AERA Releases Summary Report of External Review of 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting

September 2021

Following the AERA 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting, AERA leadership engaged the Center for Applied Research (CFAR) to conduct an independent performance assessment to evaluate what contributed to the virtual meeting’s underperformance and to determine what could be improved for future meetings.

The performance assessment included data collection from meeting participants, AERA staff and association leaders, and leaders of other associations that held virtual meetings. The analysis showed that the online platform failed and a confluence of factors limited AERA’s capacity to mitigate the platform’s underperformance.

Specific recommendations have been provided to the Council, and AERA members can access the Summary Report: External Review of the 2021 Annual Meeting on the AERA website to review the report’s key findings and recommendations.

“The poor performance of the virtual Annual Meeting platform and cascading technological issues were regrettable and not reflective of AERA’s high standards,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine. “We are committed to learning from this experience and have already begun implementing the report’s recommendations to ensure all future AERA online user experiences meet or exceed expectations. We sincerely appreciate our members’ feedback and support throughout this evaluation process.”

In light of the current COVID situation, AERA staff and Council have turned their attention to a possible hybrid format with an online component for the 2022 Annual Meeting. Members will be kept informed about any decisions that would alter plans for a fully place-based meeting.