This guidance offers suggestions for staff who use assessed presentations in their unit. In an assessed presentation, students may work individually or as part of a group to research, prepare, and give a short talk given to an audience on a topic within their discipline. Presentations are a valuable method of assessment which enable students to demonstrate such things as:
- communication skills (e.g. oral, visual, physical) alongside their knowledge of the subject;
- giving and receiving feedback;
- reflecting on and refining work;
- digital literacy skills;
- language skills or the ability to conduct a conversation in a target language.
Consider the following questions to think through important aspects of designing an effective presentation task:
When designing your assessed presentation, make sure that you refer to your unit and course intended learning outcomes (ILOs) to clarify what knowledge and skills are being evaluated. A presentation should not be a test of digital skills or design skills unless this is a stated learning outcome.
Make sure students are provided with appropriate guidance about how to approach the presentation and the expected format of the presentation. This will help students understand exactly what they will be assessed on and how to access technical support if they are being asked to use new or unfamiliar tools.
- According to your ILOs, are you assessing the content or the delivery of the presentation or both?
- Does the presentation need to be oral, visual, or visual and oral to meet your ILOs? Could students pick an approach (e.g. in-person live or recorded podcast) and still meet the outcomes?
- Is the presentation assessing digital skills or quality of powerpoint design? (If so, this must be part of an existing ILO).
- Is only the presentation assessed or the process of teamworking, researching, and reflecting too?
- What is the purpose of the presentation (e.g do students need to inform, instruct, demonstrate, motivate, or call to action?)
- Which technologies are your students expected to use and have they had previous experience with them?
- Is there a target audience in mind?
Clarity on assessment criteria will help students recognise the weightings of any assessed elements (e.g. planning, project-management, information content, presentation techniques, ability to answer questions, reflection etc.). You can also provide additional guidance, for example, on whether the student’s camera should be on/off during a presentation, which may be affected by factors outside their immediate control such as their internet connection or environment.
Students should be given opportunity to practice and get feedback before any summative presentation. This could be within the same unit, or practice could take place in another unit. As a example, students could talk through their script/storyboard/plan which distils and communicates the key ideas/arguments of the presentation.
Do you want or need students to do “live” (synchronous) presentations, attended by you and their peers? Live presentations can take place over Zoom or using Teams. Students can share their screen to present whilst attendees can listen and ask questions. This may be complicated to arrange and deliver, as different time-zones, caring commitments, reliability of internet connections, and suitability of individual’s learning spaces needs to be factored in.
If presenting live is not required in order for students to demonstrate meeting the intended learning outcomes then consider other methods such as pre-recorded presentations.
Instead of presenting live, students could pre-record their presentations. Presentations can be completed outside of class time and shared easily online with tutors and other students, enabling more opportunity for practice and feedback. There’s also no need for coordination of presentation times. If students have done a pre-recording of their presentation (e.g. using PowerPoint of Panopto desktop recorder), then they can upload this directly to Panopto.
Students can view each other's presentations before a LOIL session, discuss/ask questions in LOIL, or post comments/questions in a discussion forum. Students can comment on their own presentation explaining their choices. Presentations can be shared with other students for peer review and feedback. As markers, you will already have a record of the presentation for marking and moderation.
Choice enables student agency, supporting the needs of all learners by allowing students to pick presentation methods that they feel comfortable with (for example, via screencast with camera on/off). The same assessment criteria should be used, irrespective of the method of presentation. Alternatively, students may have to cover more than one presentation style, but could choose which order to do them in, e.g. present recorded, podcast, present live or vice-versa.
Video presentations can be completed individually or as a group project and are typically given a time limit - as a rough estimate, between 2-10 minutes. Remember that the average person speaks at a rate of 125-150 words per minute. 2500 words is roughly equivalent to 20 minutes speaking time. This does not account for non-native speakers or many neurocognitive (potentially hidden) disabilities. Be realistic about how long students should be speaking for, and how long the audience should be listening/marking for. Conciseness, selectiveness, and efficiency are valuable transferable skills for students to develop when creating presentations.
Explain how the group is expected to work together to prepare their presentation. Will there be a group mark or individual mark? Or is this a presentation in which individual group members need to demonstrate their own contribution? If you need advice on scaffolding or marking criteria for team-working, please contact your Curriculum Development Officer.
It is good practice for students be able to create presentations that are digitally accessible for their audience and that follow copyright guidance.
Our staff-facing guidance on copyright issues provides some areas you may wish to highlight to students.
Using the Re:View (Panopto) assignment folder for video submissions
The Re:View (Panopto) assignment folder is a subfolder that shares a user list with its parent folder. Those with viewer access (students) to the parent folder (normally the Moodle-linked folder) have the ability to record and upload videos to the assignment folder.
- Students can upload video and audio files to the assignment folder.
- The assignment folder allows for uploads of unlimited size (as opposed to the 50mb upload limit on Moodle).
- Students cannot see each other's recordings (although this can be changed manually to allow students to peer review recordings).
- Individual recordings can be shared with external examiners.
- Recordings can be archived in line with the University's assessment policies.
- For summative assessment, use the assignment folder alongside a Moodle submission point.
- Although it is called the 'assignment' folder, it does not have to be used for assessment only! It is simply a sub-folder with special permissions that students can upload to - for example, if MFL students are practicing their pronunciation they could each upload an audio recording to the assignment folder for other students to peer review.
Providing guidance to students
Part of the presentation process is making sure that students are provided with appropriate guidance about how to approach the presentation, including access to technical support if they are being asked to use unfamiliar tools.
- We encourage staff to create guidance for their students which includes key information such as: Where to upload their video, naming conventions, and guidance on video length. We are working on providing examples and a template for staff that can be downloaded and adapted as appropriate.
- The Re:View (Panopto) student FAQ page on the CLT Hub features a section about the assignment folder. This is a page that answers many of the common student queries and can be signposted to students through their Moodle page.
Sian Morgan in the Department of Health used the Re:View assignment folder for video submissions with distance learning students.
In the short video below she discusses using the Re:View platform for the first time and gives some advice to staff who may be using the assignment folder with their students.
Using the assignment folder in Re:View/Panopto has been easy and the majority of the students have followed instructions and been able to upload small video files without any problems. I was easily able to resolve the concerns of a few students without having to rely on the TEL team for assistance.
Sian Morgan – Lecturer, Department for Health
The Faculty of Science used the Re:View assignment folder during the period of Coronavirus disruption when it was not possible to hold presentations in person.
Students have successfully uploaded their PowerPoint presentation recordings on Re:View. There were 5 students who uploaded 5 minute mp4 files in parallel and the system worked well. It took about 30-40min to process and upload but that wasn’t a problem. I also ran a discussion panel using a webinar platform which worked really well. Again, all students were comfortable and happy with the result.
Momna Hejmadi – Associate Dean, Faculty of Science