Guidelines for Abstracts

There are no font or format guidelines for abstracts submitted to STEMCON. Abstracts will be submitted in text directly on the STEMCON website form.  

Abstract submission deadline: March 7, 2020

Abstracts should run between 150 and 300 words and should be written in English.

Advice for Abstracts

Abstracts are brief but complete descriptions of the presentation:  these are essentially “executive summaries” of the presentation. It is essential that the abstract be self-sufficient – it should stand alone as a document that will be used by people to decide which session they wish to attend or who to follow up with for future collaboration.

Abstracts are challenging to write because they need to fit within the word count limits and provide a good overview of the content without using jargon or discipline-specific language.

A good abstract is one or two paragraphs long and addresses the following key elements:  Motivation, Problem, Approach, Results, and Implications.

  • Motivation:  Why should someone care about the problem and your work?  Even though we all have similar backgrounds, we cannot assume that everyone is interested in what you did.   Identify the importance of your work and connect it to the goals of the conference/journal audience.
  • Problem:  A clear problem statement that is free of jargon will allow the reader to understand your work.   Be sure to identify the scope of your research/observations – is it limited to your course? or does it address nationwide issues?
  • Approach:  Describe how you went about addressing this problem.  Briefly discuss methods and tools used in your work.
  • Results:  Since this is the abstract, the results should be presented in a clear and succinct manner.
  • Implications:  Your work will impact other people – describe how people can use these results or observations/insights from your work to change their teaching or school environments.

Faculty should note how similar this is to the NABC model for making presentations 


Examples of Excellent Abstracts Example #1:  (excellent Approach section)

This paper presents preliminary results of blended learning courses called PC-based data acquisition and control (PDAC). This study is one of the first activities carried out at Ho Chi Minh University of Technical Education (UTE) by a HEEAP cohort to evaluate the possibility of the implementation of massive blended courses in engineering education. In the research, we conducted 4 courses with 250 third-and fourth-year students in automotive engineering. Blended learning model [1] here had two main learning environments: Face-to-face in the classroom (FTF) implemented with 70% of total course’s learning hours and Web-based online learning (WOL) implemented with 30% of course’s learning hours. The total learning hours of this tested course were 45 hours (equivalent to 3 credits). In the class, a flipped classroom [2] is used as a pedagogical model in which the lecturers are presented to students at home via WOL (in video clips and discussion topics in WOL) and assignments are done in FTF session. Generally, the research results extracted from a survey with 100 students show that training quality is significantly improved in terms of students’ outcomes and competency, students’ satisfaction, students’ understanding of self-assessment for improvement, teamwork, self-learning skills, reduction of FTF lecture time, and communication between teacher and students as well as between students and students. With these results, blended learning can be a suitable model for CDIO approach.

Example #2:  (excellent Problem section)

Student engagement can be defined as the quality of effort students put into their learning and their involvement in educationally purposeful activities (Kuh, 2009). Not surprisingly, student engagement has become the central issue of higher education literature focusing on the enhancement of learning and teaching (Trowler, 2010), and the highlight of discussions about higher education policies, and through the mass media (Kuh, 2009). The impact of the concept “student engagement” in higher education can also be seen in the implementation of national surveys of student engagement  that are annually conducted in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and China. Considered as an instrument necessary for determination of the university education quality (Coates, 2005), these surveys are gaining increasing popularity in higher education around the world. In the Vietnamese context where the higher education system is under the pressure to fundamentally reform to improve the quality of educational provision, student engagement is a worthwhile focus for Vietnamese educators and researchers, but has not yet been explored in Vietnamese higher education scholarly research, especially in engineering education. This paper presents the result of a survey of student engagement at HCM UTE.

Example #3:

In the Electronics Technology Faculty (EFT) of Industrial University of Ho Chi Minh City (IUH) students who are studying industry automation are encouraged in implementing capstone projects integrating industry partners.  This paper describes a capstone project that provides students opportunity for developing real applications to gain professional skills and technical expertise. Based on a business system (AUTOMATE 200 (SMC)), with the components including pneumatics, electro-pneumatics, sensors, motors and PLC, supported by Intel Company, an ETF’s industry partner, and IUH’s fund, a capstone project is designed for the students in last year.  The project is accomplished through the integration of new methodology and approach of faculties who are trained from the Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program (HEEAP). The students are taught strategies of design, construction and evaluation in an active learning environment to produce new SMC systems whose controllers are more effective and cheaper than the Intel Company’s. For those students who still have not had professional work experience, the project will be needed to provide an initiation and foundation for their professional engineering careers that satisfy the industry criteria.  To form University-Industry partnerships for the project, some recommendations are proposed.

Example #4:  (excellent Motivation section)

Undergraduate teaching assistants (UGTAs) have provided benefits for the moving a traditional lecture, where students receive information from instructor while participation in class discussion is very little, to active learning classroom, where students and lecturers cooperate to discover and construct knowledge.  Many colleges and universities in developed countries have implemented the using of undergraduates as teaching assistants in which there are many suggestions of useful practical ways to apply in the classroom. As a consequence, plenty of research are reported and indicate that the advantages are far more dominated in terms of supporting a collaborative approach to teaching, the feedback from UGTAs to lecturers, giving UGTAs experience from knowledge as well as soft skills and encouraging students’ responsibility in the active learners.  However, the number of colleges and universities using the UGTAs model in Vietnam are only counted on one hand because these few universities have perceived the supporting effective role of teaching assistant in active learning and learning methodology. Many major or public universities have not applied this model and for local and private universities they are not entirely applicable. In fact, most of teaching assistants who are recruited for lecturer position will only spend their time in the class for proficiency in teaching their subjects, not a UGTAs working objectives.   In addition, according to the experts from education and training, the main obstacle of using UGTAs model of many Vietnamese universities is lack of funds. The purpose of this paper is to review and analyze the utilization of UGTAs for lecturers, UGTAs themselves and students in courses served by UGTAs. We also focus on the procedure of the UGTAs selection process, UGTAs responsibilities, training and assessment. This paper will make the appropriate engagement to lecturers and leader who want to overcome the obstacles of using UGTAs model and have potential for UGTAs application more effectively