Moderator Guidelines

Your role as moderator is extremely important to the success of this conference. We thank you for taking this responsibility seriously and for the service you render our next generation of scholars.

For many of the presenters, and for a good portion of the audience, your session represents their first exposure to scholarly presentations in a conference environment. Therefore one main goal of a session moderator is to provide a professional atmosphere and training for undergraduate and high school presenters. To realize this goal, moderators should adopt the following: 

  1. Remind the audience that all presentations will be kept on schedule and begin at its individual time as posted in the conference program and on the session door. This will allow each presentation to be synchronized across concurrent sessions. Thus, if for some reason a presenter cancels at the last minute, please wait to start the next presentation until its scheduled time. 
  2. Remind presenters that 12-15 minutes are allowed for each talk, followed by 3-5 minutes for questions. 
  3. Ask the audience to please adhere to conference etiquette by keeping their questions to the very end of each talk and minimizing movement between sessions and rooms. If participants must move to another room, they should do so prior to the beginning, or at the very end, of each talk, in correspondence with the times listed in the schedule. 
  4. Arrive 10 minutes prior to the beginning of your session. Introduce yourself to the student volunteer(s) who should already be present in the room. They will assist you in making certain that PowerPoint presentations are uploaded in advance; LCD projectors and computers are operational, room lights are regulated, and in finding the location of laser pointers. Ask how to operate the laser pointer and how to advance the LCD projector, so you can explain to presenters. 
  5. Informally introduce yourself to presenters, in advance of the session's beginning, and ask how best to pronounce their names, co-author's names, and faculty mentor's name at the time of introduction. If titles look challenging, ask for clarification in advance. 
  6. Bring an accurate watch or timepiece to keep time.
  7. If needed, demonstrate to presenters, at the very beginning of each session, how to use the laser pointer and remote advance on the PowerPoint computer. 
  8. Large cards with times of 5 min, 3 min, and 1 min printed on them will be available in the room so that you can display them to presenters to assist them in finishing on time. It is a good policy to physically stand up at the 1 min warning to let the presenter know that you are serious, and that they must conclude. 
  9. It is a good idea to read the abstract submitted by each presenter in your session, well in advance of the session's beginning. In the process, formulate one or two questions, as a back-up, should there be a lull at the end of the talk, with no question from the audience. Please use your questions as a back up so that the moderator does not dominate, but facilitates interaction with the audience. Note: submitted abstracts "should be available" on line, at the URSCA 2019 website, at least two days in advance of the conference .