Guidelines for Moderators

Thank you for contributing to the success of this year’s Annual Meeting by being a Moderator of a breakout session. Moderators play a key role in determining how attendees experience the Meeting. The moderator should strive to help session participants get the most from the presentation and help the presenter have their ideas clearly communicated and engaged. These are some general guidelines that past Moderators have found to be good practices. REA members value participatory discovery and dialogic engagement. Please help the presenters model good modalities of collective inquiry. Do not hesitate to contact Executive Secretary Lakisha Lockhart with questions or suggestions of your own.

Before the Annual Meeting

  1. Read materials that will be discussed prior to the beginning of the meeting.
  2. Get to know the presenters. Session papers and contact information for presenters may be retrieved from the meeting schedule.
  3. Contact the presenter(s) prior to the meeting and discuss issues such as
    • the order of presentation
    • arrangement of the room
    • whether to have discussion after each paper or after all presentations
    • personal information that might be useful in introducing the presenter(s)
    • any special requests for the session.
  4. At least a week before the meeting all moderators will be able to find their session’s Zoom meeting on the schedule under the menu to the left of their session (where the microphone symbol is). Feel free to practice in the actual meeting in which you’ll be moderating.

In the Session at the Annual Meeting

  1. If in person: Check room arrangement and make necessary adjustments. Avoid excessive space between attendees; aim for a conversational setting.
  2. If virtual: Arrive to the session about 15 minutes early so that you can test your connection, camera, microphone, and also get any updates from the session host.
  3. Start on time, regardless of attendance.
  4. Introduce the presenter(s) and offer a brief overview of how the session time will be spent. For example, “we will hear two presentations for the next 30-40 mins and then move to discussion for our remaining time.”
  5. Briefly introduce some session guidelines
    • Participants are expected to have read papers before the meeting. If you have not read the paper being presented, allow those who have done so to start the discussion.
    • Listen actively with a spirit of curiosity.
    • Try not to deviate too far from session and paper topics.
    • Practice generosity; assume good intentions.
    • If virtual: Explain basic meeting functions of Zoom. Ask non-presenters to mute themselves until the discussion, to use the chat feature and others like “raise hand,” and any session notes, such as the moderator will be looking at the chat for questions during discussion.
  6. Maintain time limits on each presentation to insure there is adequate time for all presenters.
  7. Open the floor for discussion once the presentation(s) have been completed.
  8. Don’t dominate discussion and don’t allow others to do so.
  9. Call the session to a conclusion 5 minutes before the scheduled ending time and thank those in attendance for their participation. Ask them to complete the session feedback survey (this will be put in the chat window and is also available on the schedule) in the remaining time.
  10. Record the number of attendees in the session.