Class format and Elevator Speeches

Elevator speech and class structure
Each week we will cover a topic hopefully selected based on your interests. To facilitate class discussion and make sure everybody is up to date on the background information we will introduce the topic in the form of “elevator speeches.” This time you can use Wikipedia to find an explanation of what an elevator speech is. The class elevator speeches will be limited to five minutes but have to cover the information at a 4000 level class, not high school level and present rock solid background science.
The topic for class will be posted on the blog usually in the form of a question or controversial statement. We will choose a topic together and a discussion leader, hopefully a volunteer, will be chosen to make an outline, introduce a problem and lead the discussion in class. ALL STUDENTS WILL LEAD AT LEAST ONE DISCUSSION FOR A GRADE DURING SEMESTER so PLAN AHEAD. Don’t make me have to assign topics and dates because then I will not be flexible. For the first class Catherine or I will provide an outline, later this function will be delegated to one of you.
The leader is not the only one who will talk in class. A background will be outlined into many small topics that will be assigned in the form of (graded) elevator speeches. You will study up on this knowledge on your own. I expect the level that was covered in the classes you took. This will be followed by (graded) class discussions. Remember to use appropriate sources. Google is not (and has never been) a source of good information (except for shopping, trivia and casual browsing). Use other applications on the internet and BOOKS. Think laterally, the best ideas come from across disciplines.
IT’S NOT KINDERGARTEN AND I AM GOING TO SCREAM IF YOU DO KINDERGARTEN WORK. I want as much depth and recent coverage as possible in your elevator speech. Summarize, reinterpret the data, give us a ONE-sentence conclusion from hours of your research. Remember balance and depth propel an interesting and interactive discussion. NETWORK and COMMUNICATE with each other – Catherine and I will help guide you. Use the BLOG for that purpose.
Blogging is a part of your assignments and is graded too. It is a place of information exchange, cries for help or intelligent expressions of opinion. We will run at least a couple of topics concurrently to allow more preparation time, especially later when your turn comes to create an outline.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE LEADER
• Make sure each student stays within time range and limits of their subtopic.
• Make sure that there is no redundant information (every speech can not start from the beginning).
• Ensures sources of information are legitimate and applicable.
Interact with us and your classmates and become thoughtful participant, ask questions, debate about views and take a stand regarding the topic for each class at a respectful level to challenge and match the class leader’s presentation as this will be an equally important daily contribution (and worth a lot of your grade).