PREPARING FOR SEMINARS/JURIES

During the 3 month project duration students face three seminars or juries. They are expected to make a presentation of their work along with actual prototypes and explorations/relevant evidence of progress to a panel of 3 faculty members. Of these 3, one is the project mentor. The very last seminar has an external jury member (typically from the area of practice/industry/field). The project mentor is not present at the final seminar. All seminar presentations are followed by a short dialogue that includes clarifying questions, suggestions, feedback etc. The student is then graded on the basis of all this.

Often students find the seminars challenging and daunting. As mentors we help the students prepare for these seminars. Usually I, along with all students sit through mock presentations. All of us then together give feedback to the student on the content and style of the presentation made. I did this for my group of 8 students. This was immensely helpful and the peer learning in these sessions was tremendous!

But this time, I have 30 students! So mock presentations were out of the question. Instead this is the process we followed.

1.10 days before each seminar, all the assessment criteria are shared with the students. Every single word is discussed and explained at length until students are clear on every aspect that they will be graded on.

2. A clear brief is written for the faculty who are to be on the panel. The brief outlines the project and also lays out what areas the faculty could focus their feedback on. All assessment criteria is shared with the faculty.

3. Students are also shown the same document. So they are clear what kind of feedback they could expect.

The extensive ground covered in one phase of the project. This was arrived at together with the students.

4. As a class, every detail of what was covered during that particular phase of the project is discussed and a shared understanding is arrived at.

5. Students were encouraged to make a small demonstration on ‘How to Make a Bloody Good Presentation’. And the two students who made this presentation did so with a sense of humour and with a lot of attention to detail.

Arunima and Anushree talk to their peers about how to make a presentation.

6. For the first seminar. A step by step detailed list of what each slide should contain was shared with the students. For the second seminar, this was left for the students to build on.

7. Students were encouraged to rehearse and time themselves.

Seminar in progress.