1 Learning Lab Denmark, Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, Aarhus University2 Danish School of Education - Uddannelsesvidenskab, Emdrup, Danish School of Education, Arts, Aarhus University3 Department of Education - Learning, Danish School of Education, Arts, Aarhus University4 Danish School of Education - Uddannelsesvidenskab, Emdrup, Danish School of Education, Arts, Aarhus University
The typical conference is brimming with PowerPoint presentations that leave very little time for participant involvement. Students of learning have long abandoned the transfer model that underlies this massive show of one-way communication. We propose an alternative theory of the conference as a forum for learning, mutual inspiration and "human co-flourishing." We offer five design principles that specify how conferences may involve participants more and hence increase their learning. In the research and development effort reported here, our team collaborated with conference organizers in Denmark to introduce a variety of simple learning techniques related to the design principles at thirty real conferences of some 100-200 participants each. We present twelve of these techniques and the data evaluating them and conclude that by spending a fraction of the time at a conference on involving participants in various forms of reflective conversation and knowledge sharing, conference organizers may enhance the satisfaction and learning-related outcomes experienced by their participants.