Position Papers and In-Class Debates

I'm not sure if this is an example of the best or worst kind of debating.

I’m not sure if this is an example of the best or worst kind of debating.

I know, I know. Your classes have over 100 students in them and there’s no way you can run a debate at the university level! Point taken. That is, of course, unless you have seminars, tutorials, conferences, or whatever the hell they call them at your school (aside: I don’t know why, but there seems to be no standard terminology for this phenomenon). If you have even a few of these smaller meetings wherein you get to talk about documents that the students have read in advance, I highly recommend you give this a try. No really, I’ve done it with groups as large as 35 and I swear to you that it works. It just requires some careful planning.

I’m a big fan of debates because they let the students get their hands dirty with the material. The process of planning and then arguing provides a space for those mired in the learning process to work through their ideas and it makes the material meaningful in a way that normal discussions do not. It also forcefully reminds students that the knowledge we impart in the classroom our interpretation of the evidence, not some sort of objective “truth.” In a debate setting, there is no escaping the reality that the same subject matter can be interpreted in radically different ways. Moreover, the act of arguing teaches the importance of articulating one’s ideas clearly, and with supporting evidence.

And so, for several years now, I’ve tried to incorporate at least one debate into each of my courses. This doesn’t always work, as I don’t always have the resources – but when I can make it work, I run with it. Students come prepared, having done the readings, but they do not get to choose which position they have to argue. Instead, I divvy up the class, attempting to divide the talkative ones and the creative thinkers evenly so that neither team is at a disadvantage. Sometimes they have the debate question in advance, sometimes they don’t. It depends on the course. Each side then gets 30 minutes to prepare under the guidance of a designated team leader. This individual is responsible for moderating their team, choosing who gets to speak when, and making sure that no one speaks out of turn.

Students always love this, and several of them always tell me that it was the best part of the class at the end of term. The thing is, despite all of the good things that come of out debates, they often look like a complete disaster to the teacher sitting at the front of the room. Students remain respectful and are clearly engaged, that much is true. But they sometimes have trouble articulating the point that they are really trying to make and there is a marked tendency to veer off topic. There are always numerous missed opportunities, especially when it comes to rebuttals. Then there are the groups that don’t connect; when this happens, it’s like watching two different monologues being recited on opposite sides of a stage. The sloppiness of it all has never sat well with me.

This is why I decided to take a risk, and this year I asked students to write a position paper that was due several days before the debate itself. In their papers, students had to use the same readings to answer the same question they will have to argue in class in class. I worried that either they would find the process condescending, or that the repetition involved would cause them to get bored. But since there was, indeed, method to my madness, I pressed on. I was sincerely interested to see how the process of debating affected their original views and what it taught them about crafting an argument – especially since even the best students tend to have trouble identifying and undermining the antithesis when writing a paper. The tactic also had the added bonus of forcing students to have to read critically – and not casually – in advance of the debate.

Judgment day came. I held my breath, and I waited to see what would happen. I’m a cynic, so I expected a bunch of angsty teenagers, ready to rebel at my antiquated ways. Instead, they were bursting at the seams, eager to tell their peers what they thought about the topic. As always, students were assigned to their teams, but instead of griping about getting the “wrong side,” the groups self-organized and used the dissenters among their ranks to help them prepare for counter-arguments. Some students had done extra research for their papers, and obligingly shared their knowledge with the group. Even some of the more quiet students got involved, feeling more confident because they’d had time to work through their ideas more thoroughly in advance.

No really, it was like the day I discovered I could make Nutella bread. OMG, this actually works!

No really, it was like the day I discovered I could make Nutella bread. OMG, this actually works!

Currently, my classes have 33-35 students each. And yet, each time I did this, the debate was orderly and well planned. Sometimes it took a bit longer for them to get into it, but once discussion got going, there was a firestorm of exchange, and arguments really started to connect as the two sides went back and forth. I sat in awe, and let students try to convince one another until just before the end of class. When we wrapped up, and I asked them if any of them had changed their minds, or at the very least, would change the way they would argue if they could write their papers again. At least 10 students in each class put up their hands. When I asked them to elaborate, some had completely changed their minds; others told me that they had originally provided an opinion and that now they wanted to construct an argument, with better supporting evidence. A few maintained their original positions, but had become either more or less self-assured that they were, in fact, in the right.

Admittedly, I am currently teaching some unusually gifted students. They are a ridiculously bright lot of young people who have made it into a very competitive school. However, even if you take this into consideration, the difference between debates with and without a position paper attached was staggering. The debate itself became more orderly and meaningful, and the lessons it was meant to impart came into much more clearly focus for the students. Thus, I think it’s an exercise worth repeating. Again, pulling this off is dependent upon your resources (how many students you have in your class versus how many hours you have in a day… or, at the very least, how many TAs you have). But if you can make it work, combining a written component with an oral debate has been highly successful for me. This is one of those things where, even after marking 103 position papers, I can still say that it was worth it. And that, my friends, was a lot of papers to read on the same damn thing.

I’d be curious to know if anyone else out there is doing this type of thing and, if so, how it’s been working for them. As always, I encourage people to share their expertise below. The best thing about this blog is that I get to hear great ideas from readers all the time, so keep it coming!


Asking the Right Questions

There are so many reasons that I want to talk about this, but I’ll stick to two. First of all, as many of you already know, I run an interactive classroom and I’m always tossing out questions for my students to think about. Whether it’s in a small classroom of 30 students, or in a large lecture hall that seats 150, I’m involved in a constant exchange of information and never simply monologue for the full period. The types of question I ask vary based on the subject matter and class size, but I like to pause and see what students can tell me every now and again instead of just yammering away at them. I’m a huge fan of peer-to-peer learning, but I’m not above admitting that I take breaks where I can get them as well.

In order to facilitate a conversation effectively, I come prepared with a set of questions that I want to ask my class. In a large lecture setting, these tend to be fact-based questions, which allow students who have a personal interest in the subject matter a chance to shine. Now, I know what you’re going to say: I can’t expect people to always know what a word means, or to have heard of “the Other.” Don’t worry, I don’t, and my students are told at the beginning of every semester that they are not expected to know this information in advance. Rather, I acknowledge that some of them will already know things from other classes or from personal reading, and explain that class is more interesting if they’re allowed to share their knowledge than if I simple continue to talk at people.

Fact-based questions break up my lecture into more manageable pieces, and tend to be peppered throughout the class. When I ask my lecture classes about the “big picture,” I wait until the end of class, or sometimes pause in the middle. Again, I have 1 or 2 carefully thought-out questions, which I include as part of my slide show; students get 5-10 minutes to discuss these issues, and if I’ve managed to grab their attention during lecture, the conversation can be quite interesting. If not, well, let’s just say I can tell and I try to revise my lecture accordingly.

In seminars, the goal is to construct a meaningful narrative from a series of unique documents, each of which views the topic through a particular lens. Part of this process means discussing the methodology used in secondary sources – what works and what doesn’t – and the goals, limitations, and subject position of the authors who wrote the primary sources. If the class is going to achieve its goal and make sense of all of this information, my individual questions need to be properly conceived. More importantly, however, they need to be ordered correctly. Therefore, sometimes I start with the details and build towards the general, and sometimes I start from the general and work towards the precise – but I always have a plan.

All of this works very nicely since students receive and react to my questions in real time, and we work through the material as a group. This gives me the opportunity to adapt to the needs of each class, and to rephrase a particular question or rethink my line of approach if need be. Let’s face it, if the ups and downs of my academic career have taught me anything, it’s how to think on my feet. And so, at least half of the time, I feel like asking the right questions is a skill that I most definitely possess.

And yet, I’m not always as successful as I would like to be when posing questions. And this brings me to the other reason that I really wanted to write about this topic: sometimes I suck at asking essay questions, particularly when I’m teaching a course for the first time. One memorable disaster of an assignment resulted in this end-of-term evaluation gem: “Assignment 2 was evil! DO YOU HEAR ME?!?! F*cking Evil!!!” Yeah… I hear you. In fact, you didn’t even have to tell me (although I genuinely empathize with your need to scream it to the hilltops), since I’d already figured that out on my own. Assignment 2 – of which I will spare you the details – was based on a poorly conceived question, and I have nothing left to say to my former students other than: “I am so, so very sorry.”

The problem I have in these situations is not that the idea at the heart of the question is flawed, but rather that the question itself has come out garbled in some way. Choose one wrong word – or omit one – and you’ve created the conditions for the perfect storm. When teaching a lesson, things always go relatively well because I have a chance to react, reformulate, or explain. But when asking a question that I wish the students to answer on their own time, that opportunity is taken away from me. In essence, I lose control of the question, and that has a tendency to burn me if I haven’t had the chance to try it out on real, living, breathing, human beings before.

My most recent failure occurred in my Media Ethics class when I asked students to write a position paper based on newspaper articles about Edward Snowden and the NSA scandal. What I really meant to say was: “Was it right for the mainstream news media to publish the materials Edward Snowden gave to them, exposing the NSA’s bulk collection and storage of personal metadata? Discuss with reference to journalism ethics, the need for community safety, and the place of individual rights.” What I actually wrote was: “Should the media expose all government actions in order to keep that government honest and to ensure the protection of individual rights and freedoms; or, should information be censored to protect the community as a whole? Discuss with reference to the readings in your Course Pack.”

In this instance, aside from the obvious awkwardness in the way that the question was phrased, it was the “all” that got me. Despite the fact that I had clearly asked them to answer with reference to the NSA – since the readings in the Course Pack had to do with Snowden’s revelations – students focused on the word “all.” It wasn’t their fault, and I realized my error the moment I marked the first paper. But it was too late. Instead of being able head off trouble as it began, I was left regretting my word choice and faced with the fait accompli of a mountain of papers arguing that military secrets of various sorts need to be carefully guarded and kept out of the public sphere. The bulk-capturing of metadata faded away into the background.

In the end, I wrote clarifying remarks in the margins of all the papers that wandered away from the mainstream news media, Snowden and the NSA, but I had no choice other than to evaluate them with reference to the question that I had actually set, as opposed to the one I wish I’d assigned. As long as students made some reference to materials in their Course Pack, I had to accept submissions that focused more on Chelsea Manning and Wikileaks – albeit usually in vague terms – as legitimate. I therefore assessed each argument based on its internal coherence or lack thereof, and not on its proximity to the question that I really wanted them to discuss.

As I mentioned above, this is not the first time things have gone wrong, and I’ve tried a number of tactics to avoid poorly worded questions. I always have someone outside my field read over my assignment sheets before I release them at the start of term; however, the education gap between my “test subjects” and my actual students tends to show on judgment day. Like all of my peers, I also introduce the assignments and the questions that they pose on the first day of class. Moreover, we talk about these things briefly throughout the semester, and I always hope that students will ask for clarification. Alas, since they do not know what I wanted to ask – as opposed to what I did ask – they have no idea that something is wrong and tend take the question as it stands and run with it. Finally, if students who start early show up to my office with questions, I have taken to sending out emails that attempt to clarify the assignment guidelines. The problem with doing this is that I often can’t see where the real confusion lies until I have seen at least one completed paper.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that while I feel like I know what I’m doing half of the time, the other half, I really sympathize with my colleagues who have confessed to struggling with this part of their pedagogy. Asking questions is bloody hard, and every time I think I’ve figured it out, the universe reminds me not to be so damn cocky. I’m going to continue experimenting with how to avoid the “poorly worded question” scenario – I think my next move will be to ask former students to look over new assignments instead of my friend in law school – but I suspect there are more train wrecks ahead. Thus, I might also ask students to paraphrase assignments back to me when we go over everything on the first day of class, but I worry that such a strategy would be condescending. As always, I welcome ideas in the comments thread below. If you’ve got solutions, I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants to hear them.


It’s that time of year. Canadian universities are done, but the CEGEPs and universities in some other regions march on, while teachers and students alike battle to make it through to the bitter end. Everyone’s tired, everything is due, and the result is an awful lot of extension requests. Some students have 3 tests in one week, others have 3 papers due the same day. “Could you possible give me just a few extra days,” they ask, one by one, as they fall into the empty chair beside my desk. Make an exception for one of them, and you have to make an exception for all. So what do you do?


Everyone has a different policy. Some of my colleagues flat out refuse to grant extensions, except in cases of medical or family emergencies that come complete with the requisite paperwork. There is something to be said for this approach since it follows the rules that most of us lay out in our syllabi. That said, many other teachers are willing to make exceptions, and they create a secondary list of criteria for granting extensions. Some people only grant extensions to the class as a whole, forcing students to lobby their peers and reach a consensus about what is fair and what is not. Then there are the people who grant individual extensions and evaluate the situation on a case-by-case basis – workload, stress, or how long a student has waited all become factors in this scenario.


Personally, I’ve tried a variety of approaches. When I first started teaching I tried being a hard-ass. I swore that I would only grant extensions if they had documentation proving that they needed it. But then that first student came to see me, and I discovered that I am – in actual fact – a marshmallow. As long as you come to see me more than 24 hours before the assignment it due, your odds are pretty damn good that you’ll get what you want (the exception being if you’ve already asked for another extension earlier in the semester).


My memory is not usually that good, but one thing I can vividly remember is the only two times I ever asked for an extension. Both times it was because of workload, and both times I was denied. I was always an over-achiever as an undergrad, so I would dutifully map out all my due dates into my day planner at the start of every year. A couple of times I quickly realized that I was headed for trouble, despite my best efforts to make do. So I went to see my professors to plead my case. The response that greeted me was the standard: “I don’t give extensions,” and “if it’s about workload, why are you coming to see me and not going to see someone else?”


Now that I’m a teacher myself, I understand all too well why these professors didn’t want to give me the extension. But if I think hard enough, I can also remember the hot-red rage caused by being denied – something that happened more than a decade ago now. As I said, I tended to be a good student and these were not last-minute requests or requests that resulted from poor time management. They were the result of a full-time course load, working 30 hours a week, and being absolutely belligerent about my desire both to sleep and to produce good written material. Some students are poor planners, yes; but not all of them are. Sometimes, the workload of a college or university level student is simply too much. So every time someone asks me for an extension, my memory of these exchanges comes back, and I say “nnnnnn-OK.”


I know some students use and abuse my tendency to grant extensions, but I try to look at it like the justice system: better a guilty person go free than send an innocent one to jail. I also just can’t buy into the “out there in the real world” ideology that dictates students should learn to deal with the occasional shitstorm that the world will throw their way, preferably sooner rather than later, because life has been “too damn cushy” for them up until now. For starters, I work in the same institution in which these kids are studying, so if they don’t live in the “real world,” neither do I. I’m not convinced that’s the case. More importantly, when the inevitable clusterf*ck does occur in one’s “grown-up life,” there are always people that have your back. Sure, no one’s going to change your deadlines when work is piling up, you have to move, and you and your significant other just broke up – but most of the time, no one’s going to tell you to suck it up and just deal with it either. More likely, a friend or colleague is going to help you move, cook you some food, or at the very least, buy you some booze. And since no one is going to give these kids a bottle of whiskey any time soon, I tend to throw them a bone and just give them the extension when the crisis hits.


Don’t get me wrong, for the most part, I respect the different approaches that my colleagues take when it comes to this issue – as long as they are consistent and avoid being condescending. My sense of things is that students are fine with whatever you do, so long as the rules are clear and things are fair. Sally will take the late penalty, or stay up all night getting the paper done, so long as Jonny has to do the same thing. And today’s students even take the “real world” comments a lot better than I ever did.


In my classroom, however, I suspect I’m going to keep giving individual extensions, even when – as was the case this past week – it means that I only get half of the papers in on time. I like the opportunity for learning that the one-on-one extension-request meetings produce. These conversations force my students to articulate what went wrong and help teach them that sometimes you need to ask for help – and ask in such a way that it acknowledges you are asking for a favour and not making a demand. They also give me a space to help students figure out how to avoid similar problems in the future or, at the very least, teach them that they have to seek assistance earlier in the term. When I have this kind of a meeting with a student, it tends to open up a dialogue, and I hear from them more regularly because they do start coming to me for study tactics, help with essay outlines, or questions they had about course material.


I’m not sure there is a “right” way to deal with extension requests. But I’d love to hear what others are up to and what people think of my particular approach. As always, feel free to leave comments below and let me know!

newsactivist.com – A Conversation with Gabriel Flacks about Technology that Could Change Your Classroom

My move into the CEGEP world has exposed me to some really amazing teachers, and I’ve been humbled by the pedagogical commitment I see around me on an almost daily basis. I’ve had English teachers walk me through incredibly thoughtful assignments that teach students to see past the trappings of a book and really get at the guts of a text. I’ve also had a colleague in the Social Sciences department invite me to be a “guest specialist” in her class – she brings faculty members from several different departments into her classroom on a semi-regular basis to offer criticism and support as her students compose their major research papers, which at the college level, are interdisciplinary in nature. Most recently, Gabriel Flacks, who currently serves as the Coordinator of the Humanities Department at Champlain Regional College, St. Lambert, has introduced me to a website that he created. It’s called NewsActivist.com and it has a wide range of applications, but for now, I want to let him introduce it himself via a brief Q&A.


1. What is News Activist.com?
NewsActivist is a website built to support courses that are supplemented and enhanced by students writing collaboratively across campuses and borders. Specifically, it was built to support my college-level Humanities course about contemporary issues by getting students to write and think critically about the news through the lens of volunteer work, academic research or entrepreneurial endeavors. The website grew out of a desire to get my students talking with students in a sociology classroom that was run by a colleague who teaches at a university in New York. The idea was to facilitate cross-cultural understanding, to note the effects of “the framing effect” in mass media, and to make writing assignments more meaningful by providing students a broad audience. We therefore organized a set of asynchronous writing assignments that encouraged students to consider how social issues in New York and Quebec are often both similar and dissimilar all at once. However, when we attempted to implement this course work, we had difficulties integrating our classrooms using any and all existing web tools. After our attempts to use numerous sites for cross-border collaboration fell short, I approached the director of Champlain College, who, seeing the value of our cross-border approach, supported my desire to create a website built specifically to help our students collaborate. NewsActivist.com was quickly built from my design, and it went online in 2012. In that first semester, it was used only by my colleague and I to allow our students to dialogue; since then, the website has been attracting new users very quickly. It has been used by over 2000 other students enrolled in over 50 different courses in the disciplines of Humanities, Sociology, English, Psychology, Business, English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL), and more. The teachers using the site have discovered, as I did, that many types of courses can be supplemented, internationalized, and enhanced by using newsactivist.com to support collaborative cross-campus writing.

2. Why does it work better than other technology that allows for long-distance multi-user communication, such as Facebook or Twitter?
Twitter does not encourage academic writing as such; its microblog format is simply too short to help students develop their writing skills or communicate ideas that need more than a few sentences for complete expression. Further, for teachers and students, tracking the work of the students from individual classes is difficult using Twitter.

Facebook is equally non-academic in design and is not a “writing platform” per se. It allows each teacher and student a limited range of options in how each class’s “activity feed” can be presented. More importantly, privacy settings are limited. This lack of control creates limitations in how individual users can exert control over the visibility of submitted content. So, although it appears open, Facebook does not offer a safe, academically-formatted, open exchange across campuses; unlike NewsActivist, it just isn’t designed to facilitate the transmission of academic assignments or submissions between teachers and students, while offering the opportunity for students to have control over these assignments’ visibility across a network.

For teachers, NewsActivist is built to make one’s class easy to manage. It’s easy to find students’ work and it is quick and simple to engage with them. There is also a “Collaboration Planning Forum,” where teachers can find collaborative partners, track their collaborative schedules and share ideas and resources. Approved teachers are able to easily add classes, invite students to these online classes, and make these classes private, public, or semi-private. They can then use the site in many different ways, from a regular ongoing aspect of the course, to a single assignment which moves academic work into an authentic cross-cultural setting; teachers can use the site as it suits the pedagogical goals of the course.

NewsActivist also provides a number of student privacy options, giving students control over who can see each piece of their work. Each student is given the option of making each piece of his or her writing visible only to their teacher, restricting it to members of their class, or electing for it to be fully public and accessible to anyone online. Regardless of what option a student chooses, only approved users – that is, other students participating in an authorized class – can submit or comment on work at NewsActivist. Students therefore have an audience, but are also in a safe academic environment, with complete control over their work.

To give a specific example, this month, my students are using the site for collaborative writing with a Sociology class, an Entrepreneurship class, and a Business Communication class. All four teachers involved use the Collaboration Planning Forum (only teachers who have registered at the site will be able to see this forum) to communicate and are able keep their partner classes apprised of what assignments will be submitted to the site on any given week. This allows other teachers to assign feedback-focused work in their classes; they ask their students to write a specific number of constructive comments under newly posted work that has been created by students in a partner classroom. On NewsActivist, students are always teaching other students and teachers can manage otherwise unwieldy course planning for collaborative coursework using features that facilitate marking and organizing assignments. And all of this happens in an organic way.

3. What have students had to say about the website?
There are several journal articles in press, written by professors who have used the site, attesting to the fact that students love it (see the list below). They learn about issues they wouldn’t have considered before, and start reading, volunteering, and even voting more. One of my students puts it this way:

“I was much more motivated to write my blog posts then my regular essays because I knew some people would actually read it and my opinion could have a voice.  We could also see what other students thought of what we were doing or give our opinion on other people’s posts whether we agreed or disagreed, which motivated me to write better posts.  I got to work on a subject that really matters to me and it made me care about it even more.” – Natalie Geukers

Below are some other anonymous testimonials, and more can be found at the site:

“Getting to choose my own topic and commenting on other people made me feel like a journalist and that my opinion mattered.”

“English is my 2nd language so I liked being able to take my time and come up with an answer.”

“We are a technologically advanced generation and the education system should recognize that”

“I liked seeing what other people thought…  it helped me understand issues in new ways.”

“I took more time thinking about what I was writing because I knew people could check my facts…I don’t usually worry about that.”

I think it is a great way to encourage students to participate since you get lots of comments and feedback. It is also great because you can see others people work!”

4. What is the most unexpected thing that’s happened since launching the site?
The most surprising thing was discovering just how many teachers have been looking for a site like this, and so the process has been very rewarding. Demand has led the site to be translated into French, has allowed me to work on the project as part of an existent Entente Canada Quebec grant that supports cross-campus pedagogy, and allowed me to give my students access to more perspectives than I could ever have hoped. In April 2014, several classes from Japan and Florida will be sharing academic-style writing about current events via NewsActivist, providing my current class a completely new set of peers with whom to exchange information and collaborate on assignments.

5. How do you see the site developing over the coming years?
I try to just go with the flow. I’m doing my best to continue to improve the site by considering both teacher and student feedback. The more teachers and students use the site, the more exciting my classes become – and so, I hope that the network of teachers and students using the site continues to grow. I ask students to comment on writing shared at the site, and as disciplines and institutions multiply, my students are constantly provided with fresh content to interact with. In the process, I’m learning more about my students. One of the great surprise benefits of using the site to support my classes has been that otherwise shy students are often more open and engaged in a safe, academic, social network, and so I’ve found ways to expand use of the site into other classes that I’m teaching. Hopefully, people will continue to see value in the project and it will continue to diversify.


NewsActivist has already been used by teachers in a variety of different disciplines. My immediate reaction to hearing about this technology, however, was that someone should use it in a historical context. Being a British historian by training, I thought it would be really exciting to pair an undergad class in North America – studying, say, Tudor-Stuart history – with one in the United Kingdom that was looking at similar material. I would absolutely love to see how students from such different backgrounds could learn from one another. More specifically to the Quebec context, there also seems to be a lot of potential when it comes to teaching either Quebec History, or Canadian history more generally. Given the cultural divide that separates Canada from the “ROC” (that’s “Rest of Canada” for those of you who don’t know the lingo), I thought it would be a great idea to pair a Quebec classroom with a class in Ontario, Alberta, or British Columbia. Sparks may fly, but that would be a conversation worth having!


To learn more about NewActivist, click here and check it out.

For academic articles commenting on the project see:

Flacks, G. and Eric Kaldor(in press) “Facilitating Globally Networked Courses with Newsactivist.com: Student Blogs, Social Networks, and Collaborative Pedagogy.” Canadian International Journal of Social Science and Education. June 2014

Thomas, T., Fournier-Sylvester, N., & Venkatesh, V. (in press). “Citizen in/action: Analyzing online forums for pedagogical insight. “In V. Venkatesh, J. Wallin, J. C. Castro, and J. E. Lewis (Eds.), Educational, behavioral, and psychological considerations in niche online communities. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Fournier-Sylvester, N. (in press). “From the chat room to the voting booth: The potential of using online discussion forums to develop civic skills”.Citizenship Education Research Network.

Flacks, G and Lynn Reid. (in press) “Blogging Democracy: Reconsidering Community Engagement with Web 2.0.” Fourtheenth International Conference on Education and Social Sciences Conference Proceedings. ISBN: 978-605-64453-0-9