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2014 Midwest Conference - Chicago in November
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 AAEEBL Midwest Conference

Learning in the New Knowledge Economy:  
A Colloquium on ePortfolios, Education and Employability

November 4-5, 2014
Co-Located at the Campus Technology Fall Forum
Hyatt Regency O'Hare
Chicago, IL, USA

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Quick LInks

Full Conference Program 

About this Conference -- Conference Context and CFP
Academic Institution Co-Sponsors 
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Matthew Fowler, President, Wabash Valley College
Resource Links and References
Registration Information
What is included in this conference registration?
Register Now
-- This will take you to a new page.
Value Added -- Two Conferences for the Price of One
Lodging -- Hyatt Regency O'Hare (Discounted rates through October 5) 
AAEEBL Corporate Partner Opportunities and Support

We appreciate your help in spreading the word about this event by using the social media buttons at the top of this page.  

Conference Context and Questions for Discussion

Essential Questions for this Consideration:

  • Are “employability and eportfolios” and “learning and eportfolios” two completely different and oppositional pairings, or do they overlap in some significant ways?  
  • How do eportfolio-based learning designs result in learners developing learning and life skills appropriate to the demands of the new knowledge economy?

We often hear this question at conferences: “...but do students get jobs with eportfolios?”  Usually, this question is really asking whether the eportfolio serves as a better resume, that is, do HR staff and officers actually look at an eportfolio?  That can be a short-sighted perspective, because the question is more effectively posed this way: “Are students better prepared for work in the 21st century knowledge economy after using eportfolios in college?” We who see the value of eportfolio-based learning designs need to talk about the alignment of eportfolio learning and career to better respond to that question.  This conference, a colloquium, is a way to do a “deep dive” over a day and half into this theme.

This colloquium will offer the always-engaging elements of an AAEEBL Regional Conference at an even greater level of interaction. Attendees and presenters will address a core eportfolio issue about the value of eportfolios and employability over a day and a half to arrive at new ways to think about and to respond to questions about eportfolios and career success after graduation. 

Through a sequence of sessions, including a keynote by Wabash Valley College President Matthew Fowler, along with presentations, discussions, lightning rounds all of which will keep us focused on the essential questions posed by this conference colloquium.

Academic Institutions Co-Sponsoring this Conference

  • DePaul University
  • Loyola University Chicago
  • The University of Michigan

Keynote Speaker

Engaging Students In The Knowledge Based Economy

Employers are seeking to hire those that can authenticate their mastery of the Liberal Arts.  That being the case, we must ask ourselves if our curriculum, institutional structure, and technological backbone support the discovery, the application, and the liberation of our students.  This is an eminently important question for all of us as it’s only then we have afforded our students the opportunity to respond to the emerging world around them.  Join me for a lively presentation that interlaces current research on student engagement and employability.


Dr. Matthew Fowler has been serving as the eighth President of Wabash Valley College for seven years. Previously, as the Dean of Instruction, he served as the chief academic officer, ensuring the achievement of educational objectives. His research includes the use of electronic portfolios for assessment and job search tools. He has spoken to hundreds of businesses, from 25 to 30,000 employees, about the impact of ePortfolios in the hiring process. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Millikin University, an MBA from Morehead State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska. 

  • Learn more about Matt Fowler in a SchoolChapters interview where he addresses his interest in the use of eportfolios for students to lead to something "far greater than their meeting a set of general education outcomes that we have set as an institution."
  • Read a blog post about President Obama's State of the Union Speech (2014) with Dr. Fowler's response.  You can find this at the SchoolChapters site. (SchoolChapters is a Corporate Partner with AAEEBL in the Leadership Circle of Support.)

Resource Links and References

We offer a few links to inform discussion and to raise more questions:

Registration Information

All presenters must register to attend the conference.  Conference registration is processed by Campus Technology.

A $100 early-bird registration discount benefits all attendees through October 14, 2014.   

AAEEBL Members Save Even More

As a membership benefit AAEEBL offers significant conference registration discounts to people at academic institutions that support AAEEBL through membership dues. (Discounts are not applicable to AAEEBL Corporate Partners or to Individual Site Participants registered at the AAEEBL Online Community.

Use the "Priority Code" AAEEBL for Institutional Membership discounted registration. Check to make sure your institution is an AAEEBL Institutional Member before using this code if you are not certain.

Registration for Institutional Members' through October 14: $224. (Save $100 on early-bird registration and save $75 as an AAEEBL Member.)  Registration after October 14: $324.

If you are not an AAEEBL Institutional Member, register without the priority code or, support AAEEBL now by becoming an Institutional Member to save on this and future regional and annual conference registrations.  Non-members: Save with early-bird registration before October 14: $299. Registration after October 14: $399.

Conference Registration Includes

  • All conference sessions open to all attendees including the CT Fall Forum and the AAEEBL Conference
  • Tuesday and Wednesday lunch
  • Tuesday afternoon networking session
  • Keynotes and general sessions
  • Exhibit Hall access

Value Added for this Conference: Pay for one conference. Attend two!

Mix and match your interests.  Both AAEEBL and CT attendees may go to any conference sessions offered at either event.  All attendees have access to the Exhibit Hall.

Visit the Campus Technology Fall Forum site to learn more about the CT side of this co-located event, "Exploring Educational Innovation and Technology."

Register Now



AAEEBL Corporate Partner Conference Opportunities and Sponsorships

AAEEBL Corporate Partners may choose to increase their participation and presence at the conference by taking advantage of several opportunities for greater visibility.  Both choices include presence in the Exhibit Hall.  There is a price difference between the combined conferences or just AAEEBL sponsorship.  The Exhibit Hall is open to both full-conference and AAEEBL-only sponsors.

  • Selecting to participate as a sponsor for both conferences also includes a presentation in Exhibit Hall, signage, a pre-conference mailing and more. (Options are also available for providing bags, lanyards, and other items.)
  • Selecting the option to provide support at the AAEEBL Conference side only offers a lower price-point with a focus on reach at the AAEEBL-targeted audience. AAEEBL Corporate Partners may submit proposals to present at a session during the conference.) 

For more information, contact Trent Batson.  Trent has pricing information for both CT and for AAEEBL-only sponsorship opportunities.  


What do we mean by "colloquium"? We can differentiate a colloquium somewhat from a conference, symposium and workshop or other gatherings and like the definition given by Melissa Ridley Elms on her blog.  Melissa quite aptly provides clarification on what a colloquium is and also suggests some advice for attending one:

"in my experience, a colloquium, a colloquium is a much smaller, shorter, and more targeted event, assembled around a specific topic or subject. Colloquiums generally last either one or two days, and tend to be single-track events, featuring either a day-long session with multiple papers, punctuated by coffee breaks and lunch and either begun or concluded by a plenary speaker, or a series of sessions, each focused around a specific aspect of the subject being discussed. The papers are chosen specifically to create a dialogue about the subject being discussed, and the intent is to present multiple lenses through which to consider the subject; as such, colloquiums may be very interdisciplinary, even though they are also more specific. There is likely to be an informal reception and/or coffee and snacks provided throughout the day; if the colloquium stretches to two days, there will be a dinner on the evening of the first day. Because of their targeted, specific nature, colloquiums are a good resource once you know what areas you intend to specialize in, or what contextual areas you need to consider alongside your own work. It is not a good idea to submit an abstract for a colloquium unless you are invested in the subject being covered. Remember: the entire event is about [fill-in-the-blank] and everyone there is specifically interested in that subject. Expect to field very specific and direct questions from people who know a lot about the topic. Because of the shorter nature of the colloquium, and because it is designed to build from one session to the next in a thematic development, colloquiums are one of the events that I strongly urge people NOT to cut short—stay for the whole thing, or don’t go."

(Melissa Ridley Elms.  Available at Date accessed 9/12/14.)

What is a "lightning round"?

Lightning rounds: short presentations of new ideas, lessons-learned, best practices, quick wins, and questions posed to the community. 

Ground Rules:

  • No formal notes necessary.
  • 10 minutes (approximate timing per presenter - exact duration to be determined by number of presenters).
  • Handouts welcome for attendee take-aways.

Questions? Contact AAEEBL
 ​10/23/14 jwb


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