Choosing a Program Title
The program title is your first opportunity to invite the reader to your program. An effective title encourages the reader to review the abstract; a poorly written title can cause the reader to dismiss the program.
Do not repeat the program theme in your title verbatim; it is the concept of the theme, not the words which make a successful session submission. Themed titles will be edited significantly.
If appropriate, a program title
- Identifies the scope, sequence and/or level of the program content
- Identifies sponsors or specific group presenting
- Identifies potential target audiences
Writing the Program Abstract
The abstract is a brief description of your presentation that provides the reader with an accurate picture of what the presentation will cover. It will be included in the online schedule, as well as the conference mobile app.
Well-written abstracts identify the purpose and intent of the program, are concise, organized and specific. Additionally, effective abstracts begin with the most important information or thought. Defining unfamiliar abbreviations and acronyms is helpful to the reader.
If appropriate, an effective abstract
- Summarizes the content and activities of the presentation
- Distinguishes the program format (e.g. group discussion)
- Explains instruments or other research or technology tools
- Clarifies special programs which may not be familiar to NASPA members
- Designates the scope, sequence and/or level of the program content
- Names the potential target audiences
The Program Description
The program description provides an in-depth look at the content of the proposed presentation.
Program reviewers rely on a well-written description to enhance their understanding of the content and goals of the presentation. A complete description includes background information, an overview of the presentation, and a description of the format. If the program is reporting research, a description of methods, findings and recommendations may be appropriate.
Effective Learning Outcomes
Having clearly defined goals and outcomes for your presentation will clarify your expectations, will make it easier for you to check for understanding and competency achieved by your participants, and will help the participants stay focused and engaged. It will also help participants as they carry their new skills/knowledge back to their campuses to put into practice.
Consider writing outcomes that span the full range of cognitive processes, as described in Bloom's Revised Taxonomy (Remembering, Understanding, Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating, Creating).
- What are the goals of your presentation?
- What specific skills and/or knowledge will the participants gain from their experience?
- Will they have some tangible evidence of their time with you?
Stuck on writing learning objectives? Try the prompts below…
- Participants will practice specific skills of…
- Participants will leave with tangible resources for future reference, including:…
- Participants will use case studies to evaluate…
- Participants will evaluate the strengths and challenges of…
Sample Program Submissions
Below are several sample programs that were accepted in past years.