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Grading Participation and Learner Presentations

Do you sometimes struggle with:

  • Grading learner participation?
  • Grading learner presentations?
  • Ensuring learner attentiveness during learner presentations?
  • Ensuring learners learn from their classmates' presentations?

Comprehension Questions

  • Ask learners giving presentations to create 2 or 3 short questions (or a little quiz) on important concepts from their presentation. These are given to their classmates at the end of their presentation to assess comprehension of their major points. Learners respond to the questions, in writing, and hand in the responses as they leave the class.
  • Their written responses count as a participation mark.
  • The content of the responses indicates their attentiveness.
  • The content of the responses also measures the "teaching" skill of the presenters. If most learners misunderstand the major concepts, it may indicate that the presenters were unclear.

Peer Evaluation

  • Create criteria that will be used to assess all learner presentations (learner input in developing the criteria is an asset).
  • Provide learners with assessment forms for each presentation.
  • Learners sign the forms and provide feedback using the criteria and effective feedback techniques ("I" sentences, descriptive, specific, non-evaluative comments, focussed on strengths, offers suggestions).
  • At the end of every presentation learners take 3-4 minutes to fill out and sign the forms.
  • Assessment forms count twice - once for a participation mark, also as ability to assess effectively).
  • Photocopies of the relevant feedback forms are given to the presenters.
  • You can choose to ask learners to give a numerical value to the presentation, and average that mark with your own to arrive at the mark the presenter receives.

Advantages of the above methods:

  • All learners are actively involved in the presentations of their classmates.
  • Faculty have a reliable way to measure "participation".
  • Learners learn more from presentations.
  • Learners take more responsibility for their learning.
  • Learners learn how difficult it is to assess fairly - to develop analytical skills.