Leading Class Discussion



Straight from the syllabus—

Leading Discussion (10%): Everyone will be responsible for leading discussion on one day of class with a partner. This task has two parts: you should engage your peers in the assigned readings for the day, and you should apply the ideas from said readings to some real world example(s). Possible approaches include creating a prompt for in-class writing, small-group discussion questions, a whole-class activity, bringing in objects for us to practice analyzing, sharing a recent and relevant news story, exploring how the reading applies to some issue in your major(s) or future career(s), or some combination of the above.

The point is not for you to lecture, but for you to gain experience in facilitating discussion and to help your peers gain a deeper understanding of the day’s topic. Plan your discussion or activity to last 30 minutes (a little less than half the class period). If you’re struggling to come up with discussion topics, please make an appointment to speak with me or drop in to see me during my office hours.

Once we settle in a bit, I’ll pass around a sign-up sheet for leading class discussion. Obviously, sign up for the day / topic that interests you most, and then work with your partner—i.e, whoever else signed up for that day—to plan said discussion.

*Note: I won’t necessarily penalize you if the class is particularly quiet during your discussion or if they aren’t responding well to your questions or activities. I’m more interested in grading your preparedness, comprehension of the material, and commitment to facilitating discussion.

I’ve copied a rubric for this activity below so you can get a more clear sense of how I’ll be evaluating you:

*Leading Class Discussion Rubric

___/25   Preparedness

  • You demonstrate comprehension of the readings for the day and the ideas, concepts, and arguments present within
  • You sustain conversation for ~30m of class time, per the guidelines of the assignment
  • You model cooperation and collaboration with your co-presenter(s) to facilitate a rich and rewarding discussion

___/50   Discussion Content

  • You engage your peers by generating a class-wide discussion that is engaging and insightful
  • You ask thoughtful, relevant, well-planned questions that help us understand course readings in the context of writing and media
  • Your “activity,” be that a writing prompt, discussion questions, object of analysis, etc., similarly helps us more deeply comprehend concepts present in the assigned texts for the day

___/25   Discussion Style and Facilitation

  • You motivate and engage students to think deeply and critically about the assigned texts and their relationship to course learning outcomes
  • You actively listen to your peers and guide—but don’t dominate—the class discussion
  • True to the nature of the assignment, you facilitate conversation as opposed to lecture or ramble

UPDATED: Leading Class Discussion Sign-Up Sheet:

**Thursday, September 1: Dominic & Ian

—Topic: Sounding Out: How Else Can We Experience Sound?

—Readings: Alexander, “Glenn Gould and the Rhetorics of Sound” and Ceraso, “(Re)Educating the Senses: Multimodal Listening, Bodily Learning, and the Composition of Sonic Experiences”

**Tuesday, September 13: Ben & Natalie

—Topic: Closed Captioning: Bridging the Aural and Visual

—Readings: Zdenek, Preface and Chapter One, Reading Sounds: Closed-Captioned Media and Popular Culture

**Tuesday, September 20: Giulia, Sid, and Heather

—Topic: Intro to Video

—Reading: Ranker, “The Affordances of Blogs and Digital Video”

**Tuesday, September 27: John & Kady

—Topic: Sketching with Video

—Reading: Filmmaker IQ, “The History of Cutting—The Soviet Theory of Montage

**Thursday, September 29: Utkarsha & Jalen

—Topic: Conducting Video Interviews

—Reading: Hampe, “The Documentary Interview”

**Tuesday, October 25: April, Max, and Amal

—Topic: Player Choice, Narrative, and the Rhetoric of Video Game Storytelling

—Reading: Play through Telltale’s “The Walking Dead: Season One, Episode One: A New Day” (First episode is free to download on mobile devices from iOS and Android app stores).

**Tuesday, November 8: Mav and Jack

—Topic: Looking Ahead: Video Games, VR, and the Future

—Readings: Akil, “Pokémon Go Could Be A Death Sentence For A Black Man”; Ulrich, “Seeing is Believing: Using the Rhetoric of Virtual Reality to Persuade”