The SXSWedu® Conference & Festival fosters innovation in learning by hosting a passionate and diverse community of education stakeholders. The seventh annual SXSWedu will return to Austin, March 6-9, 2017, for four days of compelling sessions, in-depth workshops, engaging learning experiences, mentorship, film screenings, startup events, policy-centered discussions, business opportunities, networking and so much more! Through collaboration, creativity and social action, SXSWedu empowers its global community to connect, discover and impact.

We’re already looking forward to 2017’s SXSWedu! In fact, we’re throwing a few hats in the ring for an opportunity to present some of our own innovative ideas at 2017’s SXSWedu. Cengage Learning is proposing to host discussions on high school drop out rates and confidence in the classroom. And Learning Objects is proposing to host discussions on competency based learning and gap between education and employment.

And you can vote for us! Take just a moment register for SXSW PanelPicker, then you can view all the proposals and cast your votes.

Cengage Learning Proposals 

Getting High School Dropouts to Drop Back In

The numbers are staggering. In Detroit, 25% of residents 25 or older never finished high school. Looking at the city’s 10.1% unemployment rate, twice the state and national levels, it’s impossible not to see a correlation. Even those who are employed are hampered by the lack of a high school diploma, often lacking the skills and confidence to advance in their jobs. Fortunately, technology can provide flexibility for adults to go back to school.

This panel will discuss challenges & rewards of creating innovative programs in both the corporate & public sectors, including the Detroit Collective Impact – Pathway to Education & Work and McDonald’s employee programs that have made a difference with personal coaching can re-engage adults in education and workforce training.


Ron Stefanski, ed2go, part of Cengage Learning – Moderator

George Miller, Cengage Learning

Lisa Schumacher, McDonald’s

Howard Liebman, Smart Horizons Career Online Education

Vote for: Getting High School Dropouts to Drop Back In

Confidence in the Classroom: Built by Instructors

Knowledge can change overnight, but attributes such as leadership, communication, teamwork, innovation and collaboration help build learners that are ready to take on any challenge thrown their way. Researchers are recognizing the growing importance of these “employability skills.”

And while we know that one-on-one mentoring is the best way to build confidence, technology can also play a vital role to help scale these benefits.

Personalized software can give students the right amount of information they need at the exact time, while giving opportunities for team building, collaboration and critical thinking – the foundation of the confident and adaptable learner.


Shawn Orr, College of Online and Adult Studies

Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed

Jim Donohue, Cengage Learning

Destiny Woodhouse, student

Vote for: Confidence in the Classroom: Built by Instructors

Learning Object Proposals

Building Blocks of Competency Based Learning

The EDUCAUSE “Next Generation Digital Learning Environment” paper (Brown, Dehoney, & Millichap) and the IMS / C-BEN work on CBE and credentialing standards outlined a transformational vision for institutions to consider. In this session, we propose important implementation elements that will enable this transition, including: credentialing, extended transcripts (ePortfolios too), backward design, authentic assessment, learning analytics, employability and standards-based learner records. In this presentation, we build on both the NGDLE framework and the IMS / C-BEN work on CBE and credentialing standards to offer additional details & guidance for institutions moving beyond the status quo.

Speaker: Jon Mott, Higher Education Technology

Vote for: Building Blocks of Competency Based Learning

Connect Credentials: Bridge Education & Employment

Disconnected, opaque credentials fail to address the gap between education and employment. The Connecting Credentials initiative tackles this issue by bringing together diverse organizations from education, industry, government, and policy to develop resources for a shared understanding of employer needs, competency definitions, common language, and quality. In parallel, the American Council on Education has published resources on the dimensions of quality credentials (transparency, modularity, portability, relevance, validity, and equity) and how competency-based credentialing can meet the needs of learners seeking employment and advancement across a lifetime of career changes.


Deb Everhart, Learning Objects

Marie Cini, University of Maryland, University College

Evelyn Ganzglass, Connecting Credentials

David Schejbal, University of Wisconsin-Extension

Vote for: Connect Credentials: Bridge Education & Employment