Lectures are scheduled for three fifty-minute slots per week (MTTh 9:30-10:20, MC 4040). The class will be run more like a discussion seminar than a standard lecture. Students are expected to do the preparatory readings (as listed in the timetable) in advance; discussion will commence using those readings as a base. The instructor may talk for five minutes here and there in order to set the stage, make a technical point, summarize, or concentrate attention. Student participation is important not only to facilitate the learning process but because marks are assessed for class participation.
Each team will take the role of a particular group with concerns in that area; the teams will typically have conflicting or opposed views. The initial scenario will be outlined by the instructor. Groups have the latitude to make adjustments to the initial scenario, including the exact wording of each side's position. Both sides must agree with the final wording and the revisions must be approved by the TA. This means that both sides should have a clear agreement as to the topic of the RPE. If the group elects to revise the wording of the scenario, it must post revised scenarios to the newsgroup no later than one week prior to the RPE.
For RPEs held on a Thursday, each team will prepare a position paper (from 1000 to 3000 words) for 4pm on Monday (with the due dates for non-Thursday RPEs shown here). This will generally involve background research; it is also possible to conduct interviews with actual members of the groups being represented. Students will post position papers to the newsgroup. It is acceptable to post a link to a site where the position paper resides. PDF or postscript is preferred (compared to Word documents). In addition, students will deposit one hardcopy of the position paper into the assignment box on the 4th floor of MC (near MC 4066), no later than 10am the following day. Format the document to leave room in the margins for comments from the TA.
Other students are expected to read the refined scenario and position papers in preparation for the in-class exercise. Students may want to post to the newsgroup some initial comments and questions before the RPE on Thursday. In some situations, it may be more appropriate to keep questions and concerns for the actual RPE itself, so that we do not exhaust all discussion prior to the RPE.
At the RPE, each team will briefly present their positions (six minutes maximum per team, and note that team A may not necessarily be asked to start with their position before team B). These presentations should not just repeat points made in the position papers, but should lead naturally into the discussion to follow. The class will then direct questions and comments to the teams, in a manner similar to that of a public forum or press conference. Discussion of whether the teams have depicted their roles accurately in their position papers and presentations is also relevant. Please note that this role playing exercise is explicitly not a debate (and vitriol should not be directed towards the other team). Instead, each side portays a position and adheres to that position. A period of four minutes will be left at the end of the class (two minutes per team) for final words from each side. This should be an effort to clearly articulate to the audience the position being taken and its overall worth.
Please note that it is also important to allow all team members an opportunity to demonstrate their skill in oral communication, either in presenting part of the team's position, in responding to questions from the audience during the discussion session, or in delivering the final two minute summary.
Taking into account the points made in class, the teams are required to go off and produce, by the following Tuesday afternoon at 4pm (or alternate dates for non-Thursday RPEs indicated here), a joint communique outlining what they can agree on and a common course of action (similar to a Union Negotiation). This communique will be posted to the newsgroup. We are looking for some effort to have the two sides articulate clearly where they have found a middle ground. There is no set limit for this document, but it is expected to be moderate in size, on the order of a page, perhaps.
After reading the joint communique, students who want to provide feedback on the newsgroup should do so by 9am the Thursday following the RPE in question (or alternate dates for non-Thursday RPEs, indicated here). A mark will be assigned to the presenters, based on the position papers, the discussion in class, and the final communique on the points of:
The 20 marks for the RPE will break down as: 10 for oral presentation, 8 for position paper and 2 for joint communique.
It is expected that all members on one side will receive the same mark, but exceptional circumstances may be brought to the attention of the TA, so that team members who do not contribute can potentially lose marks. The teams presenting on opposite sides on the same date do not necessarily receive the same mark.
||Position Paper||Joint Communique||Class Posting Feedback|
|Tue July 5||Thu June 30
||Mon July 11
||Thu July 14
|Mon July 11||Fri July 8
||Fri July 15
||Mon July 18
| Tu July 12
|| Mon July 11
|| Mon July 18
|| Thu July 21
Any questions about assignments should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org for expediency. Requests for RPEs are sent to email@example.com Questions about RPEs should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org Discussion on RPEs should be posted to the newsgroup.