A Note from Jordan Troisi, the ACT Director (posted July 3, 2020)
It is with a heavy heart that I write you today. I am saddened to report that we will be unable to host an in-person version of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology’s Annual Conference on Teaching (ACT) this October 8-10. For reasons that will be detailed at greater length below, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have made it impossible for us to convene––or reconvene––this year, an experience that I know many of us cherish.
Instead of our in-person gathering this fall, we will be hosting a virtual version of ACT ("Virtual ACT"). Before delving into the details of what that means for ACT and what that means for you, let me first speak from the heart a bit. These are hard times for higher education, for our country, and for the people we all care about. These are hard times for those of us who have helped to make the very difficult decisions related to ACT this fall. These are hard times for me, too. As many of you know, this fall’s ACT will be the last one for which I serve as the Director. And I’ll say now what has become the clichéd refrain of the last 5 months: “this is not how I wanted this to go.” This is not how I wanted ACT 2020 to go, and this is not how I wanted to go out when it comes to ACT. I will probably say more about this at a later date, but please understand that this was not a decision that we, or I, have taken lightly. On the contrary, it is a decision that weighed so heavily on me.
Rationale for moving to Virtual ACT
There are many factors that contributed to our decision to move ACT into the virtual realm. Here are just a few:
What the future holds for ACT 2020
It would be impossible to recreate a normal ACT in a virtual form. So much of what’s valuable at ACT happens in the interpersonal domain in a physical space: the conversations with colleagues before or after symposia, the chance meetings in the hallways, the discussions that continue well into the evening. Successful conference events are people-focused, and that looks quite a bit different––but not impossible––with a virtual approach. We are planning a Virtual ACT that will still serve the major goals we have for ACT, but through a different pathway.
Here are the types of programming that we anticipate will be a part of virtual ACT 2020 (please note, circumstances may require these to change):
Procedures and the pathway forward
Those of you receiving this message may fit into many different roles. We hope to clarify what this change in ACT means to you with the information below, and in the weeks to come when we unveil more details, but please let us know if you have any questions:
In the coming weeks, we will have more details about these pathways forward. But we wanted to communicate this information with you now, so that you know what’s ahead. We look forward to working with you, hearing from you, and constructing a Virtual ACT that we can all be proud of. Thank you, as always, for being such delightful and hardworking colleagues.
ACT is the flagship conference of Division 2 of the American Psychological Association (The Society for the Teaching of Psychology). ACT is scheduled for October 8-10, 2020.
Beginning with a welcome reception on the evening of Thursday October 8, then proceeding with two full days of conference events, ACT convenes college and secondary educators, particularly within the field of psychology, for symposia and demonstrations of best practices in teaching and the scholarship of teaching and learning.
Represent a business or organization interested in partnering with ACT? Reach out to the Conference Director, Jordan Troisi at firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.