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SCTR 19 - "Religions of the Book" - Winter 2007

Fr. Felix Just, S.J.
Dept. of Religious Studies, Santa Clara University

Group Presentations - Final Schedule:

Dates Topic Section 1 (9:15 – 10:20 a.m.) Section 2 (11:45 a.m. – 12:50 p.m.)
Wed-3/7 Prophets: Moses, Jesus, Muhammad Fr. Just & PEs Group # 5
Fri-3/9 Abraham & Family Group # 5 Group # 4
Fri-3/9 Jerusalem / Holy Land Group # 4 Group # 2
Mon-3/12 Women in the HB, NT, and Qur'an Group # 3 Group # 3
Mon-3/12 Women in Western Religions Today Group # 6 Group # 1
Wed-3/14 Sexual Norms & Practices Group # 1 Group # 7
Wed-3/14 Marriage Rites & Traditions Group # 2 Group # 6
Fri-3/16 Inter-Religious Dialogue/Relations Fr. Just & PEs Group # 8

  Group Project/Presentation Guidelines

Overview:  Groups of 3-4 students will each give a 30-minute presentation during the last two weeks of the quarter. The topics listed on our course schedule are suggestions only; your group may also propose another topic, as long as it compares all three religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) from some perspective, and focuses on the scriptural bases for the beliefs and practices in all three religions (Hebrew Bible, New Testament, Qur'an, respectively).

Guidelines & Timeline:

  1. Form Groups (Friday, Jan. 12) – From now on, each group will also sit together in class, to facilitate in-class discussions.
  2. Choose Topics (by Friday, Jan. 26, or earlier) – Discuss & decide as a group which topic you wish to research and present; give the instructor a brief written proposal (title and one-paragraph justification: why you are interested in this topic), signed by all group members. Topics will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. If several groups choose the same topic at the same time, you will have to negotiate or choose other topics, to avoid too much overlap!  The instructor will schedule the presentation dates after all proposals are submitted.
  3. Begin Research; Consult the Peer Educator; Meet with the Instructor – Start gathering information, both from secondary sources (library books, newspapers, online materials, etc.) and from primary readings (Bible & Qur'an); make appointments to meet as a group with the Peer Educator and/or the Instructor, who can help your group define your topic more precisely and find reliable resources and relevant readings.
    NOTE: For steps 4-6, whenever you email the instructor, please send a copy (CC) of the message (and any attachments) to ALL MEMBERS OF YOUR GROUP. That way, everyone will stay well informed and will immediately receive my responses.
  4. Submit Reading Selections (by Wednesday, Feb. 28, or earlier) – Submit a list of which passages from the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Qur’an (several brief selections, with about 50 verses from each of the three religious traditions) you want all the students in your class to read in advance of your presentation. Also, select two or three short secondary readings (encyclopedia, newspaper, magazine article, webpage, etc). The instructor may make some modifications, to avoid overlap with other groups. To find specific scriptural passages related to your topic, see the "Concordance" in the back of the Catholic Study Bible, the "Index" in the back of The Holy Qur'an, and the links provided on our course website.
  5. Propose Worksheet Questions – Prepare two or three questions (based on the readings) for the daily "Worksheet" that all other students will complete in advance of your presentation. Email your suggested questions to the instructor at least ONE WEEK in advance of your presentation, so I can format, modify, print, and distribute them to everyone on the classday before your presentation.
  6. Prepare Your Presentation – Decide what you want to present to the class, how, and by whom (every group member needs to contribute about equally); try to use the questions you submitted for the day's "Worksheet" for brief in-class discussions and/or some other small-group activity. Prepare some supporting materials to enliven your presentation (handouts, PowerPoint, WebPages, and/or other electronic format); EMAIL the instructor whatever supporting materials you plan to use at least 48 HOURS in advance, so I can correct any major errors and suggest some improvements before your group gives your presentation!
  7. Present Your Topic (March 7 - 14) – Each presentation should be 30 minutes, with about 20-25 min. for content and about 5-10 min. for small-group discussion/activity.
  8. Evaluate Another Group(s) – Each student will be asked to evaluate the presentation of one or two other groups, according to the “Assessment Rubrics” below.

For Step #4, email me the following information (as provided on the 1/2 sheet handout in class):

SCTR 19 – “Religions of the Book” – Winter 2007                      Name ______________________________  Section # ______  Group # ______

Proposed Readings for Group Project/Presentation (due Wed, 2/28/07)

Presentation Topic:

Primary Readings (give references for about 50 verses from each of the scriptures for the respective religions):

  • Readings from HB:

  • Readings from NT:

  • Readings from Qur’an:

Secondary Readings (give full bibliographical info for two or three brief selections, either one for each religion (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), or even better, some articles that actually compare two or three of these religions):




Assessment Rubrics for Group Presentations

(Slightly revised for Winter 2007)


4 – Exceeds Standards

3.5 – Meets Standards

3 – Approaches Standards

2 or 1 – Below Standards

0 – Nada

Primary &

The assigned readings were very interesting, helping me understand the topic much better. The worksheet questions really made me think.

The assigned readings were pertinent; they helped me understand the topic better. The worksheet questions made me think.

The assigned readings were somewhat helpful for understanding topic better. The worksheet questions were related to the topic.

The assigned readings were not very helpful and/or pertinent to the topic. The worksheet questions were unclear and/or not very good.



The whole presentation was very logically organized, with no noticeable problems. All three religions were covered very equally.

The whole presentation was well organized, with no major problems.
All three religions were covered about equally.

The presentation was fairly well organized, with only a few noticeable problems. One of the religions received less attention.

The presentation was not well organized, with several significant problems. One or two of the religions were neglected.

Was there
a plan?


All information was presented clearly, accurately, and very thoroughly; technical religious vocabulary was used well.

All information was presented clearly, accurately, in good detail; proper religious vocabulary was used most of the time.

Most information was presented accurately, but not very detailed. Religious vocabulary was generally good, with only few errors.

Information presented was often inaccurate or unclear; religious vocabulary was missing and/or often used incorrectly.

What was
this all about?


Many similarities and differences among the three religions were very clearly explained throughout the presentation.

Similarities and differences among the three religions were clearly explained as a significant part of the presentation.

Some similarities and differences among the three religions were presented and explained.

Much of the presentation dealt with the three religions separately, with very few comparative aspects.



Many pertinent texts from HB, NT, and Qur’an were well integrated as a central part of the presentation.

Pertinent texts from HB, NT, and Qur’an were used well throughout the presentation.

Several texts from HB, NT, and Qur’an were used, but not well integrated in the presentation.

Very few texts from HB, NT, and Qur’an were mentioned, and their significance was unclear.

Why did I
bring my


Secondary readings were very well integrated in the presentation.

Secondary readings were used in some part of the presentation.

Secondary readings were referred to minimally but not well integrated.

Secondary readings were hardly referred to at all.


& Teamwork

Each student in the group made an equally important contribution to the whole; they all clearly worked well together as a team.

Each student contributed to the group effort about equally; they all worked together reasonably well, with no noticeable friction.

Most students in the group made good contributions to the joint effort, but the presentation was a bit disjointed as a whole.

Some students in the group did not contribute much and/or each one’s work was rather disconnected from the others.

Who said
they were
a team?


All students spoke clearly, with effective body language and very good eye contact.

All students spoke clearly and used good eye contact.

Most students spoke clearly and had fairly good eye contact.

Some of the students did not speak clearly and/or did not connect well with the listeners.



Excellent AV materials significantly enhanced the group’s presentation.

Very good AV materials enhanced the group’s presentation.

Fairly good AV materials were used, with no major problems.

The quantity, quality, and use of AV materials were not so great.


& Interaction

The group kept my attention the whole time, got us all involved a lot, and left me wanting to learn more.

The group kept my attention most of the time, got everyone involved and focused on the topic.

The group kept my attention for much of the time, but we were engaged only a little.

The group had trouble keeping my attention; we were hardly involved at all; I was easily distracted.

Time for
a nap?

Readings &

Excellent readings & questions emailed to the professor on time;
few revisions needed.

Good readings & questions emailed to the professor on time;
requested revisions done promptly.

Some readings & questions emailed to the professor on time,
but significant revisions needed.

Readings & questions emailed to the professor late, revised poorly, and/or reminders required!

We forgot!

AV Material

Excellent AV materials submitted on time, with little revision needed.

Good AV stuff submitted on time; revisions done well.

Some AV stuff submitted on time, but significant revisions needed.

AV draft submitted late, revisions poor, and/or reminders required!



Presentation exactly 30 minutes.

Presentation very close to 30 min.

Presentation around 30 min.

Presentation too short or long.

No Clock?

Note: Students will evaluate other groups' presentations only on the first ten rubrics above. The professor alone will evaluate the last three rubrics.

Santa Clara University

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