Presentations and performances

An example of this approach, plus: pros and cons; requirements; resistance to academic misconduct and suggestions for making this approach more robust.


These may be individual or group presentations/performances. Including questions to individuals strengthens the value substantially.


  • Authentic: presentational (oral, visual, physical) skills are useful in future employment;
  • Peer-assessment can make presentations/performances a better learning experience for all;
  • Showing and quizzing multiple students together builds community and understanding
  • Asking spontaneous questions from the assessor and/or the audience helps reduce misconduct


  • Assessing presentations is quite time-consuming;
  • May be hard to strike a balance between mastery of content, and skills of presentation;
  • ‘Raising the bar’: expected standards can become higher over a series of presentations/performances as assessors expect more and more;
  • In presentations, ‘impression’ marks can be associated with the quality of presentation slides or resource materials used in the presentations;
  • Reliability – scores from different assessors may vary substantially.
  • Time requirement for student preparation, and for assessment – though per student, probably not longer than marking an essay.


  • Time for assessors – but also for students
  • Assessment criteria must be made clear in advance of the task being started
  • Large file sizes where performance submitted in advance

Resistance to academic misconduct

  • High if performance in question-answering is a major part of the mark. (Questions need to be probing).

Making it more robust

  • Ask questions and score for answers.