What is expected from individual in-class presentations (graduate students):

 

1) Your job in in-class presentations is to get the class thinking about the reading. Keep the presentation short. 10 minutes should be plenty of time. At 15 minutes, you'll be interrupted. You do NOT need to summarize the readings. Rather, focus on one or two key issues, answer some of my web-posted questions, and pose (and answer) a question or two of your own. If you have a critique or criticism of the reading, all the better. Brevity and clarity will be rewarded in presentation grades, as will interesting critiques that get the class thinking.

 

2) If you want to cover the reading comprehensively, email your notes or overheads to professor Rosenfeld, and he will post them on the class website.

 

3) Please do not read from notes, and please do not read from the text.

 

4) Assume that the class has done the reading.

 

5) Over the years, MS PowerPoint presentations have become more and more popular with students. While I have no objection to PowerPoint in principle, students should resist the temptation to hurry through 20 slides of sentence fragments and bullet points, adorned by bright colors and large fonts. Most presentations do not need multimedia to make their case. In addition, large powerpoint files with embedded graphics and pictures tend to be too unwieldy for me to post to my class website. See, for example, Edward Tufte’s The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint (2006, Second Edition, Graphics Press). See also this powerpoint parody: http://norvig.com/Gettysburg/

 

If you think you can give your presentation without PowerPoint, I encourage you to try. If you insist on PowerPoint I won’t hold it against you.

 

6) If you bring in outside sources (a book, an article, a movie clip) you have to explain the provenance of that source. Who created it and when, and for what audience? What kind of research (if any) was done to create the source? You need to treat all sources, especially the sources you introduce to the class (sources that your classmates may not have read or seen before) with a critical eye. Please do not assume that the source’s statement of facts or conclusions is correct. Every source has some kind of bias. There is nothing wrong with using biased or opinionated sources as long as you can explain what the bias is.

 

 

What is expected from section presentations (undergraduates and graduate students):

 

Every discussion section should be led by a small group of students whose job it is to present some interesting views or perspectives on some or all of the reading, and to challenge their section mates in interesting ways.

 

1) Your job as section presenters is to get the rest of the section thinking and talking about the reading.  Section presentations will be by 1-4 students. Since section is 75 minutes long, make sure you leave enough time for discussion among the rest of the section. You do not need to summarize the readings. Focus on key issues, answer some of my web-posted questions, and pose (and answer) some of your own questions. If the section presentation is done by more than one person, everyone in the group should participate somehow. If you have a creative or especially illustrative way of presenting an idea, you'll get some extra credit. Feel free to ask questions of your section mates, *but be sure that you have an answer in mind* so that you can steer the discussion. 35 minutes should be plenty of time for you and your group to present the material that you want to present. The second half of the section period will be devoted to a discussion among the students of the issues you and your group have raised, as well as issues that they want to raise.

 

2) If you want to cover the reading comprehensively, make a handout. Handouts that are especially useful should be emailed to professor Rosenfeld so he can share them with the rest of the class.

 

3) Grades for section presentations will be based on creativity, thoughtfulness, and how well you got the rest of your section mates involved. Ordinarily, everyone in the presentation group will receive the same grade. If you have a critique or criticism of the reading for the week, all the better.

 

4) Please do not read from notes, or read from underlined sections of the book

 

5) Assume that your section mates have done the reading. Your job is to draw their attention to what you think are the key points.

 

6) It can be very engaging to bring in outside sources to section, but note: If you bring in outside sources (a book, an article, a movie clip, a webpage, a slide show) you have to explain the provenance of that source. Who created it and when, and for what audience? What kind of research (if any) was done to create the source? What is the author or director’s point of view? You need to treat all sources, especially the sources you introduce to the class (sources that your classmates may not have read or seen before) with a critical eye. Please do not assume that the source’s statement of facts or conclusions is correct. Every source has some kind of bias. There is nothing wrong with using biased or opinionated sources (in fact such sources can be especially entertaining and illuminating) as long as you can explain what kinds of bias or viewpoints may be present in the source.

            Also note: if you are planning to use a source that has audio (a youtube or movie clip, for instance), be sure to check with your TA that the section room has audio capacity, or that you have a way to amplify the sound. You might need a mini-jack audio cable to connect between your laptop and the room’s sound system.