Types of Assessment Methods



What is a Presentation?
Presentation is the process of showing and explaining the content of a topic to an audience or a group of audiences. It is often used to assess student learning in individual or group research projects. In recent times, presentation is no longer just about oral presentation but also visuals. Paper, white board or PowerPoint presentation are sample tools to aid the visual part of the presentation. Peer and tutor assessment can be used as part of the grading process, this would allow open-mindedness particularly if the topic or presentation style generates subjective opinions or different views.

Structure of Presentation

Presentation assessment usually consists of a topic for the student to research, discuss and present. Question and answer session is usually included after the presentation. This measures the ability of students to respond, think under pressure and manage discussion. Sometimes it is in this part of the presentation that the student shows his/her in-depth knowledge of the topic and presentation skills. A good presentation is usually expected to consist of

  1. Introduction/ Aims/Objectives
  2. Major points and ideas explained and summarized
  3. Results/Related points/Issues/or others depending on the topic
  4. Conclusion - future work
  5. The presentation should be present in the time allowed

Y Declarative
Y Functioning
  Take Time to Set
Y Take Time to Answer
  Take Time to Correct
  Take Time to provide Feedback
  Suitable for Large Class
Y Can substitute with Computers
Y Active
Y Process Oriented Method
Y Product Oriented Method
P = Possibly    Y =Yes

Advantages of Presentation
  • Humans tend to remember actions and behaviors easier than words through reading, writing and listening. Observing others peers presenting will help students reflect on oneself and avoid repeating others' mistakes. And at the same time, students can learn from others' good work.
  • Presentation is an effective method to improve students at public speaking.
  • Presentation is often part of the overall assessment for a research thesis, it helps to give detailed summary of the research project to the assessors and also allow the assessors to question the student with an immediate response at a more in-depth level which they may not find in the thesis report.
Disadvantages of Presentation
  • Presentation does not take a long time to mark but it does take relative amount of time for the students to present during contact hours, thus this is usually not the best method for a large class.
  • It is important for the assessors to state the assessment criteria explicitly, the students need to know if the content of the material is part of the criteria and/or the method of presenting is part of the criteria. If students are to be assessed on different aspects other than the content, they should be given the opportunity to learn about and practice those aspects before being assessed.
  • If the skills of live presentation are not relevant to the learning outcomes, presentation may not be a suitable assessment method.
  • Students may overspend their time on flashy animation, software and other high-tech sound effects, and not on the actual knowledge contents. Tutor and peer assessors may also be affected by these effects and overlook the meaningful ideas behind the topic.
How to design a good Presentation Assessment?
  1. Ensure the students know what the primary objective of the presentation assessment is.
  2. Tell them how long the presentation will be, and let them know if there is time for Q&A.
  3. Let students know the assessment criteria and marking scheme, the students should also be aware of who is going to assess them – tutor, peers and/or self? And if peers or themselves are going to assess, would the weightings be the same as the tutor's assessment?
  4. Prepare a structured marking sheet for all assessors.

Marking Rubrics
There are many different grading criteria standards, to design the best grading standards for your presentation assessment, you must keep in mind the learning outcomes of the assessment. Entertaining; relevant and useful; knowledgeable; involved the audience; well organized; well prepared; easy to understand; confident are all factors that determine a good presentation.

A generic presentation grading standard is shown below:

MARKING RUBRICS Excellent Proficient Average Poor
Relates to topic, detailed, and accurate
All content directly related to the topic. Opinions were always supported by fact if possible. Content directly related to the topic. Almost all opinions were supported by facts. Demonstrated Basic understanding of the topic. Many opinions were not supported by facts. Few facts related to the topic. Most Information was opinion.
Demonstrate knowledge of subject
Showed a thorough knowledge of the topic. Able to use assessor questions to further demonstrate understanding of the topic. Appeared to be an expert on the subject being presented Showed a working knowledge of the topic. Able to satisfactorily answer assessor questions and provided additional information upon request. Showed basic knowledge of the topic. Able to address assessor questions by repeating parts of the presentation - did not provide any additional information. Showed little or no knowledge of the topic. Unable to answer assessor questions or comment further on any part of the presentation.
Posture/Eye Contact/Mannerism:
Appropriate posture and effective eye contact
Stood upright and appeared confident throughout. Avoided rocking, shifting, and other nervous behavior. Made eye contact throughout the assessors. Posture was good for most of the presentation. Made eye contact numerous times during presentation. Did not rely too heavily on notes or visual aids. Sometimes rocked, shifted, or appeared uncomfortable. Made occasional eye contact with one or two audience members. Did not rely too heavily on notes or visual aids Posture was poor. Slouched, shifted from foot to foot, and appeared very uncomfortable. Made almost no eye contact with the audience. Looked down at notes or visual aids.
Energetic, confident, not frenetic
Appeared enthusiastic and confident at all times. Moderated level of excitement to hold audience's attention. Appeared enthusiastic and confident at all times. May have appeared overly enthusiastic at times. Held audience interest for most of the time. Showed some confidence and little excitement about the topic. Attempted to modify behavior to engage audience on one or more occasions. Lost attention of some audience members. Showed little or no enthusiasm about the topic. Nervous. Did not moderate level of excitement in response to audience reaction. Lost audience interest.
Engage and interact with audience
Moderated speaking style based on audience feedback. Calmly and eloquently addressed audience questions and comments. Engaged audience for the duration of the presentation. Adjusted volume, pace, and enthusiasm several times. Answered audience questions and addressed comments. Presenter adjusted enthusiasm or pace to hold audience attention. Spoke more loudly when requested by audience members. Presenter was clearly uncomfortable. Presenter attempted to adjust enthusiasm or pace to hold audience attention. Did not adjust speaking style based on audience reaction. Could not answer audience questions. Presenter made no visible effort to hold audience interest.
Speaks at an appropriate pace
Speaker adjusted pace to stay within allotted time. Speaker answered audience questions without overdo it or covered additional material if there were no questions. Speaker's pace was appropriate throughout Tended to speak too quickly or too slowly Consistently spoke too fast or too slow
Length of Presentation Length of Q&A
Perfect timing Adequate Timing Too short or too long Finish abruptly

Web Reference and Resources Tips for Students To Reference these pages

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Chan C.(2009) Assessment: Presentation, Assessment Resources@HKU, University of Hong Kong [http://ar.talic.hku.hk]: Available: Accessed: DATE