General Guidelines - Association for Educational Communications and Technology

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The AECT Design and Development competition is open to student members of the Design and Development Division of AECT. PacifiCorp sponsored the competition from its inception until 2015. From 2016 to 2018, Dr. Ana Donaldson generously sponsored this event. Beginning with the 2019 competition, NATO ACT (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Allied Command Transformation (NATO ACT) is serving as the sponsor.

Students competing in the competition must be members of AECT and the Design and Development Division of AECT.  Details on AECT and Design and Development Division membership information can be found at http://www.aect.org. Division membership is free and AECT memberships for students are discounted. Interested faculty and students are strongly encouraged to join the D&D division. For further detail in each phase of the competition and in each role, please visit the students link, the judges link, and the mentors link noted above. 

The Competition Committee formulates a problem statement each year with a challenging conceptual or practical problem relevant to the interests of the adult learning and performance-improvement community. Graduate students who wish to respond will form teams of two and prepare a preliminary design abstract of no more than 1,500 words (12 point Times Roman font, double-spaced, 1 inch page margins, APA 6th edition style) that offers a proposed solution in response to the problem statement. Teams from all across the world may participate, and the two graduate students need not be at the same institution.
The 3-member judging panel will select up to eight abstracts (usually six) that they believe are most promising based on creativity, theoretical soundness, and feasibility. The Competition Committee will then match these teams with mentors. The assigned mentors--who will likely come from either corporate or academic backgrounds--will then become active members of the design competition team, working closely with the two graduate students on the final paper.
Final papers will be limited to 5,000 words, including all references and appendices (also 12 point Times Roman font, double-spaced, 1 inch page margins). Submissions can contain no more than 10 tables and figures. Design teams may develop associated design and development products, related to the problem statement, as appropriate. These additional materials/artifacts must be accessible via the Internet and can consist of no more than 10 Web pages.  

For the final portion of the competition, the 3-5 member judging panel will then select up to three final papers based on creativity, theoretical soundness, and feasibility. The graduate student teams will present these papers at a special session during the Annual AECT Convention. While the mentor may help the students prepare for this session, he/she can play no role in the presentation itself. The judging panel, who will be joined by a fourth or fifth member will then select the best presentation from that session for special recognition at the D&D/RTD Awards Meeting at the conference.  The new judge(s) will not necessarily have an Instructional Design background.  Presentations will be judged on creativity, feasibility, clarity, teamwork, and professionalism.
All graduate student finalists invited to present at AECT must be AECT members. Each student finalist will receive free conference registration however the cost of membership is the responsibility of the student finalist. Each of the three finalist teams will also be required to attend the D&D Awards meeting at the conference at no charge.
All submissions for the competition must be in PDF file format and submitted to the AECT sponsored proposal submission system by midnight of the appropriate deadline listed on the Timeline page. Each team will receive an email confirmation when it's submission has been received.


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