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. Note ways that you might help to facilitate conversation among the session participants around the commonalities and differences in the papers. In particular, identify salient points where papers connect with the Meeting theme, and prepare one or two thoughtful questions for situations where you might want to redirect.Session papers and contact information for presenters may be retrieved from the meeting schedule. You don’t need to have a Sched ID to access the full schedule and information for each session. For assistance, please visit our Sched help page or contact Lakisha Lockhart or Network Coordinator Mary Hess.
  2. 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.

    Many conference attendees anticipate that RIG papers will be presented in the order as listed on Sched; nevertheless, moderators, in conversation with presenters, should determine the order they deem best for the shared endeavor.

In the Session at the Annual Meeting

  1. Check room arrangement and make necessary adjustments. Avoid excessive space between attendees; aim for a conversational setting.
  2. Start on time, regardless of attendance.
  3. Introduce the presenter(s). Do not take time for people to introduce themselves (unless the group is so small that it seems awkward not to).
  4. 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.
  5. Maintain firm time limits on each presentation to insure there is adequate time for all presenters.
  6. Open the floor for discussion once the presentation(s) have been completed.
  7. Don’t dominate discussion and don’t allow others to do so.
  8. 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 (via Sched) in the remaining time on their smartphones, tablets or laptops before they leave.Hard copies of the survey are available in each room for those who prefer handwritten forms. They will be bright orange. Deliver those forms to Lakisha Lockhart or the Registration Desk.
  9. Record the number of attendees in the session and give to the Registration Desk or conference staff.