Concurrent Sessions

Concurrent Sessions are presented by AIR members from various sectors. Topics range from reports of current research in higher education to examples of best practices from member offices.

Proposals to present a Concurrent Session are submitted during the Forum Call for Proposals. The Forum Committee reviews all proposals and selects sessions to be presented at Forum.


Sessions are available in the following formats:

  • Panel Session
    This is a presentation of a complex or broad topic by several discussants who are fully versed on the subject. Panelists will represent differing perspectives and contrasting views that will enrich understanding of the topic.
  • Poster Presentation
    This is a presentation of research or a project that uses exhibits to communicate its purpose and outcomes. Posters are displayed for approximately 24 hours and the presenter(s) are available during a scheduled 60-minute period to discuss the work and answer questions.
  • Research-in-Action Session
    This is a presentation designed to share professional work products, effective practices, innovative applications, and creative solutions in institutional research.
  • Scholarly Paper Session
    This is a presentation accompanied by a written paper explaining the issues, methodologies, and outcomes of a single topic. A scholarly paper may report the results of a research study, describe a methodological IR application, or explore a theoretical construct.
  • Table Topic Discussion
    This session is an informal, highly interactive discussion of a current topic or issue in the field. The presenter will provide focus to the conversation by using 5 discussion questions designed to encourage participants to contribute their ideas and relevant experiences.


Sessions are organized by tracks to help you design a schedule that meets your needs and interests.

  • Technology: Data Management, Warehousing, Internet, and Computers
    The Technology Track focuses on the technology used to achieve outcomes, with the outcomes themselves a secondary focus. Topics in this track include data management issues such as data storage and data dictionaries, data warehousing, data marts, and the technology involved in developing dashboard or scorecard sites and on-line fact books, and demonstrations of new technologies.
  • Analysis: Research Methods and Data Analysis
    The Analysis Track focuses on research methods, experimental design, survey techniques and response rates, and analytic methods (both qualitative and quantitative) that produce sound analyses for decision making. The use of national datasets or consortia data is included as well. The emphasis of this track is on the tool, methods, or sources used to arrive at a result, with the result itself of secondary importance.
  • Assessment: Accountability, Institutional Effectiveness, and Accreditation
    The Assessment Track encompasses the development and measurement of student learning outcomes, general education and academic program assessment studies, assessments of co-curricular offerings, analyses undertaken for accreditation review, strategic planning assessment, and the ties between assessment results and measuring institutional effectiveness.
  • Resources: Faculty, Finance, and Facilities
    The Resources Track focuses on faculty workload studies, salary equity for faculty and staff, staffing issues, strategic planning and budgeting, campus master plan development, economic impact studies, funding sources, faculty promotion and tenure studies, and analysis of benchmarking data related to faculty, finances, or facilities.
  • Students: Enrollment and Experience
    The Students Track includes studies of enrollment management, retention/graduation, student engagement, transfer, student and alumni satisfaction, demand for majors and programs, and co-curricular activities. Studies focusing on student financial aid practices and findings are included as well.
  • Collaboration: Communicating Inside and Outside the Institution
    The Collaboration Track focuses on strategic planning efforts, environmental scanning, providing reports and data to external entities such as federal and state/provincial governments, fact book and web portal content and delivery, and the mission and staffing of IR offices. Ethical considerations for institutional research are part of this track.