Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Student presentations

Student presentations involve the communication of knowledge and understanding through presentation to an audience. The presentation may be verbal only or could be accompanied by resources such as slides. Often there is a focus on the presentation being directed to an audience in an engaging and interesting way. Being able to plan and present a professional presentation is a valuable skill in terms of academic progress and professional life.

A student presentation can be delivered in the following ways during the COVID-19 situation as an alternative to a paper-based final examination:

  1. Non-time limited final assessment—often known as a ‘take-home’, the task is not performed under ‘exam-like’ time constraints and is provided to students at least several days before the due date. A common platform for submission of such a task is EASTS, but there are other ways to submit or present.
  2. Invigilated online exam—the task is undertaken online under ‘exam-like’ time constraints (typically 1-3 hours) and invigilated remotely.  This category should only be pursued if, in consultation with your Head of School, the above two categories are not viable. DSA will assist with the scheduling of this task.
  3. Time limited, non-invigilated online exam—the task is undertaken online under ‘exam-like’ time constraints (typically 1-3 hours) but is open book, allowing students to refer to any material they can access. DSA can assist with the scheduling of this task.

Pros and cons of student presentations

Some advantages:

  • Can be quick and immediate to mark.
  • Provides an alternative form of communication of knowledge.
  • Promotes other personal skills, such as self-confidence.
  • Skill set is related to future employment and research.
  • Provides an environment in which students can engage in the discourse of the discipline/profession.
  • Provides an opportunity for peer assessment and feedback.
  • Immediate feedback can be given.
  • Provides an opportunity for formative feedback.
  • Can be part of the process of developing an essay or a project, as a scaffolding step.
  • Can be presented in an online meeting, as a recorded video or audio for e-assessment.
  • Recorded presentations can be viewed or listened to on multiple occasions.

Some limitations:

  • If presented in a synchronous online meeting, there is need for some degree of timetabling to ensure availability
  • Time zone differences may make real-time presentations difficult in a synchronous online meeting.
  • Training and support may be needed if using technologies.
  • Network fluctuations may affect communication.
  • Confidence in speaking may affect the capacity of students to express the depth of their knowledge

Some considerations when developing a student presentation task

Student presentation can be managed in ways such as:

  • In a synchronous online meeting, marked at the time of presentation.
  • Video can be recorded by individual students and uploaded for assessment.
  • Audio can be recorded and uploaded for assessment.
  • Focused on the oral component only, or incorporating other resources and support material.
  • May also involve submitted aspects, such as notes or a transcript.
  • Can be completed as a group presentation, with each student having a specified role.

Approaches to marking and feedback / feedforward:

  • Marking usually takes place at the time of presentation so is relatively economical of time.
  • When recorded presentations are submitted, the marking time may increase slightly but the timetabling issue associated with live presentation disappears.
  • As noted above, assessment may also include other elements such as a transcript. This provides a physical resource that can be submitted via EASTS, commented on and returned.
  • Feedback can likewise be presented as a video file or audio file, providing a humanising feedback process.

Additional resources

Video Series - Using Pecha Kucha oral presentations to assess.

  • How Pecha Kucha Oral Presentations work - A/Prof Edward Scheer.
  • Using Pecha Kucha Oral Presentations to Assess Creativity - A/Prof Edward Scheer.
  • Benefits of Pecha Kucha Oral Presentations - A/Prof Edward Scheer.
  • Challenges of Oral Presentations - A/Prof Edward Scheer.

UQ Assessment Ideas Factory - University of Queensland

These are student resources- but are of value when designing student presentations:

Oral presentations as assessment items - Australian Catholic University (ACU)

Oral presentations - University of Wollongong

A short guide to oral assessment - Leeds Metropolitan University