Guidelines: Special Sessions

Date Due Friday, September 1, 2017
Time Due 23:59 AoE (Baker Island, UTC-12h)
Submission Limits 2 pages
Duration 75 minutes
Submission Link EasyChair
Notification to Authors Sunday, October 22, 2017
Camera-Ready Copy Monday, December 11th
Camera-Ready Instructions @ Sheridan Publishing

What Is A Special Session?

Special sessions are your opportunity to customize and experiment with the SIGCSE conference format. Special sessions should NOT replicate existing SIGCSE session formats (i.e., panels, paper presentations, and poster sessions). They are scheduled in standard conference spaces. Within these constraints, the form is yours to design.

For example, a special session might be a tutorial or seminar, a committee report, a curricular or accreditation forum, a rapid-fire sequence of five-minute talks, or a hands-on demo of dance moves proven to improve retention of CS material.

Possible topic areas include management of large classes, projects and assignments, teaching computer science in K-12, experiments on collaborative learning, report of an ACM committee addressing issues at two-year colleges, or special issues arising when teaching computing outside of North America.

Special session proposal review is NOT blind. Criteria used in reviewing the proposals will include the likely level of interest in the session and the suitability and feasibility of the proposed format to its topic. If the proposal is accepted, all presenters listed in the special session description will be required to register for the conference and to participate in the session.

How Should The Proposal Be Formatted?

The paper is limited to a maximum of 2 pages and must adhere to ACM’s publication guidelines:

The following modifications and exceptions apply:

  • Do not include an abstract. Instead, the first section should be titled Summary and should provide a summary of the session.

  • Subsequent sections should contain the following information:

  • Overall objective of the session: Describe the topic of the special session and explain how the session will be organized (e.g., as a committee report, tutorial, hands-on exercise, …). Indicate why the proposed session is important.

  • Outline of the session: Organize this section by subtopics, activities, or a similar scheme. If more than one participant is involved, label each section of the outline with the name of the participant who will be presenting that section. Note that in the case of a committee report, the presenters might be a subset of the authors.

    We suggest that you allow at least 40 - 50% of the time for questions and answers or other interaction with the attendees.

  • Expectations: State the intended audience. Indicate how much the session will cover and what the audience should learn. This is particularly important if your proposed special session is a tutorial. If feedback from the audience is desired, indicate how it will be elicited.

  • Suitability for a special session: Include a brief description that justifies the inclusion of this presentation as a special session. Explain why the proposed presentation is better suited for a special session than a paper or panel.

  • References where appropriate are encouraged, but not required. If they are included, they should be placed in a separate section titled References and should follow the formatting guidelines.

If accepted, the special session description will be allocated 2 pages in the conference proceedings and must adhere to the formatting guidelines specified above. To facilitate the transition from proposal to camera-ready copy, it is critical that authors adhere closely to the formatting specifications and page limits.

Sample Proposal

How Do I Submit My Proposal?

Write your submission using the format specified above.

Convert your paper into Adobe PDF format. Refer to our Creating Adobe PDF Documents page page for assistance.

A PDF version of your submission should be uploaded using the online submission system - EasyChair.

Submit the PDF version of your submission using the appropriate template. Please do not wait until the last minute to submit your documents because that is when everyone else will be connecting to our server!

Make note of the proposal ID number and password assigned to your submission. You will receive an e-mail message confirmation. Spam filters sometimes trap these automatically generated messages so you may need to check your spam trap for the confirmation and later, acceptance or rejection notification.

After receiving confirmation, go to the submission site to review your submission for accuracy. Send e-mail to the chair(s) (see below) if there are any problems.

By SIGCSE policy, all contributors are required to register, attend and present a special session. See our full policy for more information.


If you have questions about anything discussed above, please contact the Panels and Special Sessions Chair.