Assessed Presentations – Code of Practice and Marking Criteria

A mark for a presentation may be included as part of your assessment for a particular module in Archaeology. Our encouragement of presentation skills will improve your verbal confidence, and this is a significant part of what your degree programme is about. So it follows that you should be clear about what is — and what is not —required when making class presentations.

It is clearly to your advantage to give a reasonable amount of time for preparationResearch should be accurate and full, and you should therefore select your material carefully; it should be accurate, relevant, and comprehensive.

The presentation should not just show what you have learnt. Instead, it should aim to inform and engage the class in a way that the class can understand. It is wise to rehearse presentation work privately before the class. This is particularly important if you are making a group presentation with another person or other people. Rehearsal ensures that time-limits can be followed and (in group work) that there is an easy and efficient relationship between the participants. If possible it may be helpful to hold rehearsals in a room similar to that where the class will be held, in order to work out arrangements for seating, visual displays (including how to handle projectors, videos or tape recorders), and audibility. Get someone to sit at the back of the room to test audibility.

Verbal presentations should be confident, audible, fluent and spontaneous. Avoid the impression of reading out a text (unless quotations are involved, and there should not be too many of these). The pace should be neither too fast (people might be trying to take notes) nor too slow (people will begin to lose interest). The audience should be addressed and involved through eye contact or other means. The opening remarks need to indicate what you are talking about and why. Explain the order the presentation will follow. Pitch the presentation at an appropriate academic and intellectual level; do not use technical words and complex vocabulary excessively or inappropriately. Avoid too many clauses. This will make the presentation easier for you to give and easier for your audience to understand.

Time-keeping should be good, so that the subject is covered adequately in the time set. The presentation should not under-run or over-run. In a team presentation, it is a good idea to make one person the time-keeper: they can then prompt the others.

Team Presentations should involve all members of the team equally, unless some other procedure has been agreed with the lecturer. Members of the team should work smoothly together. They should address the class and not just each other. They should stand, sit or move around as appropriate. Team presentations allow a variety of approaches, including chairing the presentation, interviews, debates, dramatic techniques, and role playing. These should be appropriate, and should not obscure the information or argument: so, for example, role playing may need to be followed by a summary of the points that emerged. Because individual roles in a team presentation might vary, the assessment of such presentations for examination purposes (where appropriate) will take into account both the work of the team together as well as that of each individual member.

If there is a requirement to submit supporting materials for assessment (for example a handout or copies of Powerpoint slides) this will be specified by the module tutor.

Use of Equipment and Materials

Presentations may involve the production and circulation of handouts, artefacts or audio-visual material for class information and discussion. These should be integrated with the presentation: it is unwise, for example, to expect people to study a text while the presenter(s) are speaking about different material. Materials should not be introduced just for their own sake or as mere decoration. They should be explained just as other material is explained, and should be used to make a point, support an argument or to prompt class discussion. The handling of equipment should be efficient, unless there is some mechanical fault. The module tutor can give further guidance.

Marking Criteria for Archaeology Assessed Presentations (Level 1)

  • Has the candidate given adequate thought and planning to the presentation; has it been rehearsed?
  • Is the structure of the presentation clear?
  • In the case of group presentations, has adequate thought gone into the inter-relationship of the roles of the various presenters?
  • Is the content of the presentation accurate, and intended to be interesting as well as informative?
  • Has the candidate responded appropriately to the assignment brief?
  • Is the scope of the presentation appropriate (i.e. in terms of the level of generality/focus)?
  • Is the level of supporting research appropriate for the level of study?
  • Is the candidate’s pace of presentation appropriate — is the audience engaged?

Marking Criteria for Archaeology Assessed Presentations (Level 2)

  • Has the candidate given serious planning or thought to the presentation; has it been properly rehearsed?
  • Is the structure of the presentation clear and robust?
  • In the case of group presentations, has serious thought gone into the inter-relationship and complementarity of the roles of the various presenters?
  • Is the content of the presentation accurate, scholarly, informative and interesting?
  • Has the candidate thought suitably about the challenges of subject matter and the assignment brief?
  • Is the scope of the presentation appropriate (i.e. is it general and/or specific in the right balance?)
  • Is the level of supporting research appropriate for the level of study?
  • Is the candidate’s pace of presentation appropriate — is the audience fully engaged?
  • Has the candidate made an original creative input?

Marking Criteria for Archaeology Assessed Presentations (Level 3)

  • Has the candidate given rigorous planning or thought to the presentation; has it been fully rehearsed?
  • Is the structure of the presentation clear and robust?
  • In the case of group presentations, has serious and rigorous thought gone into the inter-relationship and complementarity of the roles of the various presenters?
  • Is the content of the presentation accurate, scholarly, informative and interesting?
  • Has the candidate thought suitably and critically about the challenges of subject matter and the assignment brief?
  • Is the scope of the presentation appropriate (i.e. is it general and/or specific in the right balance?)
  • Is the level of supporting research appropriate for the level of study?
  • Is the candidate’s pace of presentation appropriate — is the audience fully engaged?
  • Has the candidate made a strong and original creative input?