2014 AERA Annual Meeting Attendees Provide Continued Favorable Feedback

November 2014 

Each year, AERA’s president and Annual Meeting program chair, along with the program committees of the divisions and SIGs and the central office staff, work hard to develop and implement an Annual Meeting program that features high-quality education research.

In collaboration with the Annual Meeting Policies and Procedures Committee and the Research Advisory Committee, AERA currently conducts three data-collection efforts to gain insight about participants’ and attendees’ experiences and satisfaction with the meeting: a general survey of all Annual Meeting attendees, a chair information form that all chairs are required to complete, and a survey of attendees at a stratified random sample of Annual Meeting sessions. For 2014, response rates were 33.3% for the general survey of all attendees, 63.0% for the chair information form, and 38.7% for the survey of session attendees.

Satisfaction With Overall Quality and Substance

This year’s general survey of all Annual Meeting attendees found that a large percentage of attendees remain satisfied with the meeting (Figure 1). The majority of respondents in 2014 indicated that they were either very satisfied (36.9%) or satisfied (49.6%) with the overall quality and substance of the meeting, percentages similar to those seen in surveys from other recent annual meetings. An additional 11.8% of respondents in 2014 indicated that they were somewhat satisfied. 

Satisfaction With Meeting Services

Attendees also remain satisfied with meeting services overall, including express pass registration, on-site registration, the exhibit hall, Wi-Fi access, the information services desk, and the headquarters office, among others. In 2014, 93.7% of respondents indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with these aspects of the Annual Meeting.

Satisfaction With Presenters, Sessions, and Discussants

AERA Annual Meeting chairs in 2014 gave high marks to the presenters, sessions, and discussants. The vast majority of chairs said that questions posed by the audience/attendees were addressed directly (98.7%), that there was enough time for questions and interaction (91.0%), that the discussants had a good understanding of the papers’ content (97.9%), and that the discussants presented a fair and constructive view of the papers (96.8%).

Satisfaction With Symposia and Paper Sessions

Session attendees expressed high levels of satisfaction with symposia and paper sessions. When asked to rate the relevance of presentations in these types of sessions to the field of education research, 92.4% of symposium attendees and 92.8% of paper session attendees ranked this aspect as a 4 or a 5, on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 was strongly disagree and 5 was strongly agree. And when asked whether the presentations made significant contributions to education research, 84.5% of symposium attendees and 79.5% of paper session attendees indicated a 4 or a 5.

Satisfaction With Poster and Roundtable Sessions

Poster sessions and roundtable sessions also received positive ratings from attendees, although for most questions slightly lower marks than for symposia and paper sessions. For example, on the same scale of 1 to 5, 90.3% of poster session attendees and 88.3% of roundtable session attendees indicated a 4 or a 5 when asked whether the presenters in the session demonstrated high content knowledge. On a particularly positive note, 78.7% of all respondents to the 2014 survey of all Annual Meeting attendees said that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the roundtable session format, up from 61.0% in 2013.

This year’s data collection efforts indicate that the quality of the Annual Meeting remains strong and that the vast majority of respondents are satisfied with the experience of attending and/or participating in the meeting. The data gathered about this year’s meeting will help AERA continue to provide high-quality annual meetings that advance education research and provide an enriching experience for presenters and attendees.