2021 Technical Discussion A

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Ricinschi Dan  Gonzales Hazel Bantolino 
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Course description and aims

Technical Discussion is mainly a visual and verbal communication course catering to the needs of doctoral students. The course provides basic skills and practical experience required for clear and concise oral presentations and discussions on scientific/technical topics in English. It is designed to help doctoral students confidently and orally express their thoughts on technical issues and concerns. In addition to providing information synthesized from relevant reference books, the instructors offer students practical advice from their own experience as scientific presenter and conference attendee. Lecture topics will be a step-by-step preparation in delivering a conference presentation that will include practical guidelines and techniques for an effective speech in public. The course aims to teach doctoral students "what to say", "when to say it" and "how to say it" in the context of describing their research in oral conference presentations as well as in other formal and informal meetings (poster presentations, scientific debates, seminars, etc.).

Student learning outcomes

At the end of this course, students are expected to:
1. understand the importance of tehnical discussion for both their current and future career;
2. acquire and enhance the ability to verbally express their research-related ideas as well as give creative comments or suggestions on a technical note;
3. acquire and enhance the ability to speak confidently in English regarding technical issues; and
4. build a good rapport with their fellow students as audience.


verbal communication, technical discussion, oral presentation, presentation skills

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Classes will be given for 7 weeks, in both Ookayama and Suzukakedai campuses, and will be based as much as possible on a match between the student's and instructor's major/specialized area of research (a selection process will take place if necessary). Classes will cover preparations for an actual technical discussion (mainly in the form of an oral presentation). Throughout the course, there will be opportunities for in‒class exercises and quizzes. Students may be assigned some topics for an oral presentation/debate based on which they will be evaluated, or they may introduce their own research work.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 14:20-16:00,Wednesday, April 14, Zoom Introduction to Oral Communication; Importance and Preparation of Conference Presentations Understand the importance of Technical Discussion for science and technology majors, set scenario for conference presentation
Class 2 14:20-16:00,Wednesday, April 21, Zoom Effective Opening of Conference Presentations; Essentials of Methodology Make interesting and strong introduction to get audience' attention, check logical flow of methodology
Class 3 14:20-16:00,Wednesday, April 28, Zoom Ways of Presenting Results; Discussion of Data; Preparation of Effective Visual Aids How to prepare effective tables and figures, how to clearly discuss the results of experiments, and how to design and arrange slides properly
Class 4 14:20-16:00,Wednesday, May 12, Zoom Effective Ending of Conference Presentations; Dealing with Questions and Answers (Handling Tough Questions) How to end presentations (final content), manage Q and A and learn techniques for addressing tough questions from the audience
Class 5 14:20-16:00,Wednesday, May 19, Zoom Special Techniques on How to Present Like a Pro (Delivery and Style of Presentations, Idea Linkers and Emphasizers, Video Viewing or Short Exercise) Learn the proper language and gestures in presentation, make coherent and spontaneous explanations of slides, learn techniques in proper audience interaction, demonstrate examples
Class 6 14:20-16:00,Wednesday, May 26, Zoom Students' Presentations in Class and Participation in Discussion Deliver short oral presentations and practical application of techniques learned in the course
Class 7 14:20-16:00,Wednesday, June 2, Zoom Students' Presentations in Class and Participation in Discussion Deliver short oral presentations and practical application of techniques learned in the course



Reference books, course materials, etc.

Suggested Books:
1) The Craft of Scientific Presentation (by Michael Alley)
2) Effective Presentations (by Jeremy Comfort)
3) Oral Presentations for Technical Communication (by Laura J. Gurak)

Assessment criteria and methods

The achievement grade of the individual students will be evaluated mostly on the basis of oral project assignment(s). Class exercises and/or quizzes during some lectures will be considered in calculation of the final grade. In addition, active student participation in interactive group discussions during some lectures should also be expected to favorably reflect on the final grade.

Related courses

  • Technical Writing

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Note that the doctoral students, who have already acquired one credit of Master's Technical Discussion as master students, cannot register this course.

Contact information (e-mail and phone)    Notice : Please replace from "[at]" to "@"(half-width character).

gonzales.h.aa[at]m.titech.ac.jp ; dan.r.aa[at]m.titech.ac.jp

Office hours

Consultation Hours: by appointment (contact via e-mail in advance to schedule an appointment with the instructor)

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