Group Projects: Fishbowl

For your UNIV 112 “formal” group presentation, you’ll be leading class for the day using the Fishbowl format. Visit Professor Amber Pearson’s FI Rampages site for a really comprehensive explanation of what Fishbowl does and why it’s so useful.

We’ll follow the parameters as Professor Pearson lays them out. You’ll present in groups of 3-5 over the course of the semester. The first 3 discussions will happen before spring break; each group can treat as fair game any material we’ve encountered in class so far, although groups should focus on the materials below:

  1. Friday, 2/3 (Radioactive)
  2. Friday, 2/17 (“Defending Walt Whitman,” children’s books as genre)
  3. Friday, 3/3 (Written in Stone, the EJI lynching memorial, and “The War Photo No One Would Publish”)

Tasks

For your Fishbowl presentation, your group needs to do the following:

  1. Schedule at least one meeting outside class time; I am happy to sit in on the meeting, or you can have the group secretary email me the “minutes” of your discussion
  2. As a group, select a writing prompt for your classmates as homework the session before your fishbowl; the aim of the prompt is to encourage your peers to start thinking in advance about the kinds of questions you will ask
  3. Each member of the group should generate 4-5 discussion questions and circulate them with your teammates and me. You may not use all these questions in the discussion, but you should have them ready.
  4. Lead your discussion section; see Professor Pearson’s suggestions above for an effective discussion
  5. Draft your memo; what did you find challenging about leading group discussion? What was rewarding? Reflect on the experience of putting your fishbowl together.

Your fishbowl leadership is worth 10 points of your final grade. I will use the rubric below to evaluate you:

  Excellent Strong OK Weak
Insightful Questions

(AP)

Your five questions lead to open discussion by asking “Why?” or “Explain?”  They show that you deeply understand and are building on the texts/ideas of our class.  They may explore how FI fits into other disciplines.  Other students will learn just by being asked these questions!  Your questions were posted to your blog before class. Your five questions tend to be open-ended and will create good discussion.  They show that you have been thinking about class texts and concepts.  Other students will react well to these questions.  They were posted to your blog before class. Your questions are not yes/no, but they are likely answerable in a single sentence.  They are vaguely about class concepts or texts but do not demonstrate insight on your part.  There are five of them and they were posted to your blog before class. Your questions are yes/no or otherwise do not encourage extended discussion.  They may be unrelated to the class.  There may be less than five questions.  They may have been posted late.

 

Alternatively, you have no questions.

Facilitating Discussion

(AP)

You spend a solid amount of time in the fishbowl facilitating discussion.  You are more interested in discussion than making sure all your questions get asked.  You make sure to surrender the fishbowl to other leaders so they can have time, too. You spend a solid amount of time in the fishbowl facilitating discussion.  You may have lost track of time a little, but on the whole did well. You spend time in the fishbowl leading.  You may have spent significantly too much or too little time leading. You either do not lead discussion at all or you lead for only a minute or two.  Other students likely did not know you were a discussion leader.
Listening and Responding

(AP)

You are very attentive to your discussants: helping them chase good ideas by asking follow-up questions, and diverting them with more of your questions when they digress.  It seems to the rest of us that you really want to help people find their own points of view! You generally are helpful to your discussants, though you may have let them digress or feel lost occasionally.  Other students likely enjoyed your leadership. You asked your questions, but may have failed to interact with your discussants beyond that.  It likely felt as if you were simply reading your list. You either do not lead discussion at all or you lead for only a minute or two.  Other students likely did not know you were a discussion leader.
Reflection memo

(KL)

Your memo offers a sophisticated assessment of your work in the group, your ability to ask questions and participate discussion, and the productivity of the larger conversation. You are also able to suggest the importance of leading discussion in an academic environment. Your memo reflects on the challenges and rewards of leading the fishbowl. You are able to articulate areas for improvement as well as describing questions or discussions that were particularly successful. Your memo reflects generally on the experience of leading fishbowl (i.e. you summarize what happened without much critical thought), OR the memo is submitted late OR is formatted incorrectly. Your memo is submitted late, is improperly formatted and/or is too short to adequately reflect on the experience of leading fishbowl

FI with Dr. Logan