InterActivity 2018 Session Proposal Guidelines

Submission Deadline: Friday, September 15, 2017 • Acceptance Notifications Sent by: Friday, December 1, 2017

Whether you've previously submitted InterActivity session proposals or it's your first time, you've come to the right place. We have developed these guidelines to help make the submission process a success. Since there are many new features this year, please read the guidelines completely before you begin.

About the Proposal Process

ACM invites professionals in the children's museum field and related fields to submit session proposals for InterActivity 2018. Submitted proposals are reviewed by the InterActivity 2018 Program Committee, an all-volunteer field review body composed of twenty-four ACM members, including two co-chairs. Committee members include individuals with a variety of job functions, expertise, ages, genders, etc... to represent the geographic, institutional, and personal demographics of the children's museum community. The Committee evaluates and selects proposals for the Concurrent Professional Development Sessions at InterActivity, a significant part of the conference program. ACM will send notification of Program Committee decisions to session chairs by Friday, December 1, 2017.

Tips for Developing a Session Proposal

In developing a session proposal, start with the end in mind:

  • What do you want attendees to know or be able to do as a result of your session? Note: Attendees want to know how you did what you're presenting, not just what you did. You will be asked to write these as Learning Outcomes in the Session Proposal Form.
  • Consider how much content, including Q & A, can be delivered in a 75-minute session. Be realistic about the number of presenters and time for activities. Note: There is a limit of one moderator and four presenters for each 75-minute session.
  • Utilize the new InterActivity Groupsite to post your session proposal idea for wider discussion and refinement as well as recruit presenters you have not worked with before and who can add additional perspectives. Note: Groupsite is like LinkedIn, you will need to set up a Member Profile including selecting a password and join the InterActivity Session Proposal Idea Exchange community.
  • In your session you will want to:
    • Acknowledge and build upon attendees' own knowledge and experience. You will be asked to describe how you will do this in the Session Plan section of the Proposal Form. See What We Know About InterActivity Attendees.
    • Actively engage attendees. You will be asked to describe how you will do this in the Session Plan section of the Proposal Form.
    • Demonstrate how the content can be applied to a diverse range of institutions including geographic location and museum size. You will be asked to describe how you will do this in the Session Plan section of the Proposal Form.
    • Acknowledge the relevance of the content to attendees' work. You will be asked to describe this in the Session Plan section of the Proposal Form.
  • Take your time developing the session proposal. Review the Session Proposal Form pdf for additional details.
  • Download the Writing a Session Proposal for InterActivity 2018 webinar recording from July 12, 2017.
  • Write the title last after the learning outcomes, session plan, and session description have been written.

Parts of a Session Proposal

  • Session Chair Contact Information. The Session Chair must participate in the session as a presenter or moderator. See below for the Session Chair Agreement to review the roles and responsibilities of a Session Chair.
  • Learning Outcomes. What will attendees know or be able to do as a result of your session? We ask for no more than three learning outcomes per session.
  • Session Plan. What will happen in your session? Who will speak on what topic and for how long? Why do attendees need to know the content—how is the content relevant? How will the attendees be engaged?
  • Tools and Handouts. What will you provide to help reinforce learning and transfer it to the attendees' home environments? Handouts include resource lists, tips and checklists, activity instructions, toolkits, worksheets, and sample documents.
  • Confirmed Presenters Contact Information. A confirmed presenter has the support of his/her institution to participate, including funding for registration and travel. Note: Upon receipt of proposal, ACM will contact the CEO/executive director of each presenter's institution to ensure support.
  • Session Description and Title. Write with the attendees in mind: what will the session cover and what can attendees expect to take away from the session? Keep it simple, clear, and concise. Note: Attendees will be asked to rate the session on how accurately the description reflected what was presented.
  • Session History. Has the content be presented at or proposed for any other conference?
  • Audio/Visual Information. Includes standard session room equipment and requests information on audio/visual usage during the session.
  • Room Set. Choose between Theater Style or Rounds. You may also request a different room set which ACM will accommodate if possible.
  • Session Chair Agreement. The success of an InterActivity session is the result of careful planning, communication, collaboration, and cooperation. The Session Chair leads these efforts and commits to fulfill the responsibilities and requirements outlined in the agreement.

Complete the online InterActivity 2018 Session Proposal Form (via SurveyMonkey) by September 15, 2017. You must hit the "Done" button for ACM to receive the proposal. Please note, you will need to complete the form in one sitting and may not revise your proposals once you have hit "Done."

Session Chair Agreement

  1. I understand that as the session chair, it is my responsibility to secure and confirm session presenters. As part of this process:
    1. I have received confirmation from each presenter that his/her institution supports participation, including funds for registration and travel.
    2. I have advised presenters that if the proposal is accepted, they must be available to present on any day of the conference, May 16-18, and that they may not participate in more than two InterActivity sessions.
    3. I have advised all presenters that they will not receive complimentary registration, honoraria, or have expenses paid to present at InterActivity.
    4. I have advised presenters that upon receipt of proposal, ACM will email the CEO/executive director of each presenter's institution to ensure support.
    5. I have advised presenters the that if the session is accepted, they are responsible for registering themselves for InterActivity by the Early Bird Registration deadline, Wednesday, January 17, 2018. Note: Presenters from outside the museum field, e.g., academics, may be eligible for a complimentary one-day registration for the day on which they present. Complimentary registration is at the sole discretion of ACM.
    6. I have advised presenters that the session may not be used a platform to promote products or services of any kind.
  2. I understand that if there are substantive changes to the session proposal after its acceptance—including presenter changes and content—ACM reserves the right to cancel the session.
  3. I agree to meet all deadlines set by ACM, including registering myself by the Early Bird Registration Deadline, Wednesday, January 17, 2018.
  4. I understand that I am responsible for planning the session from start to finish and delivery at InterActivity 2018.
  5. I agree to maintain timely communication between session presenters, ACM, and Program Committee "shepherd" who will be assigned to my session upon acceptance. Communication with presenters includes conveying all logistical and other conference information.
  6. I agree to rehearse the session with all presenters in advance of delivery at InterActivity 2018.
  7. I understand that it is my responsibility to ensure the development of useful handouts for distribution onsite (bring 60-70 hard copies per handout) and for posting to the ACM website after the conference.
  8. I agree to review all session presentation and handout materials in advance of InterActivity 2018 to ensure quality and consistency.
  9. I understand that it is my responsibility to collect all presenters' presentation materials/handouts and upload them to the ACM Basecamp folder by Friday, June 1, 2018.
  10. I have read and agree to fulfill these requirements. Note: Failure to meet these obligations will jeopardize your eligibility to submit future InterActivity session proposals.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals submitted by Friday, September 15, 2017, will be reviewed by the InterActivity 2018 Program Committee and evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • The proposal's learning objectives are realistic and achievable.
  • The proposed content/ideas convey fresh or innovative strategies, adaptable practices, new research, practical tools, etc...
  • The session plan outlines a clear picture of what attendees can expect during the session, including who will speak on what topic and for how long, how the content is relevant to attendees' work, how to apply the content at their institutions, and how the attendees will participate.
  • The proposal describes useful handouts for distribution to attendees onsite and for posting to the ACM website after the conference.
  • The presenters are confirmed and provide diverse perspectives on the topics. Note: Proposals with content experts from outside the children's museum field will receive priority.

Note: In some cases, session chairs may be asked to make modifications to the proposed session.


Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Senior Director, Professional Development.