What is it?
When students present their work in front of their peers and/or tutor, they often receive verbal feedback on these oral presentations. This is often the case with respect to exercises carried out in group settings, which is another opportunity to provide informal feedback. Moreover, verbal feedback is often complimented by formal, written feedback if the presentation in question is assessed and counts towards the students’ overall grade. It is good practice for lecturers to use a marking sheet when marking and providing feedback on oral presentations so that each aspect of the presentation can be clearly assessed and commented on. If students are asked to provide feedback on their peers’ presentations, it is a good opportunity to ask them to use a marking sheet too as it provides a tangible way for them to engage with assessment and feedback. Through doing this, they will have a better understanding of the level of quality required for an oral presentation. It is important to provide training to students on how to use a marking sheet before they provide feedback to their peers.
How can students make the most of it?
An oral presentation is very different from other forms of assessment such as lab reports and essays. It is therefore important for students to pay particular attention to the feedback they receive on what is specific to an oral presentation such as speed of delivery; eye-contact with the audience; physical appearance; slide content; engagement with the audience; etc. If students feel they are not receiving enough feedback on their oral presentations, they should be encouraged to actively seek feedback not only from their tutor, but also their peers.