Information for Session Chairs

Bold and highlighted text indicates when you should plan to speak during the conference

Presenters should submit the text of their papers to you by April 24.  If necessary the session chair should work with presenters to meet time limits and improve content.   

At least two weeks before the conference begins:

If your wireless internet connection is unreliable, consider purchasing an adapter that will allow you to connect your computer to the internet through your modem.  Googling "ethernet adapter" will direct you to a device appropriate for your computer.

The day before your session begins:

       Print out these instructions.

       Download Zoom if you haven't done so already. 

       Update Zoom if you already have it installed.

       Print out the schedule of the session you are moderating and make notes:

o   Be aware of how many presenters are in the session, and whether they are 20 minutes or 10 minutes.


       Make sure that you have prepared a biographical introduction for each presenter that is  under 1 minute long.

       The session links will be published behind the user log-in on the VAF website.

15-20 minutes before your session is scheduled to begin:

       If you do not have a hardwired connection, make sure that everything/one else on that network is not using WiFi while you are running the session.

       Test the audio: This will ensure your speakers and mic are working properly before the live event begins. Here’s how to test your device’s audio.

     Click on the link for the session you are moderating in the schedule (this should have been emailed  to you/all conference registrants the night before the conference).

   You will now be in the conference session with the HOST (who will run the backend, including starting all recorded presentations) and the SPEAKERS. 

   If you prefer, the HOST can designate you a CO-HOST. This will allow you to mute participants who do not pay attention to the request to mute themselves.

     Turn on your video and audio so that you can communicate with the host.

     Rename yourself. At the bottom of the screen, click on "participants."  A box will open to the right.  Use the More button next to your name to rename yourself as MODERATOR (NAME), e.g. MODERATOR (Lydia Brandt).

     Make sure that you have the PARTICIPANTS and CHAT boxes open so that you can see if/when someone raises their hands or asks a question.

   Click on “Participants” and “Chat” in the dashboard to open these boxes. They will consolidate into the same box.

   The host will be keeping an eye out for questions as well.

5 minutes before the session start time:

     The host will screenshare the title slide for the session.

     Keep your video and audio on so that you may greet audience members as they enter the session. Speakers may wish to keep their audio on as well (they should keep their video on).

     The host will begin admitting people to the session.

To start the session:

     Make sure that your video and audio are on.

     Greet the audience and introduce the session (in under 4 minutes, using the script below if desired).

   Hello everyone, welcome to the session _________(session name).

   I am __________________ and I am coming to you from ___________.

   We have ____(number of papers) great papers to share with you today.

   Please keep your video off and keep yourselves muted during today’s presentations (you will appear as a black box with your name and/or a picture you have designated in your Zoom settings). All presentations are pre-recorded.

   There will be time at the end of the session for you to ask questions and talk to the presenters. You may enter questions during the session via the chat. Please make sure that you indicate in your question who the question is for.

   We suggest that audience members turn their screen to “speaker view” so you will be sure to see who is speaking.

For the first speaker:

     You will read the pre-written introduction for the first speaker (less than 1 minute).

   Ask the speaker to unmute themselves, turn on their video, and say hi.

   Mute yourself and turn off your video while they are speaking.

     The speaker will now say a quick hello and where they are coming from (where they are located).

   Once the speaker is done saying hi, they will mute themselves and turn off their video.

     The host will begin screensharing and play the recorded presentation at full screen.

   It will last 10 or 20 minutes depending on whether it is a work in progress or a full paper.          

     At the end of the recorded presentation, the host will stop screensharing.

For subsequent speakers:

     Once the first recorded presentation has completed, the host will stop sharing his or her screen and you will again be viewable to other participants.

     Unmute yourself, turn on your video, and thank the last speaker.

     Introduce the next speaker (less than 1 minute). Follow the same steps as for the first presentation.

     At the end of the recorded presentation, the host will stop screensharing.

After the final recorded presentation ends and the host stops screensharing:

     Unmute yourself, turn on your video, and thank the last speaker.

     Ask the speakers to turn on their video so that everyone can see them. The speakers will stay muted unless they are answering a question/participating in the discussion.

     Ask audience members who have questions to enter them into the chat or use “reactions” to raise their hands. They should wait to be called upon, then unmute their audio/ to ask their question.

     Toggle between asking questions that appear in the chat and asking people with raised hands to ask their questions, directing questions to the appropriate speakers.

     At the end of the session, if there is still time left in the session slot, allow everyone to turn their video on and say hello. Sessions need to close out promptly on time so that the next session can begin setup.

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