When we think of student learning we imagine a teacher speaking at the front of the class, perhaps, like in my day, with an overhead projector or an interactive learning board. But what is to stop the students from becoming the speakers in class and presenting their own work via an online presentation? It may sound like an unorthodox way of learning but by encouraging peers to talk about their own findings, to talk in front of one another and offer up their own feedback on ways to improve we may well be better preparing them for assignments, exams and eventually their performance in the workplace.
How Presentations Can Benefit:
Showcase what they have learnt
Students can take all they have learnt in that term and process this into digestible chunks onto slides. This is, of course, very similar to using the old paper-style revision cards but in a world full of technology they will most probably find using a presentation more relatable.
Show their design flair
Creating a presentation will allow the student to add all their own finishing touches and personalise the way they would like their research/findings to come across. Online presentations will allow them to add images, videos, sound, varying transitions and make attractive template choices.
By giving students the assignment of creating their presentation to then be presented back to the class is, in turn, also giving them the responsibility of learning. They will need to show that they can step up to the mark and that they can produce a good piece that will benefit all of their peers as well as themselves.
This may be a daunting task to some members of the class but it should be seen as a positive step and not a negative or scary one. By encouraging the students to speak confidently and freely in front of their peers you will be developing skills for them to use later on in life in the workplace.
One very active way of learning is through the art of discussion. Open discussions can further improve learning within the classroom and even the quietest of class members may begin to step up and give their views. Increasing their bonds as a class as well as their speaking skills.
Students would need to actively give feedback to their classmate about their presentation. This will benefit the student who has provided the presentation because it will give them the opportunity to review their work and make appropriate improvements in their assignment; which could lead to better grades. It will also benefit the entire classes’ understanding on the subject and will allow them to develop skills in giving and receiving feedback… without being harsh or rude. These skills are important later on in life.
By providing feedback to one another, the students will have the rare opportunity to learn from one another and not directly from a teacher. They will be providing new insights as it will be from their personal points of views.
By giving the class this assignment you are setting them up to learn what is to be completely prepared. Not only will they need to research and produce their findings, they will also need to prepare a speech, be able to answer questions and understand that their original presentation may need tweaking.
Listening to themselves speak and then having the opportunity to see how the other students present will give each individual the opportunity to self-critique and make plans to improve for the next presentation assignment.
Do you have any to add? Did you catch our last article on classroom-based presentations?