The content in this section is meant to provide an overview of the session types for the purposes of brainstorming and generating ideas around potential submissions. Please refer to the Preparing and Formatting Your Proposal guidelines for more detail on how to prepare your proposal for these various options before submission. Please keep in mind the Diversity of Affiliation rule (applicable to all sessions except posters and master tutorials) and the Rule of 3 when planning for your submission.

Debate (50 or 80 mins). Debates are an engaging way to present opposing views about a topic. Generally, a Debate includes a moderator and presenters to represent each side of a controversial topic. The Debate may consist of the moderator stating a proposition, one side presenting affirming arguments, and the other side presenting dissenting arguments. Alternatively, the moderator may pose pointed questions whereby the debaters share their conflicting views on the topic. Time for rebuttal and audience questions can be incorporated.

IGNITE! (50 mins). In this fast-paced session type, several experts on a focal topic prepare 20 auto-advancing slides for a 5-minute presentation. A maximum of 7 presenters is allowed, which should provide adequate time for questions at the end. Alternatively, proposals may elect for fewer presenters and a facilitated audience discussion/Q&A session upon completion of all presentations.

Panel Discussion (50 or 80 mins). Panel discussions should generate spontaneous interaction among panelists and between panelists and the audience in response to questions posed by the session chair.  In a Panel discussion, the chair plays a very active role, serving as the moderator who ensures that all panelists (generally three to five people) have the opportunity to speak. The chair can both pose questions and facilitate audience questions.

Symposium (50 or 80 mins). A Symposium is a multi-presenter session including a well-integrated set of research, practice, theory, or teaching-oriented papers. In addition to the multiple presentations, a discussant that has expertise in the topic area often offers reflections on the presentations. Participants in a Symposium should include a chair and three to five presenters (five only if no discussant is included). Please note that discussants cannot be an author on any of the papers in the Symposium.

Alternative Session (with Multiple Papers or with Presenters, no authorship order; 50 or 80 mins). SIOP highly encourages submission of proposals for innovative session types contributing to a program that is informative and invigorating, and that exposes the audience to new ways of disseminating, connecting with, and learning about key topics. The following is an illustrative list of alternative sessions to encourage ideas:

  • Open Fishbowl: small group discussions or debates observed by a larger, surrounding group, with an open chair for audience members to cycle in/out of the discussion
  • Mashups: a collection of seemingly disparate people or ideas, designed to highlight different perspectives to a common problem
  • Open Space: a flexible format focused on an important purpose or task but without any formal agenda beyond the overall purpose or theme
  • Reverse Debate: a debate in which the pro/con perspective is taken by an individual with a disparate background or perspective
  • Research Incubator: a few papers on a related topic are briefly presented, followed by the audience breaking into small groups to further discuss development of ideas and future research
  • Competition Format: participants are recruited in advance to participate in a competition, with information shared with participants in advance and presentations in the session

Feel free to extend beyond these example Alternative Session Types, though note that these sessions do need to fit within a 50 or 80 minute format and utilize a theater or roundtable room layout. We look forward to submitters’ ideas for memorable, unique, and compelling session types that will be enlightening and absorbing for the SIOP 2020 audience.

Master Tutorial (50 or 80 mins). The primary purpose of the Master Tutorial is to develop and educate the audience about a focal I-O topic. For example, they might provide an update on a content area, discuss a new statistical technique, or describe how knowledge from another discipline can be applied to an I-O problem or topic. 

Poster (50 mins). Poster sessions give participants opportunities to present individual or small group papers. At each Poster session, many authors simultaneously present their papers, primarily in a visual medium, with key excerpts from the papers displayed on large boards (8’ x 4’). The audience circulates among posters and stops to discuss papers of particular interest with the authors. Please note that non-empirical submissions advancing theoretical propositions ARE permitted.

Looking for collaborators? A few recommendations for connecting with other possible presenters include leveraging community of interest discussion lists, alumni communication channels, social networking sites, and other online forums related to the subject area. Searchable programs of past conferences can also be leveraged to identify potential collaborators by identifying those who have presented on subject areas previously.


Proceed to Preparing and Formatting Your Proposal Document