Monday, January 25, 2010

70-643 presentations

I have spent a good deal of time since our class on Thursday puzzling over a dilemna that I (we) are facing.

This is the first semester that we have had such a large class size in this course. It was always smaller before because the lab was in smaller clusters.

First, allow me to say that I am very happy about having a large group. My first impression is that you are a great group of people and I am already enjoying working with you. It will keep Chris and me jumping, but it will be worth it for the opportunity to come to know you better and hopefully provide a valuable course for you.

So, what is the dilemna? It is this -- we simply cannot have three presentations from you during our lectures. It just will not leave me enough time to present the content of the class to you. I consider your presentations to be valuable content, however, I have organized a (hopefully) cohesive series of lectures intended to give you a balanced introduction to the subject of web publishing. There was alot of material that I wanted to share with you last Thursday but could not. The unfortunate thing is that there is no way to really get back to it.

I am the first to admit that I am always too optimistic when preparing lecture materials in terms of how long they will take to present. I continue to work to be more realistic and a better editor. The typical scenario is that I find new things I want to add to each lecture but a harder time figuring out which things to delete. But even with good editing and great cooperation on your part (which I had last Thursday) I will not have enough time with three presentations from you.

As I said, I have given this some thought. I do not think it is fair (nor in the best interest of quality) to ask you to make even shorter presentations. What occurs to me as a possible solution is to ask for volunteers who will write and illustrate a blog posting on their topics in stead of making a presentation to the class. I would look for about the same amount of content as a presentation would provide. I would then require the class to read the blog postings so that everyone would benefit from your research. To confirm that everyone did read these posts I would reserve the right to include some questions on the final covering them (I would strive to make the questions fairly easy and obvious if you read the posts). I would try to grade the posts in a way that would not disadvantage someone from prenting their information in one form or the other.

So, that is the plan I have come up with. I am very interested in what you think, so, by all means share your thoughts. If you have a better idea, I am all ears.

I am going to rely on Chris to organize the BLOG and be your resource in making sure you can successfully upload and access the blog.

Also, if you are someone who would be interested in doing a blog entry instead of class presentation, please let me know. Otherwise, I will have to devise some game of chance to select you.

Hope that you had a better weekend than Brett Farve...

See you Tuesday

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