Friday, February 24, 2012

10 Most Frequently Asked Questions at NOLA Annual Meeting 2011 Reg Booth

While working at the Graduate Student booth at AERA 2011 for Division C, these were the questions our Division reps came across frequently:

 #1: Will I get into trouble if I walk in late?

Definitely! There's an AERA latecomers' patrol squad! :) Just kidding. Let's just say you won't get into trouble because participants have to travel, sometimes a fair bit to get from one venue to another. However, when you are late, please be as minimally disruptive as you can. Of course, you don't want to be too late and miss most of the session.

 #2: What is a "division session"?

"There are 12 divisions within AERA. Each division focuses on broad substantive or professional interests, ranging from administration and curriculum to teacher education and education policy and politics." (More details here: A "division session" is one that is planned by the division and thus aligned with their substantive and professional interests.  

 #3: Where can I find a dissertation writing session?

This is a difficult question! : ) Correct me if I'm wrong, someone? Please contact me if you know of any, There isn't any formal dissertation writing session planned at the AERA Annual Meeting. However, there are two suggestions:

1. Attend some Graduate Student Council sessions and talk to other students:-

Orientation to the Annual Meeting and Networking for Graduate Students   
Session Submission Type: Fireside Chat
Unit: Graduate Student Council
Scheduled Time: Fri, Apr 13 - 12:00pm - 1:30pm,
Building/Room: Vancouver Convention Center / West Room 211

GSC Chair Fireside Chat: Demystifying the Publishing Process: Insights From Journal Editors on Writing, Editing, and Revising Manuscripts for Submission   
Session Submission Type: Fireside Chat
Unit: Graduate Student Council
Scheduled Time: Mon, Apr 16 - 2:15pm - 3:45pm
Building/Room: Vancouver Convention Center / West Room 211

2. Search the AERA Online Program. Go to the Papers tab > Under Unit Type, do not select any Unit; under Session Title, enter "dissertation". A list of paper and roundtable sessions on dissertation writing and the experience will show up.

 #4: What is a paper presentation?

"In paper sessions, authors present abbreviated versions of their papers, followed by comment/critique by a discussant and audience discussion. In general, program chairs should plan on featuring four to five papers in a Paper Session.  A typical structure for a session with four or five papers offers approximately 5 minutes for the chair to introduce the session, 12 minutes per author presentation, 12 minutes of critique by discussant(s), and 15 minutes of discussion with panel and audience." More details on Description and Format of AERA Session Types may be found here:

 #5: Can I go to a business meeting?

Sure thing! There are open business meetings run by every Division and SIG (Special Interest Groups).

 #6: Does an "invited" session mean you have to be invited to go?

No, it just means that the speaker was "invited" or, the Division was invited to submit a session.

 #7: Where do I get a certificate of attendance (usually asked by international attendees who need evidence of attendance)?

Please proceed to the AERA Office at the Vancouver HQ. For the 2012 Annual Meeting the primary site of the Annual Meeting is the Vancouver Convention Center. The headquarter hotels where sessions will be held are the Fairmont Waterfront, Marriott Pinnacle, Pan Pacific and Sheraton Wall Centre. Check back later for more details and confirmation.

 #8: Are there "parties" where I can meet other graduate students?

There are GSC networking sessions, Division and SIG business meetings, receptions and/socials.

 #9: Can you tell me how I can meet [insert name of academic idol here]?

Please search the online program now or you can check iPhone/Android/paper manual for "People" who are attending/presenting at the Annual Meeting.

 #10: How do I download a paper from the repository?

The AERA Online Paper Repository houses research papers in development. Currently, its content consists of an archival record of all scientific presentations, from 2010 forward, at AERA Annual Meetings and full-text papers voluntarily contributed to the repository by Annual Meeting presenters. The Repository is an opportunity to distribute research more broadly, and AERA encourages all presenters to make available to the repository their full-text papers.

If you are an AERA member or a registrant for the 2010 or 2011 annual meetings, click on AERA Member Login at the top left to log in to your account and then click on Online Paper Repository under Member Benefits to enter. Members and registrants may access the repository’s metadata and full-text papers.

More details here:

Some 3 months or so after the Annual Meeting, an announcement will be made on the AERA homepage announcing that the online repository for the latest annual meeting is available. You can also follow AERA's Twitter account for the latest update: @AERA_EdResearch

Acknowledgements: I wish to thank our former Div C Senior Rep (2010-2011), Ms. Janice Hansen, for compiling the questions!

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