Instructor feedback for first draft of presentations

Feedback from instructors Sunday, December 04, 2011

MAT 1175 –First draft of presentation w/first look at hands-on component!

  • Due Tuesday, November 29th, 2011
  • Final draft is due Friday, December 9 2011

 

Group Comments
1 Your presentation is looking good!  We have a few suggestions: 

  • For the math/science component, you should expand your slide that discusses triangles (I think it’s slide 7) – tell the audience something specific about triangles.  For example, why are triangles used, instead of some other shape (like squares)?
  • You need to add references, both for the facts that appear (information about truss bridges and so on) and also for the image that you use in the background.  See the information below on References.
  • You refer to several different kinds of bridges. You need to explain what each kind is, in particular how they differ from each other
  • Finally, you need a real summary slide
2&9 We received a photo of your bridge model, but did not receive a first draft of your presentation.  It is clear you have some work ahead of you – please send us a draft of your presentation as soon as possible.
3 You are off to a good start – your model is looking good!  Here are our suggestions: 

  • First, you will need to create the final presentation in PowerPoint or another “slideshow” type program (it should not be too hard to use the material you have put together and copy/paste it into PowerPoint).  Most computers that have Word installed also have PowerPoint (and if you are on a Mac, it may have Keynote which is a similar program).
  • The discussion on pages 2 and 3 is nice, but includes too much detail – it will be hard to read up on the screen.  A good solution would be to reduce it to one or two slides with just a couple of short points on each slide, and then describe what you did in more detail out loud during the presentation.
  • For the math/science component, you mention suspension bridges.  Give us a little bit of detail, by telling us something specific about them that incorporates math or science.  For example, you could discuss the physical properties that make a suspension bridge a good choice (as opposed to another kind of bridge), or you could show how can mathematics be used to describe a suspension bridge.
    You will need to add references for the facts on the first page.  See the information on References below.
4 Your project is coming along nicely, and the topic is interesting and unique – good job!  We have a few suggestions: 

  • Most of the slides have a good amount of information but far too much text, which will make it difficult for your audience to read them.  Instead of including complete sentences, condense the information to the bare minimum (a few words or a short phrase). During your presentation, you can discuss things in more detail (bringing back anything that you left out) when you are talking about the slide.
  • How about a photoshopped photo with just the planked portion pink?
  • We assume that you will present or discuss actual calculations and give a few more details for the painting task at hand.
  • If there is a good website about breast cancer you might consider including it on slide #4.
  • You will need to add references for all the information about the bridge and about breast cancer, as well as for the image that you used in your hands-on component. See the information on References below.
5 Did not receive any materials.
6 Your presentation is looking good – nice PowerPoint work!  There are a few more things to do – here are our suggestions: 

  • The  “Math Component” slide has too much text – it will be hard for the audience to read.  Try to reduce it to just a couple of key points, and then discuss all the details aloud during the presentation.
  • You will need to add another slide or two showing your calculations and conclusions.  You could consider also including a map showing the route that you chose.
  • You should add references for the photo you are using in the background – see the information on References below.
7 Your presentation is coming along nicely.  We have a few suggestions: 

  • Several slides have too much text – especially those with longer paragraphs.  Try to reduce these to just a few key points, and then discuss the details aloud during the presentation.
  • Double check your conversion from tons to pounds on the third slide.
  • The slide with the table giving various ages/weights for American men and women (slide 6?) has too much data on it.  This slide is interesting but maybe not essential for the project – you might consider eliminating it, since the basic facts about average weight are presented on the previous slide. If you do keep it in, display the growth using a line graph. Come by one of our offices and we can show you how to do it.
  • Present information about bridge weight using pie chart
  • It would be great to add another slide tying together the ideas “how much weight the bridge can hold” and “how much people/cars/trains weigh.”  Show us how many cars, how many men/women, etc the bridge could possibly hold.  You could also calculate how many “families of four in minivans” the bridge could hold.
8 Your first draft is looking good!  Here are our suggestions: 

  • Several slides have too much text – try to reduce these to just a few key points (it’s not necessary to use complete sentences).  You can fill in more details aloud when you are discussing the slides in the presentation.
  • Your discussion of the practical difficulties in scaling the bridge down to model size is good – keep these ideas, but reduce the amount of text as described above
  • There are too many slides – consider combining several of the last 4 slides together.
  • Add a summary slide at the end to wrap things up.
  • You should add references for any facts you used, and any pictures that are not your own.  See the information on References below.
9 Has been combined with project 2.
10 Your project is coming along nicely.  We have a few suggestions : 

  • Several slides have too much text – try to reduce these to just a few key points (it’s not necessary to use complete sentences).  You can fill in more details aloud when you are discussing the slides in the presentation.
  • The two slides giving the history and measurements of the Brooklyn Bridge are too much – you should focus your presentation on the experiment that you did, which is the most interesting part of your project (it’s the part that will get the audience’s attention).  Consider combining these two “informational” slides into one, and greatly reducing the number of facts presented (for example, you could stick with facts such as the height etc that are directly related to your project).
  • Follow up on the recent discussions between Jonathan and Mr. Reitz to expand the “Calculations” part of the presentation.  You may wish to add another slide or two here.
  • You must add references for any facts you used, as well as any pictures that are not your own.  See the information on References below.
11 Did not receive any materials.
12 Did not receive any materials.
13 You are off to a good start!  Here are our suggestions: 

  • Try to condense your “Brooklyn Bridge facts” into a single slide – it’s alright if you don’t use complete sentences when presenting each fact.  Same thing for the “Manhattan Bridge facts.”
  • Information should be presented using charts and picture rather than just words.
  • It would be great to have more “comparison” of the bridges, in addition to the presentation of facts about them.  Consider adding a slide (like the Math/Science slide) which gives a nice graphical comparison of a few key measurements of your choice (for example, you could choose length and height)
  • One of the most interesting parts of your project is the Math/Science slide comparing jogging and walking times.  Could you give us (either on the slides or aloud in the presentation) a little more detail about how you made the conclusions that you did?  Did you actually walk/jog both bridges?  If not, how did you figure it out? The chart itself needs better labeling.
  • You must add references for any facts you used, as well as any pictures that are not your own.  See the information on References below.
14 Your presentation is looking good – nice PowerPoint work!  We have a few suggestions: 

  • Several slides have too much text (see the notes on “Too much text on a slide” below).
  • Bulleted/ numbered points should be left-justified.
  • One of the most interesting parts of your project is the interviews.  After they are complete, you should add a slide (or two) giving some quotes or highlights. This could maybe replace the slide that currently has your interview questions listed (as it has quite a lot of text).
  • The Math/Science component should be expanded.  It includes a number of facts, but it would be great if you could give us some specific way in which mathematics or physics relates to the bridge.  One idea would be to ask the engineer/architect about this in your interview (you could also ask the tourists if they can think of any way in which mathematics is related to the bridge – you never know what you might learn).
  • How will you format the brochure?  It would be great if it could fit on a single page (front and back).  If you are ambitious you could try to lay it out booklet-style (a single page folded in half to make a simple booklet).  If you have another idea you’d like to try please let us know. If you would like to have enough copies printed for the presentation, we can have the school do it but will need nearly a week lead time. If not, we can have the math department print out a few color copies to be passed around during the presentation.
  • You must add references for any facts you used, as well as any pictures that are not your own.  See the information on References below.  Your brochure should also include a list of references for the facts  & pictures that you used (these can be included in small type at the end)
15 Thanks for your submission.  It’s clear that your group has quite a bit of work left to do! 

  • We suggest that you send us a draft of your presentation as soon as it is complete, so that we can provide suggestions with enough time for you to incorporate them.
  • As you are creating your presentation, keep in mind the information below about “Too much text on a slide” and “References”.
16 Thanks for your submission.  It’s clear that you have a bit of work left to do! 

  • The presentation looks very nice (stylistically), but you will need to fill in all of the content, as well as adding several new slides.
  • Send us a “first look” at your 3D model as soon as you can.
  • We suggest that you send us a draft of your presentation as soon as it is complete, so that we can provide suggestions with enough time for you to incorporate them.
  • As you are creating your presentation, keep in mind the information below about “Too much text on a slide” and “References”.
17 Thanks for your submission.  You are off to a good start, but it’s clear that you have quite a bit of work left to do!  Here are our suggestions: 

  • Several slides have too much text (see the notes on “Too much text on a slide” below).
  • Your presentation would be much improved by creating/adding a few diagrams, tables and photos.
  • You discuss the comparison of the two bridges, but this has not really been included in the presentation.  Think about what aspects of the bridges you want to compare, and try not to simply give a list of facts about each bridge.
  • Send us a “first look” at your hands-on component as soon as you can.
  • You must add references for any facts you used, as well as any pictures that are not your own.  See the information on References below.
18 Your presentation is off to a good start!  Here are our suggestions: 

  • Send us a “first look” at your hands-on component as soon as you can.
  • The correct spelling is “wreaths,” not “reefs”
  • Several slides have too much text (see the notes on “Too much text on a slide” below).  However, for the slides which are “word problems” it is appropriate to keep them as complete sentences, since this is how word problems normally appear.
  • Text needs to be bulleted/numbered, properly laid out.
  • Your presentation would be much improved by creating/adding a few diagrams, tables and photos.
  • In discussing electricity, you should briefly explain (out loud, if not on a slide) about the quantities you are using – what is a joule, for example?  The audience will not necessarily know.
  • You must add references for any facts you used, as well as any pictures that are not your own.  See the information on References below.

 

 

General comments:

Length of presentation.  We will have an extremely limited amount of time for our presentations on December 13th – just four minutes for each group (and we WILL cut your group off when the time is up, whether or not you are finished). It is very easy to get caught up talking about something on a slide, and use up all your group’s time.   How to avoid this?

  1. Practice!  Pretend you are in front of the room of people, and giving your presentation out loud.
  2. Work together.  Each person must speak at least part of the time during the presentation.  Decide who will talk about what, and if possible try to meet as a group and practice the entire presentation together before December 13th.

Too much text on a slide.  A presentation is different from a paper – your audience will be looking at each slide only for a minute or less, and they will be listening to you during that time (not just focusing on reading).  Because of this, it is important to make each slide nice and short –- not too much information!  Try to limit each slide to just a few short points that outline the important ideas (this is one situation where it is not always necessary to use complete sentences, especially when presenting a list of similar items).  You can use these as a starting point and fill in more details out loud during your presentation.

References.  You must give credit for any resources used in researching your project, in particular in the assembling of your slides.  If your presentation includes, for example, facts about the Brooklyn Bridge, you must let the audience know where these facts came from.  Similarly, if you have used images in the presentation, you must give credit to the image’s owner (if you do not know where the image came from, you may not use it).  The only exception is images that are your own – for example, pictures that you took yourself.  One way to include references in your presentation is to create a bibliography slide at the very end, listing the sources (websites, books, etc) that you used.

 

 

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