June 13, 2012, by Teaching at Nottingham
Enhancing student presentation skills
Dr Karen Kilby: “The Department of Theology and Religious Studies identified a need to help UG students build their confidence and gain experience in making presentations.
“In order to achieve these aims it set out to develop a 10 credit presentation module as part of its second year curriculum. The purpose of the module is to enhance students’ capacity to communicate orally, to support them in making the transition to becoming independent learners, and to aid employability and future professional success.
“The new module follows on from a Year 1 module (Great Religious Texts) based on small group discussions of primary texts. A presentation component has also now been incorporated into the dissertation module in Year 3, allowing the students to progress from discussion in Year 1 to formal presentations in Year 2 to the presentation of their own research in Year 3.
“During the 2011/2012 academic session the module was optional and students focused on a particular theme. In the first 2 weeks they were provided with information on constructing and delivering a presentation and assessment was based on the best 2 of 3 presentations and a submitted portfolio reflecting on and evaluating their own presentations and assessing the presentations of others.
“Feedback obtained from the trial was overwhelmingly positive, with the majority of students’ agreeing that the module had developed their communication skills and their ability to think critically. The trial did highlight some interesting questions about how to mark the presentations, and in particular how much the academic quality of their content should be considered. The Department has decided that in future years the presentations will focus not a new theme but on the series of texts read in the Year 1 Great Religious Texts, therefore improving the coherence of the course and allowing the students to deepen their engagement with these texts. The module will be rolled out as a compulsory module in the 2012/2013 academic session.”
Dr Karen Kilby
Department of Theology and Religious Studies
Summary taken from “Development of Student Presentation Skills.”