· A seminar is a discussion centred on a particular theme.
· The leader of the seminar presents a particular topic and then becomes a partner in the ensuing discussion.
It is often helpful to organise coursework in such a way that students are obliged to prepare and present a short piece on the day’s theme.
This piece of weekly written work will constitute one element within a larger piece, such as an essay or description.
The weekly contribution should not exceed half a page of type-written, A4 or letter-sized paper or one full page of hand-written.
This short piece of coursework can be presented in class as part of the seminar and be critiqued by the lecturer and the students.
This helps students focus on their communication skills and teaches them to listen to, and make constructive use of, criticism.
Such an approach also helps to make the completion of coursework a more streamlined affair, taking the pressure off the last few days before the hand in.
Furthermore it sustains the engagement and study momentum of the student while being a preventative measure against plagiarism.
FORMAT FOR THE SEMINAR
1. At the beginning of the seminar it is helpful to go over the main points covered during the previous session.
2. Introduce the theme for this week and place it within the context of the course as a whole.
3. Explain why this theme is a necessary part of the course
4. Go through student contributions, preferably making students read each other’s contributions.
5. Discuss each contribution within the group, inviting comments from others.
6. Provide a text or a short presentation as the substance for discussion.
7. Allow a discussion to form on the theme.
8. Make sure that the main points raised are recorded in a special discussion recording book
9. Summarise “what we have learnt and introduce next week’s theme.
10. Brainstorm with the group about next week’s theme noting the issues brought up on the blackboard.