ChemEd X Conferences is a virtual conference platform provided as a service of Chemical Education Xchange. Here, a conference consists of one or more sessions. Each session has one or more presenters.
Organizing a Conference
The topic of a conference is chosen by one or more conference organizers and one or more conference sponsors. The process of creating a conference starts with the sponsors, who identify the name of the conference and the organizers. The organizers write the conference abstract including a description of the conference topic(s), identify the period during which the conference is meeting, the number of sessions in the conference, the period of time during which each session is running, and the presenter(s) for each session comprising the conference. The presenters write the abstract for their presentation and the presentation itself.
Session presentations can include text, images, and media (uploaded video, YouTube, Vimeo; uploaded audio; supporting documents). Additonally, support for display of chemical models using Jmol and math equations is provided. Presenters are encouraged to include a short video introduction (90 s) to their presentation as part of their abstract.
Attending a Conference
Once the conference has been organized and the session content created by the presenters, the conference attendees choose the sessions that they wish to attend. Attendees of each session can create comments on the presentation and/or reply to the comments of other session attendees. Comments are distributed to all attendees of the session in near real time using the method they choose to recieve such notifications. Session presenters are required to do their best to participate in a timely manner to the discussion of their presentation.
Only those who create an account at ChemEd X Conferences can participate in a conference. In order to keep with the protocol of any professional conference, participants must accurately identify themselves by using their real names, uploading a recent photograph, and providing their affiliation and a link to a web site that verifies this information. Names, pictures, and affiliations will appear with any contributions made by the participant.
Generally, a session will last for three to four days. In this way, attendees can time-shift the session and participate on their own schedule and also are able to take time to contemplate and construct well-thought out commentary. During the session, attendees who participate in the discussion are expected to promptly (within 24 hours) reply to any questions or responses to their comments. Prompt replies from the session presenter(s) are also expected. Depending upon the conference, discussion may continue after a session is over, however, one should not expect the same level of timely replies.
Currently, email and the conference web site are the two methods by which the session discussion is distributed to the attendees. Attendees can also view notifications of conference and session activity using Twitter by following the session hashtag. In the future conferences, notifications of conference and session activity will include text messaging, and Facebook (auto-post to session tab of conference page) allowing attendees to keep track of the conference proceedings.