Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice

Abstract

Individual oral tutorial presentations have been utilised in numerous undergraduate courses to develop and assess students’ skills in organising and communicating ideas and information to a select audience. However, evidence from the literature, interviews with academics (n=5), and the author’s own experiences have demonstrated that these presentations have been plagued with issues ranging from poor quality presentations to non-attendance on the part of students and boredom for both academics and undergraduates alike. This article highlights these issues, then details a variety of successful ways in which academics have innovated to improve the level of student engagement and facilitate a higher achievement of learning outcomes. Some of these innovations pertain to individual presentations, yet interview data gathered indicated a strong trend towards replacing these with small group and whole group exercises, models for which are also explicated in this article. These models have been drawn from the Social Sciences and Humanities and provide templates that may be adapted for use in a range of different contexts. The resultant improvements in co-ordinating undergraduate students’ tutorial presentations may contribute towards a more satisfying experience for lecturers, tutors, and students, and improved learning outcomes.

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