Guidelines and marking scheme for Psych3BN3 presentations
1. Presentation Guidelines
Your presentation should last no more than 20 minutes if you are presenting
solo or 20-30 minutes if you are presenting as a pair, leaving the remainder
of the time for class discussion. The papers in this course cover a wide
range of topics and vary considerably in scope and level of detail so
there is no one best formula for a good presentation. But you are exepected to
go beyond your paper and set it within a broader context by providing
background knowledge in your topic area and providing a theoretical framework
for you paper.
- Meeting with your instructor: It is required that you
set up a meeting with your instructor to go over your paper and your
presentation outline at least one
week prior to your presentation. A hard-copy of your outline is due at this
time. This is to ensure that you are clear on
the details in the paper, and to agree on a plan for presenting those
details. If you leave this until the last
minute it may be difficult to arrange, so it is advisable to
set up your pre-presentation meeting well in advance.
- Content:Your major aims should be:
It is not your job to critique the paper or debate its findings, as
that is the goal of the subsequent class discussion.
It is not necessary to cover everything
in the paper. You might decide in the interest of clarity or time to
focus on one part of a paper and omit another. An ideal presentation
would also provide some new insights into the paper, perhaps in the form of
Note that a large component of the assigned mark is for "coherence". A
coherent preentation will be
structured around a major theoretical framework, typically
going beyond the scope of the paper, and will
present the material in the article
in a logically flowing, coherent story that supports your theory. The theory
could be something novel that you propose, an extended version of an existing
theory, or a previously published theory.
- Provide a broad
background to your topic, going beyond what is in the paper itself, covering
what is know the major topic area (spend about 5 minutes on this)
Your intro should include information in
your background/intro that goes beyond that presented in the paper,
particularly from the relevant textbook chapter, in order
to connect it to the broader topic in the course.
Provide an overall theoretical framework for your topic area. For example,
overall, describe a broad theory of the neural basis of emotion or of
cerebral lateralization. Your theoretical framework should delineate the different component functions and what brain
regions they correspond to. Or you could show two competing theories, or take
an existing theoretical framework and add to it a new component that would
allow it to encompass a broader range of findings including those of your
paper. Your theoretical framework should cover the entire topic area
(e.g. the brain's memory systems), not just the immediate focus of your
article (e.g. functions of the hippocampus).
- Present the most relevant points in the paper, with clear
explanations of these findings
- Link the findings in the paper back to the broader context of the overall
topic covered in that section of the
course, and discuss how the findings either fit or do not fit within your
- Suggest questions for discussion, encouraging the class to link the
findings in your article to those in other articles, or to the broader topic
area, or to the theoretical framework that you have presented.
- Figures and graphics:
You can incorporate visual information such as figures into your slides to
help illustrate a point, even if the image is from a source other than your
paper (e.g. a figure illustrating the brain region in question); don't forget
to credit the source of the figure (a
brief citation in small font at the bottom of the slide is sufficient).
(Tip: in MS-Windows, use ctrl-Print Screen to capture the image of a figure
you are viewing e.g. in Acrobat reader, then open Accessories->Paint and
select 'Paste' and then select the desired region of the image and cut/delete
this desired region, then paste into your poweroint slide. Or even simpler, if
you have the Adobe Acrobat software, just use the "camera icon" to capture the
region of the image that you want, and paste directly into powerpoint.)
Sometimes a complex concept is best explained by going through an
illustrative example on the blackboard. If you are including your own
text on your slides, use a very large
font and keep the text to a bare minimum -- just an outline to guide your
audience through your major points. Your audience should not be
reading a lot of text from the display while listening to you
- How many slides?
A very approximate rule of thumb is one slide per minute,
although some slides could take 5 minutes or more if they deal with
a complex issue or data set.
- Organizing your material:If you are nervous about forgetting
your material, rather than writing it all on your slides, try first
writing out your presentation word for word, then summarize it, then
condense it down to the major points. Your final, most condensed
version might end up being what you put up on your slides. You will
likely find that by this point you no longer need to consult your
text at all during your presentation.
(This is also a great study technique.) Another good
way to cue yourself to discuss some key point is to make a condensed
printout of your slides (e.g. 3 or 4 slides per page) and write the words out
on a little sticky note on top of that slide, which you will remove
during your presentation as you come to that point.
- Bells and whistles:
are generally NOT A GOOD IDEA, e.g. too many colours, irrelevant graphics,
text zooming around or fading
icons. They are distracting to your audience and will use up your valuable preparation time which is much
better spent focusing on the material.
You must bring your own laptop for your presentation, or arrange well in
advance with your TA's and instructor if you would like them to bring one for
- Adaptors for classroom projectors: Most of the classroom
projectors on campus have a VGA type connector, which can be seen on
whereas most modern tablets and
laptops have a mini-displayport (which can be seen on
this link, or an HDMI display port which can be see on
this link. It's therefore a good idea to
bring an adaptor for your laptop if it does not have a VGA port, particularly
if you have a Mac as they may require a special adaptor.
2. Marking scheme for presentations: (out of 25)
- Outline: /1
(must be submitted during meeting with your instructor at least 1 week prior to presentation)
- Spoken component: Style and clarity: /3
- Visual component: Style, clarity, appropriate level of detail: /5
(Slides must be submitted via email to Prof on day of presentation)
- Cohesiveness of presentation: /6
- Content/Educational value: /10
- 10 or lower: Fails to satisfy most or all aspects of minimum expectations
- 11-13: Falls considerably short of minimum expectations.
- 14-16: Approaches minimum expectations
- 17-19: Meets minimum expectations.
- 20-22: Meets minimum expectations and goes above and beyond some of the minimum expectations.
- 23-25: Goes considerably above and beyond most or all of the minimum expectations.
- Spoken component: Style and Clarity
- explanations are clear and cohesive
- speaking style: clearly audible, well paced
- Visual Component: Style, clarity, appropriate level of detail
- clearly designed slides, text is in a large font, readable from the back
of the room
- not too much text on slides, just enough to cue to listener to where the
presenter is at; does not require listener to read and listen at the same time
- graphs or other visual displays large enough to be clearly visible at the
back of the room
- an overall theoretical framework is introduced in the introduction, and
the presentation is structured around this framework. The theoretical
framework is apparent throughout the presentation, rather than being stated
at the beginning and re-stated at the end with the paper description simply
sandwiched in between. The methods, hypotheses/predictions and findings
in the paper are described in relation to the broader theory by considering
what would be predicted by theory versus what was actually found in the
- Ideas are presented in a logical progression.
There is a clear structure to the presentation, ideally following an
outline given at the beginning, the presentation "tells a
good story" .
, with a clear
- Content/Educational value:
- the introduction conveys why the topic in the article is
interesting and how it relates to the broader topic (one of
the 6 topics in the course) being studied
- the presentation conveys the key points in the article, why
the results might be important or significant, and what implications
they have for the neural basis of the psychological
process in question
- the presenter uses good judgement in deciding which details to
focus on and which are unimportant details to be given brief
mention or skipped altogether
Ways in which one might exceed the minimum expectations (not an exhaustive
- Exceptional educational value combined with exceptional entertainment value,
audience is riveted with interest.
- Presents a broad perspective that integrates material well beyond the scope
of the article and corresponding textbook chapter (provided that the article is still the primary
focus of the presentation)
- Interesting examples are brought in, either from everyday life,
or from the scientific or popular literature, that illustrate the
points and contribute to our understanding of the topic
- Exceptional level of insight into the topic, either during presentation of the
material or in suggested questions for discussion; evidence of critical appraisal of
the material may be demonstrated in the suggested discussion questions (but
note that the goal of the presentation is not to give
critical evaluation; the main objective is to give a clear
presentation, and leave the critical comments for the discussion).
- Presenter is able to generate outstanding questions that
stimulate an exceptionally informative discussion