A presentation is a means of communication that can be adapted to various speaking situations, such as talking to a group, addressing a meeting or briefing a team. In an oral presentation, one (or more) students give a talk to a group and present views on a topic based on their readings or research. The rest of the group then joins in a discussion of the topic, usually by asking questions or making comments following the presentation.
Typically used to….
- assess students’ capacity to select and prepare materials appropriately for public presentation.
- evaluate students’ ability to present information coherently and concisely.
- assess ‘softer’ presentation skills, e.g. interactivity, ability to collaborate.
- facilitate the development public-speaking skills.
- enhance students’ ability to develop and present material within a specified timeframe/limit.
- Facilitate peer review and feedback (where peers provide constructive feedback on a presentation).
Key considerations when using presentations for assessment
- What is the purpose of the presentation? Is it the most appropriate way to assess student learning outcomes in this instance?
- Are you intending to use the presentation for formative or summative assessment purposes, or both?
- What criteria will you use to assess student presentations? Have you provided students with a rubric? Does the rubric align with the relevant learning outcomes?
- Will the presentation be ‘live’ or will you ask students to pre-record their presentation?
- Will you as students to prepare and present individually or as a group? If you are using group presentations, how will you assess individual contributions?
- Have you provided students with clear guidelines on the format and requirements of a presentation in your discipline? For example, do they have a clear understanding of the procedural requirements such as duration, number of people present, and ‘process’ of the assessment?
- How long should presentations be? Presentations can vary enormously in duration, depending on how they are being used and what they’re being used for.
- Remember that your students may not have presented to a larger audience before. Check what institutional supports and guides are provided for this and share with your students in advance.
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