Guidelines on Best Practices in Honors submissions – 2021

Best Practices in Honors Education

Faculty and Admin

Presenting at MEHA 2020

Important Dates

  • Submissions open: Dec 1st, 2020
  • Submissions due: Feb 15th, 2021
  • Notification: starting Mar 1st, 2021
  • Conference: March 25th-27th, 2021

Proposal Types

  • All presenters MUST be from current MEHA member institutions; if more than one presenter is included in a proposal submission, please verify membership status of all presenters before submitting the proposal.
  • All presenters must register and pay conference registration fees by March 15, 2021 or the session will be withdrawn.
  • The MEHA institutional contact at your institution or organization will be notified of your proposal acceptance.


Students intending to present research should select either the Poster Session proposal or the Student Presentation proposal, unless co-presenting with a faculty or staff member. In that case, a proposal in this category — Best Practices in Honors Education — is appropriate.

At the Mid-East Honors Association conference, papers presented as part of a three- or four- person panel session that lasts 50 minutes. Each presentation should be 10-12 minutes long to ensure everyone is heard and time is left for questions and answers.

A moderator will be assigned to introduce the speakers, manage time and facilitate those questions. Reading papers from the page is discouraged.

Suggested paper topics include: creative and effective pedagogy, discussion of honors college issues and solutions, and research or creative topics relevant to the conference theme. During your presentation, you will be able to screenshare your content.

Workshop proposals should address topics which span the interest of many institutions and are not specific to a single institution, course, or discipline. A workshop is a 1-hour focused meeting spanning that will attract a significant group of people interested in a common topic for an intense, interactive, informational discussion. MEHA 2021 can accommodate small group discussions and break-out sessions.

A typical workshop may consist of:

A warm-up activity. Start by getting people relaxed and comfortable with each other using a quick creative challenge or quirky introductions. This is vital — plenty of studies demonstrate the importance of being in a relaxed state for productive conversation to take place. Anxieties and tensions prevent people from making the kinds of creative leaps and improvisational thinking required to make creative workshops successful.

Clearly stating the objectives for the session. It is critical that everyone understand the context of the activities that will follow.

A framing of the problem to be solved. If participants are to stay on track, it is important to draw some hard boundaries within which everyone is encouraged to play. Think of this as building a fence around the playground. The tighter this fence, the more likely participants will see useful ideas at the end of the day. Every constraining detail is a potential trigger for a brilliant idea, so be sure the brief is focused and specific.

Dividing people into smaller teams. This encourages participation and ensures there will be a variety of ideas presented at the end of the day.

Idea generation activities. The bulk of time is typically spent in these two to three activities spread across the session. While the types of activities vary with every workshop, they share one goal: to encourage participants to look at the problem/opportunity in different ways. This can be by:

  • role-playing a specific brand or person (“how would Elizabeth Warren, Arnold Schwartznegger, and Starbucks solve this problem?”)
  • reversing the problem (“how might we encourage people to cheat?”)
  • forcing connections between unrelated things (“how is our idea like a paddleboat?”).

Idea refinement and focusing activities. Ideas are collected, sorted, and prioritized using various voting exercises.

Small groups sharing their ideas with each other followed by a discussion of relative pros and cons of each idea.