Throughout the semester, students do group presentations on academic topics that they have been introduced to in class. The groups use the platform OneDrive in Office 365 to produce and share slides and to organise when it is each group’s turn to present and give feedback.
The students collaborate on developing slides and give peer feedback in groups during the production phase. The first round of presentations and peer feedback take place between lessons and before the final presentations in class.
The underlying didactic idea is that you learn by doing. That is also why we don’t use fixed templates on how to structure a presentation. Instead, students experiment with presentation structures during the semester. All the students will gradually improve their ability to assess when a presentation and an analysis work well.
In addition, this approach should show the students that they can learn from each other. The students practice both developing and giving presentations, but the feedback group also practices giving feedback during a different group’s production phase. The production and idea development phases also become visible and accessible for the entire class.
The goal is to improve the students’ analytical strengths in how digital design works. The students must be able to:
develop and draft design ideas for a specific user situation
assess the look and usefulness of different digital and interactive designs
At the beginning of the semester, the students are divided into study groups that have to present three to four times during the semester.
The teacher creates a folder in OneDrive named after the class. In here, there is a shared minutes document, and the students can create group folders for their slides. The link to the folder is shared in the official online learning platform of the course (e.g. Brightspace).
The students use the document in OneDrive to organise who presents and gives feedback at what point during the semester. As a general rule, the teacher doesn’t interfere in this process.
For each lesson during the semester:
a) Before the class, the presenting study group develops slides to which another group gives peer feedback prior to the presentation – usually the assisting group looks through the slides or hears a trial presentation in Zoom.
The purpose is both to give the students an opportunity to improve their presentation before the actual one during class, and to give the assisting group the chance to practice their feedback skills.
The final slide in the presentation should function as a kind of meta-reflection that shows what insights and changes the first round of peer feedback led to.
b) During class, the study group presents for the teacher and other students. Afterwards, they receive more feedback and questions. The feedback group writes down the minutes after the discussion. These minutes are put in the OneDrive folder.
OneDrive in Office 365 is used as a shared platform, where the students can see each other’s work processes and give each other peer feedback. In OneDrive, they share their production and the slides used for their presentations during class, so everyone has access to them. They organise their roles (presentation, feedback) in a shared document, and they write down the minutes of their group discussions in a shared document. The actual peer feedback is given through several technologies, e.g. by commenting directly on slides in OneDrive, by Zoom meetings or face-to-face.
A majority of the students thought it was rewarding to give peer feedback (to be the assisting group). They mention:
that they get inspiration, new insights, a shared understanding, competencies in discussing design and new perspectives on how theory can be applied in relation to design. For example, one student writes that “you need to study the material in order to give meaningful feedback”.
that they learn what others find important and learn how others organise their presentations and work during their process.
that they learn by getting feedback, but also from giving others feedback.
A majority of the students thought it was rewarding to receive feedback on their slides and presentation (to be the presenting group). They mention:
that they have access to qualified feedback with other viewpoints and new perspectives – also on the structure of their presentations.
that it was rewarding to take part in an academic discussion.
The students don’t experience technical challenges but did find that OneDrive was slower than Google Drive, which they are more familiar with using in their study work.
It is worth considering whether the students should document their work process in a learning log, e.g. a document in OneDrive. This would emphasise the didactic point about learning by doing.
As a teacher, it is a good idea to pay attention to whether the presentation logistics are running smoothly. It is also worth remembering to comment on the structure and slides of the presentation during class in order to add a meta-element.
In the current version of Office 365, you need to be aware of the difficulties of adding videos to presentations made in PowerPoint online (ATT: Now OneDrive).