Pitch Sparring Exercise

Pitch Sparring is an additional application of ‘Pitching Research’, designed to neatly leverage the benefits of peer-to-peer learning.

Working in stages, students individually complete sections of the Pitching Research framework before coming together to ‘Spar’. As part of this ‘Sparring’ exercise, students share their individual responses and ideas to find consensus on a final response to input into the ‘Pitching Research’ template.

“Pitch Sparring” Guide

The aim of “Pitch Sparring” is to familiarize yourself with the PR framework. The exercise will be extremely useful for students, who are yet to start their research journey and need to “learn the ropes”. “Pitch Sparring” includes 5 steps:

1.Working in pairs, you will decide on a paper to work with for this task.

2.Individually, you are to read the paper and have a go at reverse engineering it into the RE ‘PR’ framework. Remember that for Reverse Engineering exercise, there are two modifications made to Faff’s original PR template. For item A) the full, published item is listed instead of a ‘working title’, and for the item K), three key findings from the paper are identified, rather than highlighting potential other considerations.

3. After both you and your partner have read and independently annotated the assigned paper in terms of the elements of a reverse engineered pitch, the ‘sparring’ begins.  Here is how the “sparring” typically take place:

  • Both of you will work thorough each section of the Pitch template in an agreed “preferred” order (note that Item “A” is already done for you – you have the paper’s title).
  • The sparring cycle involves three basic steps: (1) independent completion of a given template item; (2) discussion between the sparring partners; (3) consensus formation, that constructively blends the two (or more) views, which might be further finessed by the very act of discussion.
  • And then the spar cycle is repeated for the next item, all the time, building on the evolving consensus pitch. You will work thorough each section of the Pitch template in an agreed “preferred” order – crafting a response for each and entering this in a final version of the Pitch template document.
  • Lets say that you start with Item “B” Research Question – both spar partners work independently to come up with their view of the paper’s key question. A challenging but reasonable time limit should be set for this task (ex. 10 minutes). Then, when both spar partners are ready, they come together and share their answers.
  • Share with each other your thoughts, identifying differences and similarities, and decide on a consensus response for the final RE Pitch template. This may be one person’s contribution, or a combined input from both parties. Take note of any discrepancies in your responses and how you handled them while creating the final document. This information will be helpful when writing your weekly reflection.

4. Using the final version of your consensus reverse engineered pitch, create a 350 Word Abstract.

5. Integrate the reverse engineered pitch into a 10 minute oral presentation.

If you are stuck, check out how students from the Summer Research Program in UQ completed this exercise: Pitching Research: A Reverse-Engineer ‘Sparring’ Experiment with UQ Summer Research Scholars