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Oral presentations/ Viva Voce

Oral assessments include presentations and viva voce examinations. Some students find oral assessments an easier way of demonstrating learning outcomes than written assessments. However, oral assessment may present significant difficulties for some students:student presenting to her class


  • students with speech impairments,
  • d/Deaf or hard of hearing students,
  • students with English as a second language,
  • self-conscious students.


Guidelines for Inclusive Oral Assessments



  • grading criteria for students. E.g. are you assessing presentation skills, understanding of a topic, or both? Will students be tested on their posture, eye contact, resonance or will they be assessed on their grasp of theory and clear thinking?
  • expectations regarding technology and resources. If students are expected to use Powerpoint or circulate handouts and other resources, make this clear from the beginning.
  • the length of presentations / expected length of viva. Ensure students are aware of the expected length of their presentation.


Maintain flexibility:

  • Consider alternative modes of presentation if necessary (e.g. presenting to the lecturer alone, or through a pre-recorded oral presentation).

Presenting in front of peers may be especially challenging for some students.


Anticipate student needs:

  • Offer short breaks during lengthy oral assessments. This can be particularly important for disabled or older students who may experience concentration difficulties, pain or fatigue.
  • Ensure access to drinking water.



Take time to complete a brief self-evaluation of your:

Last updated 22 September 2016 by Trinity Inclusive Curriculum (Email).