Over the last few years, there has been a definite shift in approaches to teaching and learning in Irish classrooms. Gone are the days of a solely teacher-led classroom environment. Instead, Irish classrooms today are a dialogic environment where student voice and engagement is central to the teaching and learning process.
With this in mind, teaching and learning strategies are student-focused and student-led. This approach is central to the new Junior Cycle, where classroom-based assessments (one of which is in oral format) are designed to reflect normal classroom teaching and learning practices.
Classroom presentations form part of this practice. For some students, the prospect of delivering a presentation to their peers can be a liberating and exciting prospect. For others, this is a source of great anxiety. It can, however, be agreed that the successful delivery of a presentation requires practice. That said, some students may be reluctant to practice in front of their family or may simply not have anyone to receive feedback from.
Enter the Microsoft Presentation coach! This tool is found in Powerpoint online and is created by artificial intelligence. The Presentation coach allows users to practice their presentation and receive feedback both during and after the presentation. The tool focuses on pace, word choice and slide reading. As well as urging users to refrain from merely reading off the slides, the tool also discourages using culturally insensitive phrasing. Users are provided with a report on their performance at the end of the presentation.
This is a very powerful tool for students to become acquainted with. The fact that students can access this at home is incredibly useful to students who struggle with presentations. The tool is also very user-friendly and should not pose any technical problems for students.
Step 1. Access Presenter Coach on Powerpoint (see below)
Step 2. Begin using the tool (see below)
Step 3. Note feedback during the presentation
Step 4. Read the full report from Presenter Coach at the end of the presentation