Search results

1 – 1 of 1
To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 8 February 2016

Bonnie McBain, Antony Drew, Carole James, Liam Phelan, Keith M Harris and Jennifer Archer

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the experiences of tertiary students learning oral presentation skills in a range of online and blended learning contexts across…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the experiences of tertiary students learning oral presentation skills in a range of online and blended learning contexts across diverse disciplines.

Design/methodology/approach

The research was designed as a “federation” of trials of diverse online oral communications assessment tasks (OOCATs). Tasks were set in ten courses offered across all five faculties at University of Newcastle, Australia. The authors collected and analysed data about students’ experiences of tasks they completed through an anonymous online survey.

Findings

Students’ engagement with the task was extremely positive but also highly varied. This diversity of student experience can inform teaching, and in doing so, can support student equity. By understanding what students think hinders or facilitates their learning, and which students have these experiences, instructors are able to make adjustments to their teaching which address both real and perceived issues. Student experience in this study highlighted five very clear themes in relation to the student experience of undertaking online oral communications tasks which all benefit from nuanced responses by the instructor: relevance; capacity; technology; time; and support.

Practical implications

Using well-designed OOCATs that diverge from more traditional written assessments can help students successfully engage with course content and develop oral communication skills. The student experience can be used to inform teaching by catering for different student learning styles and experience. Student centred approaches such as this allows instructors to reflect upon the assumptions they hold about their students and how they learn. This understanding can help inform adjustments to teaching approaches to support improved student experience of learning oral communications tasks.

Originality/value

The importance of learning oral communication skills in tertiary education is widely acknowledged internationally, however, there is limited research on how to teach these skills online in a way that is student centred. This research makes a contribution toward addressing that gap.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 58 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

Keywords

1 – 1 of 1