Group Presentations on Student Services for First Year Composition

This activity is a great way for students to learn about and teach each other about the student services your college has to offer, increasing chances of student retention and success, and can lead nicely into a writing assignment on a Successful Transition to College.

  1. First Step: Learn About the Range of College Resources and Student Services

Skills (research): List of 15-20 college resources and student services. Make sure you know what each one does.

Estimated completion time: 15 minutes

Submission: Bring in list to class.

  1. Second Step: Form Groups and Choose a Service

In class, the teacher asks each student to name and describe one service, writing the names on the board, then others are named without much explanation (to save time).

The teacher then explains the group presentations, which should be 15-20 minutes total with each student presenting about 5 minutes. One student, for instance, can give anoverview of the service, location, hours, general purpose. Another can give an overview of key services. A third could go into one service in depts. The fourth could evaluate the service, explaining what is working well and what could be improved. Students don’t need to decide who will do what yet, but they like to know what the presentation will look like.

The students then form groups of 4-5 students and discuss which service they would like to research, preferably one that will benefit some, most, or all of the students in that group. As each group decides, they raise their hands, and the teacher goes up to them in order, writing down their choices. In same cases, a second group may choose the same service, in which case they will have to select another.

  1. Third Step: Research the Service

Skills (research): As a group, research a college resource or student service online and in person by studying their website and visiting the service. Plan ahead so you can make an appointment and talk to representatives. You should find out name, location, hours, and services. Evaluate its effectiveness: what is working well and what needs improvement?

Estimated completion time: 1 hour

Submission: Bring in detailed notes on the service. (Presentations will take place next week.)

  1. Fourth Step: Plan the Presentation

In class, students have some time to discuss their findings and plan their presentations.

  1. Fifth Step: Prepare the Presentation

Writing: Prepare a group presentation on one student service or resource. Each student should present for about five minutes for a total of fifteen to twenty minutes. The presentation should contain visuals with the name, location, hours, services, and other relevant information, especially an evaluation of what is working and what needs improvement. Be sure to include a visual element: Google Slides, a Powerpoint presentation, a poster, fliers, etc.

Possible points: 25 for each student

Estimated completion time: 45 minutes – 1 hour

Submission: Group presentation

  1. Sixth Step: Present!

Presentations usually take longer than expected, especially with questions and answers, but I recommend a time limit of 15 minutes total. In a class of 20, there would be four groups of five, so it would probably take two class periods.

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