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Panel presentations

There will be six panels, each with up to six students. Each panelist will make a presentation that describes an aspect of an assigned journal article.

Presentations require four to six (max.) PowerPoint slides (ID slide plus three to five content slides). Links to examples are below.

Making a presentation is required to earn a grade higher than "F".

Purpose

1.  Students will learn how research methodology and statistical techniques are applied in real-world criminal justice research

2.  Students will learn to read and interpret scholarly articles in criminal justice

3.  Students will have an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of basic methodology and applied statistics

Articles

Each panel will be assigned an article from a scholarly journal. Students will be e-mailed a .pdf version at the beginning of the semester. (For a discussion about journal articles in general, click here.)

Slides

Students will prepare PowerPoint (or similar) slides, broken into bullet points, to use as prompts and to help the audience follow along.

Slides condense and summarize the key points of the presentation. Please avoid technical terms. Your assignment is to translate concepts into ordinary language that anyone would understand. Use the examples as a guide.

A copy of the slide show will be emailed to the instructor immediately after the presentation and used for grading.

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YOUR WORK MUST BE ORIGINAL. DO NOT quote or paraphrase from the article. Don't use its sentences, even if you substitute some words. Other than for the names of variables, everything must be originally composed. Your assignment is to "translate" technical information into ordinary language so that non-experts will understand. That's not simple, but it's very rewarding.

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Please format your slides to look EXACTLY like the examples linked on the website. Font used in the examples is Calibri (body), 30 pt. You may also use Courier or Times Roman. Please adjust the font size so it approximates the example.

(NOTE: The slide examples are NOT from any of the articles being presented in class. They are only there to serve as a guide. Their hypothesis, variables, data sources, etc. are different from your article. Please DO NOT copy anything from the examples to your slides.)

Slides must be black lettering on a plain white background, just as in the examples. NO graphics. (Only exception is position #5, which will display a slide with a table. The table will be emailed to the student.) 

Oral presentation

Students have a maximum time limit of five minutes to cover their material. Insofar as possible they should avoid technical terms and jargon, translating everything to ordinary language, and proceed as though presenting to an educated but non-expert audience.

Panelists must rehearse and commit as much as is reasonable to memory and should only refer to notes when absolutely necessary. Please DO NOT read your presentation from notes -- it's painful for the audience and will cause a loss of points.

Grading

Twenty points are possible. Up to five points are awarded for making a practice presentation on the date scheduled, up to five for the actual oral presentation, and up to ten for the slides.

Grading for the slides will be based on coverage of the material, clarity of expression, neatness, and following instructions. Grading for the oral presentation will be based on coverage of the material, clarity of expression and avoiding reading from notes.

Detailed instructions for each panel

Panels present three times during the semester. Each student appears once. They split up the work as follows.

FIRST PRESENTATION DATE (presenters #1 & #2 – about week 4

NOTE: The slide examples linked below are NOT from any of the articles being presented in class. The examples are only there to serve as a guide. Their hypothesis, variables, data sources, etc. are different from your article. Please DO NOT copy anything from the examples to your slides.

Student 1: Introduction and literature review  slides example 

1. Article title, authors. Set out the research question. Explain in some detail what is being studied, and why.

2. From the literature review, discuss prior research into this issue. What have others researchers discovered?

Student 2: Hypothesis and key variables  slides example

1. Article title (only)

2. Set out the hypothesis (if there is more than one, the two or three most important)

3. For the main hypothesis, identify the main dependent and independent variable(s). Don't get into technical measurement issues.

SECOND PRESENTATION DATE (presenters #3 & #4 – about week 8)

NOTE: The slide examples linked below are NOT from any of the articles being presented in class. The examples are only there to serve as a guide. Their hypothesis, variables, data sources, etc. are different from your article. Please DO NOT copy anything from the examples to your slides.

Student 3: Research approach and methodology slides example

1. Article title (only)

2. Very briefly restate the main hypotheses and identify the main dependent and independent variables. (You are summarizing what student #2 said.)

3. Explain where researchers got their data. Did they collect it? Or did they use data from another study? Often it's both. If existing studies were used, briefly describe them.

4. Identify the research design used in the study (experimental, quasi-experimental, non-experimental). Why did researchers take this approach?

5. Identify the sample (e.g., 250 high-school students in the XYZ school district) and the population - the largest group to which researchers intend to project their findings (e.g., all students in the L.A. School District).

6. Describe the sampling technique. How were cases selected? (If the data came from another study, how did those authors select their cases?) Identify the unit of analysis. What constitutes a "case"? (Remember that it's not always one person - it can be one event, or one place.)

Student 4: Variables and measurement  slides example

1. Article title (only)

2. Identify the main dependent and independent variables. If there are several categories, take the most important from each. State how each variable was measured. Is it categorical or continuous? Were "dummy" variables used?

3. Identify variables with possible validity and reliability concerns. (Validity - do they represent the real world? Reliability - can they be accurately and consistently measured?)

THIRD PRESENTATION DATE (presenters #5 & #6 – about week 16)

NOTE: The slide examples linked below are NOT from any of the articles being presented in class. The examples are only there to serve as a guide. Their hypothesis, variables, data sources, etc. are different from your article. Please DO NOT copy anything from the examples to your slides.

Student 5: Key findings    slides example

1. Article title (only)

2. Very briefly restate the main hypotheses and identify the main dependent and independent variables. (You are summarizing what student #2 said.)

3. Describe the main findings. Taking one finding at a time, point to and interpret the statistical significance of relationships in the table that support the finding. Describe the effect of independent variables in percentage or other appropriate terms.

4. Be sure to track any changes in the above effects across the table. Describe any differences, say, under different models or conditions, and explain why they exist.

Student 6: Discussion     slides example

1. Article title (only)

2. List principal and other key hypotheses (limit 3 total)

3. From the concluding section of the article, were the principal hypothesis/hypotheses confirmed? To what extent?

4. What implications were raised by the research? What of importance is there still to learn?

5. Was anything of importance lacking in the data or in the research design? How could future studies be improved?


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