7. Fortnightly student presentations

Student presentations are one way of encouraging student participation and peer-based learning in an online subject.

For tutorial-sized classes, having a regular, fortnightly webinar session where individuals or teams provide short online presentations can be a good way to support student engagement online. Consideration should be given to how students will be provided with feedback on their presentations.

To support students in different time zones or experiencing latency or bandwidth issues, or for large classes, we recommend providing an asynchronous option, such as creating a pre-recorded presentation and uploading it to a discussion board.

How to implement this in your subject

Step one: prepare instructions for students

This could include requirements for the presentation:

  • How many minutes for the presentation? And for questions? This may depend on the stage students are at in their studies.
  • Can they include slides or multimedia? Do they need to provide references?
  • Do they need to include activities? For example, ask them to devise some open-ended questions to ask other students during or after the presentation
  • Individual or team presentation? How will they receive feedback? Will they provide peer feedback?
  • If the presentation is assessed, what are the assessment criteria? Provide a link to the rubric.

Also include student-facing information on how to:

Step two: schedule your webinar sessions

For whole of cohort sessions:

For multiple tutorial group sessions:

Step three: provide topics and dates and ask individuals or groups to select one

You can do this by creating a table with topics and dates in an editable platform and asking students to sign up for a topic. For example:

  • Create a Canvas Page that students can edit. Under Options ‘Can edit this page role selection’, select, ‘Instructors and students’. You can do this for the whole cohort or within tutorial groups. Note: There is a risk that students may accidently delete another student’s entry. However, you are able to view and restore the page history.
  • Use Canvas Calendar to create ‘appointment groups’ for students to choose a topic.

Step four (optional): create discussion boards for lead-up to the presentation

One option is to have students or groups moderate a discussion board thread on their topic prior to the presentation. This enables students to integrate questions and comments from the discussion boards into their presentation. You can add the link to these discussions to the calendar invitation.

Step five: set up feedback mechanisms

Consider the ways you want students to provide and receive feedback. Do you want them to record feedback during the presentation or afterwards? For peer feedback you could:

Step six: host the webinar and support presenters

Prior to the start time, log in to the Zoom room to ensure it as working as expected. If possible, also arrange to meet the presenter/s prior to the webinar start time to ensure that the technology is working for them. Facilitate questions, Canvas chat and break-out rooms as needed. At the end of the presentation or webinar, distribute links to your feedback mechanisms to the class.

Step seven: review and deliver feedback

Following the webinar, prepare feedback from you and/or the class. Review peer feedback before sending to student teams to address any inappropriate or misleading comments. Distribute feedback and grades, if applicable, to the presenters.

Support and resources

You can use this guide to implement the 2020 category two Learning and Teaching Initiatives.