Social media and public speaking: student-produced multimedia informative presentations
This project asks students to create and present a group informative speech and teach other students an important communication concept incorporating multimedia exam questions. Students will work in groups to research, identify, and select their communication concept, create an informative presentation centered on their selected concept, arrange the presentation according to one of the organizational models, create two multimedia exam questions assessing the audience’s understanding of the concept, deliver the informative presentation, and constructively critique and assess the other group’s informative presentations. To create and present the multimedia exam questions, students are asked to use a digital video camera and YouTube as vehicles of media production and delivery. After completing the assignment, students will have demonstrated proficiency in the key skills of informative speaking, digital literacy, and group collaboration.
As members of the information age, students are asked on a regular basis to select, evaluate, arrange, and communicate their understanding of information. The ongoing digital revolution has complicated these informational demands. Not only are students expected to already have the skillset to research, select, organize, and deliver this re-presentation of information publicly and creatively, they are also increasingly being asked to do so in a digital and team environment. For this assignment, students are expected to work together in a group to create one informative presentation and two multimedia exam questions, as well as constructively critique and assess peer presentations. This activity assesses a student’s ability to identify, select, and evaluate digital information through the design and creation of their multimedia informative presentation, production of digital exam questions, and in the peer review process utilizing YouTube and face-to-face interactions.
The instructional events for this project are designed based on a combination of the long-established and popularly applied Gagné’s Theory of Instruction (Gagné, 1985) with collaborative learning principles (Bruffee, 1995).
a. The instructor will introduce the activity, define informative speaking, give examples of organizational models, and provide a list of suggested concepts for acceptable informative speech topics. The instructor can help explain the assignment and concepts by sharing recorded examples of informative speeches, multimedia clips and organizational models. All guidelines, rubrics, documents, examples, and other instructional material can be organized, housed, and shared in one place for easy access to the class. For example, one might use a local Learning Management System, blog, or cloud storage space.
b. The instructor should also provide the students with the objectives for completing the project and rubric for assessment of this particular assignment. The Hickerson Oral Communication Behavioral Assessment tool developed by Corey Hickerson at James Madison University will be used as the main assessment tool in this project (see Appendix B). Hickerson’s assessment rubric was adapted from and expanded on in The Competent Speaker Evaluation Form (Morreale et al., 2007) and was also used in a published study to understand oral communication assessment (Joe et al., 2011).
a. The instructor will divide students into groups and outline the expectations for the assignment in detail, including the presentation workshop. We have found that groups of five students have worked well. The instructor will also pair each group in the class with a different group, as they will later work together as peer groups for the presentation workshop. At the presentation workshop, each group will discuss and critique their peer group’s informative speech outline and multimedia exam questions.
follow one of the basic speech organizational models; topical, chronological, spatial, casual, problem solution, problem cause solution, or Monroe’s Motivated Sequence (Rothwell, 2010, pp.366-8)
two multimedia multiple-choice questions produced by the group must be included in the 10-minute presentation. The exam question format may have a multimedia question and four text answers or a text question and four multimedia answers
a complete oral presentation outline from the group (see the Informative Presentation Outline Guideline created by one of the chapter authors in Appendix A.)
a one-page constructive critique written by each individual responding to the other group’s outline and PowerPoint slides – including one thing the group did well, one area for improvement, one reference to the classroom texts, and one piece of additional outside research related to the other group’s topic.
d. Once the instructor has explained the assignment in detail and has divided the class into groups, presentation topics must be selected and/or assigned. The instructor may assign topics; or students can be actively involved in a ranking list or compete for the opportunity to pick their topic in the order of their choice
e. For the multimedia multiple-choice exam questions, each group should use a digital camera to videotape themselves, creating digital material that they edit to create an exam question. There are two basic formats. First, they may act out a scenario based on their concept about which they then ask a multiple-choice question to assess knowledge of that concept. The edited video is the question a group would show and the answers are traditional text answers. Or, second, the group writes out a question based on their concept and then acts out and records four different scenarios that would serve as multiple-choice answers. Here, the question is a traditional text question and the group would show four different edited clips as potential multiple-choice answers.
For example, if a group selected the “functions of nonverbal communication” as their concept for the informative presentation; they would create an exam question to assess knowledge regarding the functions of nonverbal communication. They would create a simulated scenario about nonverbal communication and then ask a question based on the video clip. For example, please view the video clip located here,
g. The student groups should now begin working on researching, outlining, and creating their oral presentation. Students will also be provided with tutorials and/or resources for generating and sharing digital multimedia presentations. Detailed procedures with associated tutorial resources are provided in “Required resources”.
a. Each group should upload their two multimedia multiple-choice questions to YouTube, and send the other group their informative speech outline, YouTube links, and PowerPoint slides. Each individual group member is responsible for constructively critiquing the YouTube multimedia questions, speech outline, and PowerPoint slides of the other group.
b. Three days prior to the presentation workshop, each individual group member should post their two constructive comments (four in total) on the other group’s multimedia multiple-choice exam questions through YouTube video links and write a one-page constructive critique of the other group’s informative speech outline and PowerPoint slides. Students will bring the one-page critique to the presentation workshop.
a. On the day of the workshop, each group will sit with their assigned peer group. The instructor should remind the students of the purpose of the workshop. The entire workshop is a discussion between groups of their respective presentations. The workshop is designed to talk through the strengths and weaknesses of each part of the presentation. Students should reference their own feedback that they provided on YouTube and their one-page outline critique. Students should ask each other questions about the other group’s presentations and their constructive feedback and vice versa. Groups should utilize feedback to improve their final presentation. The instructor’s role is to circulate among the pairs of groups to facilitate discussion and negotiate any potential conflicts.
Between 5–10 minutes to understand the instructions on the assignment, 4–5 weeks to complete the assignment depending on time allocated in class and other related homework students are already assigned, 1 hour for group draft/outline to prepare for the presentation critique workshop, 1 hour for the critique workshop, 1 hour for final presentations. The activity could be adapted for shorter and longer time frames.
Procedures and associated tutorial resources of publishing a video presentation on YouTube (related to SLOs 1, 2, and 3)
Set the Privacy Setting as Private and enter the gmail accounts of your classmates and instructor. You can locate the Privacy Settings in Video Manager, under the Basic Info tab, to the right of the movie Title and Description.
This assignment to teach informative speaking and digital literacy can be customized in many disciplinary areas. Informative speaking skills, digital literacy, collaborative/cooperative learning and constructive criticism can be incorporated into any discipline by drawing on the theories, concepts, and approaches unique to that discipline. The meaningful characteristics of YouTube and a digital video camera with basic digital video editing software is that they are user-friendly devices. With the tools and understanding of fundamental subject content, students can create and edit original digital content and re-present that content in a public forum. One may substitute any of a number of video sharing sites, such as Vimeo. One could also use Facebook, Twitter or Google + to share the video in and outside of class.
Any digital video camera would work, including those in smartphones and tablets. Multimedia exam questions can be substituted by digital stories or assignments created by students. The key to effective learning is configuring assignments in alignment with the objectives of the class and eliciting student performance with the focus on deep thinking of the content rather than on the presentation format(s).
The most significant piece of advice we would offer is that an instructor provides incentives to encourage or require students to go beyond mere definitional questions. Introduce them, if unfamiliar, to different elements of Bloom’s Taxonomy and explain how they could create questions that require the exam taker to analyze, evaluate, or synthesize information to provide the best answer, using examples from students in classes of previous semesters when it is possible.
The final piece of advice is to remind students about privacy in a networked environment, respect to copyright when citing sources, and any possible Institutional Review Board implications for involving human subjects in a classroom presentation project.
Joe, J.N., Harmes, J.C., Hickerson, C.A. Using verbal reports to explore rater perceptual processes in scoring: A mixed methods application to oral communication assessment. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice. 2011; 18(3):239–258.
A Use an attention-getting technique to gain the interest of your audience and introduce the topic of your presentation. You might use a story, interactive audience survey, rhetorical question, shocking statistics, or something else to get the attention of your audience.