Make presentations meaningful.
Design meaningful/relevant/authentic presentations that students can use to showcase their knowledge and skills. Students will be invested in topics that interest them and connect to the world around them. Synthesizing course concepts and sharing knowledge that expands their understanding is a lifelong skill that takes practice.
Technology can provide a multitude of ways for students to expand sharing beyond the classroom, such as adding to an ePortfolio. When students design for a broader audience it can increase their engagement and desire to produce quality work.
Provide a variety of options.
Provide options for students to connect their lived experiences with course materials. Consider multiple perspectives when creating presentation activities; by allowing students to make choices about what they research/focus on and how they present their ideas, you increase student engagement and make room for multiple perspectives (UDL checkpoints 7.1 and 7.2).
Set clear expectations.
Be explicit with your expectations and use a rubric if possible. Provide samples to support design and development. How long should presentations be? What is expected regarding visual aids? Are verbal and/or written citations expected, and if so in what format? What should be turned in during, before, or after the presentation (e.g. outline, notecards, etc)? What is expected from the audience members/peers (should they be providing feedback? asking questions?)?
Provide options for feedback and reflection.
Design feedback opportunities to support student success. Use smaller benchmarks to guide project development instead of waiting until the end of the project to provide feedback. Think in terms of a thesis statement or project idea as a first step, an outline, an annotated bibliography, etc. Rubrics are an excellent method for providing mastery-oriented feedback (UDL checkpoint 9.4).
Design reflection opportunities that encourage students to reflect on the process of preparing for and giving a presentation, activating metacognitive skills. When they add this to the feedback they receive from others they have a clear picture of where they can improve for the next time. Providing students with guiding questions can help them develop a framework for self-evaluation in future projects. This could be a journal they keep during the project with prompts related to significant checkpoints. Students can complete the reflection in stages during the project, or at the end as a comprehensive reflection. (UDL checkpoint 9.3).
Scaffold ethical behavior.
When we think about academic integrity and digital ethics in the context of student presentations, we consider plagiarism, copyright, accessibility, and privacy/data security. Messiah students focus on making a positive Christ-centered contribution to the digital landscape that is available to the widest possible audience.
To promote academic integrity, make sure students are able to clearly cite their sources, both orally and in their presentation materials. While students are generally providing their own voice in their project, it’s also part of the process to appropriately cite the research they used to refine their own ideas.
If you decide to use a technology aid, think about the potential copyright implications of your selected method. Make sure students are aware of copyright guidelines that would be applicable. Promote sites like Pixabay and Unsplash for copyright free images and sites like YouTube Studio for copyright free music as resources. Extend the copyright conversation by encouraging students to license their own work using a Creative Commons license.
Creating content for use beyond the classroom requires consideration of other’s privacy as well as the student’s own. Are there images or materials in the presentation that include others? Does the student have permission to share beyond the classroom? Digital citizenship includes asking questions about privacy, accessibility and copyright.
If you’d like to learn more about related pedagogy and best practices, check out our Online Presentations Annotated Bibliography for more resources.