How to avoid the common problem areas for students

No introduction; no conclusion; slabs of text. How to avoid some of these mistakes.

Rather than repeat much of the information on the home page I'll just reiterate some areas where in my experience students struggle and it's difficult to award marks.

Introduction and Conclusion

Often marking rubrics stipulate a "Coherent introduction that outlines the scope of the presentation or ends with a a rational conclusion." These assessments are no different to essays or other forms of assessment where the introduction and conclusion serve to tie your submission together by introducing and reminding the reader at the end of the key themes and ideas explored throughout your submission.

Slide layout

Audiovisual presentations are not essays. The usage of text needs to be restrained and considered. Incorporate the key themes and ideas, try to not have large sections of text and ensure that your texts are broken in a way that remains visually appealing.

Images do help a lot with this aspect in particular but be sure to offer references. With these ideas in mind, it should help you to avoid reading the text word-for-word as this is incredibly difficult to view. Lastly, ensure the colour palette you select allows the text to be readable against the background.

Narrated PowerPoint or similar

Prior to the pandemic, many presentations were conducted in class rather than in the remote environment. However, this alteration allows you to rehearse and record and mitigates the impact of stress and nerves. With that in mind, ensure you listen back to your recording taking note of your pace, tempo and how easily you can understand the information. Having previously recorded an online lecture I'm acutely aware that it's stressful and difficult. However, just complete the recording in sections and make it more manageable.

Slide transitions, check to ensure that they work. Watch your presentation and ensure that all the transitions allow you to finish what you are saying before it heads to the next slide. There is nothing worse than watching a presentation where the speaker is cut off from finishing every slide due to the transitions. Lastly, time your presentation, timing is often prescribed for your assessment and as mentioned elsewhere, typically academic convention allows for +/- 10%. However, beyond that point, often content is not assessed. Thus, opportunities to earn marks are lost.