Instructions for Parallel Session Chairs


Thank you for being willing to serve as the chair for a parallel session at the virtual IMPS meeting.  You have been assigned a session, and should be able to find it in the ExOrdo system (it can be searched in the search box on the event homepage at or else you can access an electronic copy of the program schedule from the Society website at

These instructions review the intended duties of the session chairs.  As indicated via email, we intend the session chairs to function similarly to how they function at in-person IMPS meetings, although some things will naturally be different in the virtual environment. To reach the live session you are assigned to you will need to first login in at to be able to access the appropriate Stage room under the “Live” menu option.  Please login using the email address at which you were emailed these instructions.  We ask that you enter the room of your session at least five minutes prior to the start of the session.  Each room will be managed by a “host” (not you) that is responsible for assigning panelist rights to the individuals that will be presenting in the session.  As you will be speaking during the session, once you enter, the host will assign you to be one of the “panelists” in the session, meaning you have the privilege of speaking (your audio can be turned on and off).  You don’t need to worry about anyone’s audio or presentation controls, as those will all be managed by the host.

Our hope is that you will view the presentations of each of the presenters in the session you are chairing prior to the session so that you have a familiarity with each of the talks (or posters). It will also be good to view the Question Boxes beneath the presentations for any questions posted there, which you might also ask of the presenters during the Q&A part of the live session.

At the live session itself, if you wish, you may provide brief welcome/opening remarks about the session. During those remarks, please remind session attendees that if they have any questions, they should post them in the Q&A box in the lower right of the Cisco WebEx screen, and that you will review and pose these to the presenters only after all presenters have presented their summaries.  Then we ask that you introduce the speakers in the order in which they are listed in the program.  In the case of the oral presentation parallel sessions, each presenter may provide up to a 3-minute summary of their talk.  (The host will have each presenter’s slides available for reference. The presenter will not have access to advance their slides, but if applicable can instruct the host to advance to a slide # on their behalf.) For the poster sessions, each presenter should provide a 1-2 minute summary of the poster, but there will be no slides or poster shown.  Please go in the order in which the talks are listed.  Also, please check the online program (under the “Discover” pulldown)  for the presenters in your session, as all last-minute updates to the session will be posted there.   Please strictly enforce the time limits on each speaker.  If there are any technical issues (e.g., a presenter can’t get their audio to work) or a presenter is not present when you come to their turn, please don’t spend too much time but instead move to the next presenter and attempt to return to the skipped presenters only after the last scheduled presenter. It is important that all presenters in the session have the opportunity to present their summaries, so adhering to the presenter time limits will be important. 

Only after all of the presenting authors have had the opportunity to present their summaries should the session turn to Q&A.  As noted, questions from attendees at the session may have been posted to the Q&A Box during the live session.  Attendees at the session will not be able to ask questions using audio, only the Q&A box.  Your job as session chair will be to  monitor and select from among the questions posted to ask the presenters.  If possible, please try to diversify the questions so that as many presenters as possible are given questions.  If there are no questions, ideally the session chair (you) will have a question prepared to ask each presenter.  The only questions that will be presented by audio will come from you (either reading from the live session Q&A box, questions posted beneath the individual presentations, or your own questions).

As what happens in Q&A is naturally unpredictable and you may not get to all questions asked, please also remind session attendees that they can also contact the presenters through the Question box below each of the individual presentations in the OnDemand section of the event.

Chairs should also monitor the chat box just in case the attendees may pose questions there if they are unclear there is a Q&A area.  In addition, please monitor the chat area in case an attendee/presenter is having issues, so you can share that information with the host to help assist these individuals during the session.

Please also be sure to conclude your session by the concluding time.  Notice that we only budgeted 5 minutes between sessions, so there will not be the possibility of running overtime.  There may be others joining towards the end of your session in anticipation of the subsequent session, and the host will be removing and reassigning presenter and panelist status in the 5-minute window between sessions.

Below is the list of the main hosts for each stage. If you encounter issues, are running late, can no longer chair, or have a question, you can directly contact your host the day of your session and/or reach out to Psychometric Society’s National Office staff via email at:

  • Stage 1: Ed Merkle –
  • Stage 2: Dan Bolt –
  • Stage 3: Susan Rees –
  • Stage 4: Brooke Miller –

Final Reminders/Tips/Suggestions:

  • Bring a watch or phone or similar for keeping the time.
  • Have the program to glance at, in order to have the speaker names and titles of their talks ready.
  • Let the audience know when there is only time for 1 (more) question due to time, but attendees can directly pose additional questions under the presenter’s on demand presentation talk.

We hope you enjoy this experience, and appreciate very much your help with this.  While we would like to think this will all unfold smoothly, we know some technical glitches are inevitable.  The host will be there to help with any problems encountered.

Please visit for additional information on attending a live stage event.

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