Presentation with Response

Motivation for the activity

The aim is to get the students to work independently on defining and building up insight into an area which they develop in collaboration with a group. We initiated this activity partly because we found that the students were exposed to too much teacher-centred learning, partly because we wanted to ensure that they would begin with the exam assignments during the course of the semester, rather than waiting until the course was finished.

Central learning outcomes for the activity

Selection of material/theory and project preparation, communication of work in progress, cooperation, the ability to respond critically.

Description of the activity

I present them with a programme which includes as its subsidiary goals:

  • deadline for choice of subject
  • deadline for establishing groups
  • deadline for presentation of a synopsis
  • deadline for presentation of a synopsis

I manage the session with the synopsis presentation.

  1. Beforehand the students have submitted a written synopsis.
  2. In the oral presentation they focus on a very brief presentation of the material and hypothesis, but otherwise the focus is on describing the problems which they may have.
  3. They then receive response from a student response group and subsequently from 1-2 lecturers. Afterwards, the students revise their synopsis.

They receive guidance before and after the presentations and instruction on what a synopsis is etc.

Outcome of the activity

  • Greater commitment from the students
  • Greater cooperation between the students
  • An earlier start-up on the exam process

There are some sensitive aspects involved in the process of forming groups, but the students evaluated this course very positively.


Karen-Margrethe Simonsen

Associate Prof., Director of the PhD Programme