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Phase 1: Preliminary Design Abstract (PDA)

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 student teams who wish to respond to the problem statement 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 as well as the theoretical foundations for your design approach, your ID model guiding your work, and a well reasoned budget and timeline for your solution. Teams from all over the world may participate and the two graduate students need not be at the same institution.

Before the Phase 1 deadline the Coordinating Committee sponsors a webinar.  This information will be posted on the AECT website and this information is also communicated to various schools and students by the Design and Development Committee of AECT.  The purpose of the webinar is to provide information about this year's competition and problem statement and to answer any questions that may arise.

One of the members of the Coordinating Committee has been designated as the "Consultant" for the teams.  The Consultant serves as the client's (identified in the Problem Statement) designated representative.  During the entire month of March, and into April up until the Phase 1 deadline, teams may ask questions about the problem statement to the client's Consultant.  Please do not wait until the deadline to ask a question and expect an immediate response. Attend and/or listen to the Webinar(s) before asking questions to see if your question has already been answered. Note that all questions submitted to the client representative must relate to the context and circumstances of the problem rather than competition procedures. You should contact the Competition Planning Committee Chair with questions related to competition procedures.

The 3-member judging panel will identify up to six to eight promising abstracts to advance to Phase Two of the competition based on creativity, theoretical soundness, practicality and adherence to guidelines. These Participant Teams will then be matched with a mentor from a different institution.

Phase 2: Final Design Paper (FDP)

The Award Committee will match mentors to the student teams chosen in Phase 1. 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. Student teams who have not heard from their mentors within a reasonable period of time should contact the AECT Design and Development Competition Committee Chairperson.

Final papers must 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. It is important to be sure to note that a detailed budget and timeline is required during this phase of the competition and should be included in the Phase II design document submitted. It is also important that no identifying information of any kind is to be found in the submitted document. This includes any reference to state or affiliation in a team name, any reference to affiliation or student names in the training materials within the solution, Internet support materials, timeline, or budget.  Failure to adhere to this strict guideline could result in disqualification of the team submission. 

The 3-member judging panel will select up to three final papers based on creativity, theoretical soundness, and feasibility to advance to the next round. 

Phase 3: Preparation and Presentation of Final Design (PFD)

The three teams advancing to the final round will be notified via email. During the Annual AECT Convention, student teams and their mentors will be invited to attend the D&D/RTD Awards Meeting where they will be recognized as finalists. Also during the convention, the graduate student teams will present their solutions during a special session. 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 one presentation from that session for special recognition as the Best Presentation. Presentations will be judged on clarity, teamwork, and professionalism.

All student team members of the finalist teams will receive free registration to the conference. All finalists are also invited to attend the D&D Awards meeting (date/time TBD).

Each team will be given at least 15 minutes to present their solutions with 5 minutes for Q&A while the next team sets up. The awards committee will supply a laptop computer for those who need access to one (either Mac or Win) provided that it is requested two weeks in advance of the conference start date. There will also be an LCD projector. Typically, the conference supplies wireless Internet access during these sessions, but teams should NOT rely on this--be sure to bring screen shots of any Web-based materials just in case.

Student teams in the finals:

1.  Student teams should supply slide handouts at the presentation (bring 25 copies minimum).

2.  Any additional tangible materials should be supplied just for the judges (5 copies).

3.  The presentation materials and final design document should digitized and emailed to the Coordinating Committee chair.  These materials can also be provided to the Coordinating Committee chair on a memory stick at the time of the finals.  

4.  One member of the student team should begin the presentation by introducing both team members AND the mentor announcing full names and organization affiliations of all.

5.  Participants' names and organizational affiliations should also be included on the first PowerPoint slide or digital media presented.

Please remember again that a complete set of digital files should be provided to the Chair of the Planning Committee immediately following the competition presentation session at AECT.

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