Category Archives: Conference

SIGUCCS Presentation Formats

SIGUCCS offers a number of different presentation formats. How do I know which format will best share my material with the community to suggest when I submit my proposal? SIGUCCS has an opportunity for everyone!

The most common option is the standard presentation. This is what you typically think of when you think of a conference presentation. Its pretty standard – at the conference, you have an hour long time slot in which to give your presentation and answer questions of your attendees. This is likely the best option if you’d like to tell the story of a project or experience from start to finish, covering the inception, planning, execution and results. It also is a format that excels at highlighting a particular process. This format involves writing a short (2-6 page) paper that outlines your presentation prior to the conference. The cool part is that this paper gets published in the ACM digital library. For information about the paper process, see this article.

If you have colleagues at other institutions that you partnered with to accomplish great work, or you have consulted while working on similar projects and many of you are planning to attend, suggest a panel presentation. This is a presentation format where each member of the panel would present their perspectives on a common topic and discuss similarities and differences in approaches. The audience benefits from multiple perspectives. This presentation type takes the variety of school sizes and types which make the SIGUCCS community so valuable and puts them on a stage together. Not sure how to find co-presenters? Use the SIGUCCS-L email list! If you are not a member, join today ( A paper is optional for this type of presentation.   

If you have a great process to share and it can be an interactive session, submit a proposal for a facilitated discussion. This type of session allows you the flexibility to present for a few minutes before asking the attendees to get involved. You may ask attendees to work together, brainstorm solutions, etc. You become the moderator/facilitator of the session after introducing the topic. At the end, everyone comes away learning something. A paper is also optional for this type of presentation.

Don’t want to present to a large group? Submit a proposal for a poster. The poster session provides you an opportunity to discuss your topic/project one-on-one with other attendees. This format also involves writing a short (2-6 page) paper. For more information about the poster session and how beneficial this can be to you and your career, visit the Present a Poster article.

And what the heck is a lightning talk? This is a very short presentation – 7 minutes. Lightning talks are arranged around a common theme and generally cover a narrow portion of a topic, perhaps an anecdote about a particularly teachable support call, day or week. A reminder about the importance of MFA, a glimpse into how computer repair has changed with Apple’s adoption of soldering everything together or how to design a better process to reuse/recycle aging equipment are all great examples.  Writing a paper is optional for this type of presentation. Read more about lightning talks at this newsletter article.

While we understand the commitment that comes with writing a paper, this seems like a great opportunity to remind you that writing the paper also provides a great opportunity to collect your thoughts and start giving yourself some hard deadlines as you start preparing for the conference. Publishing your work also means you’re filling out your resume.

The Call for Proposals for SIGUCCS 2020 is open! This is your opportunity for presenting session talks, panel discussions, posters, and/or Lightning Talks during the conference. Submit by March 29, 2020

Communication Award Winner – Golf Cart Pedagogy

As instructional technologists and IT professionals, we often look for unique ways to capture our communities’ attention, competing with their ever-overloaded inboxes. We never expected that this oddball idea born from a lack of sleep and a lengthy car ride could take us from the narrow campus walkways to the bright lights of New Orleans, LA. Golf Cart Pedagogy, our higher-ed take on the popular hit Car Pool Karaoke, engages our College community.

Golf Cart on Campus

The core idea isn’t anything new: record and share interviews. We needed something different. At the time, it seemed like the strangest, silliest thing imaginable: take guests about campus on a humble, often-seen golf cart; drive around at super-slow, laughable speed; and converse about pedagogy, technology, and often humanity. Since its launch in April 2019, the ride-along has become an episodic campus cult classic, inviting guests from all walks of college life to share their experiences in higher education.

As we continued to see its popularity grow on campus, we were looking for a way to share the idea on a grander scale. On the encouragement of a colleague, we entered the first episode of Golf Cart Pedagogy for a SIGUCCS Communication Award. Honestly, the thought of others seeing our work from around the country was very exciting, yet scary. With a deep breath and a high-five, we decided to submit our work to SIGUCCS for consideration.

Then word came: we won a communications award for long format video. Imbued with the newfound pride and acceptance of our oddity, we really leaned full tilt into the silliness. And a little secret for those of you that know, one of the perks to winning this award is that you are given a poster session slot at the annual meeting to promote your work. Insert maniacal laugh… Our plan work for worldwide media domination began.

Golf Cart on Campus

As with most things we do, we find the most non-traditional way of going about it and commit fully. We turned our poster into the inside of a golf cart, and our session into a chance to interview our extended community of IT professionals. We even turned our session into an episode!

Reflecting back on our experience with SIGUCCS, we are left with fond memories, new friendships, and a wider view of higher ed. The real strength of a conference like the SIGUCCS annual conference is in the conversations and connections with a welcoming community of fellow professionals. We’re all able to come together, let our hair down (figuratively for some of us), and really dive deep into our institutional successes and opportunities. Furthermore, being an award winner allowed us to show off our inner rockstars for at least a few hours. This award now hangs with pride in our office and serves as a reminder that creativity and silliness do have a place in IT.

Anthony Dalton and Thomas Sciarrino
Muhlenberg College

What to Expect When You’re Proposing (a Conference Session)

After attending my first SIGUCCS I realized I wanted more, and getting more from my next conference meant putting more in. I needed to present! I had only recently started in higher education computing support and had no idea what to present or how to get started. I felt that a poster was a reasonable start to my professional presentation career and picked a project I worked on with a colleague to be sure I had a support network while preparing the poster. 

Eric Handler, 2020 Conference Program Co-chair
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SIGUCCS 2019 Conference Takeaway – Campus Experience for Online Classes

Bringing Campus Experience to Online Classes

Key problems in making the online experience “equivalent” to campus experience were the ability to have real time meetings, a good recording/streaming platform, and how to handle labs and specialty software. University of Oregon discussed the solutions that they implemented to support these three issues and how the platforms that they implemented provided a solution that satisfied their students and faculty.

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SIGUCCS 2019 Conference Takeaway – Accessibility

An A11yance: Approaches for Transferring Expertise to Build Accessibility Liaisons in the Campus Community

Rutgers University and Princeton University presented on their individual approaches to building accessibility awareness and expertise across their campuses.

Princeton University has a program in place to allow members of the university to get CPACC certified. These people become local experts to assist with accessibility questions within their departments. As part of this certification, they have a study group for people working on the certification class together. This includes quizzes and lunch and learn sessions.

Rutgers University uses a series of in-house training classes to educate staff within departments to become their accessibility liaisons. Additional resources are available through online offerings.

Continue reading SIGUCCS 2019 Conference Takeaway – Accessibility

SIGUCCS 2020 Conference Introductions – Dan Herrick

This article is part of a series introducing the SIGUCS 2020 Conference Committee. Each Committee member submitted answers to questions created by the SIGUCCS Marketing Committee.

Dan Herrick, IT Asset Manager at University of Colorado – Boulder, is the Executive Committee / SIGUCCS 2020 Conference Liaison.

Dan Herrick

How many SIGUCCS conferences have you attended?

Which previous SIGUCCS conference was your favorite, and why?
I have too many favorites! Some highlights: My first SIGUCCS conference (fall 2005), because I was introduced to this fabulous community and couldn’t wait to get back; my first SIGUCCS presentation at a conference (fall 2009), because it inspired me to challenge myself and share my experiences with my peers; my first conference as a conference committee member (fall 2017), because it gratified me to give back to the conference and elevated my level of participation. And, of course, the last one I attended (fall 2019), because it’s fresh in my mind and the experience just seems to get better each time!

How did you get involved as a volunteer in SIGUCCS?
I recognized that becoming part of the volunteer team helped me expand my networking reach, improve my organizational and planning skills, and gave me greater insight into what the SIGUCCS community values. Plus, I loved giving back a little something to the community that helps me grow!

What’s an accomplishment that you are especially proud of (personal or work-related)?
I’ll never forget the first major presentation I gave, which was at SIGUCCS 2009. It felt like I’d reached the next level to be accepted as a presenter. Before my presentation, I worried that I wouldn’t do it right, that no one would come, that it wouldn’t be interesting. As I walked into the room (late!), I saw that the room was full and even overflowing into the hallway. They’d all come to listen to ME. That was when I felt the flash of pride and humility at the same time: I was proud that they were there for my presentation, and humbled because I knew I was just one of them, doing my best to teach what I had learned.

You can always stop and talk to me about …
Personal productivity topics of all sorts, life hacks, science (especially cognition and eusocial superorganisms), and coffee.

For fun, I like to …
I love to explore new places, learn new things, and discover the depths in people. At conferences, you’ll find me doing all these things. I love tabletop gaming (all kinds, but not Monopoly). The art of coffee enjoyment. (I’ll happily demo a pourover coffee technique!)

SIGUCCS 2020 San Diego… what kind of hot sauce do you put on your tacos?
Depends on the taco; I go for complementary seasoning, not heat. Cholula and sriracha are among my faves.

SIGUCCS 2019 Conference Takeaway – Applying Design Thinking

Applying Design Thinking: Panel

How familiar are you with Design Thinking? Were you aware of the 5 steps (Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test)? Did you know you could apply design thinking to IT support? The team from Texas Woman’s University provided an overview of how they used problem solving and empathy to get to the heart of what their customers were needing.

Texas Woman's University Team
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