Organizer Handbok

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BBL Organizer Handbook

Here are guidelines for HCIL BBL organizers.


  • MAIN RULE: a MAX on 1/3 of the BLLs should be given by external speakers.The focus of the other 2/3 should be HCILers discussing current work. It's hard to say no to an additional request... so In doubt, ask or cc: the HCIL director. Outside speakers need to have a official host (usually a faculty).
  • Ideally ~ 1/3 of talk should be given by students discussing new or ongoing projects to get early feedback and ideas.
  • Send reminders to HCIL on Monday and Wednesday
  • Always CC the speaker in your talk announcement emails (at least one of them). This serves two purposes: one, it helps remind the speaker. Two, many times recipients will want contact information for the speaker and this is an easy way to share that.
  • For external speakers send an additional reminder ~one or two weeks before their scheduled talk and make sure they confirm. I would also follow-up with them a day or two before their visit to the HCIL to double check if they need anything, confirm address/directions, etc.
  • Occasionally you may want to set up a google doc spreadsheet when speakers ask to meet people in the lab. Sometimes the faculty host will do this, but they sometimes ask us to do it, too.
  • All external speakers need to have a HCIL faculty host that is present at the time of the talk, so we don’t end-up with unknown speakers coming out of the blue to talk at the BBL.


  • We start and stop in time.
  • At the start: Introduce yourself and ask if anyone has announcements? e.g. You can announce the next BBL speaker.
  • Give a shout-out to any sponsor that would have paid for lunch (if any) e.g. it was Yahoo! for a while (NOT THE CASE as of spring 2017)
  • Once in a while go around the room for introductions (but it takes a LOT of time - like 10 minutes, so don't do that often. An alternative is to ask who is from the iSchool, CS, Education, and then ask what other departments are represented (e.g. Art, Engineering, etc)
  • Introduce the speaker briefly - or ask the faculty host if they want to introduce their external speaker.
  • If the speaker goes too long, try to stop at 1:30pm anyway. You can say something like "We like to stop in time and understand some people have to leave but encourage others to stay longer and continue the discussion with the speaker. Thank you [speaker]" Then start the APPLAUDS


we want them to be as clean and professional looking as possible. These emails go out to many professionals outside of the lab in addition to our own members, so it's important to show that we're organized and professional. :) It's totally fine to copy-paste stuff from the wiki (that's what I did, too), just make sure that you clear the formatting and clean things up before sending it out to everyone.

For example, this:

This week's HCIL Brown Bag Lunch (BBL) will feature John Wilbanks, Chief Commons Officer at Sage Bionetworks. His talk is titled:Using Human Centered Design to Make Informed Consent Actually Inform

should really look like this (notice formatting and punctuation fixes):

You can do this by clicking on the A icon in Gmail, and then at the far right there's a symbol (Tx) that deletes all the previous formatting of the text so you can re-format it however way you like.

Additionally, make sure that every email includes the Abstract and Bio of the speaker. For example, I read this email, and it was great to have a bio, but I don't remember what the abstract was from your previous emails. The last email has the abstract, but no bio. Make sure you keeps things consistent by including both in every email. Below is a sample of the emails I sent out last year, to give you an idea of what the emails should look like. Let me know if you guys need any help with anything in the future! :) Also I know this seems incredibly picky, and I know it's terribly annoying to do, but I think little things like this help us develop our image as a top-tier lab.

SAMPLE: This week's HCIL Brown Bag Lunch (BBL) will feature Tamara (Tammy) Clegg, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland iSchool & Education. Her talk is titled: Scientizing Daily Life with New Social, Mobile, & Ubiquitous Technologies.

Time: 4/28 (Thursday) from 12:30-1:30pm Place: HCIL (2105 Hornbake, South Wing)

Abstract: How can new technologies help learners begin to see the world through scientific lenses (i.e., scientize their lives)? In this talk I will discuss my research team’s current work in understanding and promoting learners scientific disposition development through technology-supported life-relevant science learning experiences. In the Science Everywhere project, June Ahn, Jason Yip, and our amazing graduate students are designing a social media app and interactive community displays to help entire neighborhoods in low-SES contexts scientize their daily life experiences together. I will describe an initial analysis of learners’ and their families’ interactions with the Science Everywhere mobile app that informs our understanding of ways new mobile technologies can promote learners’ scientizing across contexts. I will also provide an initial look at our work on designing and integrating large community displays in these neighborhood contexts.

Bio: Tamara “Tammy” Clegg is an assistant professor in the College of Education with a joint appointment in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. She received her PhD in Computer Science at Georgia Tech in 2010 and her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from North Carolina State University in 2002. From 2010-2012 Clegg was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Maryland with the Computing Innovations Fellows program. Her work focuses on developing technology and learning experiences to support life-relevant learning environments where children and communities engage in science in the context of achieving goals relevant to their lives. Clegg uses participatory design to design these new technologies. Her current projects include the design of a social media app and connected community displays called Science Everywhere to engage entire neighborhoods (i.e., learners, teachers, parents, informal educators) in science inquiry connected across community contexts. Additionally, she is working on the design of interactive self-sensing wearables called BodyVis (and supporting learning experiences) that display the dynamic inner-workings of the wearer’s anatomy. Clegg is also co-PI on a project called NatureNet focused on engaging diverse adult communities in community-driven environmental projects with mobile apps and community technologies. These projects are funded by the NSF Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies and Advancing Informal Science Learning (AISL) programs.

You can view the BBL schedule at:

Leyla and Austin (with edits from others) 2015-16 HCIL BBL Coordinators