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It is increasingly common for presentations to be included as both formative and summative Student group 2assessments in undergraduate curricula. Presenting information orally can be particularly challenging for students but increasingly high quality presentation skills are sought by graduate employers. Assessing oral presentations and providing feedback is not without its challenges. 

The evidence you are basing your assessment and feedback on is to all intents and purposes transient and in most cases recording all undergraduate presentations would be logistically challenging and time-consuming. Furthermore, oral presentations can't be anonymously assessed, unlike other forms of assessment. Large class sizes can also be problematic because of the time taken to view individual presentations. Taking these points into account, it is particularly important to ensure that presentations are assessed by more than one marker and that feedback is explicitly aligned with the assessment criteria. Students need to know what you are looking for and your feedback should relate this. 

Encouraging self-evaluation

The assessment process becomes much more transparent to students if they can gain a better idea of what is expected of them. Using 'feed forward' to make this clear and encouraging students to complete assignment 'checklists' prior to submitting their work, allows students to see how their efforts will contribute to intended learning outcomes and help make the subsequent feedback more effective. 

  • The LearnHigher website provides an excellent resource to support students' learning development during their degree. The resource provides some excellent guidance to students on giving  first class presentations 
  • The Skills Opportunities at Reading (SOAR) website provides hints and tips to help students complete their work and gain transferable skills. The webpage concerned with spoken communication has a series of guiding documents on presentations and other forms of assessment.

Using feedback pro-forma

As with other forms of assessment such as essays and reports, feedback forms can be extremely useful for oral presentations. You can tailor them to your assessment criteria, which can help students engage with feedback because their assessment performance on different aspects of the assignment is presented clearly and simply. Pro-forma can also help you avoid repeatedly writing the same things in your feedback.


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