Ireland, Chris and English, John (2013) Student oral presentations: incorporating peer e-assessment. In: 10th ALDinHE Conference 2013: Celebrating Learning Development, 25-27 March 2013, Plymouth University. (Unpublished)

This presentation details how an approach to the development of presentation skills with first year accountancy students has been developed to incorporate peer assessment. Presentation skills are considered important by both recruiters and academic bodies (Stowe, 2010) but despite this, accountancy graduates tend to have “inadequate oral communication skills” when commencing employment (Gray, 2010). In order to help the students develop their skills and confidence in delivering presentations, Accountants in Organisations, a first year core module taken by BA Accountancy and Finance students at the University of Huddersfield, has long included two formative presentations and an end of year summative presentation. The formative feedback provided in the first two presentations originally came from the tutor while peers participated only as an audience. The final summative assessment was presented only to the two module tutors.

In order to raise involvement, extend student assessment skills and increase formative feedback, peer assessment was incorporated in the process. Involving peers in the assessment of presentations supports the development of judgement and can improve reliability (Magin and Helmore, 2001). Such an approach also provides peers with a clear purpose during the presentation and may therefore lead to greater interest and participation (MacAlpine, 1999).

The use of e-assessment facilitates the rapid provision of written feedback; an attribute valued by students (Browne and Shurville, 2007; NUS, 2010). Whereas, previously presenters had one set of feedback provided by the tutor, they now have extensive feedback from the whole audience which requires little administration.

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