Learning Objectives

  • Collaborate effectively and professionally as members of an interdisciplinary community of learners.
  • Apply basic communication, critical thinking and research skills
  • Solidify understanding of key terms, concepts and current issues in the field of food system studies

Term 1 Presentation Instructions

Each group will develop a 20 minute presentation based on key concepts and themes from the assigned readings, group dialogue, and personal experiences. Groups should present two or more competing viewpoints or perspectives related to the debate around a particular topic. The presentation will be followed by a 20 minute civic deliberation facilitated by the presenters.

REMINDER: You must provide complete citations (on individual slides and in the final bibliography) for all material used in the presentation, including images downloaded from the web, videolinks, quotes, figures, etc. See the UBC Writing Commons site for referencing guidelines.

Main Arguments and/or Themes

Brief and balanced presentation of the main thesis and supporting arguments articulated in the required reading

  • Allocate approximately 5 mins to this section
  • Assume(!) everyone has completed the readings. Your purpose here is to clearly and succinctly summarize the structure of the argument (i.e. thesis statement, premises, and evidence)
  • DO NOT summarize the whole reading – rather focus on the main theme and/or themes relevant to the food system issue that the group has decided to focus on throughout the presentation.

Personal Reflections

Relate the theme(s) from the required readings to your discipline and/or your past experiences

  • Allocate approximately 6 mins to this section
  • Each group member critically reflect on an aspect of the week’s readings that is relevant to his/her discipline and past experiences (approx 1 minute each!)
  • State what excited/challenged/frustrated you and why. This will help draw your audience into your presentation right from the beginning.
  • Make sure there is consistency and coherency between group members reflections, as well as reflections and the next section on main arguments.

What's the Issue?

How does this reading relate to a current or historically controversial issue? Choose an issue that is known for being divisive and has no clear right or wrong answer.

  • Allocate approximately 9 mins to this section
  • Briefly describe the issue and why it is controversial
  • Briefly present the different perspectives (academic and/or non-academic) on the issue, emphasizing the key claims and evidence used by each side

Civic Deliberation Facilitation

  • 20 minutes total
  • Based on the controversial issue you presented, lead the tutorial room in a civic deliberation. The purpose of a civic deliberation is to consider all facts and points of view on a particular topic, as well as their possible trade-offs and consequences.
  • Structure your facilitation in a manner that identifies the extreme positions (HINT: This should have already happened in the previous section of the presentation) and allows each student in tutorial to articulate their position.
  • Next, focus on the possible trade-offs and consequences of the main positions in the room, working towards a more nuanced understanding of the spectrum of beliefs and reasoning on the issue.
  • Remember, the purpose of a civic deliberation is not to create a win-lose scenario, like a debate (see Term 2 presentation). Rather, the goal is to allow students in tutorial to be more informed on the issue, which, in turn, helps develop their judgement to be more inclusive of diverse perspectives.

Assessment of Presentation

  • See rubric in Canvas for full details
  • Quality of the slides
  • Coherency between sections
  • Capturing and holding audience attention, voice projection, enthusiasm, posture, timeliness
  • Civic deliberation facilitation process
  • Proper citation - use APA style for in-text citations and reference section

Term 2 Presentation Instructions

Tag Team Debate

A Tag Team debate is a way to collaboratively engage in a topic by having individuals debate on their own but with the support of their peers.

  1. Two groups will be assigned to debate each session. There will be one question for debate per session focusing on the content of the week's reading.
  2. Groups should arrive prepared to argue for or against the question. The TA will determine which group takes which side and groups will have 3 minutes to prepare.
  3. Each group gets 5 minutes for opening statements. The affirmative group begins. One speaker from the group takes the floor and can speak for no more than one minute. That speaker will "tag" another member of the team to pick up the argument before (or when) his or her minute is up. Team members who are eager to pick up a point or add to the team's argument can put out a hand to be tagged. No member of the team can be tagged twice until all members have been tagged once.
  4. Groups will have 5 mins to prepare a rebuttal.
  5. Groups will have 3 minutes to present their rebuttal. The negative group begins this round. Each speaker can speak no more than 1 minute.
  6. Groups will have 5 minutes to prepare a one-minute closing statement.
  7. The affirmative group begins. One or multiple speakers can participate in the closing statement.

At the end of the closing statements, the tutorial TA will facilitate a 15 minute group discussion on the topic.

  • During the debate, non-debating students will be expected to complete the Debate Notes handout (TA will provide a hard copy of the handout in tutorial), outlining the main arguments for an d against, the main rebuttals presented by each side, and a brief assessment of the debating groups (e.g., which group was most persuasive)


The components of the rubric are based on the following:

  1. Accurate knowledge of week's readings and themes
  2. Quality of evidence used to support positions
  3. Quality of logical structure of arguments
  4. Quality of presentation
  • A rubric for grading is posted in Canvas