Saturday, June 13, 2009

My Paper Presentation "Incorporating Thinking Tools to Enhance Facilitation of PBL"

Friday 12th June 09-
Random Thoughts on my very First Paper Presentation

In preparation:

First paper presentation- Incorporating Thinking Tools in PBL. Republic Poly's PBL conference on What are we Learning about Learning. Revisited the slides at 3am in the morning. Added TLLM's PETALS to provide context. Helps a little to add some credibility to mention that this was a refined work building upon my Masters project.Re-capped what Irene and I have envisioned to do with our paper. Included thoughts on future steps with currrent research projects with NHHS on metacognition. Irene's lovely slides saved the day.

Stress and Tension:

Very mind boggling experience presenting to a sea of researchers. Attending the earlier concurrent sessions were not exactly most ideal in preparation for my own session. Indications by senior management of Temasek Poly's, RP's SPAS, Australian's school administration attending my session of course, added to the stress level. Was highly critical and skeptical of some presentations. Validity and Reliabilty issues. Rita Roop was definitely one good cheer and a good dose of encouragment! Other presenters' weaknessses = my strengths/ For fear of 'difficult' questions- maximise my 25 min sharing so that less questions could be asked? Almost freaked out when I only prepared 40 copies of my presentation handouts. Student assistance helped print 30 more. My tag with the following - Ministry of Education, Singapore - definitely did not help. A Bishan Park Sec principal said, "I have been waiting for your presentation so that I can use it with my teachers". Glad that the two presentations before me were not too bad. Glad that I inserted a nice photo of me and josh with my email address to 'cushion' any difficult questions at the end. Doesn't help being the final presentation of the day. Encouraging email from Sue: "It will be great! Enjoy!!!!"

The Moment:

Took to the stage - trying to look confident. My jokes went "plapped" - prob too 'localised' for an international audience. Could not understand what the Indonesian was asking. Intended some long pauses during the presentation just to see the reactions of the Think my energy and enthusiam helped to wake up some of the sleepy heads. Was wondering: what on earth was she busily writing even though she had my slides. Glad that I pre-empt with statement: these are my thoughts as a practitioner with much room for further research. Plan to maximise my sharing was great. TIMES UP placard was flashed repeated when I was on slide 20 out of 28. First comment from audience: "Thank you for the very rich sharing...." Question One: Would you use all the tools in one go (my immediate thoughts: was that a trick question?) Question Two: Does your tool give everyone a fair chance to contribute. (glad I gave an anecdotal reply with how the affinity diagram gave a introverted student a chance to tell of his story) One of the toughest questions: Can your thinking tools be used for RP's 'One Day, One Problem' model? (definitely food for thought)


People rushed forward to ask for a copy of my soft-copy slides. To give or not to give? I wished they engage me with more "tell me more about your ideas" question. The Australian P asked, are there more tools? The Malaysian presenter asked, how up-to-date are your tools and which of these were more business related? Another comment: "it would have been even better if your session was for a longer workshop so that we can learn more about the tools." Natasha- An old long-lost classmate came forward and waited patiently for me. Sue commented ang mo asked "so where is the control group" (my response: ??!!*)@I#@)$)_@). A fitting compliment: A very thought provoking piece with some nice contemporary ideas. Felt a sense of "lost" and "wonder" Got a sms from Irene: How goes?

Wasn't it a delightful experience?

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