Adapt Student Presentation Assignments for Distance Learning

Ways to modify your student presentation assignments

Probably the simplest way to modify your presentations is not to. Just have your students present via a Zoom call. Derek Sweet from Communication Studies uses the same critique sheet whether his Public Address students are giving their speeches online or in person. He said, "online or f2f, good eye contact fosters a connection with the audience" and the assignments learning goals remain the same. Here is a link to Derek's critique sheet and additional crowd sourced rubrics that may help you evaluate your own presentations.

But if you would like to modify your student presentation assignments here are some ways students can creat a learning object to share their research asynchronously using one of the tools below. The rubrics linked above can certainly be modified to fit these asynchronous presentations.

Voice-over Presentation

Students can create a PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation, load the slideshow into VoiceThread, and then add a voice-over commentary. This can be shared with you as the instructor or with the entire class. You and their peers can add comments and questions to the presentation using text or audio.

It takes about 10 minutes to learn how to create a voice-over presentation in VoiceThread. (Introductory tutorial)


Students can use Google Sites (currently being used at Luther for e-portfolios) or Adobe Spark to create a website with text, images, video, and more.

For specific questions about using a Google Site to create an e-Portfolio, contact Erin Zidlicky ([email protected]), to reach the e-Portfolio team.

Audio Presentation

If there are no visuals required for your assignments, consider having them create an audio presentation of their research. Using a cellphone, students can record their presentation. They can share the audio file with you via a KATIE Assignment or they can be added to a forum where the students can listen to each other and discuss.

Host a Synchronous Online Session

Have your students present during a Zoom call.

Suggestions for managing student work

Don't want to keep track of emails with students sharing their projects with you?
Gather their objects in one place by using a KATIE Assignment with text submission to collect links to student work. Then you can assign grades, provide feedback comments or upload rubric files, and everything goes straight into your KATIE gradebook.

Do you want your students to share their research with their peers?
Use a KATIE forum with students creating threads and adding links to their work or direct students to use the built-in commenting in VoiceThread to allow students to have two-way asynchronous conversations about their work.

Consider a Q & A session

Many virtual conferences have used a virtual Q & A format to great success. Students share their presentations via Voice Thread, YouTube videos, podcasts. Their classmates then individually review the presentations and ask questions or give feedback in a dedicated Zoom meeting. Different presenters can even be in different break out rooms