National Conference 2021: call for session proposals

The AMOSSHE National Conference 2021 is an inspirational, collaborative space for Student Services leaders to share expertise and good practice, develop strategy and skills, and build professional networks. The conference is an opportunity to reflect on this year’s good practice, establish strategic connections, and take our achievements forward.

We want your proposals for informative and stimulating workshops or presentations that will engage delegates and contribute to everyone’s understanding and professional development.

Please submit your session proposals by 17:00 on Monday 12 April 2021.

Find out more:

Find out more about the conference here: AMOSSHE National Conference 2021.

AMOSSHE National Conference 2021

Deadline

You must submit your session proposal no later than 17:00 on Monday 12 April 2021

About the conference

AMOSSHE The Student Services Organisation is dedicated to the professional development of Student Services leaders in UK higher education. In the 2020/21 academic year Student Services and sector colleagues have responded to unprecedented challenges with energy, creativity and commitment. Supporting and enhancing the student experience is the key driver of all this hard work, and AMOSSHE’s role is to support and enhance the professional excellence of this mission. The AMOSSHE National Conference 2021 is an opportunity to reflect on this year’s good practice, establish strategic connections, and take our achievements forward.

The conference takes place online to enable participation from across the UK, as well as drawing on expertise from around the world. The conference is an inspirational, collaborative space for Student Services leaders to share expertise and good practice, develop strategy and skills, and build professional networks.

The conference takes place from Wednesday 14 to Friday 16 July 2021. Sessions take place during the day in the British Summer Time (BST) time zone.

Find out more here: AMOSSHE National Conference 2021.

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What should my session be about?

The conference team is looking for inspiring sessions that contribute expertise, share ideas and stimulate discussion. For example, you and your colleagues may have undertaken initiatives or research that others can learn from; you may have inspiring success stories to tell; you may have worked with other organisations to successfully overcome a challenge or develop new opportunities for enhancing student success; or there may be challenges that you want to explore in a structured way in order to share good practice and develop new strategies.

All the sessions must address topics of interest to Student Services professionals, and we especially welcome proposals for sessions that explore our conference themes of reflections, connections and ambitions:

  • Reflections – let’s take time to review what has taken place in higher education during the year, including our understanding of the student experience, and how different kinds of students have been impacted in new and unexpected ways. Let’s evaluate and appreciate the innovative work that Student Services teams have undertaken, adapting quickly and flexibly to the demands created by the pandemic and emerging sector issues.
  • Connections – the impact of the pandemic, as well as social movements such as campaigns to tackle racism, inequality and sexual harassment, have emphasised the importance of collaboration and networks. It’s vital to ensure that our students and colleagues are connected and meaningfully engaged. Let’s identify how Student Services can work with colleagues and communities within and outside higher education through co-creation, evidence-based understanding and action learning.
  • Ambitions – let’s look forward to the future of Student Services, drawing on all we’ve learned and the connections we’ve made. What are our strategic ambitions as Student Services leaders? How can we leverage the high-profile attention on our work this year to establish innovative approaches and responsive services that enhance and develop students? Let’s consider how we further establish ourselves as positive, proactive leaders, developing skills and finding solutions.

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What are the session formats?

There are two session formats that you can propose:

  • Workshops – AMOSSHE particularly welcomes proposals for interactive workshops that encourage delegates to take part in activities, such as group work, contributing ideas, experience and best practice. Feedback from our previous conferences shows that workshop sessions are the most popular and useful for delegates. Workshop sessions last for 60 minutes. If you begin your workshop with a short presentation, this should take no more than 20 minutes, and the main content should involve audience participation. Workshops could take the form of facilitated discussions and/or case study scenarios.
  • Presentations – You can propose to make a presentation about a subject of interest to Student Services professionals, aligned to the conference themes. Your presentation session should be 30 minutes long, including at least 5 minutes for questions and answers. The presentation should be engaging and informative, preferably with a slideshow that can be distributed to members later.

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How do I deliver my session virtually?

You will deliver your session using an online virtual meeting tool such as Zoom or Vimeo. AMOSSHE will supply the software access and any training you may require to deliver your session in the best way possible. You will need a device such as a laptop or tablet to run the software, which is equipped with a camera and microphone. You will also need reliable broadband access for the duration of your session and a quiet space in which to present or record your session.

For workshop sessions you need to provide opportunities for delegates to contribute, get involved and network. For example, you can use breakout rooms to put delegates into small discussion groups. You can also use tools such as polling, word clouds and other interactive features available through Mentimeter, Beekast, Slido and suchlike.

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Can I pre-record my session?

If you're proposing a presentation session you can choose to pre-record your session. As this is a virtual conference, we can pre-record your session on a day and time that works best for you, for broadcast during the event at an agreed time. On the day of the conference we ask all speakers to attend our delegate Q&A after your recording.

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How many speakers can take part in a session?

Session lengths are shorter for this virtual conference than they would be at a physical venue. This is to help ease screen fatigue for both delegates and speakers. Also, leading a session in a virtual format reduces the amount of interaction you can have with delegates, so it is more difficult to keep delegates engaged for longer periods.

Therefore the amount of screen time available for each speaker is limited. Your session can have as many co-presenters as you want, but please consider whether the number of co-presenters is appropriate for your session. For example, if your session is a presentation, more than two presenters will mean that each person’s contribution is very limited.

Session leaders and co-presenters do not need to register as conference delegates in order to lead their session. However, anyone who wants to take part in other sessions at the conference must register as a paying delegate.

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Who can submit a proposal?

AMOSSHE welcomes session proposals from organisations and individuals across the higher education sector, including AMOSSHE named members, colleagues at AMOSSHE member organisations, other education providers, and not-for-profit organisations.

Corporate organisations who want to introduce or promote products and services to delegates can take part in the conference as sponsors. Sponsorship packages include an opportunity to lead a 30 minute presentation showcase of your products and services as part of the conference programme. Find out more here: Support AMOSSHE.

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Why should I submit a proposal?

The AMOSSHE National Conference needs the imaginative input of AMOSSHE members and the broader sector in order to be truly relevant and productive for Student Services professionals. Your participation shapes the agenda and ensures that the conference is relevant, useful, and inspiring.

Leading a workshop or presenting your work at our conference is a good way to explore new ideas, get feedback on your work, develop your professional confidence and standing, and start new discussions. For Student Services professionals, being part of the AMOSSHE National Conference programme is a prestigious professional development opportunity. You can raise your personal profile, draw attention to your work, benefit from peer perspectives, and develop new networks of colleagues with similar interests and areas of expertise.

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Can I get help with my proposal idea?

If you have an idea for a session proposal, but you’re not sure how to develop it – for example, whether to make it a workshop or presentation, or how to align it to the conference themes – please get in touch! Email the AMOSSHE National Office team at info@amosshe.org.uk for help and advice.

If you’re an AMOSSHE member, you can also rely on your network of Student Services peers to help develop or co-present a session. Email the network at AMOSSHE@jiscmail.ac.uk or log in to post on our discussion forum.

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How do I submit a proposal?

You can submit a proposal as follows:

  1. Download this form: session proposal form (docx 138 KB).
  2. Fill in the form and save it.
  3. Email the form to info@amosshe.org.uk.

Please submit your proposal for consideration by 17:00 on Monday 12 April 2021.

AMOSSHE will give you feedback about your proposals no later than week commencing 26 April 2021.

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How many proposals can I submit?

You can submit as many session proposals for consideration as you like. For each one, please submit a separate form.

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How does AMOSSHE decide which proposals to accept?

The conference team will carefully consider all session proposals, and choose the successful proposals by asking the following questions:

  • Is the session engaging, informative, inspiring?
  • Is the session relevant to Student Services professionals and current priorities for the sector?
  • Does the session engage with the conference themes?
  • Will the session contribute to AMOSSHE members’ continuing professional development?

Your session proposal should answer these questions satisfactorily.

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What happens if my proposal is accepted?

The AMOSSHE National Office team will let you know whether your proposal is successful no later than week commencing 26 April 2021. If your session proposal is accepted, the conference team will give you feedback about your proposal, and may make suggestions to further enhance the session.

We’ll arrange a meeting to familiarise you with the conference software in advance, and pre-record your session if required.

We’ll also discuss and agree with you an advance date for you to send a copy of your completed presentation and any other session materials. These materials will be made available in the members’ area of this website following the conference, unless there are particular issues of confidentiality or inaccuracy that would make this inappropriate.

Our intention is to record all conference sessions and to make as many of them as possible available to delegates afterwards. AMOSSHE may also make the recordings available to AMOSSHE members securely at a later date (but never publicly). If your session proposal is accepted, the conference team will ask you to consent to use the recording of your session in this way.

Session leaders and co-presenters do not need to register as conference delegates in order to lead their session. However, anyone who wants to take part in other sessions at the conference must register as a paying delegate.

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Where can I find more information?

For more information about the AMOSSHE National Conference 2021 and submitting a session proposal, please contact us or look here: AMOSSHE National Conference 2021.

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