Proposal Reviewers- AHEAD 2018

Thank you for considering being a reviewer of conference proposals for AHEAD’s annual conference: Equity & Excellence: Access in Higher Education. We recognize that participating in this process can represent a significant time commitment; your contribution is greatly appreciated! Conference reviewers play an important part in ensuring that AHEAD’s conference provides high-quality, relevant professional development. We hope you’re planning to be with us in Albuquerque next July!

Important Dates and Deadlines

Review Overview

  • We must pare down approximately 200 proposed presentations to 60 available concurrent slots.
  • You will be asked to review up to 10 proposals.
  • Each proposal will be sent to at least three reviewers.
  • We anticipate it will take you approximately 15-20 minutes to read, consider, and complete the online feedback form for each proposal.
  • The proposals you receive will be anonymous. We’d like you to not be swayed in your feedback by the reputations of possible presenters.
    • AHEAD has received a short bios of each presenter, with which to evaluate individual qualifications to deliver the information described in the proposal.
    • The Program Co-Chairs have access to this information. Using your feedback and the presenter bios, they will make final programming decisions.
    • We have done our best to make this a blind review process,  but we expect that some information that reveals the presenter(s) may have slipped through the cracks. Please do your best to evaluate all proposals on the merits of the submission alone.  
  • Your feedback and remarks will be received anonymously. Neither the Program Co-Chairs nor the session proposers will be able to attribute your scores or comments back to you.
  • If you do receive information that reveals information about the presenter(s) or see evidence of either excellent or inadequate professional background in the session descriptions, please share that in your feedback.
  • Please let us know if a conflict of interest arises during the review process so we can substitute a proposal for the one you feel you should not review.

Review Criteria

You will rate each proposal using a Survey Gizmo form. Most feedback is provided through a 5-point Likert scale using the following criteria: 

  • RELEVANCE: This proposal offers essential, high impact information, addresses current issues, and/or builds on concepts that are important for AHEAD members. The ideas conveyed through the proposal are important to enhancing equity in higher education.
  • INNOVATION: This proposal offers creative, cutting-edge, innovative, or provocative ideas and/or a novel approach to a common issue. After attending this session, participants would have new inspiration, motivation, and tools to take back to their institutions.
  • VALUES: The concepts presented in the proposal are consistent with AHEAD's values of diversity, equity, social justice, individual respect, and inclusivity.
  • DIVERSITY: The proposed session enhances the diversity of perspectives offered at the conference by including content featuring or focused on typically underrepresented groups of people or institution types (e.g. traditionally marginalized people—LGBTQ, people of color, indigenous people—or institutions such as community colleges, HBCs, or small private colleges).
  • ENGAGEMENT: The proposal provides evidence of an opportunity for participants to learn actively and/or engage with the material through participatory activities, discussion, or a question/answer period. 
  • PRESENTATION: The proposal is clear, concise, well-organized, and grammatically sound. The authors have demonstrated attention and care in the development of this proposal. Reference are included, if necessary/important to the topic.
  • Finally, you will be asked to comment on the proposal and to recommend or not recommend its acceptance. 
    • If you feel the proposal has merit but would best contribute to the conference as a poster session or part of an amalgamated session with other proposals, you can provide that feedback.
    • If you review a proposal that does not forward the field, is based in older notions of disability and access, or includes information you know not to be inaccurate, please feel comfortable not recommending it for presentation. As you do that, remember that your recommendation alone will not decide whether a proposal is accepted or not.

Reviewer Tips

  • Read all the proposals you receive before you begin scoring to get a feel for overall quality. One approach is to then rate them against each other. Depending on the proposals you receive, this may also help you evaluate similar content and select the best proposal(s) for that particular topic.
  • Pace yourself by rating no more than 3-4 proposals at a time. Breaking up your review process in this way will prevent fatigue and keep your mind fresh.
  • Remember that all sessions should be educational in nature. While some vendor sessions will be accepted, we want to ensure that they offer more than an advertisement and will contribute to the educational content of the conference.
  • Ask yourself if the main lessons from the session are clear.
  • Ask yourself if you would attend the session or recommend it to a colleague.

THANK YOU again. Please contact Carol Funckes (carol@ahead.org) with any questions regarding the review process.