(Hybrid) SIGCSE TS 2022 Reflection

What Happened

Responsibility mainly drove the sessions I attended rather than interest. During the pre-symposium on Wednesday, I attended an all-morning Peer Teaching Summit that I helped organize. The focus is on facilitating discussion among college teachers about undergrad teaching assistants (UTAs). We also had UTAs present to contribute. During the symposium, I was a panelist on “Technology we can’t live without! (Covid-19 edition).” I attended one special session as an attendee just out of interest, but otherwise, I gave up on attending anything outside of my hybrid chair responsibilities.

How much time did this all take?

So first, I track how much time I work to the 15-minute increment. So some wiggle room and rounding errors are happening. And yes, I also know this is unusual, but this helps me understand how much time I spend on things and helps me better predict how much a commitment actually takes. Finally, I was a committee of one, so I don’t think things will take nearly as much of my time for SIGCSE TS 2023 because the hybrid committee is now four people.

Bar chart total hours vs weeks. It spans -25 to 22, one bar per week. Week 0 is the tallest at over 40 hours.

Things I want to do differently

My quick thoughts on what I want to do differently (and that I’m already doing) are to spread out the tasks across my committee, front-load what I can, be judicious in what we do, and make decisions that will reduce our workload closer to the symposium. The Hybrid committee now consists of the Authors’ Corner Chair, Online Experience Chair, and the Junior and Senior Hybrid Experience Co-Chairs. This delineation of responsibilities makes it possible to compartmentalize some of what is going on. So I don’t need to be aware and keep track of it. For front-loading, over the summer, we experimented with some platforms and processes on how to run Authors’ Corner. This experimentation gave the Authors’ Corner chair ideas for running things. We also saw demos and decided on a platform that also serves the Authors’ Corner needs, reducing the overhead of running Authors’ Corner. Finally, I worked with the Program Chairs to try to have presenters commit as early as possible to their presentation modality. And we all agreed that changing modality should be due to a last-minute, out-of-their-control situation. Last-minute changes will happen. And we will plan for it, but hopefully, this will reduce the number of last-minute changes that caused a massive headache and workload for TS 2022.

Conclusion

I am not going to lie. It was a crazy time. But not so crazy that I wouldn’t do it again, partially because I firmly believe that the symposium needs to be hybrid and if I can help cement that into the symposium, I will. In fact, I agreed to stick around for 2024 as the “past chair,” though my goal will be to just serve as the historical memory and not an active organizer. Hybrid needs to survive without me, after all.

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Kristin Stephens-Martinez

Kristin Stephens-Martinez

Assistant Professor of the Practice in Computer Science at Duke University