I like my mini-vivas resource, a tool to create valuable practice responding to questions before the viva.
I like the acronym BOOST for feedback – Balanced, Observed, Objective, Specific, Timely – a neat way to remember how to frame constructive feedback.
I’m always tinkering at the back of my mind with various resources, and have a notion these two might fit together quite well. As a starting place, how about the following sets of questions for feedback or reflection after a mini-viva?
If you use have a mini-viva by yourself, try these to help you reflect afterwards:
- What stands out to you as a good response? What made it good?
- What questions were challenging for you? Why?
- What can you take away from this? How is that valuable to you?
- What might you need to explore next?
If you have a friend help you by steering a mini-viva, then prompt them with the following to get feedback afterwards:
- What did I communicate well? Why was it clear?
- What did they not understand? What could I try?
- What else did they want to know?
- What other questions would they ask you now?
Having a mini-viva, giving a presentation, having a full mock viva – all of these things by themselves can be useful to give you a space to practise. You can “boost” the benefit you get with some targeted questions and reflections afterwards.