Oral Presentations

While not a replacement for the types of advice and critiques that can be shared in a peer review session, the oral presentation of work done or in progress also offers an opportunity for feedback.

In this model, a specific amount of time is devoted to students doing oral presentations. In a small class, this can be done over a period of 2-3 days (the time for each presentation will depend on how many students are in the class). In larger classes – where there are too many students to devote presentation time for – students could do their presentations on short videos (almost every camera and computer today comes with a video camera), upload them to YouTube, and classmates could see the presentations outside of class time.

The presentation serves a number of purposes, particularly when it precedes time devoted to peer review or some other kind of feedback on the writing itself.

  • The student goes into “working” mode early (thus, reducing the opportunity for last minute work).
  • The student discusses some aspect of the work—how it looks so far, what kind of obstacles she is encountering, what she is trying to do, where she is having problems, what parts so far look good—and students watching the presentation have the opportunity to offer feedback.
  • The student uses the presentation as an opportunity to teach others about her work. This opportunity benefits both the presenter and the audience. The presenter receives feedback and also hears her work out loud; audience members hear how others approached the project.
  • The student works in a professional moment. Presenting on works in progress in front of one’s peers or superiors is a professional experience most of us go through. By engaging with a professional experience, the work being done becomes more professional as well.
  • Instructors can take notes and respond to the presentations after class via email. This way, students have instructor feedback to work with as well while they revise for a peer review session or final submission.