12 Alternative Group Presentation: Blended Group and Individual Work

Bloom’s Levels:
Analyzing, Evaluating

Description

This next exemplar showcases an combination of individual and collaborative work, used in a class taught by McMaster University instructor Dr. Joanne Wilson, who integrated a twist on an otherwise conventional group project. This alternative assessment form was administered in an advanced seminar style course focusing on current topics in physiology. The course was updated during the COVID-19 pandemic to be administered online with both synchronous and asynchronous components. Students were required to read one research article per week in preparation for a synchronous seminar style lecture led by a guest speaker. To build individual and class understanding of the research topic contained in the article, a group assignment was integrated, which contained three distinct components:

  • Group Video Presentations on key topics in the article and Class Discussion Facilitation
  • Individual Report
  • Individual Annotated Bibliography

Video Presentation

To ensure the classes’ understanding of the major research topic introduced in the article, a small group of students were assigned each week’s paper. This group was to prepare a series of short video presentations about the paper, the physiological system, species of interest, methods/techniques, and major findings. These presentations were delivered as a series of short asynchronous videos (1 per student – so in a group of 5 students, there would be 5 videos) for the class to watch in advance of the synchronous lecture.

“The goal of the student videos is to prepare the class for the speaker and ensure that everyone in the class understands the topic in physiology to be discussed that week. Please note that the goal is NOT to go over every aspect of the paper but to ensure the class understands the paper.” Dr. Wilson.

Note that presenters were instructed to emphasize aspects of the paper (e.g., methods) that may be unfamiliar to students from other course work or faculty in their group presentations. Groups consisted of 2-4 students, but depending on class enrolment may change. While the videos were individual, they were coordinated for content across the group to provide a cohesive series and accomplish the group goal. Presenting students were also to moderate the discussion boards for the 2 days prior to the synchronous lecture. Presenting students should be prepared to answer questions from other students and lead the discussion.

There are components of the group presentations which are both group and individual work to accommodate students working remotely. Groups have flexibility in how much they integrate and work together but there must be some minimum coordination across each group. Below we have outlined the components of the assessment that is in group versus individual form.

Group coordination:

  • The group must decide the topics to cover for the paper/topic
  • The group must decide who will be responsible for each topic
  • The presentations should coordinate and work together to achieve the common goal of preparing the class for the speaker and ensure better understanding of the research paper
  • For each paper/speaker, the topics may change but could include: research questions, physiological system, species of interest, techniques used/methods, results and implications of the project
  • The goal is NOT to summarize the paper in the videos but to provide support to the class to understand the paper better. For example, if the paper focuses on a physiological system well covered in a prerequisite course you don’t need to describe it BUT if it covers a physiological system you know nothing about then you should describe it.

Individual work:

  • Each student in the group will research material related to the paper and topic.
  • Each student in the group will prepare an individual video on their topic; based on the scope/content agreed upon within the group.
  • Each student in the group will also write a report and annotated bibliography due one week after the guest lecture for their assigned research article.

Flexibility in group work:

  • Groups are welcome to work in an integrated fashion to review slides, coordinate the video topics, decide content, develop scripts.
  • If groups are struggling with integration, they are free to work more individually on their videos so long as they have ensured some base coordination of topics so that the videos do not overlap and work well together.
  • This flexibility in how much the group works together is to better support students working remotely. Each group will be different and even individuals in the group may choose different levels of involvement. It is really up to you how much you want to work together.

Individual videos should be 10 minutes maximum; overall total of all videos should be a maximum of one hour, depending on group size. More than one hour of video will be too much asynchronous work for the lecture component. Videos should have rational titles so it is obvious what the content is, and groups should specify if they want the class to watch them in a particular order. Presenters should make sure that the videos are accessible with reasonable fonts, easy to read with high contrast and captions and transcripts are accurate and available to ensure they are easy to view by all. Videos are due for upload a week BEFORE the guest speaker to ensure students have sufficient time to watch the videos prior to the next synchronous lecture slot.

Class discussion

Students will be posting questions about the video content and paper on our Microsoft Teams channel as a part of their participation grade. Each week, individuals in the presenting group should moderate this channel to answer questions and lead the class discussion online. If the questions are specific to content in a particular video, that specific presenter should be trying to answer these but also aiming to try to contribute more generally to the topic. Discussion Boards should be more heavily moderated on the weekend. Students are welcome to post earlier but the expectation for the group is to be monitoring weekends to ensure questions are addressed before class.


Rubric

Criteria

Level 5

5 points

Level 4

4 points

Level 3

3 points

Level 2

2 points

Level 1

1 points

Criterion Score

 

 

Oral Presentation (5 points)

Thoroughly but concisely presents main points of research.

Narration and/or answering of questions is highly engaging.

Thoroughly but concisely presents main points of research.

Narration and/or answering of questions is engaging.

Adequately presents main points of research.

Narration and/or answering of questions is adequate.

 

Contains some main points of research but not as sufficiently and not as well-organized.

Narration and/or answering of questions is somewhat lacking

Does not sufficiently present main points of research and is not well-organized.

Narration and/or answering of questions is lacking.

 

 

 

    /5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Presentation

(5 points)

 

Not cluttered.

Colours and patterns enhance readability.

Uses font sizes / variations which facilitate the organization, presentation, and readability of the research.

Graphics are engaging and enhance the text.

Content is clearly arranged so that the viewer can understand order without narration

Overall visually appealing.

Mostly not cluttered.

Most colours and patterns enhance readability.

Uses font sizes / variations which facilitate the organization, presentation, and readability of the research.

Graphics are mostly engaging and enhance the text.

Content is clearly arranged so that the viewer can understand order without narration

Overall visually appealing.

Mostly not cluttered.

Colours and patterns support readability.

Adequate use of font sizes / variations to facilitate the organization, presentation, and readability of the research.

Graphics enhance the text.

Content is arranged so that the viewer can understand order without narration

Visual appeal is adequate.

Somewhat cluttered.

Colours and patterns detract from readability.

Use of font sizes / variations to facilitate the organization, presentation, and readability of the research is somewhat inconsistent / distracting.

Graphics adequately enhance the text.

Content arrangement is somewhat confusing and does not assist the viewer in understanding order without narration.

Not very visually appealing, cluttered

Colours and patterns hinder readability.

Poor use of font sizes / variations to facilitate the organization, presentation, and readability of the research

Graphics do not enhance the text.

Content arrangement is somewhat confusing and does not adequately assist the viewer in understanding order without narration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   /5

 

 

 

Content (5 points)

Factually accurate always

Superior detail provided (e.g. controls, caveats, context, significance…)

Factually accurate

Excellent detail provided (e.g. controls, caveats, context, significance…)

Minor factual errors

Very good detail provided (e.g. controls, caveats, context, significance…)

A number of factual errors

Some detail provided (e.g. controls, caveats, context, significance…)

Frequently erroneous

Few details provided (e.g. controls, caveats, context, significance…)

 

 

 

   /5

Implications (5points)

Implications very well understood and presented

Highly appropriate content to aid class understanding

Implications well understood and presented

Appropriate content to aid class understanding

Implications reasonably understood and presented

Mostly appropriate content to aid class understanding

Implications poorly grasped and discussed

Some appropriate content to aid class understanding

Implications not discussed

Limited appropriate content to aid class understanding

 

 

    /5

 

TOTAL

    /20

OVERALL SCORE

LEVEL 4

(11 points minimum)

LEVEL 3

(8 points minimum)

LEVEL 2

(5 points minimum)

LEVEL 1

(0 points minimum)

INDIVIDUAL REPORT: OUTSIDE JEB ARTICLE:

Each student will write an individual report due one week after their presentation (max 2 pages, single spaced). This will be based on the assigned paper. They should be written in the style of a “journal feature” such as the “Outside JEB” section of the Journal of Experimental Biology (http://jeb.biologists.org). Rather than trying to write for a specialist audience, students should write their report in such a way that it is interesting and easily understood by an undergraduate biology audience. The written report should distill the paper’s main findings, most interesting work, OR implications for a broader field and have a clear point of view; this should not simply summarize the paper section by section.

Criteria

Level 5

5 points

Level 4

4 points

Level 3

3 points

Level 2

2 points

Level 1

1 points

Criterion Score

 

 

Writing Style (5 points)

Excellent grammar and highly appropriate length

Excellent flow

Excellent organization

Highly engaging to read

Very easy to understand to a broad audience.

Excellent grammar and highly appropriate length

Excellent flow

Excellent organization

Mostly engaging to read

Easy to understand to a broad audience.

Very good grammar and appropriate length

Very good flow

Very good organization

Mostly engaging to read

Easy to understand to a broad audience.

 

Good grammar and mostly appropriate length

Good flow

Good organization

Some parts engaging to read

Moderately hard to understand to a broad audience.

Poor grammar and inappropriate appropriate length

Poor flow

Poor organization

Unengaging to read

Hard to understand to a broad audience.

 

 

 

    /5

 

 

 

 

Content (5 points)

Science and physiology is highly accurate.

Excellent articulation of the broad implications of the research and state of research

Science and physiology is mostly accurate.

Very good articulation of the broad implications of the research and state of research

Science and physiology is often accurate.

Very good articulation of the broad implications of the research or state of research

Science and physiology is sometimes accurate.

Good articulation of the broad implications of the research and state of research

Science and physiology is inaccurate.

Poor articulation of the broad implications of the research and state of research

 

 

 

   /5

 

 

Point of View (5 points)

Obvious and very strong point of view, that highlights a critical aim, finding or technique of interest

Excellent arguments that research is important, relevant and/or interesting

Obvious and strong point of view, that highlights an important aim, finding or technique of interest

Very good arguments that research is important, relevant and/or interesting

Obvious and reasonable point of view, that highlights an important aim, finding or technique of interest

Very good arguments that research is important, relevant and/or interesting

Limited or weak point of view, that highlights an aim, finding or technique of low interest

Good arguments that research is important, relevant and/or interesting

No obvious point of view or it highlights an aim, finding or technique of interest that is not important

Poor arguments that research is important, relevant and/or interesting

 

 

 

   /5

TOTAL

    /15

Annotated Bibliography

In this example, each student also completed an annotated bibliography, due one week after their presentation. The annotated bibliography should list all the pertinent publications that the student read to prepare the video and report. Full bibliographic details should be provided along with ~5 bullet points detailing the main points of the publication and critical data it provided for the seminar and report; students need to document what they used the publication for. An example of an annotated bibliography should be provided to the students ahead of time. Do not add extraneous publications as the point is not to have the most publications listed but to demonstrate that you have read a number of important papers related to your topic and can distill the critical information from the paper for your work.

Criteria

Level 5

5 points

Level 4

4 points

Level 3

3 points

Level 2

2 points

Level 1

1 points

Criterion Score

 

 

Quality of presentation (5 points max)

Citations are highly relevant for topic and from highly regarded sources / journals / organizations

Citations are mostly primary literature and excellent options for non-primary literature

Key sources for topic

Sources are from diverse researchers

Excellent number with full citations

Citations are highly relevant for topic and from well regarded sources / journals / organizations

Citations are mostly primary literature and very good options for non-primary literature

Excellent sources for topic

Sources are from mostly diverse researchers

Excellent number with full citations

Citations are mostly relevant for topic and from well regarded sources / journals / organizations

Citations are mostly primary literature and very good options for non-primary literature

Very good sources for topic

Sources are from some diversity researchers

Very good number with full citations

 

Citations are sometimes relevant for topic and moderately regarded sources / journals / organizations

Citations are sometimes primary literature and good options for non-primary literature

Good sources for topic

Sources are few diverse researchers

Good number with partial citations

Citations are not relevant for topic and from poorly regarded sources / journals / organizations

Citations are infrequently primary literature and poor options for non-primary literature

Poor sources for topic

Sources are from the same researchers

Too few number with partial citations

 

 

 

    /5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annotation Content (5 points max)

Always provide main aim or hypothesis

Always describe methods or experimental design

Always provide main results / finding of the paper

Always provide main conclusions of the paper

Always describe how paper was used in presentation or written

Almost always provide main aim or hypothesis

Almost always describe methods or experimental design

Almost always provide main results / finding of the paper

Almost always provide main conclusions of the paper

Almost always describe how paper was used in presentation or written

Mostly provide main aim or hypothesis

Mostly describe methods or experimental design

Mostly provide main results / finding of the paper

Mostly provide main conclusions of the paper

Mostly describe how paper was used in presentation or written

Sometimes provide main aim or hypothesis

Sometimes describe methods or experimental design

Sometimes provide main results / finding of the paper

Sometimes provide main conclusions of the paper

☐ Sometimes describe how paper was used in presentation or written.

☐ Do not provide main aim or hypothesis

☐ Do not describe methods or experimental design

☐ Do not provide main results / finding of the paper

☐ Do not provide main conclusions of the paper

☐ Do not describe how paper was used in presentation or written.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   /5

 

TOTAL

    /10

OVERALL SCORE

LEVEL 4

(10 points minimum)

LEVEL 3

(8 points minimum)

LEVEL 2

(6 points minimum)

LEVEL 1

(0 points minimum)

Technology Used

  • Any online platform that enables online student discussion
  • The one used in this exemplar was that of Microsoft Teams
  • A professional video platform that is accessible and easy to navigate for students to record their presentations on.
  • This exemplar made use of Kaltura Capture desktop recorder

Facilitation Tips

Instructor’s feedback

  • What were some key goals/course objectives that you had in mind when creating these assessment tool(s) in specific group presentations?
  • What are some key advantages to using this assessment tool?
  • What are some challenges to using this assessment tool?

Student feedback

Looking back at my undergraduate career, this course, and in particular this assessment form stands out the most to me. It was one of the courses that best prepared me for my current graduate career. While I did not pursue my masters in the field of biology or physiology, rather in cognitive psychology, the research, writing, presentation, and analytical skills I picked up from this course benefit me to this day and are ones that are easily generalizable to jobs in the real world. The assignment is structured such that for one week in the course, your group is the class expert. You are able to bounce off ideas with your teammates, engage in deep conversations about the main points of the paper, as well as exchange secondary research articles to help you with your presentation, annotation, and understanding. I particularly loved how the degree to which you engage in collaborative versus individual work is to some extent up to the group to decide. Moreover, the constructive and hands on feedback from the professor during our meeting in the week prior to presentation upload was extremely helpful.

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