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Information for Moderators and Timekeepers

Moderator Guidelines

Thank you for agreeing to moderate a Whalen Symposium session. Moderators are critical to the overall success of the oral presentation sessions; your participation is greatly appreciated.

You will receive an email confirming your assignment; copies of the session's abstracts will be attached for your review. Please review the abstracts prior to your session. Abstracts can also be accessed in Sakai at Whalen Symposium - Resources – Student Abstracts.

Prior to your session:

Titles, names, and abstracts will also be available to you during the Symposium.  A staff member assigned to each room will provide a folder including the abstracts of the research to be presented during your session.

  1. Arrive 15 minutes before the session starts in order to meet the timekeeper and session presenters. Take this opportunity to confirm the pronunciation of presenters' names.
  2. Ask presenters to load their presentation files on the PC.
  3. Remind each presenter of the time limit and the signals the timekeeper will use.
  4. If the timekeeper does not show up, then you will also be responsible for timing each presentation. (Bring a watch.) Pay attention to the timer’s signals helping to make sure the speakers end on time; standing up is usually a good way to stop the speaker.
  5. Just before the start of your session, welcome session attendees and communicate the approximate time for each presentation and that a Q&A period will follow. There will be a few exceptions to the standard presentation time; moderators will be notified accordingly.
  6. Introduce each speaker by announcing the name(s) and school(s) of the presenter(s) and the title of the presentation. 
  7. At the end of each presentation, ask the audience for questions.  If there are none, you may wish to ask:
    • What got you involved in this research?
    • How could this research be extended or adjusted?
    • Do you plan to continue conducting research in this area?
  8. Initiate applause.
  9. Thank the speaker and invite the next presenter(s) to come to the front.
  10. If a presenter fails to show, move on to the next presenter.
  11. At the end of the session, thank all presenters and attendees.

Timekeeper Guidelines

  1. Arrive 15 minutes before the session starts so you can meet presenters and answer their questions.
  2. Introduce yourself to the faculty/staff moderator and familiarize yourself with the speaker list, lights, timepiece (e.g., your cell phone, clock on wall), timing signs, and media equipment in the room. Please choose a seat in the back of the room and be sure you are visible to presenters.
  3. Load any PowerPoint presentations onto the desktop and check to see that the file opens properly.
  4. If the moderator fails to show up, it will be your responsibility to introduce the presenter(s) and department(s) as well as the title of each presentation.
  5. Familiarize yourself with the room (including location of light switches, etc.) Dim the lights if PowerPoint/media are being used. You may be asked to advance the PowerPoint slides for the speaker(s).
  6. Start the timer when the presenter begins speaking.
    • Hold up the green “5 minutes left” sign 5 minutes before the end of the session.
    • Hold up the yellow “2 minutes left” sign 2 minutes before the end of session.
    • Hold up the red “Stop” sign at the end of session.
  7. Stand up to indicate that the time is up.
  8. If a presenter fails to show up, introduce the next scheduled presenter.
  9. The faculty moderator will conclude the session.
  10. At the end of the session, drag the PowerPoint presentations to the Recycle Bin and delete them.
  11. There is only a 15-minute break between sessions. Please help prepare the room for the next session by asking people to continue their conversation in the hall and by straightening chairs and recycling any handouts or papers left in the room.

Thank you for volunteering. This symposium would not be possible without your help!