Tess 2021 Co-Creating the Future

TESS Online 2021: November 15-16 and 18-19, 2021

Theme: Co-creating the Future

eCampusOntario’s annual TESS (Technology and Education Seminar and Showcase) conference celebrates and advances community and collaboration across the postsecondary sector.  This year TESS will be held online, throughout the week providing flexible half day sessions on November 15-16 and 18-19.

Last year’s TESS theme of Humanizing Learning reflected our early experience of the pandemic’s impact on teaching and learning. We now emerge into a “new normal”, shifting from emergency remote education to a pedagogy that is digital by design – delivering high-quality online and hybrid programming at scale.   

We have learned that we have the ability not only to survive but thrive together in the future.  

TESS 2021 is focused on how we co-create that future.

Conversations will highlight learning from the pandemic – and the actions we can take, individually and collectively, to crystallize that learning.  

Topic Descriptions:

Sessions will be organized into topics that capture learning moments from the pandemic:

Learner voice

Creating space for learner-led conversations on the pandemic that cuts across all other themes, including community and belonging, decolonization, hybrid futures and access. This track is open to learner-speakers only. Learners may choose to partner with an educator or staff member.  

Community, Belonging, Inclusion & Anti-Racism

Exploring conceptions of membership and ownership in learning communities. Speakers in this theme will identify strategies to build community and belonging in hybrid and online environments. Exploring concepts of anti-racism in post-secondary education. Speakers will engage in dialogue around the current state of anti-racist efforts in our community.


Drawing on the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to share a path forward for postsecondary education in Ontario that honours Indigenous peoples, protects Indigenous knowledge and engages in cultural dialogue and exchange.

Hybrid Futures

What does the future of Ontario postsecondary education look like? What are the features of a digitally-enabled hybrid future which prioritizes flexibility, access, and the social wellbeing of our learners? What does it take to achieve that vision?

Session Types:

You can choose to participate in TESS 2021 in either of the following formats:

Presentation (20 minutes, Combination Asynchronous and Synchronous):

  • Pre-recorded with support from eCampusOntario as required. Presenters should be prepared to attend during their session and available to participate in live question and answer sessions in the virtual TESS 2021 platform.

Workshop (30 mins, Synchronous):

  • Live interactive session in the virtual TESS 2021 platform with a clear outcome or goal for learning. Presenters must be prepared to attend at a specific time and day for their workshop.

VLS Showcase (Asynchronous + Virtual Office Hours):

  • Share your Virtual Learning Strategy (https://vls.ecampusontario.ca/) project with your colleagues to support uptake, reuse, and adoption across the province. The showcase space in the virtual TESS 2021 platform will be made available well in advance for you to customize and make your own. Choose to hold virtual office hours related to your showcase to connect with your colleagues.

Applicants’ session proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria:

A Peer Review Community will evaluate all submitted proposals to identify presenters for TESS 2021.

Deadline for submissions is July 24, 2021.