Thursday 23 January 2014

First international 3 min #phd #thesis contest - can it be done?!

The wonderful Terry Anderson of Athabasca University in Canada has gathered international partners for the first international 3 minute online thesis contest. And I am quite excited to be one of the PhD student teams (the team of the Open University of the UK).

All contestants and their thesis topics are listed here, so feel free to have a look. For those interested, the contest can be followed by the public and you can even vote for the people's choice of best speaker.

As this is a first off, none of us know whether it will work smoothly. This is indeed typical of Online Endeavors. Exciting!

So feel free to come over and have a look at what the international online 3 minute thesis contest looks like. Learn what Phd students from Mexico, Spain, Canada and United Kingdom are investigating and vote for your favorite.

When: Tuesday 28 January 2014 at 5 pm UTC time (London, UK) for your time zone, look at the Google calendar here:

Twitter hashtag: #O3MT
Contest location
PhD speakers come from these four universities: Da Vinci University of Mexico, Athabasca University of Canada, the Open University of Catalonia and the Open University of the United Kingdom.

Judging Criteria - People's Choice
  • Comprehension: Did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
  • Engagement: Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Communication: Was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience?
The 3 minute thesis contest was first organised by University of Queensland, Australia as a face-to-face contest which was broadcast over the internet. The winner of one of the first 3 min thesis was Matthew Thompson and his winning thesis speech can be seen below (to be honest, that is one FABULOUS speech, as he is talking with calm, precision and keeps a wonderful narrative thread going).
Now the catch with this international online 3 min contest is ... to be engaging talking heads. For yes, those of us behind a computer (which will be most of us speakers) will be using headsets and potentially unstable wifi connections. Quite a challenge!
So let me have another look at the Matthew and learn from him (and hope my wifi will be stable on Tuesday)

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