For Chairs & Discussants

Each session at NEERO conferences is chaired by a member. Members interested in serving in this role can contact someone (thanks for your patience while we revise our web site!)

Download Roles of Session Chairs and Discussants

Session Chairs

Prior to the Conference

  • Session Chairs should review the program to confirm the date, time, and location of their session.
  • Session Chairs have no formal responsibilities prior to the conference

At the Conference

  • Prior to the session
    • Check-in at the registration desk to confirm your attendance and learn of any last-minute changes to the session.
    • Pick up a session chair form.
  • During the session
    • Arrive as soon as possible after the completion of the preceding session.  For the first session of the day, arrive 10-15 minutes prior to the start of the session.
    • Ensure that computer and LCD projector are set up and working properly.
    • Confirm that all presenters and the discussant are present.  Check the title of each presentation and the pronunciation of each presenter’s name.
    • Confirm that all presenters and discussant (if applicable) have their presentations available.  Ask them to load their presentation, if possible, on the computer prior to the session.
    • Begin the session on time, welcome the presenters and audience members, and announce the session title.
    • Remind the audience members that presenter feedback forms are available and encourage them to complete the forms.
    • Introduce each presenter and monitor the time of their presentation using the timing cards provided.
    • Complete the session chair form throughout the session.
    • After all presenters and the discussant have completed their presentations, moderate the question and answer session.
    • End the session on time.
  • At the conclusion of the session
    • Collect completed presenter feedback forms and return them along with your session chair form to the registration table.

Discussants

Prior to the conference

  • Discussants should review the program to confirm the date, time, and location of their session.

NEERO will inform discussants of paper sessions of the deadlines and procedures related to accessing papers submitted for the conference.

  • The discussant is not responsible for obtaining the paper directly from the presenter.
  • NEERO does not encourage direct contact between the discussant and the presenters prior to the conference.
  • The discussant is not responsible for reviewing papers submitted after the deadline, particularly those submitted immediately prior to the conference.

Discussants are expected to review papers submitted prior to the conference and to prepare a brief presentation of no more than 15 minutes.  In preparing comments, discussants should keep in mind that mission of NEERO is to foster skill development in research and evaluation methodologies by providing a stimulating, supportive, and friendly forum for scholarly presentations.  Notes on discussant comments

  • The comment period is not the appropriate time to focus on flaws and weaknesses in the presenter’s study, paper, or presentation.  The discussant may provide the presenter with constructive, written comments on the submitted paper following the conference.
  • To the extent possible, the discussant should attempt to synthesize the research presented across the presenters focusing on the topic, methodologies, and/or the importance and potential impact of the questions being posed through the research.  NEERO acknowledges that although every attempt is made to group presentations with a common theme, it may not be possible to make a connection across all of the papers within a session.
  • With regard to questions, it is appropriate for the discussant to pose questions through their comments that are intended to stimulate discussion among the audience and presenters.  Questions should not focus too narrowly on specific details of individual presentations.

At the conference

  • Prior to the session
    • Check-in at the registration desk to confirm your attendance and learn of any last-minute changes to the session.
    • During the session
      • Arrive as soon as possible after the completion of the preceding session.
      • If you have a presentation to display, have it available on a flash drive.
      • Provide comments and participate in discussion.  Heed the time limits.

Following the conference

  • Discussants are encouraged to provide formative and constructive written comments on submitted papers reviewed prior to the conference.