Panel Guidelines

Panel Presentation and Discussion Guidelines

Each student will serve on one panel this semester. Each panel will focus on a specific research topic in HCI. Papers corresponding to that research topic can be found at

Note that it is up to the students forming the panel to arrange how they will present the readings. In some cases, you might wish to cover one paper each. In others, you might wish to assign sections of the same reading to different panelists. Note that all panelists should read (and be able to discuss) all readings corresponding to their panel topic.

Meet with Lauren and the TAs at the end of the previous class to discuss your plan. On the day of your panel, submit your materials (slides, notes etc.) through T-Square before class. After you submit the first version, you have until 11:59PM on the same day to update these materials.

Most importantly, begin your preparation by defining a very clear learning goal for the class. What will students understand at the end of class that they might not have at the beginning? Choose 3-4 key ideas from the readings that you would like the students to understand deeply, and structure your panel strategy around these. Whenever possible, tie discussion topics to material that we have covered in class. Your panel discussion should accomplish the following:

Briefly summarize the papers for the class, noting that some classmates will not have read the papers as closely as others. This should take 5-10 minutes per paper, try to keep the total time to summarize all papers under 25 minutes.

Then, each panelist should discuss their reflections on the readings. Compare and contrast the ideas, approaches, and findings in the papers. Include in this discussion your critiques of the papers.

Come in with a clear set of goals for what you would like to convey. Cover both high- and low-level parts of the readings. What does this research mean? High-level concepts are important–they help us frame the contributions of the work and give us some motivation for the research topic. Move from high-level to low-level in a clear and understandable way. Was the right research question asked? How was this research accomplished? What technical concepts and methodological strategies were employed? If it’s a technical paper, the discussion should help students deeply understand the key technical ideas. If the paper describes a study, dive into the key details of how the study was performed.

Classmates will be encouraged to ask you questions. After presenting your summary and reflections, engage the audience in discussion.

Use slides carefully. Focus on verbally communicating ideas and keeping the panel and class discussion active.  That said, short videos and demos should be shown when possible and slides presenting designs, study details, data, and/or results can be useful. Use as many as slides as necessary to illustrate your talking points, but do not rely on them alone to convey information.

Arrive early to class on the day of your panel. Finally, consult the grading guidelines for details on how the discussion you lead will be assessed.

Some of the guidelines listed here were adopted with permission from Michael Bernstein’s Research Topics in HCI course.