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Oral Presentation with iPortfolio Feedback and Reflection

This example is provided to demonstrate how the iPortfolio can be used in assessment, teaching, and learning. Academics are invited to use the iPortfolio Assessment Template when designing similar learning experiences and assessments.

Develop a case study illustrating some aspect of the scientific research process and present it to your peers.

In particular:

  • Case study topics can illustrate the process of conducting a comprehensive literature review, developing a research methodology, or collecting and interpreting results. Your case study can evaluate the process described in a research paper you identify, or you can construct a new case study example using data collected from a variety of scholarly sources.
  • Present your case study to a group of your peers, and record it on video. Upload the video and your presentation to your iPortfolio, and invite five peers to offer you feedback.
  • Offer feedback on the presentation of others when requested to do so.
  • Write a reflection on the experience, citing what you have learned as a result of this experience, and what you would consider doing differently next time.

This example describes a learning experience in which students give an oral presentation in a unit that develops basic research skills.

However, aspects of this example could be used in other units in which oral presentations and communication skills are developed.
These include first year communication units and units in which a project is a major component.

Pedagogical Basis

Students use the iPortfolio "invite" function to share learning artifacts arising from this learning experience. This facilitates developing a learning community in which students can learn from their peers and examples of best practice can be shared. It also facilitates a means to provide feedback. Templates guide self reflection.

The iPorfolio can also help in the logistics associated with giving presentations in large first year units, particularly when learning outcomes include those associated with self and peer feedback. For example, students can give their presentation to a small audience, and subsequent feedback can be offered on-line without requiring the entire cohort to view all presentations in person.

Graduate Attribute Unit Learning Outcome Role of the iPortfolio
Information Skills
Information Skills
Conduct a literature review relevant to a research topic. Literature reviews can be shared with other members of the tutorial group using the "invite" function of the iPortoflio. In doing so, students will become aware of the mix of sources cited by their peers, including sources coming from scholarly peer reviewed sources versus from other less authoritative sources.
Technology Skills
Technology Skills
Apply modern computer-based presentation tools to construct an engaging presentation on a case study topic Presentations slides are uploaded to the iPortfolio where they can be shared with others. This enables students to see a wide range of presentation themes and styles, and evaluate those strategies that are more effective than others.
Thinking Skills
Thinking Skills
Evaluate limitations and confounding factors associated with a research methodology. An analysis of the limitations and confounding factors in a research methodology can be shared with others. This enables others to discuss creative solutions to modify a methodology in order to address or mitigate the effect of confounding factors.
Communication Skills
Conduct an oral presentation on the scientific research process. Video recordings of oral presentations can be uploaded to the presenter's iPortfolio. Over the course of a degree program, it should be possible for a student to observe their personal growth with respect to oral presentation and communication skills. The iPortfolio provides added value that complements a traditional resume since oral communication skills are difficult to convey in paper-based formats. These skills are readily demonstrated in video recordings within the iPortfolio.
Communication Skills
Self critique your own effectiveness in giving presentations, and provide constructive feedback on presentations given by others. An iPortfolio template provides a format or structure to guide reflective writing exercises. For example the STAR-L template has headings for Situation, Task, Action, Result, and Lesson learned.

The "invite" feature facilitates a mechanism to provide feedback to others when requested to do so.

Regional Contextualisation

No regional contextualization is required for in this learning experience and assessment.

Marking Rubric

Criteria Exemplary Competent Developing Incomplete
Ability to access and interpret scholarly literature Use information skills to identify scholarly publications and data relevant to a research topic or theme using scholarly databases, the internet, and other sources. Use good judgment with respect to the reliability of information sources. Use information skills to identify scholarly publications relevant to a research topic using appropriate keywords and search techniques. Access scholarly databases and information sources in the discipline. Sources of information generally comes from non-peer reviewed and unreliable sources.
Ability to use technology to create effective presentations Use information technology tools to create presentations that effectively convey major technical themes. Create concise slides that are sequenced in a logical order. Use appropriate fonts and colours. Use animations and visualizations effectively, and in a manner that engages the audience. Use information technology tools to create presentations that convey major technical themes. Use information technology tools to create presentations. Major presentation themes are disorganized or unclear.
Ability to critically evaluate research methodology and outcomes Critically evaluate a research methodology and the means by which results will be analyzed. Evaluate the significance and impact of research outcomes. Critically evaluate a research methodology and its outcomes Describe a research methodology and its outcome to others. Has difficulty reading and understanding scholarly research.
Ability to give effective oral presentations Oral communication skills are direct and convey confidence in the subject material. The presentation is conducted with enthusiasm in a manner that engages the audience. The presenter adds value to the slides. Oral communication skills are direct and convey confidence in the subject material. The oral presentation conveys the main points, but sides tend to be read verbatim to the audience. The audience generally needs to reading the slides in order to follow the presentation.
Able to offer constructive feedback to others Feedback was offered that reinforce positive aspects of the presentation, in addition to offering constructive suggestions that would enable the recipient to improve their skills and abilities Feedback communicated things that require the attention of the recipient. Feedback took a form that would be of some limited value to the recipient Feedback was not offered to the specified number of others.

Passing Levels: Passing levels of achievement are Exemplary, Competent, and Developing.


Methodology Case Study
Sample Case Study Presentation
(click to play)

Methodology Assignment
Methodology Presentation
(click to view)

Johnson(1999) World Wide IQ Scores, Scientific American 280(1):20.
Patterson, P (1978) Conversations with a gorilla, National Geographic Magazine, Oct 1978, pp 438-465
The Gorilla Foundation (2010) The Gorilla Foundation / Koko.org, http://www.koko.org/index.php, last accessed 7 May 2010.
Wikipedia (2010) Intelligence quotient, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligence_quotient, last accessed 7 May 2010.

Sample Reflection

Situation: Give a presentation in a unit designed to teach technical writing and basis research skills.

Task: Develop a case study on a topic pertaining to conducting research and present it to your peers.

Action: I developed a case study with a methodology for a hypothetical study, designed to determine if increases in human intelligence can be linked to the ever increasing use of technology and access to information in our modern world. This methodology used data found in the literature to plot IQ over time for a number of regions. The case study methodology I developed assumed that technology and its use increases over time at a constant rate and that IQ tests are a good measure of human intelligence. IQ data published in a Scientific American article was used. This IQ data for humans was compared with IQ data for Koko the gorilla. I made use of powerpoint to convey the case study to my audience. In my presentation, I attempted to use animations and sound effects to convey significant points. In addition to seeking feedback from my peers, I recorded the presentation so that I could critique myself in order to improve my oral presentation skills.

Result: The IQ data for humans and Koko the gorilla were shown to increase over time, However, the case study described flaws in the methodology, and consequently the study described neither proved nor disproved the hypothesis. I was generally pleased with the outcome of the presentation, although I stumbled over a few words.

Lessons Learned: From a research standpoint, I learned that data by itself doesn't tell the whole story. Assumptions can invalid an entire study if they are invalid or unsubstantiated. Several people pointed out that there are a number of more recent articles on increasing IQ scores that I should have consulted. Next time I'll use scholarly databases from the Curtin library to make sure I adequately cover what's current in the scholarly literature, and not just rely on Google. I also learned quite a bit about giving an effective presentation too. For example, in the video I appear be reading the slides. Instead, I should focus more on adding value and connecting with my audience, using the slides as more of an outline for my talk. When projected in the classroom, my slides were very legible.When converted to video for display in flowplayer in my iPortfolio, however, I found the fonts hard to read. In the future, I will use a larger font, and consider the multiple formats and contexts in which the presentation will be viewed. Several of the people offering me feedback said that they found the sound effects distracting. I've learned that striking an appropriate balance between bland slides and using special effects can be a bit tricky. In the future, I'll limit my use of sound effects to those that are absolutely necessary to convey my principal message. If they don't help me to communicate something important, I'll leave them out.

Instructions for students

When giving your presentations, speak to your audience and not the camera. Your goal is twofold. You should 1) demonstrate an understanding of the research process and the importance of a well defined research methodology, and 2) to effectively communicate this in a technical presentation.

Instructions for academic staff

Some students may want to use animations and sound effects. While this should be encouraged, you should stress that this should generally only be used to highlight significant themes, or to engage the audience in a way that is helpful to understanding the main themes of the presentation.