We started off IPSEC 2015 with a "rolling panel," that had a new panelist joining the stage every 5 minutes to keep conversation lively. At IPSEC 2016 this was modified into a "circular panel" that brought the first panelists to leave the stage at the beginning back at the end, giving everyone equal time. What was left to do at IPSEC 2017? "Moderator Stage Right" took the idea of a rolling panel a step further by getting the moderator involved in the mix. Simply put, take the straightforward panel set up of a moderator at a podium and three panelists at a table, and every 10 minutes the moderator steps off the stage, the closest panelist takes the podium, and everyone moves over one seat to make way for a new panelist joining the stage. This worked to keep the session moving in a very literal sense, and it ensured that multiple perspectives on an overarching topic were given their due. This would be tricky to pull off with panelists/moderators that are completely unfamiliar with each other, and it does require an additional layer of choreography and thoughtful preparation. For all of that extra work you get even less control over the final result...but an entertaining show that does send a good message about respecting the many voices of expertise already in the room. Quick tip: the outgoing moderator should introduce the incoming panelist. It helps to leave a cheat sheet at the podium to help each moderator with this. Below you'll find a rudimentary Excel document that has the math worked out for various numbers of moderators and panelists.
EvalFest is funded by the National Science Foundation, Award #1423004 and administered by Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Principal Investigators: Todd Boyette, Morehead Planetarium and Science Center; Karen Peterman, Karen Peterman Consulting; Katherine Nielsen, UCSF Science and Health Education Partnership