CSC290 Communication Skills for Computer Scientists

Fall 2018

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Group Presentation

Group Presentation

Learning to work in a group is a major part of this course. You will work collaboratively with your group to deliver a Pecha Kucha presentation. To help you plan and prepare, you must submit the following deliverables.

Team Charter7%October 7
Presentation Plan8%October 26
Presentation Slides November 21
In-class presentation8%November 23 / 30
Group Feedback2%December 4

Group Membership Assignment

Groups will be assigned in tutorial 3. You will not be able to choose your group, so that you gain valuable skills working with people that you may not have met. Working with strangers is something you will frequently have to do in industry.

Presentation Topic

You may select a topic from the list of suggested topics (provided during tutorial 3), or propose one that’s not on the list for instructor approval. Proposed topics should be relevant to CSC290. A maximum of 1 group per tutorial section can choose the same topic.

Pecha Kucha

In this course, we will be using a presentation style called Pecha Kucha. Please read up on this presentation style and familiarize yourself with it. Here are some resources to get you started:

We will not be enforcing the "zero words per slide" rule. You may create slides with text or add text to your images, if necessary. However, if many of your slides are text-heavy, you will have failed to adhere to the Pecha Kucha presentation style and be deducted marks.

We will be using Microsoft PowerPoint as the standard presentation software for this course. You will be required to submit your Pecha Kucha presentation slides in this software format. Your presentation slides must be setup to advance to the next slide automatically every 20 seconds without human intervention.

The Pecha Kucha presentation style highly encourages presenters to really think about their presentation content and to really prepare for the presentation. The strict timing (20 seconds per slide) rule of the Pecha Kucha encourages planning, preparation, and practice, and ensures the timing of each presentation.


The charter, presentation plan, presentation slides, and in-class presentation portions of this assignment must be completed as a group. Every student must participate in all parts of the group assignment in order to earn the marks.

You may have limited class time during tutorials to work on the group assignment. Your attendance to these classes will be recorded. Your attendance to these classes are a way that you demonstrate to the instructor that you are participating in your group work.

In the end, your primary responsibility is to your team members. If they report to me that you have not contributed to a part of the assignment, you may be removed from the group and receive a zero for all parts of this assignment.

Late group work will be assigned a grade of zero, so please submit early! Presentation slides must be submitted on time so that the TAs has time to review and queue them for the presentation day.

Presentations must be delivered in tutorials, as scheduled. Please contact the instructor in advance if you require special considerations. In case of Illness or other disasters, contact the instructor as soon as possible.

Team Charter

During lectures, we discuss how a Project Charter contains the high-level, critical information that is important to the project and that defines the project. You will adapt the format of a Project Charter to create a Team Charter.

Your Team Charter should include high-level, critical information about your project such as the goals/objectives, assumptions, scope, and other details that you identify as important, regardless of your presentation topic of choice. It should detail all aspects of how your team will work together.

Here are some of the questions you should consider when writing your charter:

  • Why are you doing this project? What do you hope to get out of it?
  • How will you know that your group is successful?
  • How you will interact with each other (use of online tools vs. in-person meetings)?
  • What tools will you use (eg. email, Google Docs, etc)?
  • What resources do you need?
  • What skills do you need in your team members in order for you to succeed?
  • Who will be responsible for deliverables like creating the final copy of the Team Charter, submitting on behalf of the group?
  • What are those deliverables?
  • What are your milestones? Can you set dates for these to keep you on track?
  • How will decisions be made? How will you handle disagreement about a topic in the group?
  • How will you handle the loss of a team member (eg. if your group member decides to drop the course)?

This is not the document to talk about the details of your project that are specific to your chosen topic. (eg. “We are doing our presentation on [topic] because we all think it’s interesting. The outcome of this project will be that we convince the audience to our [argument]”). Remember that you will have the opportunity to discuss those details in in the Project Plan portion of this group assignment.


There is no set template for this assignment, and you may create your own template to suit the needs of your team. Here are some resources to get you startered:

Some examples:


Your document will be marked for the following. Please see the Team Charter Grading Rubric.

Presentation Plan

Planning is an important step in preparing for a successful presentation. It is important to have a specific goal and acknowledge your assumptions when delivering a message (in this case, in the form of a presentation). Awareness of the parts of communication (goal/purpose, message, medium, audience), as mentioned in Lecture 1, can be useful presentations and other means of communications.

To demonstrate planning and preparation, your group will submit a presentation plan that details how you will organize your presentation. Presentation plan must be submitted on MarkUs before the deadline. One group member should submit the assignment on behalf of the group.

Presentation Plan Requirements

The presentation plan should provide an idea of what your group has planned for your presentation. The write-up should include:

  • Goal/Purpose: What is the effect you want to have on the audience? What do you want them to feel, think, do, or be able to do? What action do you want them to take next? There is a reason you are in front of the audience. You want to have an effect on them. You want them to think or behave differently after your talk.
  • Message: Briefly outline how you plan on supporting said goal. What are the points you have to present in support of the goal? If it’s not obviously clear how these points support your goal, please explain.
  • Audience: What assumptions have you made about the audience’s knowledge? What do you expect them to know? What do they not know? What do you think will interest them?
  • Presentation Content What aspects of your topic will you discuss in your presentation? In what order?

The questions above are meant to be leading questions to help you think about the plan. You may not need to answer all of the question or you may feel the need to answer other questions in your presentation plan that are not asked above.

Please cite any sources in the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) format. Refer to You can also consult your TA, the Librarians, or the Academic Skills Centre for additional assistance. If you do, bring a copy of the ACM Reference Format link, since the ACM citation style is unique to Computer Science and Engineering disciplines.


Please see the Presentation Plan Grading Rubric.

Presentation Slides

Presentation slides must be submitted on time on MarkUs, so that the TAs has time to review and queue them for the presentation day. Only one person per group should submit the slides.

You must use MS PowerPoint to create the slides. If you do not have MS PowerPoint, you can download the software from here.

In-class Presentation

Each group will be graded as a whole for the presentation content. Each group member will be graded individually for their presentation delivery.

Please see the Presentation Grading Rubric.

Group Feedback

Please fill out the CSC290 Team Evaluation and Feedback Form, downloadable as a Word document, and submit the completed document on MarkUs as a PDF file.

The form has three parts. The first two parts are confidential; I will not share any individual team member rating, only the aggregate rating of all their team members (e.g. three out of four team members reported that you did not contribute to the team charter).

Feedback should be professional and formative, and should not attack any individuals. You will be graded both on the quality feedback that you provide, and the content of the feedback you receive from your group members.

You may not use grace tokens for this assignment. If you do not submit your feedback correctly and on time, you will forfeit the entire 2%.