Student presentations

The student is allocated or independently selects a topic on which to give a presentation, usually as part of the teaching. The teacher may have established a framework, which could be either general or more specific, as regards the content of the presentation and how it should be presented. It is important for the students’ active participation in class that, the rest of the student body are assigned various roles in connection with the presentation, e.g. minutes-taker, opponent, moderator of a subsequent discussion, etc.

A student presentation can inherently test the student’s ability to collect, prioritise, understand and disseminate academic material – in the expanded model, which also includes a subsequent discussion, this format can also test the students’ ability to give and receive criticism and to discuss, assess and reason. The marking can be done by the teacher or in the form of peer assessment – either way on the basis of well-described, unambiguous criteria.

Student presentations are usually combined with other types of exams – e.g. in the form of a requirement that the student has to have given a presentation during the course in order to be allowed to sit a final oral exam or as part of the active participation type of evaluation.

This assessment method is also suited for group examination.

Learning objective that can be addressed using this assessment method
Knowledge of theory, method and practice (X)
Understanding and reflecting on theory, method and practice X
Applying methods and tools X
Assessing problem definitions and selecting solution models  
Communicate and discuss academic issues X
Dealing with complex situations – in the context of studying or work  
Ability to independently initiate collaboration  
Taking responsibility for personal learning and development X

X indicates that this assessment method is suitable for testing the learning outcome. (X) indicates that this assessment method is of only limited use for this.

Evaluating the method of assessment

Assessment Criteria
Validity Content validity is relatively low for the student presentation as a type of exam, as it only covers a limited area of content. On the other hand, construct validity can be very high, as the student presentation can test different types of learning objectives.
Reliability In terms of reliability, it is crucial that the criteria for a good student presentation are unambiguous and known to the students – they could potentially have a hand in formulating them. To ensure that the presentation does not depend on whether the topic the student has to present is “difficult” or “easy”, the examiner can carefully select topics and establish the academic scope – possibly for each topic.
Backwash effect from testing to teaching If the intention is to spread student presentations throughout the semester, it should be borne in mind that this will affect motivation to participate in the rest of the teaching process, e.g. for the first student to give a presentation.
Resources Time resource-neutral, as this is generally integrated into the teaching time.
Digitisation Offers the opportunity to use digital media as part of the presentation, but also enables the student to give a digital presentation. This could be synchronised via Adobe Connect, for example, or without synchronisation in the form of an introduction and moderation of the discussion of a topic in a discussion forum.
Acceptance Student presentations that are integrated into the actual teaching are accepted by a minority as the only way to assess the student’s abilities in a given subject. However, the presentation itself can be the conclusion of the process and can take the form of an actual public lecture to an audience.