In Professor Todd's course on Dostoevsky, students participate in a series of four academic "conferences" for each of the major novels read in class. For each conference, three students read brief papers and the other students comment on them. These oral presentations are then turned in to the professor in written form after the conferences. This type of exercise allows students the opportunity to present their work to the class and to receive serious feedback from other members of the class. Schedule the conferences early in the term so that the paper-givers and respondents have adequate time to prepare.
This activity was created by Professor William Mills Todd III and teaching fellow Rebecca Reich.