Call for Ideas

The iFEST Call for Ideas is now closed. Submitters will be notified of acceptance on April 16.


Each year, iFEST focuses on five common lines of effort plus an annual timely topic. For the 2021 conference, the following topics are recommended: 

  • Learning Technology – Digital learning systems, including new platforms or new ways to use learning platforms. Example topics include e-learning and mobile systems, multimedia learning platforms, learning experience platforms, digital assessment systems, and enabling applications such as content repositories, course catalogs, competencies, and qualification systems.
  • Technology Interoperability – Interoperability within systems or applications, including specifications, interface and data standards, and technical considerations for implementing a modern continuum of learning. Example topics include metadata standards for courseware, learning performance standards, xAPI Profiles for DoD, interoperable learner records, data architectures, and other learning ecosystem considerations.
  • Learning Data – Data within the context of learning systems to include improved measurement, storage, handling, analysis, visualization, and use. Example topics include data-driven learning, real-time adaptations, learner profiles in practice, competency and credentialing management, stealth assessment, and privacy, identity, and security of learner data.
  • Digital Learning Science – Effective application of learning science, particularly for technology-enabled learning and learning ecosystem contexts. Example topics include learning science for the future, learning strategies and tactics for new training or education platforms, learning theory related to data-driven learning, and lifelong learning principles. 
  • Policy – Policy, process, and governance considerations relevant for the distributed learning community. Example topics include government regulations, industry guidelines, oversight structures, formal law and policy considerations, and organizational dynamics. 
  • Annual Timely Topic: Learning and Thriving in the New Normal – The pandemic required organizations to pivot online from in-person workplaces, classes, and events. What lessons have been learned to adapt to this “New Normal”? How are organizations building and improving on past practices to create new and better ways of doing things?  


  • Presentations – Presentations are recommended to be 10 – 20 minutes in length. Presentations should be self-recorded in MP4 format with a video quality range from 720 – 1080p and a file size that does not exceed 1 GB. Presenters are requested to be available for a virtual Q&A session during the event.  
  • Tutorials – Tutorials are 60 minutes in length (including Q&A) and “How To” in nature. Tutorials should be self-recorded in MP4 format with a video quality range from 720 – 1080p and a file size that does not exceed 3 GB. Tutorial presenters are requested to be available for a virtual Q&A session during the event.  
  • Digital Posters – Posters should be in PDF file format with a file size that does not exceed 50 MB. In addition, a five-minute video presentation explaining the poster Idea should be self-recorded following the presentation guidelines above. Poster presenters are requested to be available for a virtual Q&A session during the event.  
  • Activities – New this year! Activities are moderated, interactive, and guided. Activities are scheduled to be 45 minutes in length; and an online room will be provided. Trainers should provide all necessary resources for the activity. Activity examples include:
         - Challenge Workshop. A current challenge confronting the community is presented to a group for discussion and development of strategies for meeting the challenge.
         - Learning by Doing Breakout. A new or novel task, technology, etc. is demonstrated, followed by coaching to the group to perform the task or use the technology.
         - Deep Dive Collaboration. A topic is presented for detailed discussion identifying areas of the topic that would benefit from follow-up collaborative relationships after the conference.  

Presenters will be selected based upon the quality and fit of their submissions. Full papers are not required. 

Submitting an Idea is a professional commitment. If the Idea is accepted, the Author commits to attend the event or submit prerecorded presentations and other required materials on time. Presentations, Posters, and Activities will be available for attendees to view on demand throughout iFEST 2021.

Authors are responsible for obtaining the appropriate public release for their presentations. Approved Primary Presenters will receive a discount code that will allow them to register at a discounted rate for iFEST 2021.

iFEST 2021 is being planned as an online conference but there may be opportunities for in-person/live sessions (subject to health mandates). When submitting your Idea, please let us know if you are open to presenting in person or if you prefer to present online only. 

For questions regarding the Call for Ideas, please contact Julie Lowndes at