FAQs for Moderators

What hardware do I need to moderate my session?
What software do I need to moderate my session?
How long should each speaker’s presentation be?
Will speakers be using PowerPoint and visual aids?
Will I be able to try out the virtual system before moderating my session?
What time should I arrive in the virtual session room prior to my session beginning?
How do I identify and assign roles to speakers within the virtual session room?
What is the chat function and how should it be best used?
How will I know when the virtual room is full?
How will I know if delegates are having difficulties accessing the room?
How should I welcome speakers and attendees to the session?
How do I hand over to each speaker?
How and when should I mute attendees’ microphones, turn off their cameras, or restrict use of the ‘Chat’ function?
How should I take questions from the audience?
A participant is disrupting my session. What should I do?
How should I configure my system best for moderating a virtual session?
What advice do you have for moderating virtually?
How do I ensure that all presentations in my sessions are accessible for all?

What hardware do I need to moderate my session?

You should ensure that you are using an up-to-date PC or Mac with a working webcam and microphone built-in or connected.

If you are using an external microphone, ensure this is set up correctly and positioned for optimum sound capture. If you are using the microphone built in to your device, ensure that it is clear of obstructions and is picking your voice up well.

Please ensure that your setup is configured to be accessible for all by following our guidance for speakers.

What software do I need to moderate my session?

All Attendees should  download the Zoom app in advance of IMC 2021.

You can download Zoom for your device here.  If you are using an institution-owned or managed device, you may need to contact your local IT support in order to authorise the download and installation of Zoom. If you are unfamiliar with Zoom, you can find helpful quick start guides and other information via their support site. 

The IMC 2021 will be delivered online via the virtual events platform, Pathable. The platform is free to access and does not require the purchase or installation of any specialist software.

Once logged in, delegates will be able to access all aspects of the IMC, including academic sessions, Bookfair and other exhibitions, events and workshop programme, and social and networking opportunities.

Pathable works best with Google Chrome web browser (version 72 or later, or an equivalent modern browser). Most modern computers will meet Pathable’s minimum requirements, which can be found here. We do not recommend accessing Pathable via a mobile or tablet device.

How long should each speaker’s presentation be?

Speakers have been encouraged to ensure their presentations run within the allotted time, which is 20 minutes in a session with 3 papers or 15 minutes in a session with 4 papers. The virtual session room is available for speakers, moderators and organisers to practice for 20minutes prior to the scheduled start time, and at 1 minute prior to the start time the Attendees will be able to join the session.

The Moderator should ensure that presentations and the Q&A end no later than 10 minutes after the published finish time, when the session will automatically close. If the Moderator, Speaker or participants wish to carry on the conversation, they can do so by scheduling a private video meeting, or using the on-platform ‘Conversations’ tool to continue discussing the papers by text.

Will speakers be using PowerPoint and visual aids?

Yes. Speakers are welcome to use PowerPoint or other software to share files on their computers. Speakers can share their screens and will be advised how to set up their displays. More information about this can be found on the FAQs for Speakers page.

Will I be able to try out the virtual system before moderating my session?

Yes. Virtual rooms will be available to speakers and moderators for 20 minutes prior to the session beginning.

We are also running two training sessions for moderators on Thursday 24th June at 3pm and Friday 25th June at 11am, both GMT . Details of how to join a training session were included in your invite to Pathable, sent by email. You can access the training session by logging into Pathable, navigating to the Agenda and selecting the IMC Moderator Training. Click the + button on the top right to add this training session to your personal agenda and reserve your place. The join meeting button will appear at the start time for this training session.

What time should I arrive in the virtual session room prior to my session beginning?

It is important to arrive 20 minutes before the session to prepare. You will have the opportunity to conduct a sound and camera test with the Session Room Organisers (SROs) in the virtual session room to ensure that your microphone and webcam are working correctly. You will also need to welcome speakers and to check that they are set up correctly.

SROs will try to resolve any issues which need escalating, but they may need to request additional technical support either from the core IMC Team or from Pathable technical support, who will be available to assist throughout the IMC.

Please be patient while waiting for technical support, as our team may be helping another delegate. If an issue for a speaker is taking substantial time to resolve, we encourage you to re-order papers in a session so that other speakers may go ahead of a speaker experiencing difficulties.

In the event of you experiencing technical difficulties and being unable to reconnect, you should inform the IMC team by emailing imc@leeds.ac.uk. It may be helpful prior to the presentations to assign a speaker who is confident moderating should your connection break for any reason during the session.

Will I need to assign roles to speakers within the virtual session room?

No. Speakers and moderators will automatically be assigned as co-hosts. This means you will all have access to the same abilities, including the ability to share screens and mute others’ microphones.

When you join the session as a co-host, your name will not appear. You will therefore need to rename yourself. You can do this by clicking on ‘Participants’ in the main zoom menu along the bottom of the screen. Next to your name, select ‘More’ and then click ‘Rename’. You can also rename others by selecting the relevant person and clicking ‘Rename’.

What is the chat function and how should it be best used?

The Chat function can be found in the main Zoom menu along the bottom of the screen. We recommend that you use this at the start of the session to let people know that the session is about to begin and to keep monitoring the chat throughout the session in case Delegates wish to communicate this way.

During the Q&A, you can request delegates to let you know their questions for speakers via the chat if they do not have a microphone or camera or are having connection difficulties.

How will I know when the virtual room is full?

The session capacity of all standard academic sessions is 300, with a higher capacity for keynote lectures. We do not anticipate this limit being reached but if you believe more than 300 attendees are anticipated for your session, please email imc@leeds.ac.uk with ‘Session Capacity’ in the subject line, the session name and the number of your session.

How will I know if delegates are having difficulties accessing the room?

A delegate who is having difficulties accessing the room may drop in and out of a session due to connection issues.

If a delegate contacts you regarding problems they are having joining the session, please direct them to the Pathable support pages.

How should I welcome speakers and attendees to the session?

Speakers will be able to join the session 20 minutes before the scheduled start time and should be ready by the time the session begins. Attendees can then join 1 minute before the start time. We recommend as people join that you keep your camera on, and/or regularly post welcome messages in the chat. Feel free to encourage delegates to talk amongst themselves while you are waiting to get started, either by speaking or via the Chat.

How do I hand over to each speaker?

Before the beginning of the session yourself and each speaker will have had the chance to ensure that their camera, microphone and screen sharing abilities were working.  You should introduce the first speaker as you would normally, being aware there may be non-specialists in the audience. You should then prompt them to share their screen if they have a PowerPoint presentation or other visual aids.

We strongly recommend that moderators contact all the speakers in their session before the IMC to get to know each speaker’s paper and research.

It is also important to inform the audience whether the speakers are happy for the audience to tweet about their paper or discuss it on social media.

How and when should I mute attendees’ microphones, turn off their cameras, or restrict use of the ‘Chat’ function?

This is at your discretion and can be done at any time (for example, in the event of disturbance) by clicking on ‘Participants’ in the Main Zoom Menu along the bottom of the screen and hovering over the relevant name and then selecting ‘Mute’. You can also prompt people to unmute themselves. By selecting ‘More’ next to an individuals name, you can turn off their video and also prompt them to switch it on by selecting either ‘Stop Video’ or Ask to Start Video’.

We recommend that you turn off all microphones when it is time for the first speaker to begin. This is essential to prevent background noise from the audience interfering with what the presenter is saying. You can mute all microphones by clicking on ‘Participants’  and selecting ‘Mute All’. Make sure to tick the box which says allow participants to unmute themselves so that delegates are able to participate in the Q&A session at the end of the session.

To restrict access to the chat, you can limit who participants can chat with by opening the chat and selecting the ‘…’ menu on the bottom right, next to the ‘File’ button. You can then select ‘No-one’ or ‘Host Only’ to limit who participants can speak with. If you choose to do this, it might be helpful to reinstate the chat prior to the Q&A. You can do this by going to the same ‘…’ menu and selecting ‘Everyone publicly and privately’.

How should I take questions from the audience?

Please ask attendees to use the ‘Raise Hand’ function, located in the Main Menu at the bottom of the screen. You should then prompt them to turn on their microphone/camera to speak. Encourage them to say who they are and where they are calling from before asking their question. You should also be prepared to ask a question to each speaker in the event that questions are not forthcoming from the audience.

Some members of the audience may prefer to type their question in the Chat window. You should ensure this is open while you are chairing the Q&A and read these questions out loud. As with any session, the chair’s discretion is essential in this respect to ensure that the discussion remains respectful and conforms to the IMC’s Policy on Dignity and Mutual Respect.

A participant is disrupting my session. What should I do?

As moderator, you have a number of tools to manage any disruption to your session. This might include behaviour or conduct which is abusive, or otherwise violates our Policy on Dignity and Mutual Respect.

Where disturbance is minor (e.g. leaving microphone on during a speaker’s paper), you should use the Participants controls (outlined above) to mute their microphone or turn off their camera. If there are multiple disruptions, you should use the controls to mute all participants until the end of the session (outlined above).

For more serious disruption such as engaging in harassment or bullying aloud or in the Chat, you can remove an attendee from a session by clicking Participants and selecting the relevant person. You can then select ‘Remove from meeting’ and confirm ‘Yes’ that you would like to remove the person from the session.

For all serious disruption or violation of the IMC’s policies, you should also contact imc@leeds.ac.uk as soon as possible. Our team have the ability to bar access to all further IMC sessions should the need arise.

How should I configure my system best for moderating a virtual session?

This is very much a personal preference. As moderator, you are responsible for looking after the chat module and controlling the ability of attendees to use their microphones and video cameras. You should be prepared to keep an eye on conversations in the chat and to limit this if the chat remains lively during the presentations and may be interfering with the ability of the audience to follow the speaker’s paper. You can see more information about this under the above question ‘How and when should I mute attendees’ microphones, turn off their cameras, or restrict use of the Chat function?’.

It can also be useful to have details of each speaker visible so that you can introduce them, as well as an empty document or notepad to take notes should you wish to.

What advice do you have for moderating virtually?

You can read our guide to moderating sessions at IMC 2021 here.

How do I ensure that all presentations in my sessions are accessible for all?

Moderators should remind speakers of the relevant points below to ensure that they make best and most accessible use of the available technology.
This includes:

  • ensuring they are face-on into the camera
  • ensuring they are well-lit
  • ensuring that they do not turn off their video feed when presenting
  • ensuring they post a short summary of their paper by selecting ‘Manage’ on the Session page on Pathable. Speakers can then select ‘Files’ from the menu and then click ‘Add New File’.
  • For more details on good practice, please see our FAQs for Speakers.

Following a policy change at Zoom which has led them to enable automatic closed captioning on paid-for accounts, Pathable have recently confirmed to us that automatic closed captioning will be available for all IMC 2021 sessions. Individual delegates will be able to enable this by selecting the ‘Live captions’ button at the bottom of the screen in the main menu. Please note that captions will not be available on the recording of the session.

If you or one of your speakers are concerned about accessing IMC 2021 as a deaf/hard of hearing person, or have any other accessibility needs, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the IMC team (imc@leeds.ac.uk) at your earliest convenience.