Group Oral Presentation

Submitted by Professor Caroline Bowsher: School of Biological Sciences, Division of Molecular & Cellular Function


Using oral presentations as a way of getting students to develop thinking in relation to unit ILOs, further their knowledge and develop personable transferable skills, e.g., oral communication.

Composition of 35% presentation mark:
The presentation assignment consists of working in assigned groups to address the following assessed components:

  • identify and agree on specific information to present
  • an 8 minute presentation with supporting PowerPoint slides

Each presentation topic group is allocated a group discussion board in Blackboard for contacting each other in the first instance.  All members of the topic group are told to immediately contact each other and discuss how they will:

  1. Work together as a team to ensure each student has an opportunity to contribute equally and fully to the final presentation. As it is likely that team members will contribute in different ways to the final presentation, the group is encouraged to discuss the approach needed and produce a student contribution score sheet to recognise this (See Student Contribution Score Sheet Information folder for more information and example template). The agreed Student Contribution Sheet is posted on the group discussion board on Blackboard to meet a deadline 1 week after initial group allocations.  This student contribution score sheet is then be used by all members of the team when agreeing on the Student Contribution Score of individual group members.  The final agreed Student Contribution Score of individual group is uploaded to Blackboard at the same time as the presentation.
  2. The oral presentation is prepared as a voice over PowerPoint in the way that the students deem to be most appropriate.


Group assessment developed to enable flexible scale-up  (length of presentation and group size can be adjusted).  Has worked for class size of up to 320 students.

Challenges and Reflections

As an instructor worried about students being able to produce the voice over presentation and how much guidance was going to be needed from me and/or the eLearning team.  This has never been a problem, the students understand how to do this and find the way that suits them and their skill base.

Used to randomly assign groups, but now let the students choose if they want (based on limited group size).  This works well.  Sufficient students don’t engage in the process to then allow allocation to be undertaken to balance group size.

The students interact however they see best, group discussion boards are available, but rarely used.  A Student contribution score is decided on by the whole group to allow for full or partial engagement of group members.  Students are asked to identify components of a student contribution that they will score at the start of the work and they submit this when they submit the final presentation.  A template contribution score sheet is available which the majority of groups adapt. This has worked well to avoid issues where the students complain about having these scores being allocated unfairly due to group pressure.

To ensure the students watch the other groups presentations, the presentations form the basis of another summative piece of assessment (Reflective learning diary)

Contact for more information

Telephone: 0161-275-3898
Internal: 2753898

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