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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?
  • If the presentation is ‘live’, do you need to record it? (For example for moderations purposes?) If so, make sure that you are adhering to Trinity’s Privacy Policy and to the University's Records Management Policy.
  • 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.


Trinity-supported tools:  

External tools (unsupported by Trinity):  

Examples of student presentations

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