Potential Panel Formats
The panels for this conference will be 90 minutes in length. Here are some suggestions for potential panel formats, with the proviso that we are open to other formats. Please note: this is a wholly online conference; thus panel organizers should be focused on ways to ensure that they can organize panels that respond to the unique benefits, and challenges, of this medium.
The session is comprised of a moderator, and 3-4 panelists, each accorded 12-15 minutes to make presentations on the panel’s overarching theme. Panel presentations are followed by guided questions by the session moderator, and questions from the audience using the Q&A function in Zoom. Organizers could also incorporate more interactive elements, such as the Whiteboard function in Zoom or Google’s Jamboard.
In the spirit of “flipped classroom” formats for instruction, the Flipped Panel makes videos of panel presentations available prior to the panel. Audience members come to the panels prepared to discuss the presentations in great depth, and the lion’s share of the panel is devoted to audience questions, and detailed comments on the ideas advanced in the presentations.
Roundtable panels are most conducive to specific and cohesive topics. All of the presenters are addressing that topic and should, to a large extent, be interacting with each other in shedding light on the topic. Roundtables are less formal than panels. Initial roundtable presentations are generally shorter than papers (about 5-10 minutes per person). The panelists and moderator then engage in discussion with each other, often seeded by questions from the moderator. The audience is usually invited to engage more directly than at panels. A roundtable is more of an open conversation.
Hyde Park Corner Debate
This format takes a central theme or question and features two speakers (or teams of two speakers on each side) to debate for and against a proposition. At the outset, the participants are polled to measure their opinion on the topic. Following the debate, they are polled again to see how many are now in favor or against. The winner of the debate is the speaker(s) who caused the most audience members to change their votes.