First Presentation Day

I am teaching my complex analysis course as a flipped class/Inquiry Based Learning hybrid. The effect of this is that the course moves at two distinctly different speeds: the flipped class portion flies by. After three weeks of class, we are done with five chapters out of nine in the textbook. Since my goal is general understanding (with a grading policy that understands that students are not meant to master the material on this pass), this seems to be going well.

My complex analysis class had their first day Inquiry Based Learning-style student presentations on Tuesday. This is where students will get the “depth.” I was pleased with the overall quality of the presentations.

Here is the way I ran it:

  1. Students requested to present problems on Moodle the night before the presentation day. Students listed the problems in order of preference.
  2. I determined who should present based on both student preference and how important I think the problem is. We are not presenting every problem, which I am okay with since we are also using a textbook.
  3. I called on students in class to present. To save time, students put their homework under my new document camera, uncovered their work line-by-line (we used a low-tech manila folder to do this), and explained as they went along.
  4. Students asked questions the presentation was over.
  5. After questions, we clapped a single time to show appreciation for the speaker.

Frankly, I get the sense that most of the questions were way too easy for the students, since they were Chapter 1 material (and we are on Chapter 5). However, some of the questions required more depth, and we had some interesting discussions.

The document camera did not work perfectly, although it was okay. The students (and me, for that matter) were not yet fluent using it, and so there was some clumsiness. Also, some students wrote too small, and it was difficult to read (we can zoom, although I wasn’t on top of things enough to recommend this).

I had students number the lines of their homework. I thought that this would help questions, since students could simply refer by line. However, not every did this, and we managed fine without the numbers. It seems silly to have 15 students number lines when we probably won’t use them (especially since students prepare at least six presentations each time, but will probably only present one).

The next presentation day is on Wednesday.

5 Responses to “First Presentation Day”

  1. Joss Ives Says:

    Bret. Since you are asking them to present based on their indicated order of preference, do you feel that some will try to take shortcuts and only prepare the few that they have ranked high in their preference?

  2. IBL Presentations « Solvable by Radicals Says:

    […] just had our third presentation day in complex analysis. So far, things are mostly going well. The document camera is working very well […]

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