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Initial Topic Presentation (20 total pts x 2 presentations in the course)

Wiki Page (12 total pts)

  • Introduction (1 pt) - Give a general introduction. What is the big-picture motivation? When and why did researchers start working on this topic? What are the implications of the research for society?
  • Content (3 pts) - Briefly describe the major experiments and results of several related research studies within the area of your topic. Total length of the Wiki page or the content that you add should be ~1000 words. For topic updates, you are expected to expand the text by ~1000 words while preserving the logical flow and correcting factual points in the existing text.
  • Background for Highlighted Paper (1 pt) - Describe the history specifically leading to the highlighted paper and any methods that one needs to be familiar with to understand the experiments described in the paper or its significance.
  • Highlighted paper (1 pt) - Describe the major results of the highlighted paper. Why is it especially noteworthy? Don't go into detail about the individual experiments or new methods described in the paper. We will discuss the paper itself in detail the following week.
  • Summary/Future Directions (2 pts) - Evaluate the overall implications of the studies you cite as a whole. Compare/contrast the merits of different experimental approaches or studies. Speculate about the future directions of the field. Make connections to other topics.
  • References (1 pt) - Cite at least 5 total sources in References section of the page. At least 3 of these must be from the primary literature (The highlighted paper can count for 1 of these 3). Additional references may be review articles, popular science articles, or web pages (if the web pages have significant related content).
  • Images (1 pt) - Include at least 2 graphics on the Wiki page. These may be drawn from papers or the web at large, but be sure they have appropriate usage rights for re-posting. For potential extra credit, create original images.
  • iGEM connection (1 pt) - Describe a BioBrick or project proposal from at least one past iGEM team with a link to their team's website.
  • Organization / Formatting (1 pt) - Overall organization of topic page is logical. Use Wiki headings, lists, images with captions, and references. Bonus points possible for more advanced Wiki formatting

Presentation (8 total pts)

  • Organization (1 pt) - Overall organization of the presentation is logical and on-topic.
  • Content (3 pts) - Introduction and contents of several research papers or examples of the topic are presented and discussed.
  • Background for Highlighted Paper (1 pt) - Sufficient background is communicated to appreciate why this particular paper was selected and to prepare the class to read it by providing additional information from other sources.
  • Time Management (1 pt) - Presentation and discussion lasts 20-30 minutes and is kept on-topic. You may show online content or multimedia related to your topic within reason or specifically come up with questions or activities that encourage class-discussion to fill the time. You do not have to lecture for the whole time, but you could.
  • Responses to questions (2 pts) - How well does the speaker show that they have a mastery of the topic and cited references when responding to questions?

You have an opportunity to earn more than the number of possible points for each section by exceeding the expectations. Topics and effective approaches to researching and presenting them will be different, so this gives you multiple routes to get full credit by excelling at some aspects of the assignment and neglecting others to some extent. If you receive a low score, you will be given a chance to edit the web page to work on the areas that need improvement or perform a short supplemental presentation (in addition to the normal follow-up discussion) to regain up to half of the missed points.

Topic Update (5 total pts x 2 presentations in the course)

Wiki Page (3 total pts)

  • Talk Page Responses (1 pt) - All questions by members of the class on the talk page that were posted by Thursday of the week the topic was originally presented are responded to directly on the talk page point-by-point.
  • Requested edits (2 pt) - Pages are expanded and clarified in response to class discussion and suggestions on the talk page.

Presentation (2 total pts)

  • Responses (2 pts) - Talk page discussion and edits to the topic are briefly summarized for the class (at most 5 minutes) before we launch into a discussion of the highlighted paper.

Class Participation (20 total pts in the course)

In addition to being expected to participate in general discussions during our course meetings of topics and papers. You must specifically...

Feedback / Collaboration Once per every two topics covered, you are expected to contribute to someone else's WIki topic page:

  • Add a substantive question or comment to the talk page by Thursday of the week they initially presented.
  • Add an additional reference with explanation, link to a blog or popular science article, or other content to the topic page.
  • Correct a factual error or clarify an explanation.

Paper Discussion Once per every three topics (roughly once per class), you are expected to:

  • Correctly explain a technical point or present a figure from the highlighted paper when we are discussing it. Be prepared: you may be called on to explain any part of a paper.