Kevin Egan: Handout on Student Multimedia Presentations
Turning a Research Paper for Posc 248/Writ 140 into a Collaborative PresentationWhen the Center for Scholarly Technology asked us to try using the new technology-enhancedclassrooms for a student technology project, my Writing Program colleague IndraMukhopadhyay and I decided to try having our students take a piece of completed written work(a 7-10 page research paper) and adapting it for a collaborative presentation; we did this with allour four sections. (Indra’s classes were afﬁliated with Linguistics 115, Language and Society.)We were on the usual very tight November schedule for Writing 140, so the only way we coulddo it, we felt, was by bootstrapping the project onto work that would already be done.I placed students in themed groups of 4––the group themes were based on some commonelements in those students’ papers. (Because of the thematic emphasis of Posc 248, onInternational Human Rights, that worked out surprisingly easily: the themes of the groups areincluded with the materials that follow.)As part of our preparation, we read Edward Tufte’s The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint, and Iencouraged them to follow Tufte’s advice for presentations: slides for main ideas andillustrations, handouts for abundant and useful data to take away.Ed O’Neill also came to our classes to give a brief demonstration of the advantages of putting allpresentations on the web, e.g. using Picasa or Prezi. All the students did that, with excellentresults.We spent a class period discussing Tufte, and another period for getting organized and beginningthe collaborations. Students did the rest of the collaborative work outside class: some viaFacebook, others in Google groups, others by email, others by meeting up in the library.The presentations went very well, and the students reported that the work was interesting,educational, and enjoyable. On the following pages, you’ll ﬁnd examples of handout pages,which show how informative those can be, and also my initial instructions to the class, a rubricfor scoring presentations that students worked to, and my ﬁnal overall assessment of thepresentations, which I sent to the students at the end of the semester––there was no time for aclass debrieﬁng, which I would have preferred, but we did what we could.I hope to do this kind of project again, starting in mid-semester so that we can spend more timeon post-presentation debrieﬁng and reﬂection.
POSC 248/WRIT 140Kevin Egan/Fall 2011 Research presentation and Assignment 5 invention activity1) On Thursday, youll meet in groups, which I will arrange according to similar topics; makearrangements to email your paper to your 3 partners so they can read it.2) Each student will choose one primary text from his/her A4 research.3) Each student will create 3 "slides", including at least two images/texts/video clips that arecentral to your topic; to accompany those slides, each student will be responsible for onepage of an eventual 4-page (Tufte-style) handout.4) Having read all papers, group will decide on a presentation strategy (serial, conceptual)5) At the end of presentation, group will discuss how digital presentations affected theirconception of a) topic, and b) audience.I am strongly recommending that you upload your slides to a Picasaweb account. This will saveeveryone a *lot* of trouble with incompatible computers and formats. We are having atechnology specialist visit on Thursday to demonstrate how that works.Special note: you can write about your A4 paper research and writing process and thispresentation experience for your A5 essay.______________________________________________________________________________Groups (two classes):Minority IssuesOrgan TraffickingCivil Liberties (two groups)Global InequalityCivil LibertiesExploiting the PowerlessExcesses of the Corporate State
Kevin Egan/Fall 2011 Posc248/Writ140 A 5-Point Rubric for Your PresentationsHeres a simple 5-point rubric for the presentation, which I hope will help you keep the task inperspective. You have a 15-minute slot: Id recommend planning 10 or so minutes, and leaving4-5 minutes for questions and discussion. If you make an engaging presentation, you shouldgenerate questions and discussion very naturally.* 2 points: for a lively and informative presentation(You can think of this as The Fun Factor, which reminds us of a key point in presenting: itshould be stimulating! Everyone enjoys learning interesting, relevant facts, and if the presentersare excited about the information, the audience probably will be too. Youre talking about somepretty serious subjects, but you can still do that in an energetic, engaged way.)* 1 point: for a clear presentation of the broad topic and its context(Why is this an important subject? What are the key aspects you are going to cover? How do thedifferent sub-topics (i.e. your separate research papers) relate to the broad area? Make sure tomake that clear right at the start of the presentation: it organizes it for your audience, just like athesis statment.)*1 point: interesting, relevant, well-chosen slides and an informative handout(Here, Ill be looking for a good balance between whats appropriate for the screen, and whatsappropriate for the page; and a good selection of relevant information and/or perspectives.)* 1 point: teamwork(Everyone contributes! Here too, Id like to see you sharing the presentation duties; but its up toyou how to present. You can take turns, work in teams by themes, all be available for q and a: bea team.)__________________________________________________________________________________________________________Advice for A5: since the topic is how digital media affect reasoning, you should make a fewnotes on your thinking process as you convert your research paper into a presentation. How didthe different media, print versus internet/presentation, affect the way you presented yourtopic? Is having to be more selective an advantage or a disadvantage? How do different mediaaffect our sense of an audience? How do different media affect the possibility of convincingpeople to pay attention to an important subject?Make a few notes on those questions: they could come in really handy when you plan A5!
Kevin Egan/Fall 2011 Posc 248/Writ 140 Instructor Feedback to Both Classes after PresentationsI want to give you an overview of what I took from the presentations: I think you didextraordinarily well under severe time pressure, and I enjoyed them very much; you are going toget very good grades for your presentations. Based on your success, especially in thecollaborative parts, well be incorporating a presentation component in future terms, except thatwell do it mid-semester rather than at the end (this project only got started at the end of October,hence the rush).Heres what I learned, which I hope will help you in future presentations.1) Tufte appears to be right about the relation between slides and handouts: theyre good fordifferent tasks, and presentations go well when you take advantage of the strengths of each.2) I thought the most successful slides were a) medium density; and b) a mix of media.Low density slides have just one or two elements, e.g. a large cartoon and a caption, or someheadings and a bit of text.Medium density slides usually have a mix of elements: some graphics, perhaps a simple chart, anillustration or photo, plus some clear captioning that connects the material to a theme. Therecould also be some short text, say an important quotation or short paragraph. There might be avideo clip too, though a video clip by itself (with just a caption), especially a longer one,qualifies as medium density also. Well-chosen videos added a lot to presentations, but you dontwant to go on for too long: I thought between 1 and 2 minutes were the most effective, and closerto 1 is probably better. If you do need a longer video clip, be sure to stop it periodically tointerpret and discuss the segment: that can be very effective.High density slides usually had dense text, plus captions, sometimes largely a repeat of thehandout; but probably too much text to read comfortably from the audience, and people tend toread those out, which feels redundant.3) People did very effective presentations based in either Picasa and Prezi, but I thought that thePrezi interface gives you some very useful and dynamic options, and it scales full screen moreeffectively (no menu bars remaining, for example). It also allows you to sign in together andwork collaboratively, which seemed to help coordination. Some people coordinated throughFacebook: perhaps you should write Mark Zuckerberg and suggest that they build in apresentation tool as well. Include your résumé when you do...A word of caution, though: some of Prezis animations are a little too much fun--theyre sodynamic they can draw attention away from the material, so you want to watch out for that.4) I thought the most effective handouts would have pleased Tufte: they were dense with usefulinformation, both textual and charted. I saw some very effective tables, colorful charts, important
Kevin Egan/Fall 2011 Posc 248/Writ 140 selections of quoted material, and many clever mixes of all three. Some people used small fontsto get more on the page, which worked well! Remember that a handout is also a takeaway:people will take it home after the presentation, and theyll be glad to have a compact reference toremind them of your ideas.5) Presentations are better when you dont say "um" a lot! Practice that: its important, and thekey skill is knowing what youre going to say and concentrating on saying it. Its a kind ofpresence of mind, which comes from being well-prepared.Other than that, people did quite well: found a good tempo, said your piece, got off stage. Try tolook at each member of the audience rather than just one or two in the front: most of you did that,since you know each other, but it can be a bit harder with strangers.Thats it: I hope you enjoyed the process, but even if you were a bit stressed, I guarantee thatthese skills will be useful to you in your careers: any careers! And thanks again for your creativeand enjoyable work, which is going to be extremely helpful for us as we plan ways to integratetechnology and teaching more successfully.
Slide 1: (INTRODUCTION Wealth inequality-‐ GINI index of U.S. compared to Europe European Union 30.4 (2009 est.) 31.2 (1996 est.) United States 45 (2007) 40.8 (1997) GINI Index measures income inequality with 0 being perfectly equal and 100 being perfectly unequal. There is a clear trend to support growing wealth inequality (GINI info above) and with CEO pay being 185x average worker pay. (Below) Slide 2: (ARGUMENT) Financial deregulation has led in increasing amounts of wealth being accumulated by people working on ‘the street’. In addition, the Federal Reserve Policy of keeping a strong dollar has led to job outsourcing and job losses for average Americans, while the owners of companies can still benefit by outsourcing. Slide 3. (COUNTERARGUMENT) Maybe we have a meritocracy where the people who work hard are compensated for it? This idea appears to be accepted by many, however, let us examine our educational system to see if everyone starts off with similar advantages and disadvantages.
POWER OF THE ELITESGenerally speaking, wealthis the value of everything a person or family owns, minus any debts.However, for purposes of studying the wealth distribution, economists define wealth in termsofmarketable assets, such as real estate, stocks, and bonds, leaving aside consumer durables likecars and household items because they are not as readily converted into cash and are more valuableto their owners for use purposes than they are for resale (see Wolff, 2004, p. 4, for a fulldiscussion of these issues). Once the value of all marketable assets is determined, then all debts,such as home mortgages and credit card debts, are subtracted, which yields a persons net worth.In addition, economists use the concept of financial wealth -- also referred to in this document as"non-home wealth" -- which is defined as net worth minus net equity in owner-occupied housing. AsWolff (2004, p. 5) explains, "Financial wealth is a more liquid concept than marketable wealth,since ones home is difficult to convert into cash in the short term. It thus reflects the resourcesthat may be immediately available for consumption or various forms of investments."