Reviewer Guidance

The following information is also available as a Google Doc or .PDF.

As a reviewer you will be assigned proposals to review, taking into account any reviewing preference you have expressed when you joined the Committee.

Proposal types

  • GASTA talk (5 min, concise, punchy talk, usually in the main auditorium)
  • Poster & GASTA talk (digital/print poster + 5 min lightning talk, usually in the main auditorium)
  • Research or practice presentation (20 min, with min.5 minutes for Q&A)
  • Reflective session (30 min, usually interactive and seeking feedback from participants)
  • Workshop, panels or demonstration (1 hour, usually BYOD for participants)

We ask authors that they should not submit proposals that have been published, presented or submitted elsewhere.

Review criteria

We review all submissions to ensure that we maintain the highest quality and include the broad range of learning technology research, practice and policy of interest to our participants.

Each proposal is reviewed by two members of the conference committee. We ask that authors to remove any information from their proposal that will identify them as the author, so that the review is conducted impartially.

Proposals are reviewed against the following criteria:

  1. Does it explain how the session relates to the chosen conference theme?
  2. Is it clearly written (i.e. acronyms are explained, and language appropriate for an international audience and from participants from different sectors)?
  3. Does it state what participants will gain from the session and why they should attend?
  4. Does it include details of what the session is based on, such as a particular project or initiative or practice? Does it critically reflect on this and evaluate it (i.e. state how many learners/staff are involved, what feedback was collected and how transferable your experience/findings/tools are)?
  5. If it is a commercial proposal, we ask that it meets all the above criteria and clearly states what products are being demonstrated or discussed and acknowledges the role of the company in the session.

How to write feedback for authors

The feedback you provide is sent to authors, so keep this in mind when writing your comments.

Be concise, sometimes a sentence or two is enough and we ask that feedback is as clear and specific as possible, referring directly to sentences or sections of the proposal that should be revised.

Here are tips from other reviewers:

  • Avoid praising or criticising the author(s), make sure all comments refer to the proposal. Rather than general comments, consider giving a few specific  points of positive feedback, followed by suggestions for change, which (as suggested below) should be focussed on what the author could do to improve the proposal.
  • Try to write feedback that you’d be happy to receive and that the authors can clearly action. Be positive in your language and constructive in your suggestions. rather than simply stating any problems that you identify or anticipate for the session, you can suggest changes/additions to the proposal that would improve it (particularly in line with the review criteria). For example: If you think a workshop proposal sounds more like a one-way presentation, you might say “This session  would benefit from more interaction; please include details of the ways participants will be invited to engage during the session”.
  • Remember that just because someone has done something in a different way than you would have done it, does not make them wrong. Please be respectful and be explicit about the nature of the advice you are giving. For example, are you offering suggestions for consideration (“the proposal could be enhanced by the inclusion of…”), or insisting on a problem being fixed (“this section is unclear and should be rewritten”)?
  • Keep in mind that our authors come from different sectors and backgrounds and English may not be their first language.

Review outcomes

Once you have reviewed the proposals against the criteria, you then choose one of the following outcomes:

Decision Description
Accept Accept the proposal with no changes, a strong proposal, everything is as it should be.
Accept with minor revisions Accept with minor changes, the proposal, with only minor changes: a strong proposal, but usually lacking in one aspect, for example too little reflection or information provided. Your feedback will be directly sent to the authors, so be as clear and detailed as you can be about what changes they should make.
Accept as different type Accept the proposal, but as a different type: use this option if you feel the proposal was submitted in the wrong format, i.e. it would be better as a short presentation or poster. In your feedback specify how the proposal needs to be revised in order to be accepted as a different type of session.
Recommend re-submission The proposal cannot be accepted, but you feel that it meets the criteria to a sufficient degree that it could be accepted if it was revised. Your feedback will be directly sent to the authors, so be as clear and detailed as you can be about what changes they should make.
Reject Reject the proposal if it is out of scope, of poor quality or otherwise fails to meet the criteria and you feel it cannot be improved sufficiently by making revisions.

Review timetable

As a reviewer you will receive requests to review via email (to the same address with which you signed up to the Conference Committee). We are developing a new review system this year, which will not require you to set up an account or sign in to OCS, which was previously the case.

Call for Proposals closes – 21 March 2019

  • Reviewing starts – 26 March 2019
  • Round 1 review deadline – 30 April 2019
  • Round 1 decisions to authors – 7 May 2019
  • Registration for authors opens – 7 May 2019

For proposals that require revision, the subsequent dates apply:

  • Round 2 review 21 May 2019
  • Round 2 decisions to authors 4 June 2019