Naked mole rat.  Photograph: Lorna Faulkes

Naked mole rat. Photograph: Lorna Faulkes



The final Presentations are tackled after the Essays are all in and uploaded to IBIS.

A first pass at a Presentation was previously introduced at the end of the Indigenous Knowledge Systems Unit of Inquiry. Before launching the Presentations season, students are again given access to the official guidelines and criteria: 

  • The role of the teacher and other assessment details from the Subject Guide
  • Presentation Grading Criteria
  • TK/PPD Personal Planning Document (for the Presentation)



Echoing "ready, fire... aim," I jump straight in with a fairly crude tactic. I provide two live exemplar oral presentations of my own. This is done with much good humor in the spirit of not asking the students to do what I would not do myself. The idea is to demystify the formality of the assessed presentation and to get to grips with the criteria. 

1. The first presentation is an object lesson in what not to do. It is a preposterous, unprepared stream of consciousness, comic rant that arguing that naked mole rats should be elevated to the status of “chrasmatic megafauna” (like elephants, giant pandas and Siberian tigers) based on the fact that they live in social colonies, and never get cancer or feel pain. A formal Knowledge Question is glaringly absent. The presentation includes a viral, lowbrow YouTube video; and reading out verbatim a dry, technical paragraph lifted without citation from Wikipedia.

2. The second Presentation is a serious attempt to meet the criteria. I take a real-life situation that is in the news that week. I provide copies of a completed TK/PPD for before the second presentation, as well as copies of the grading criteria

The students are invited to assess the two presentations using the official criteria and offer editorial. Have them work in pairs so that the nuances of the criteria can be discussed. 

At this juncture we are almost at the end of the two year TOK course. Once the orals are set up the students are informed that they will be responsible for much of the content and, effectively, the teaching, for the remainder of the course; especially as they field questions at the end of their timed presentations.