Sessions for Interaction and Engagement


UPDATE: Review decisions have been announced. Users can log into their ConfTool account to view decisions and feedback. iConference registration is now open.


2019 SIE Call

Sessions for Interaction and Engagement (SIE) are activities that involve participants as more than a passive audience, such as by:

  • introducing engaging topics that invite commentary from the participants, or
  • being directly engaging, through search contests, design sessions, hackathons, creativity spaces, or sessions that invite the participants to vote on, for example, ethical issues or policy ramifications, and then to talk more about the issues raised, or
  • providing a space for learning, reflection, and relationship-building through interactive installations or exhibitions.

SIEs are some of the most well-attended and vibrant parts of the program. Installations also fall under the SIE umbrella. Given the number of intellectual communities involved, conference attendees will value sessions that provide engaging ways to explore and illuminate research issues and opportunities from across these many and often overlapping scholarly communities.

SIEs typically span one 90-minute session. However, proposals that span two or even three sessions will be considered if the format so warrants. For example, imagine two sessions held a few days apart so participants can be introduced to a situation or goal (e.g. analysis of a large data set, or interpretations of a video clip) and later meet to share their results and compare approaches.

We encourage creative activities that involve the attendees and generate both experiences and thoughtful reflection. Sessions that draw from alternative and emerging research paradigms are also welcomed, such as arts-informed and participatory approaches or contemplative education. We further encourage proposers to consider what outputs such as videos, artifacts and writings might come from an SIE experience to further emphasize engagement. Although traditional panel presentations are acceptable, SIEs are primarily about going beyond the traditional “sage on the stage” format. So think broadly! Research through design, online education, games with a purpose, privacy-confidentiality-security, information visualization, large-scale data, bio-health-medical-informatics, and many more topics are possible.


Submission: October 1, 2018
Notification: mid-November, 2018

Submission Guidelines

We are looking for creative, interesting, interactive activities that move people’s thinking, reflection, and creation of new ideas/things forward. The proposal should use the format listed below under “Format and Required information.” It should list the organizers and the key participants, the purpose, the activities planned, and any follow-on activities as appropriate.

The proposal will be reviewed by the SIE Co-Chairs and a committee of their choosing, in conjunction with the program chairs. Attention will be given to the quality and organization of content, justification of the format, evidence of interactivity and participation, and opportunities for learning and reflection that matter. We will provide feedback to those we accept and are happy to work with accepted SIE organizers to ensure a successful event. Accepted proposals will be archived to the conference website after the event.

For more information and inspiration, we encourage you to review the official proceedings and summaries of past iConferences. In particular, we call your attention to recent successful SIE proposals:

Format and Required Information

SIE proposals will be submitted in writing using our ConfTool submission system. All submissions must be in English and submitted as a pdf. The following format should be used.

Title: Event title

Organizer(s): Names and affiliations of all organizers

Key Participants: Names and affiliations of those who will be the main contributors, if appropriate. (Please note that all organizers, presenters, and speakers are expected to register and pay to attend the iConference.)

Abstract: A 150-word abstract to be published in the program schedule.

Description: A description of the event of up to 1,000 words, addressing each of the following:

  • Purpose and Intended Audience: Please state the audience to which your event is designed to appeal and the goals and/or expected outcomes for your event.
  • Proposed activities including agenda, ramp-up (development), and follow-through: Describe how your event will be organized. The format is up to you: we welcome creative ideas for lively events of all kinds. To advance beyond “sage on the stage,” explain the strategies you will use to engage session attendees. Also, please comment if you plan to prepare a report, proceedings, wiki, or website to disseminate the results of your event as follow-up.
  • Relevance to the Conference/Significance to the Field: Briefly state the focus of your proposal topic and note the importance, relevance, value, and/or interest to the broad iSchool community. Provide a brief explanation of how this event will appeal to the audience both with respect to content and format.

Duration: Indicate the number of 90-minute sessions your event will require.

Special Requirements: The iConference typically does not provide funding for SIEs. If your proposed event has technical or logistical requirements with budget ramifications, you must articulate them clearly for consideration by the chairs.

If you have questions or ideas that need help being fleshed out, please feel free to contact the SIE Chairs listed below.

SIE Chairs


Questions about Sessions for Interaction and Engagement should be directed to the SIE Chairs listed above.

For general questions about the iConference, please contact iConference Coordinator Clark Heideger.



The University of Maryland College Park in collaboration with Syracuse University and the University of Maryland Baltimore County.


Our thanks to the following for their sponsorship of iConference 2019.

Learn how you can become an iConference sponsor.

Papers Publisher

Accepted papers will be published in Springer’s Lecture Notes in Computer Science


  • For general questions about the iConference, including sponsorships, please contact iSchools Communications Director Clark Heideger.

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