AAPOR
The leading association
of public opinion and
survey research professionals
American Association for Public Opinion Research

Moderator Guidelines

Thank you for volunteering to serve as a moderator at the 2017 AAPOR Conference!

This role combines most of the responsibilities traditionally assigned to Chairs, and some of the responsibilities traditionally performed by Discussants.  Please review the guidelines carefully.  If you have any questions, please contact Adam Thocher at athocher@aapor.org or +1-202-207-1117.

The primary objectives of session moderators are to help maximize the quality of presentations through advance review, to provide a sense of cohesion to sessions, and to facilitate audience involvement.  It is not necessary for you to be an expert in the particular session topic—in fact, a fresh perspective might be particularly valuable in some cases.  Through careful reading of presentation materials, providing feedback, and working to identify some key take-away points, we are hopeful that this role will give many members a chance to contribute meaningfully to program.

At the conference session:

  • Upon arrival, ensure that presentations are accessible and that speakers are present.
  • Welcome the audience to the session and introduce presenters prior to each presentation, in the order they appear in the program.
  • Remaining tasks depend upon the type of session you are moderating—see below.


If you are moderating a formal paper session:

  • Allow a maximum of 15 minutes per presentation.  The majority of sessions have 5 papers, and going over 15 minutes limits the potential for audience discussion.  Encourage presenters to start wrapping up as the maximum time approaches, and firmly ask presenters to conclude if they go over the time limit. 
  • If you are moderating one of the few sessions that has 6 papers, presenters have a maximum of 12 minutes.
  • After the last presentation, offer a brief synopsis, concluding remarks, or observations that tie findings together across presentations.  Your comments should be brief—no more than 3-5 minutes.
  • Open the floor for discussion.  Be prepared with a few opening questions to start discussion, if necessary.  Ask audience members to identify themselves and make sure their questions are clearly heard by others at the session.    
If you are moderating a panel session:
  • Introduce speakers, keep time, and moderate audience Q & A as above. 
  • If the panel session has a discussant, it is not necessary for you to provide a synopsis or concluding remarks.  If the panel session does not have a discussant, you are welcome to provide a 3-5 minute synopsis or concluding remarks at your discretion.
If you are moderating a Methodological Briefs session:
  • Allow a maximum of 9 minutes per presentation.  The majority of sessions have 8 briefs, and it is very important to stay within time limits to allow time for audience discussion.  Encourage presenters to start wrapping up as the maximum time approaches, and firmly ask presenters to conclude if they go over the time limit.  If your session has fewer than 8 briefs, you can allow an extra minute or two if needed.
  • After the last presentation, offer a brief synopsis, concluding remarks, or observations that tie findings together across presentations.  Your comments should be brief—no more than 3-5 minutes.  Given the higher number of presentations, you should focus on general themes rather than highlighting findings from all of the briefs.
  • Open the floor for discussion.  Be prepared with a few opening questions to start discussion, if necessary.  Ask audience members to identify themselves and make sure their questions are clearly heard by others at the session.

Platinum Sponsors

ABT Associates
GfK
Headway in Research
ICF
IMPAQ
Nielsen
NORC
RTI
SSRS
Westat

Gold Sponsors

AVP Social Science Research
Dial800/Reconnect Research
Mathmatica

Silver Sponsors

CASO
Oxford University Press
UCONN

Bronze Sponsors

EdChoice
Survox

Conference Supporters

SSI

Exhibitors

3Q Global
ABT Associates
Adapt, Inc.
ASDE Survey Sampler
AVP Social Science Research
cApStAn LQC Inc
CASO
Dial800/Reconnect Research
GfK
Gravic Inc Remark Software
Headway in Research
ICF
ICPSR
IMPAQ
Issues & Answers Network
Langer Research Associates
Mathmatica
Michigan Program in Survey Methodology
Nielsen
NORC
Opinion Access
Provalis Research
Reconnaissance Market Research
Revily Inc
Roper
RTI
SSI
SSRS
Stampede Consulting
Stata Corp LP
STS
Swift Prepaid Solutions
UCONN
Voxco