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Session Format Definitions


A Pre-Conference Faculty Development Course is 3 or 6 hours in length and enrollment is limited. Instructors are asked to combine appropriate amounts of didactic presentation with significant “hands-on” opportunities for participants. For the participants, a certificate of attendance will be available after completion of the course if needed.

Plenary Sessions at IAMSE meetings are about 60 minutes in duration and characterized as formal presentations to all registrants in attendance. A Moderator will introduce the Invited Speaker who then provides a formal (lecture) presentation for up to two-thirds of available time. The final one-third of the session is reserved for moderated audience discussion with comments and questions. 


A panel discussion is a session of 60 or 90-minutes on a specific topic. The panel will consist of 4 to 6 invited specialists in the field. A Moderator will introduce the panel members and the topic of discussion in a short introduction of 10 minutes. The rest of the session is reserved for moderated audience discussion with comments and questions.


Definition of a Focus Session: The purpose of a 90-minute Focus Session is to “focus in” on a specific topic in small group discussion format. Groups of 10-50 individuals consider a particular topic in an interactive format. Formats can be variable. For instance, the Session Leader may arrange for the pros and cons of a particular issue to be presented by a mini-panel discussion. Alternately, the group may be subdivided and certain tasks assigned to be developed for summary during the last 20-minutes of the session. Discussion in a paradigm of professional development is the goal, so not more than one-third of the time is to be used for formal presentation (half of the time if using panel discussion format).

Although this session type is not used very frequently within IAMSE meetings, it can be used in specific situations. For example oral presentations on the same topic as a plenary can be scheduled back to back with that specific plenary session. Authors of submitted poster abstracts at that topic can be invited to present their research in an oral presentation, or presenters can be invited directly by the Program Committee. Oral presentations are 15 or 20 minutes in duration including 5 minutes for discussion with the audience.


All attendees of the meeting can submit in advance an abstract for a poster. Abstracts will be reviewed by the Review Committee on quality and relevance. Accepted posters will be displayed in a specific location so posters can be viewed during the whole main conference. Moderated poster sessions can be organized; format is subject of discussion in the Program Committee.  Abstracts will be 300 words or less in length



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Featured Members
Cathleen PettepherNominating Committee Chair
Colleen CronigerStudent Professional Development Committee Chair

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