Your educations should not be about the rote memorization of facts that you regurgitate on a test, but instead, should hone your critical thinking skills and make you into active learners. To that end, I am relinquishing some of my role as authority in the classroom and requiring that each of you lead a brief class discussion once during the semester.
On your assigned day, you will lead the class for 15 minutes in a discussion of any one or all of the works that we'll be covering that session (check the syllabus for details about what material will be covered in class on the day you are to lead the class discussion). Your discussion must include at least 3 open-ended questions (questions that cannot be answered with a yes/no response, but instead provoke a range of responses) and must include at least one brief activity (such as asking people to write on a theme for no more than 2 minutes, putting them in groups for no more than 5 minutes to discuss individual topics that they later share with the class during your discussion). Failure to have at least 3 open ended questions and at least one activity will cost you 10 points for each element missing from your class discussion. You may also bring supplemental materials into the classroom such as video clips (though no video clip may take up more than 2 minutes of your discussion time--I don't want you just showing a video when you should be engaging your classmates), websites, or other materials. You can share these things with your classmates the day that you lead the class discussion, or send them to me before hand to post to Moodle and send out an e-mail to your classmates announcing that they should have a look at the materials. Also, allowing a writing activity to take longer than 2 minutes, or a small group discussion to take longer than 5 minutes will similarly cost you 10 points on this assignment, since I also do not want you to use up all of your 15 minutes in this way.
You grade for leading a class discussion will be based on the following criteria:
the quality of your open-ended questions and activity and how well they demonstrate to me that you are completely familiar with what you are leading the class in a discussion of
your ability to get your classmates to actually respond to your questions (you may have to call on some of them individually and put them on the spot in order to generate class discussion)
your own presence in front of the classroom (i.e., can we hear you from the back of the room?)
As you lead the class discussion, I will be in the back of the classroom making notes and keeping time. I will signal to you that you have 2 minutes left by holding up 2 fingers, and that you have 1 minute left by holding up one finger. When you see me begin to signal to you in this way, you should start wrapping up the discussion. When you get to 15 minutes, I will ask you to stop. Also, you must lead the discussion for a full 15 minutes. If you fall short, I will penalize you 10 points on this assignment.
One final note, if you are unhappy with the day you have been assigned to lead the class discussion, you can talk to your classmates and make arrangements to switch days with one of them. You and the person making the change must both notify me no later than the day before you were originally to lead the discussion that you have made this change.