Program / Session Information
Guidelines for Presenters
We have several formats of presentations: long paper sessions, short paper sessions (including technology innovation), poster sessions, symposia, and interactive-tools-and-demos sessions. None of these sessions will be live-streamed or recorded. Only keynotes, presidential session, welcome and closing sessions will be livestreamed and recorded. Virtual participants can access all sessions through WhoVa, where they may find materials that were uploaded by the participants and session chairs, as well as online discussions.
Please note that Concordia ITTS only recommends the use of HDMI for all sessions. It is strongly recommended that you bring your presentation on a USB key and keep a copy on a Dropbox or any internet base system where you can store files and connect to from any computer.
Following are some details about session formats:
Long paper sessions
All long paper sessions will be 90 minutes in duration.
ICLS sessions will include four long paper presentations and a discussion, coordinated by a session chair. Presenters should check in with their session chairs for specific instructions, if any, but all ICLS long paper presentations will be 15 minutes in duration.
CSCL sessions will include three long paper presentations, a contribution by a discussant and a discussion, coordinated by a session chair. Presenters should check in with their session chairs for specific instructions, but all CSCL long paper presentations and the contribution by the discussant will be 15 minutes in duration.
Short paper sessions
All short paper sessions will be 90 minutes in duration.
ICLS sessions will include five short paper presentations and a discussion, coordinated by a session chair. Presenters should check in with their session chairs for specific instructions, if any, but all ICLS short paper talks will be 12 minutes in duration.
CSCL sessions will include four short paper presentations and a discussion, coordinated by a session chair. Presenters should check in with their session chairs for specific instructions, but CSCL short paper talks will be 15 minutes in duration.
All symposium sessions will be 90 minutes in duration. The symposium organizers will be responsible for designing and communicating their design of how to use the time, but these designs should align with the descriptions that were included in their conference proposal. Symposium sessions will likely include a number of talks, and some discussion. Some may be in the form of structured posters, or innovative audience engaged formats.
Technology Innovation Sessions
All three Technology Innovation sessions will be 90 minutes in duration. The Technology Innovation sessions will include four paper presentations (with one session including five papers) and a discussion, coordinated by a session chair. We recommend authors to prepare a demo of their innovations to be shown during the session. Presenters should check in with their session chairs for specific instructions, if any, but all Technology Innovation paper presentations (ICLS and CSCL) will have 12 minutes. Presenters can choose what they wish to emphasize in the presentations, as these are not regular short papers.
All four Practitioner sessions will be 90 minutes in duration. The Practitioner sessions include six presentations and a discussion coordinated by a session chair. Practitioner sessions will be maximum 10 minutes in duration, followed by a discussant contribution and a questions & answers round, coordinated by a session chair. Presenters can choose to create a poster or a 4-slide deck to use in the presentation. Presenters should check in with their session chairs for specific instructions, if any.
Interactive Tools and Demos
These sessions will be grouped thematically, and will occur in parallel with (and in close proximity to) the poster sessions. This will allow people to come and go between demos and posters. Each interactive tool or demo will be provided with a table and technology support, with enough space to engage small groups. There will be approximately 4 such demos in each session.
Poster sessions will be held Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, and Thursday morning. There will be approximately 75 posters in each session, with Wednesday’s session combining CSCL and ICLS posters. Posters will be displayed for 90 minutes. Poster stands and materials for mounting will be made available in the poster rooms. Below, we provide important instructions on formatting – particularly the need for PORTRAIT (vertical) orientation. We will need to have two posters side-by-side, so all posters will need to have a portrait orientation.
Formatting and printing options
- Posters must fit into a standard A0 (A-zero) size, with a portrait (vertical) orientation: 841 x 1189 mm (or 33.1 x 46.8 inches) width x length. Please be particularly careful to not exceed the width limit (841 mm).
- Posters will be affixed to the poster boards with pushpins. We will provide some pushpins, but presenters are encouraged to bring their own, if possible, and/or to share, in order to help everyone set up their posters quickly.
- We will not be providing printing services, but there are a number of print shops available within close proximity to Concordia University. Some of of these allow uploading of PDF files, via the Web, so that they can be printed in advance of your arrival. For more information on where you could have your poster printed, see the list of print shops HERE.
Guidelines for Session Chairs
As a Chair for a paper session, you will introduce the session and the participants and help keep them on time. In addition, you are to facilitate the discussion after the presentation. It will be useful to prepare a few questions for the speakers if there are none from the audience.
It is important that you familiarize yourself with your section’s structure, by reading the Session’s Information. Also, visit Whova and the sessions you will be chairing during the conference. Engage with the presenters in your session, explain the format and answer questions regarding time allocation and structure of the session. If you have questions yourself, please contact the organizers at [email protected].
Please, be in the room at least 10 minutes before the session starts to assist the presenters and clarify final details. Technical support prior and during the session will be provided by the local organizing team.
Guidelines for Discussants in Paper Sessions
CSCL Long Paper sessions and the Practitioner papers sessions have assigned discussants. As a Discussant in paper sessions, you will provide a reflection based on the presented papers. A discussant contribution should be 10-15 minutes in duration. A discussant contribution contains typically two parts. In a first part, you should comment on the presented papers, their theoretical framework, methods, findings and contribution to the field. A second part of your discussion should contain a meta-reflection, highlighting aspects of interest for the research field / practice, and ideas for future research and elaborations. It also recommended to pose a number of open questions, which can be the departure point for discussion with the presenters and the audience.
Please, contact the presenters in Whova and ask for their full papers in advance, so you have a chance to prepare your commentary. You can ask questions in the Whova chat prior to the conference, which is a great way to engage in longtail discussions.
If you have questions yourself, please, contact the organizers at [email protected].
Tips for Presenters
Suggestion for Presenters: Preparing Your Talk
We are grateful to Jacob McWilliams of University of Colorado-Denver for assembling this advice that was originally provided to presenters at ICLS 2014, adapted for CSCL 2019, and now used for ISLS 2023.
Geoff Pullum offers five “golden rules” for giving academic presentations; these rules are elaborated here and summarized below:
- Don’t ever begin with an apology. “Everyone has seen speakers beginning a presentation by apologizing for how unworthy they are, how little of their work is really conclusive, how they hope people will forgive them and so on. No one has ever seen a case in which this improved the reception of the paper or the mood of the audience.”
- Don’t ever underestimate the audience’s intelligence. “There are many worse things than a difficult and demanding lecture, and a patronizing and superficial lecture is one of them.”
- Respect the time limits. “It is sad to be cut off when you are just about to make your major point. Or even a minor one. Plan your time, and don’t let it happen.”
- Don’t survey the whole damn field. “Assume a reasonable amount of background, and then present something that can be delivered in a reasonable amount of time.”
- Remember that you’re an advocate, not the defendant. “This isn’t about you (that’s why you shouldn’t begin with an apology: that’s about how you feel). It’s the ideas that are going to get scrutiny. If those ideas don’t survive after today, too bad for them. You can’t work miracles. But for today, you’re there to do as fair a job as you can for them during their twenty minutes in the spotlight.”
The author of Get a Life, Ph.D. offers five tips for giving “a fabulous academic presentation.” Those tips are accompanied by some helpful and specific strategies; these are included below and can also be viewed here.
Tip #1: Use PowerPoint Judiciously
These days, most good presentations make some use of visuals. The extent to which you should use visuals will vary a lot depending on your field. Nevertheless, there are a few basic things you should know if you will be using PowerPoint or another method of showing visuals.
- Never use less than 24-point. If you use a smaller font, people will not be able to see your information and you will have too much information on the slide.
- Use bullet points. PowerPoint slides do not need full sentences, and should never have a paragraph full of information. However, bullet points should be short, 3-4 per slide is a good rule.
- Use images effectively. You should have as little text as possible on the slide. One way to accomplish this is to have images on each slide, accompanied by a small amount of text.
- Never put your presentation on the slides and read from the slides.
- Do not have too many slides. A good rule is to aim for one slide per minute of presentation.
Tip #2: There is a formula to academic presentations. Use it.
Once you have become an expert at giving fabulous presentations, you can deviate from the formula. However, if you are a newbie, you should follow the formula. Again, this will vary by the field, but here is an example:
- Introduction/Overview (This is your hook: what are you doing and why is it important)
- Background/Literature Review/Framework (how has this been studied and how are you looking at it, what needs to be known)
- Research Question (what will you be investigating)
- Methodology/Case Selection (how did you investigate)
- Findings (what did your investigation reveal- just the facts)
- Discussion/Conclusion (How do your findings answer your research question and what do they mean)-This section is one of the most difficult to do well, but there is good advice from
Tip #3: The audience wants to hear about your research. Tell them.
One of the most common mistakes I see in people giving presentations is that they present only information I already know. This usually happens when they spend nearly all of the presentation going over the existing literature and giving background information on their particular case. You need only to discuss the literature with which you are directly engaging and contributing. Your background information should only include what is absolutely necessary. If you are giving a 15-minute presentation, by the 6th minute, you need to be discussing your data or case study.
Tip #4: Practice. Practice. Practice.
You need to practice your presentation in full before you deliver it. You might feel silly delivering your presentation to your cat or your toddler, but you need to do it and do it again. You need to practice to ensure that your presentation fits within the time parameters. Practicing also makes it flow better. You can’t practice too many times.
Tip #5: Keep To Your Time Limit
If you have ten minutes to present, prepare ten minutes of material. No more. Even if you only have seven minutes, you need to finish within the allotted time. If you will be reading, a general rule of thumb is two minutes per typed, double-spaced page. For a fifteen-minute talk, you should have no more than 7 double-spaced pages of material.