Presentation


Sample Cases from Dublin Institute of Technology

See some samples cases for this assessment method in the table below or browse the full set of cases in the assessment toolkit.

Assessment MethodLecturerAssociated Programme(s)NFQ LevelYear
Group Debate Jennifer Lawlor MSc in Hospitality Management Level 9  
Presentations   BTech Timber Product Technology Level 7 Year 1
Poster Presentation Peter Hinch Higher Certificate in Buildings Management Level 6 Year 2
Group Project Poster Presentation Claire McDonnell BSc Optometry Level 8 Year 4
Experiential Project Presentation (Story Sack) Geraldine French BA in Early Childhood Education Level 8 Year 2
Class presentation Lorraine O'Connell Bachelor of Music
Bachelor of Music Education
Level 8 Years 1-2

[Return to the Assessment Toolkit]


Description

‘Presentation’ as assessment refers to a structured monologue of a given duration in which a student displays knowledge and understanding of a particular topic. It can include an extra period of time to allow for questions on the topic from the audience. The student is expected to deal with the questions competently.

Example: students will present for 12 minutes on the following topic ‘XXX’ and allow a further 3 minutes for questions from the floor.

The time limit may be enforced by a session chairperson whom can provide countdowns to the presenter by holding up cards, e.g. 3 minutes remaining, 1 minute remaining, and may then signal time up by striking a bell or stopping the presenter.

Visual aids such as PowerPoint or Prezi can be used to facilitate the presentations.

When to Use

Very time consuming if dealing with large groups and expecting each individual to present. For large groups of students group presentations should be considered. Example: 60 students split into groups of 3 to 4 and present for 10 minutes where each student must take part in the presentation equally.

Suitable for all levels of programmes and at any stage with smaller, simpler presentations being suitable for early years and increasingly complex and longer presentations being expected of students coming to graduation.

When NOT to Use

If the group of students is very large and time is limited then presentations may become difficult to organise.

Advantages

  • Assess a student’s spoken language skills.
  • Can be used for as individual assessment or group assessment.
  • Authentic assessment linked to real life experience. 
  • Can build self esteem in the student.

Disadvantages

Students can become over reliant on visual aids to carry the presentation. Example: reading the ext from a slide/cue card rather the talking it. Students need to remember it is a presentation not a recitation.
Beware of death by PowerPoint where an overreliance of text/data/graphics leads to boredom and disinterest from the audience.

Planning

  • Ensure topic of presentations relate to course content.
  • Vary topic presentations between students/groups. 
  • Provide topics to be assessed well in advance to allow for adequate preparation.
  • It is important to develop a list of assessment criteria that appropriately describe the aspects of the presentation that are to be valued in the assessment process: these should align closely with the learning outcomes of the module.
  • Give students the marking criteria in advance.
  • Provide several shorter practice sessions with easy topics to allow student to become comfortable with presenting and allow the lecturer to provide formative feedback.
  • If technology is to be used ensure it is working correctly beforehand.
  • Ask for presentations to be emailed beforehand and have a copy on hand.
  • Provide clearly to the students the layout for presenting e.g. strict time limit, no videos to be used by students as this runs down time and the student is not actually presenting. 
  • If module lecturer is chairperson and managing the timing then have at least a second assessor to sit in and mark presentations. 
  • Involving the rest of the student group in giving constructive feedback to the presenting student(s) is an excellent approach. Not only does this give richer feedback to the presenter, it encourages the listening students to engage more critically with the presentation, helping them to maintain concentration and focus whilst stimulating reflection on their own presentation skills. This approach is frequently referred to as ‘peer assessment’, even though the students may not be grading each other but simply offering constructive feedback. 

Technology/Resources

Packages such as PowerPoint and Prezi can be of use to students as they prepare their presentation.

Video recording a presentation can help to support feedback to students – either individually or with peers. Some students feel uncomfortable about this. One option is to utilise the privacy settings on YouTube which ensure that only users with the URL of a video can access it. Alternatively a video file can be given to the student although this can be time consuming even with smaller groups.

Additional Information/References

External Resources

Additional Reading

  • Langan, M.A., Wheater, P.C., Shaw, E.M., Haines, B.J., Cullen, R.W., Boyle, J.C., 
  • Penney, D., Oldekop, J.A., Ashcroft, C., Lockey, L. and Preziosi, R.F. (2005). “Peer assessment of oral presentations: effects of student gender, university affiliation and participation in the development of assessment criteria”, Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 30(1), 21-34.

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