Shifting from a face-to-face meeting to a virtual event presented many challenges and opportunities. Rethinking logistics meant not looking at the number of conference rooms, sleeping rooms, registration, meals and travel, but instead finding ways to hold concurrent sessions for the AOS groups, allowing colleagues to present their work, and getting that work in front of participants. This conference is in many ways is a big experiment and we are using the tools we have at hand in new ways. It could not have happened without many minds and hands behind the scenes. With much appreciation I want to acknowledge the folks who helped to put this event together.
The conference planning committee began work to think about the conference in September, once we knew for sure that it was to be a virtual conference. Bridget Nettleton, Christiane Warren, Dawn Riley, Diane Gal, Jim Savitt, Leslie Ellis, Nataly Tcherepashenets and Tina Wagle met every other week via Elluminate and conference call in advance of the conference. Deb Amory joined us to share her ideas for pre-recorded sessions. Their wonderful thinking about theme and format framed the work behind the scenes.
Sarah Cronin and Jennifer DeCrescenzo (Osgood) in the Office of Academic Affairs set up Elluminate rooms, conference calls and the conference web site. They helped enormously in trouble shooting and training. Sarah, Jenn and Chi-Hua Tseng set up a commend center with Elluminate rooms open on laptops in a conference room so that they could quickly jump in if problems or questions arose.
Staff in the Office of Integrated Technology and Office of College and Government Relations worked with OAA and center staff to ensure that Elluminate operated properly and to set up the video conferencing. The team lead by Paul Ryan, includes John Hughes, Jim Merola, Todd Myles, Kali Zahn, Adam Cross, and Kevin Bane, who worked out the logistics and choreographed the video conference sessions. Joshua Gaul provided support and advice for the web site, Steve Simon worked with Jenn to troubleshoot Elluminate issues and Kay Watkins provided training support and materials and all around support. Members of the User Support Services group also provided unseen support.
The work extended to the centers where Faculty Instructional Technologists and Curricular Instructional Designers helped presenters with recording presentations and Technical Support Specialists assisted with video conference set up and troubleshooting for Elluminate. Sarah and the dean’s secretaries worked to schedule rooms at each center. So a shout to the deans secretaries who helped to make this work and the folks at the centers who helped with local set up.
The participants took the challenge of presenting in a new medium and worked their way through Elluminate glitches and stayed with it. The moderators viewed the presentations, fielded questions and led the video conference panels took. Their work provided the ideas and source of rich conversation that we hope will carry on. Bob Carey takes the prize for the most retakes for his prerecorded session. The AOS conveners, organized and moderated their meetings and for some, it was their first Elluminate session.
This is an amazing piece of work that could not have come together without all of the awesome contributions from everyone involved. Please help us in thanking the conveners, participants, the planning committee and the staff across the college who supported the effort.