Published on April 20, 2016

Location: Georgia Coastal Conference Center in Savannah, GA
Theme: (Re)Considering Programs in Terms of Methods, Methodologies, and Practices

With such dramatic growth over the last fifteen years, it is important that we take time to be reflexive about the sustainability of our programs and how we can ensure they remain responsive to the forces that shape them (e.g., institutional, governmental, social, and economic).

The 2016 Annual Conference of the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC) asks members of the field to consider such factors in terms of three overarching questions:

  • What methods could we use to approach or undertake programmatic tasks/activities?
  • What methodologies – or theories or principles — can guide the programmatic work we do?
  • What practices could we use to implement change in our programs?

The objective in answering these questions is to encourage innovative thinking about programs and to push boundaries in how we approach programs and programmatic activities. In particular, we are interested in proposals that examine how the methods, methodologies, and practices we use in curriculum design, course development, hiring and promotion practices, recruitment and retention strategies, and pedagogical approaches affect the nature of our programs, what we teach, and how our programs connect to different stakeholder groups.

By highlighting how we do our everyday work in terms of methods, methodologies, and practices through a programmatic lens, we hope to start important conversations about ways to sustain, grow, or build programs in a time where all of higher education seems to be under attack and the humanities in particular. Also, we are not discounting methods, methodologies, and practices and their use as part of a research study design. In fact, we appreciated the double interpretation of these terms, and hope proposals take full advantage of the possibilities they bring.

We welcome a variety of perspectives and approaches—historical, pragmatic, empirical, or theoretical – that examine the uses of and perspectives on methods, methodologies and practices in our programmatic work and how such perspectives can help us better understand our current programs and better guide the evolution and the development of programs in the future.

Possible Topic Areas

  • We ask individuals to consider methods, methodologies and practice as they related to one or more of the following suggested topic areas:
  • Proposing approaches for using programmatic research to guide curriculum development
  • Suggesting practices for using programmatic research to shape program identity and direction
  • Approaching assessment practices in different ways
  • Fostering relationships with industry
  • Developing and assessing online programs
  • Connecting the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) to programmatic research
  • Exploring theoretical foundations for programs and programmatic issues
  • Applying programmatic research to examine tenure and promotion practices in our programs
  • Explaining what we do to members of the field, to university administrators, and to individuals and institutions outside of academia
  • Re-thinking administrative practice related to our programs
  • Including global perspectives and contexts within our programs and courses
  • Exploring innovative or updated pedagogical practices for many of our common courses
  • Examining faculty development issues associated with changing technologies and role
  • Reviewing the role of contingent faculty in our programs
  • Considering program outcomes and course outcomes
  • Proposing approaches to faculty training, development and staffing
  • Devising solutions and successful practices for common programmatic issues (such as technology concerns, updating courses, staffing the service course, negotiations around increased service commitments, compromises in curriculum design, etc.)
  • Reflecting upon research design and research methods that should be used to conduct research in these areas

The CPTSC conference emphasizes discussion and a focus on programmatic issues. The audience includes administrators and faculty from new and established programs and anyone with programmatic interests in technical, professional, and scientific communication. We welcome participants – administrators, faculty, and graduate students – from secondary, community college, or university levels, as well as representatives of industry.

Submission Guidelines

Presentation Formats

Proposals may be submitted for the following kinds of presentations:

  • Individual Presentations: 5-7 minute presentation given by an individual speaker
  • Panel Presentation: A session in which 3-6 individuals spend 20-30 minutes examining a central topic or theme
  • Poster Session: Posters will be on display throughout the conference, and poster creators will present and discuss their posters at a dedicated session during the conference

Individual and Poster Presentations:

A 500-word summary (not including citations) of the proposed presentation

Panel Presentations:

A two-part, 500-word (total and not including citations) proposal to consist of

  • A 150-200 word overview framing the focus of the panel in the context of the conference theme
  • A 250 summary (total) of the topic each presenter will cover within the context of the panel

All proposals should provide the following information:

  • The kind of presentation (i.e., individual presentation, panel presentation, or poster presentation)
  • The title of the proposed presentation, poster, or panel
  • The connection between the proposed presentation to the conference theme
  • A summary of the approach or research method used to examine the proposed topic
  • A summary of what attendees can “take away” from the presentation to apply to or use within the context of their own organizations or programs
  • The name, affiliation, and contact email for presenter(s)

All proposals should be submitted as .docx files attached to an email message sent to

The subject line of the related email should read “CPTSC 2016 Conference Proposal.” All proposals will be peer reviewed.

Note: While individuals may submit more than one proposal for consideration, each accepted presenter may give only one presentation at the conference.

Submission Deadlines

Early Submission Deadline – Proposals received on or before 30 May 2016 will be considered “early submissions” and will receive expedited review and consideration for the conference. (Individuals who submit a proposal for the early submission deadline may also submit a revised proposal for the regular review deadline.)

Regular Submission Deadline – Proposals received on or before 30 June 2016 will be considered a“regular submission” and will undergo a slightly longer review process.

Questions: Individuals who have questions or who wish to discuss proposal ideas are encouraged to contact the 2016 Conference Program Chair, Joanna Schreiber at