participation. They should include some aspects of reflection and/or evaluation. Otherwise the format is not prescribed.

All rooms will be equipped with good wifi and so activities that are based on internet access by participants will be easily possible provided they are asked to bring network enabled devices.

6 The reviewing, selection, and acceptance process

All submitted abstracts are double-blind peer-reviewed by the Programme Committee. After review and one cycle of change and re-submission, the abstract editors and the conference Programme Committee select abstracts for potential inclusion in the conference. After at least one presenter has booked their place at the conference, and only then, the abstract is fully accepted for inclusion in the conference programme and publication.

6.1  Criteria for proposal review and selection

Abstracts will be refereed according to:

  • Relevance to the conference title “Building new cultures of learning” and to one or more of the five conference themes.
  • Usefulness to conference participants including those from outside the UK.
  • Contribution to scholarship and research into the integration of learning technologies into education.
  • Appropriate reflection and evaluation
  • Clarity and coherence and conformance to guidelines.

Here education is considered broadly and includes formal and informal learning settings in schools, colleges, universities, the workplace, homes and communities, at any stage in learners’ lives.

6.2 Review and selection

Abstracts will be blind reviewed by two anonymous reviewers. The Abstracts Editors then work with members of the Conference Programme Committee to select papers for the conference.

Proposals may be selected on the condition that changes are made, including changes to format of presentation or timings, and the authors will be given feedback from the reviewers/editors that specifies the nature of the changes required. The revised, resubmitted proposals, which should now be non anonymised, will then be reviewed by the abstract editors to assess whether the reviewer/editor comments have been addressed satisfactorily, becoming accepted or rejected accordingly.

6.3 Full acceptance

After selection for inclusion in the conference, at least one presenter must book to attend the conference by a deadline date that will be notified at the time of provisional acceptance. Only when this booking has been made will the abstract be fully accepted for the conference.

6.4 At the conference

The presentation will be scheduled as part of a “session” of related presentations. You will have the time mentioned above for your presentation according to presentation type. Time limits will be strictly enforced. Guidance on presenting will be provided on the conference web site or by email closer to the conference.

7 The online submission system

ALT uses the Open Conference System (OCS).

Anyone submitting a potential contribution to the conference must create an account on the online system. If you have submitted a proposal in 2012, you will be able to use the same account.

If you need to rework a submission before the deadline you will be able to do this by logging in, accessing the submission and amending it.  Withdrawal is done by emailing

When submitting an abstract you should not submit any files: that is only required for research papers.

7.1 Information required from submitters

The submission system will require the following information.

  • Title of your proposed presentation.
  • The theme under which it is submitted.
  • The abstract of up to 500 words including references, in anonymised form.
  • Name(s) of authors(s), and their affiliations, in the order you wish them to appear in the programme.
  • Length of Presentation (Short, Extended or Long corresponding to 15, 30 or 60 mins respectively)
  • Indicative timings in abstracts.
  • Indication of whether the session is interactive.
  • A set of author-generated tags to help in assigning reviewers, and to help people who are considering attending the session to understand its focus. Please choose these tags carefully before you start the submission process, and read carefully the tag specification in section 7.2.
  • Intended audience(s) in abstracts, e.g. practitioners, researchers, policy-makers.
  • Intended outcomes and activities for participants in abstracts.
  • You will also need to answer other housekeeping questions regarding registration etc.

7.2 Tag list

Please give the tags associated with your submission carefully. These will be used to allocate appropriate reviewers and, if your paper is accepted, to help us group papers suitably into sessions, and to supply information to conference participants.

You can chose any tags that you wish but you may find that the inclusion of some from the lists below will enable easier and more relevant assignment of both reviewers and session and make it more likely that you will attract a reasonable audience.

Your tag list must be in this format.

  • Tags are separated by spaces and start with a small (lower case) letter.
  • Tags which are constructed from multiple words are elided with second, third, etc word initially capitalized, with a similar treatment for numbers, for example: learnerExperience or web2.0.
  • The plural form is used for tags describing physical objects, for example: tabletPCs or eBooks.
  • The singular form is used for concepts and approaches, for example: costBenefit or socialConstructivism or learnerExperience.
  • Acronyms that normally appear in capitals are retained as such, possibly pluralised. Only common acronyms can be used, for example: LT or VLEs or JISC or CPD.

Possible tags to include that could help demonstrate alignment with the themes are – this list is not exhaustive:

largeScaleLT,  enthusingLearners, openness, ALT, CMALT, studentPioneers, learningCulture, learnersInControl, changeAgents, learnerCentred, partnershipsWithLearners, pedagogicStrategy, institutionalPractice, bigData, studentAnalytics, bigResearch, predictingTheFuture, openAccess, openPublishing, OERStrategy, crowdSourcing, PFCulture, MOOCs, globalMarkets, differentiatingCultures, politicsOfEducation, evolvingCulture,

Other common tags could include – this list is even less exhaustive:

ethics, evaluation, evidence, learnerVoice, immersiveLearning, disciplineBased, VLEs, CPD, OER, training, experience, futureLibraries, web2.0, learningDesign, methodology, research, initiativeResults, ethnographic, language, technology, informalLearning, transfer, saving, quality, benefits, repositories, openSource, privateProviders, uptake, caseStudy, tools, preservation, digitization, DFE, BIS, teachingFellows, national FundingBodies, LSIS, learningObjects, OObjects, reusability, HEARs, KIS, transcripts, recordingAchievement, assessment, NSS, impact, mobileDevices, peerSupport, support, mentoring, staffDevelopment, socialNetworking, podcasting, evaluation, onlineTutoring, onlineCommunities, learningPlatforms, handheldDevices, learnerAcceptance, schools, FE, workBasedLearning, distanceLearning, openAccess, openContent, openEducationalPractice, onLineLearning, simplification, selfDirectedLearning, cloudServices, fees       

7.3 The submission process

After the submission deadline of midnight GMT on 10 March 2013 you will be “frozen out” from the system until the reviewing is complete. When you are subsequently asked to change things or submit a non-anonymised version then the same interface will be used.

If you have any other queries about the submission process please contact a conference administrator at:

Last updated 20/2/2013

© The Association for Learning Technology (ALT) – – but licensed under a Creative Commons “Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)” license (see