International HETL Conference, Orlando, Florida, January 13-15, 2013

Exploring Spaces for Learning

The International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association ( cordially invites you to attend the 2013 International HETL Conference to be held at the University of Central Florida, in cooperation with the UCF Karen L. Smith Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning.

In Towards Creative Learning Spaces: Rethinking the Architecture of Post-Compulsory Education (2011), Jos Boys raises intriguing questions about changes in the spaces we use in higher education, pushing educators to think beyond traditional categories of “formal” and “informal” learning sites to imagine more complex relationships between our classrooms and the world beyond them. In the wake of increasing reliance on ever-expanding virtual learning spaces, greater emphasis on experiential learning, and a push toward the global classroom, leaders in higher education must consider their work from a wide range of perspectives.

We invite you to join colleagues from around the world in an exploration of innovative technologies, pedagogical strategies, and international collaborations being used to engage and retain students in the new millennium. Together we will discuss which models and approaches are most promising, how are they being used to engage and retain students, and how we can apply them to advance the scholarship and practice of teaching and learning.

The conference will take place in Orlando, Florida. Home to the Kennedy Space Center, Walt Disney World, and other world-class attractions, the Central Florida region is recognized as a center for innovation in industries ranging from simulation and training to telecommunications, to entertainment and medicine. Please consider submitting a proposal for a presentation or simply plan on joining us as a participant.

We look forward to seeing you in Orlando!

Charles Wankel, St. John's University, New York, Program Co-Chair
Melody Bowdon, University of Central Florida, Program Co-Chair
Patrick Blessinger, HETL, Chair of the Cutting-Edge Technologies Track
Olga Kovbasyuk, Far East Russia Global Learning Center, Chair of the Innovative Pedagogies Track
Agata Stachowicz-Stanusch, Silesian University of Technology, Chair of the International Collaborations Track





The 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. The aim of HETL is to bring together higher education professionals and thought leaders from around the world to dialogue, network, and collaborate on issues relevant to teaching and learning in higher education. The vision of HETL is to generate new knowledge and to advance the scholarship and practice of teaching and learning in higher education. To this end, 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 and peace.


Local Accommodations

All HETL 2013 conference events will take place on the UCF campus. We have secured discounted rates for conference registrants at a range of hotels near campus. For your convenience, these discounts apply to all bookings from January 12th—16th, 2013. To take advantage of these special rates, be sure to mention “HETL Conference” when you are booking. We will add more hotel options as needed based on registration. For more information about a specific property, please visit the hotel website. Please be advised that discounted hotel rates do not include Florida’s 12.5% hotel tax.

Holiday Inn Orlando UCF

  • 12125 High Tech Avenue
    Orlando, FL 32817
  • (407) 275-9000 / (1 888) 465-4329
  • Website
  • 0.7 miles from UCF

$119 UCF HETL rate for double beds; upgraded rooms and suites available for an additional cost.

Amenities: Newly-renovated property, free breakfast, free Wi-Fi, HD TVs in every room, pool, on-site health and fitness center, on-site restaurant and bar/lounge, business services, on-site guest self-laundry service, same day dry cleaning, lounge, ice machine, available safety deposit box, and available concierge level (extra charge).

To book this hotel, please use the above link or visit and enter “HET” in the “Group Code” field.


Courtyard Orlando East

$105 UCF rate for double beds / $109 rate includes breakfast; suites and king-sized beds available.

Amenities: Breakfast available, free Wi-Fi, TV with cable channels, outdoor pool, on-site café, business services, on-site guest laundry service, valet dry cleaning, entertainment center, gym, toll-free phone calls, and free newspaper and coffee in lobby.

To book this hotel, visit and enter one of the following code in the "Group Code" field:

  UCF rate for double beds $105.00 (USD) Group Code: "HETHETA"
  UCF rate for double beds INCLUDES breakfast $109.00 (USD) Group Code: "HETHETB"

Comfort Suites UCF/Research Park

  • 12101 Challenger Parkway
    Orlando, FL 32826
  • (407) 737-7303
  • Website
  • 2.0 miles from UCF

$83 HETL group rate; Choose from 1 King-sized bed with sofa sleeper or 2 Queen-sized beds.

Amenities: Newly-renovated property, full suites, free continental breakfast, free Wi-Fi, fridge and microwave in each room, pool, on-site fitness center, business services and meeting spaces, and on-site guest self-laundry service.

To book this hotel, please call (407) 737-7303 and ask for the HETL group rate.


TownePlace Suites Orlando East/UCF

$99 UCF rate for studio room (sleeps 3) / $139 rate for 2 bedroom suite.

Amenities: Full suites, free grab-and-go breakfast, free wired and wireless high-speed internet access, business services, toll-free phone calls, valet dry cleaning, and free newspaper and coffee in the lobby.

To book this hotel, please use the above link or visit and enter “HETHETA” in the “Group Code” field.


Who Should Attend?

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

  • Higher education administrators and managers
  • Higher education faculty and scholars from across the disciplines
  • Graduate students interested in higher education pedagogy
  • Instructional technologists and faculty developers
  • Leaders in campus design and strategic planning

Host Campus


The University of Central Florida is the second-largest university in the United States in terms of student enrollment, with over 58,000 students enrolled in Fall 2011. UCF is a metropolitan university located in Orlando, a major international tourist destination. The university opened in 1968 under the name Florida Technological University with a primary goal of supporting the emerging space industry on the state’s east coast and has sustained a spirit of exploration and inquiry. UCF is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as RU/VH (very high research activity) and has the elective classification of Community Engagement: Curricular Engagement and Outreach and Partnerships. Because of UCF’s commitment to excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, together with a focus on cutting-edge research, HETL is pleased to hold their inaugural conference on the UCF campus with the support of the Karen L. Smith Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning.

Higher education publishers, vendors, and consultants should contact Patrick Blessinger at for sponsorship or vendor exhibit opportunities.



Call for Proposals Distributed: April 16, 2012
Proposals Due: May 18, 2012
Proposal Review Period: May 18 - June 18, 2012
Decisions Delivered: June 23, 2012
Early Bird Registration: June 23 - October 1, 2012
Regular Registration: October 2 - December 15, 2012
On-site Registration: January 13 - 15, 2013


Fees: (Includes Sunday evening reception and continental breakfasts and lunches Monday and Tuesday)

Early Bird Registration: $375.00 (USD)
Regular Registration: $400.00 (USD)
On-site Registration: $425.00 (USD)
Full-time Graduate Students (with documentation): $200.00 (USD)

Conference Tracks

The UCF/space industry connection provides an excellent venue for exploring a wide range of learning spaces, from online environments to augmented reality to innovative uses of physical learning spaces and more. Conference participants will explore the latest trends, practices, and research in learning spaces across three tracks. The program will emphasize experimentation and pushing the boundaries of higher education.

Track 1: Engaging and retaining students using cutting-edge technologies

This track will focus on using emerging digital technologies to engage and retain students. The track will explore an array of technologies for physical spaces, virtual spaces, and all points in between and will showcase ways in which faculty members and campuses are using these tools to revolutionize learning spaces. Discussions and presentations in this track will also touch upon related ethical, cultural, and administrative issues.

Track 2: Engaging and retaining students using innovative pedagogies

This track will focus on using innovative teaching and learning approaches to engage and retain students. It will invite discussion of an array of new and evolving pedagogical approaches being used in higher education to create more effective learning spaces. How do high-tech and low-tech pedagogies support each other? How are approaches such as meaning–centered education, sustainable learning, dialogical learning, inquiry learning, constructivist learning, collaborative learning, transformative learning, experiential learning, third-place learning, problem-based learning, research-based learning, and other teaching and learning approaches impacting student experiences? Discussions and presentations in this track will also touch upon related ethical, cultural, and administrative issues.

Track 3: Engaging and retaining students using international collaborations

The track will focus on using inter-institutional and international collaborations to engage and retain students. Participants in this track will learn how faculty members and institutions are creating new learning spaces across political, social, and geographic boundaries. Discussions and presentations in this track will also touch upon related ethical, cultural, and administrative issues.


Session Types

This HETL Conference will have individual presentations in roundtable (symposium or panel style) format as well as traditional PowerPoint based presentations. The traditional PowerPoint based sessions will generally have three or four presentations. The roundtable format will involve individual presentations related to a track theme by colleagues at a roundtable each of whom will present in sequence to the others at the table. Each roundtable will report the key points of each presenter to a larger track session that the roundtables will be situated in. The larger track session will then discuss the implications of these points in an integrative way with a mind to future directions for research and practice in higher education. We encourage you to join this innovative format for your presentation.


Submission Form

Thank you for your interest in our conference. The submission deadline for proposals has passed. Submitters will be notified of peer review decisions by June 23, 2012.