Call: Experiential Learning in Communication at 2023 National Communication Association conference

Call for Submissions

Experiential Learning in Communication Division
2023 National Communication Association (NCA) Annual Convention
November 16-19, 2023
National Harbor, Maryland, USA

Deadline: March 29, 2023

The Experiential Learning in Communication Division welcomes your submissions for our sessions in National Harbor, Maryland, Nov. 16-19, 2023. Experiential learning involves creating and facilitating direct, practical learning experiences for students and asking them to reflect on the learning process. This division focuses on the practice of experiential learning with the goal of understanding the process and impacts of the communication process in our world. Forms of experiential learning include:

  • Community-Based Learning
  • Internships and Practicum
  • Study Abroad
  • Service-Learning
  • Simulations (Immersive Technology, Narrative Experiences, etc.)

The division would like to especially encourage 1) research and essays related to the role, value, opportunities, challenges, and assessed outcomes of experiential learning, 2) research and essays that highlight the contribution of experiential learning to communication theory and practice, 3) SPARK interactive session contributions (a hallmark of the Experiential Learning Division) designed to share teaching and project ideas related to service-learning and other types of experiential pedagogy, and 4) submissions from those in divisions across the association that feature experiential learning as a core pedagogy.

Reviewers will look for submissions that show evidence of:

  • Theoretical and/or practical contribution to experiential learning
  • Highlight new directions in experiential learning practice
  • Connect experiential learning with other areas of the discipline


All submissions must be made via NCA Convention Central. Emailed or mailed submissions will not be accepted. For instruction on completing a submission, please refer to the step-by-step “How to Submit” webinars provided in the Convention Resource Library. All submitters are encouraged to also review the Professional Standards for Convention Participants prior to submission located in the Convention Resource Library.

Individual Papers: Individual Paper submissions will withhold identifying information and submitters should:

  • Complete the required electronic submission fields including title, description (75-100 words), author(s), and keywords. Please indicate at the top of the manuscript if your submission is a student paper.
  • Upload a completed copy of your (30-page maximum) manuscript, double-spaced, 12-point font. The title page and file name should not include identifying information about the author(s). Indicate on the first page or with a header if you are a student. Student authored papers should select the student-authored status on the electronic submission form
  • Students whose submission is based on a larger work (e.g., thesis or dissertation) should adhere to generally accepted standards for convention papers/research articles regarding length, organization, and style.
  • Please indicate if you are willing to present the paper in a Scholar-to-Scholar interactive format (poster session) by checking the appropriate agreement box. These highly interactive sessions encourage dialogue and discussion about your research results and teaching ideas. Presenters from across the Association are clustered together and share their ideas one-on-one with session attendees. Wandering Scholars will engage presenters and provide feedback on the projects.

Our Division offers a Top Paper Award. We also offer a Top Student Paper Award: The Dr. Rozell Duncan Award for Excellence in Research, which honors the memory and substantial contributions of Dr. Duncan to the Experiential Learning Division and to her students.

SPARK: Innovation in Practice Submission: SPARK submissions will withhold submitter names.

Submitters should select “Individual Paper” as the submission type when making a SPARK Submission.

In order to ensure that your Submission is correctly reviewed, the first word of the Submission Title MUST be “SPARK.”

This session, similar to GIFTS Discussion Circles, has been highly successful as it invites participants to share exemplary experiential learning practice innovations in a group setting where attendees can interact with the presenters. The concept is to “SPARK” new ideas for shaping experiential learning that might include specific projects, the development of a course with experiential learning at its core, innovations in Study Abroad experiences, techniques for reflection, suggestions for evaluating experiential projects, or tools and resources developed to support experiential learning (i.e, guides to working with community partners).

If accepted for inclusion in the SPARK Innovation in Practice Session, each presenter will give a 3-minute quick summation of their project/course. After the brief presentations, the audience will then visit presenters based on their interests/needs to learn more about specific projects.

Upload a completed copy of your (10-page maximum) SPARK submission, double-spaced, 12-point font. While you do not need to remove any identifying information about your university or program, submitters should not include their name in the supporting file document.

Your SPARK submission (10 pages maximum) must include the following in the uploaded supporting file document:

1. A two-to-three-page narrative that identifies the elements below that are relevant:

  • The form of experiential learning being employed
  • The goals of using experiential learning in this context
  • How this represents an innovation in practice (i.e. how the submission highlights an innovative project, pedagogical approach, partnership, related assignments, reflection practices, learning outcomes, assessment, etc.)
  • The participants –class, level of students, number of students
  • Any audience or community partners (if applicable)
  • The ways that reflection is used to connect service and learning or to advance the experiential learning cycle

2. Up to seven (7) pages of related material that help describe and highlight the project and helps reviewers assess the quality and scope of the project

  • Submitters will best determine what to include but you might consider such things as the course description, explanation of major assignments, reflection questions/prompts, examples of final projects, assessment data, reflections from students and/or community partners

Incomplete submissions will not be considered for the convention.

If accepted to the program, presenters agree to provide either electronic files or hard copies of a one-page handout to participants at the Spark session.

The Division offers a Top SPARK Award.

Paper Sessions: Paper sessions, which feature three to five presenters and a chair are reviewed with identifying information included and should provide the following information in an uploaded document:

  • The title of the session
  • A 50–75 word description
  • If applicable, a suggestion of another NCA division that may be interested in co-sponsoring this session
  • A chair who will moderate the session
  • The title, brief abstract (50 words) and author(s) information for each paper presentation
  • A rationale of the session’s purpose and theme

* Please note that Paper Sessions should include a diversity of scholars and all session members should NOT be from the same college or university. Further, no participant in a session will have multiple roles (such as chair and presenter). If you fail to adhere to this the panel will not be accepted.

GENERAL CONVENTION POLICIES: Everyone who submits a paper or paper session to the Experiential Learning in Communication Division agrees to adhere to the following NCA convention policies:

No submission will be accepted after Wednesday, March 29, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific

All audio-visual requests must be submitted with the program proposal.

All submissions must be made to NCA Convention Central (

Deadline: Wednesday, March 29, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific

Whether advancing your own scholarship, looking for connections between your interests and those of other scholars, seeking new ideas for your own research and teaching, or reconnecting with old friends and colleagues, we look forward to your participation!

Please direct any questions to:
Erin Doss, Experiential Learning Planner, (765) 490-1841

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